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HERBS FOR HELPERS

Women, generally are the nurturers, healers and helpers around the household.
When a guy is going outside to work, the woman suggests sunscreen; and even though being ignored, she'll probably rub in Aloe vera lotion on his sunburn later. For nothing else, just to stop the whining!
Mom's are the real miracle-healers for their children. They do anything from "Kissing booboos" to prescribing Tylenol to cough syrup or waiting in an emergency room demanding better treatment for her hurt child!
But what if She hurts?
It is only logical that Mother Nature would provide very special "Herbs for helpers" to help Her very special nurturers. Check with your doctor before taking supplements.
The following is a list of typical female problems and plants - a woman can plant to help her through those tough times:
The Director of the American Herb Association Kathi Keville wrote a book, reviewed by two doctors, entitled "HERBS FOR HEALTH AND HEALING" (Rodale Press, Inc, Emmaus, Penn.,1996); and on page 150 Kathi writes: "For those of you whose hormonal cycles drive you into a frenzy, I have good news. Almost every woman I know who has tried herbs and supporting nutrition gets some relief....finding the right combination will help you move gracefully through most health problems specific to women, from monthly cycles to menopause."
Kathi wisely recommends anyone having health issues should see a doctor to determine the nature of this problem and hopefully you can work with this doctor to incorporate natural, herbal remedies as well as manufactured medicines in your treatment of this problem.
Woman have, by nature, a fluid chemical personality. Estrogen and Progesterone hormones and associated hormones trade off duties in every normal month's cycle. In fact, "Premenstrual Syndrome" or "PMS" problems are a sure sign of "Imbalance" of these two hormones.
The Wold's Foremost Authority on healing herbs, James A. Duke, Ph.D., wrote a Book "THE GREEN PHARMACY" (Rodale Press, IBID, 1997); and in it on page 327, Doctor Duke recommends raspberry leaves-Tea for PMS. I Quote: "Researcher don't know the active compound in raspberry, but they speculate it to be Pycnogenol (OPC).... In one study, taking 200 milligrams of OPC daily over two cycles eliminated or significantly relieved menstrual cramps and/or premenstrual syndrome in 50 to 60 percent of the women who took them. Among women who took OPCs for four cycles, the number who benefited was even higher - 66 to 80 percent."
Doctor Dukes writes the OPCs in fresh raspberry leaves readily floats into a cup of hot water to make a great evening tea!
Doctor Duke also recommends Chasteberry (Vitex agnus-castus) berry-decoctions to help balance women's hormonal cycles and relieve PMS. I quote from page 364: "It helps balance hormones produced during women's monthly cycles, increasing production of luteinizing hormone and inhibiting the release of follicle-stimulating hormone. This leads to a shift in the estrogen-progesterone ratio, resulting in less estrogen to cause or aggravate PMS."
However, Doctor Duke advises women with "significant depression" along with PMS to avoid Vitex; as Chasteberry raises the Progesterone levels and some research suggests that can cause depression.
It is interesting, Kathi's book on page 166 mentions, "All the problems associated with menopause are thought to be due to the erratic activity of the pituitary hormones LH (luteinizing hormone) and FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) as they try to overcompensate for the declining levels of estrogen and progesterone. During menopause, FSH levels sometimes increase to as much as 20 times their original levels!"
As any guy will tell you, female chemistry is very complicated.
Finding Chasteberry or Vitex agnus-castus in a store may be difficult; but this beautiful, 10-foot shrub is easy to grow in your backyard in Zones 4 to 24? Herbal seed places on the Internet can provide seeds cheap!
Kathi' book on Page 177 gives another insight into painful periods. I Quote: "PMS generally starts causing troubles three to eight days before menstruation. This is when your levels of progesterone, along with the minerals calcium and magnesium, begin to fall....Women who experience PMS often also have too much of the hormone prolactin."
Kathi also recommends Vitex teas for reducing Prolactin levels and bloating during periods. She also recommends daily supplements of Vitamin B-6 and E, and Calcium- Magnesium during periods to lessen cramping. She also recommends Vitex for fibroid tumors; as it "slows the growth of fibroids and even helps dissolve them by normalizing hormonal imbalances."
An excess of the hormones Estrogen, Prolactin and Prostaglandin 2 all contribute to heavy bleeding during periods - which lead to heavy loses of iron in the blood - which can lead to anemia or that run down feeling. Both authors recommend Vitex, Raspberry teas here and strawberry leaves or parsley or broccoli-cabbage veggies for replacing the iron and other essential vitamins and minerals.
Osteoporosis or the gradual weakening of female's bones are another common female problem after menopause; as high levels of estrogen before menopause helps keep bone-building minerals in the body. Calcium supplements after 40 are not enough. For Bone re-construction, You need supplies of Boron, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Silica, Vitamin D & A and Zinc. Strawberry leaves, Parsley sprigs and the broccoli-kale-cabbage group all give you these essential vitamins and minerals with every mouthful!
Ideally, women should be eating their parsley from before puberty to avoid Osteoporosis; but women have to eat a lot of veggies after menopause to keep away from any possibility of a sway-back or "Dowager's hump" in old age.
Doctor Duke writes that currently only around 25 percent of woman develop visible signs of Osteoporosis fortunately. Keep up the good work, girls!