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Self Help Home Remedies
These home remedies were complied by Chris
Nelson, a healthworker at the Feminist Women’s Health Center in Chico, CA,
Emmenogogues (Period Inducers)
Mild to strong emmenagogues are included
here. The more powerful ones (the ones that can induce abortions) have been
left out because they can cause violent side effects. Any of the following
herbs can be used in combination, 3 - 5 together.
Red sage, Chamomile, American saffron,
Elecampane, Lemon balm, Parsley, Basil (use 1 c. every 3 hours)
Ginger (1/4 tsp. dried or 1" fresh root),
Yarrow, Motherwort ,Rosemary ,Mugwort ,Thyme ,Southemwood ,False valerian
(squaweed), Wintergreen (contains aspirin-like chemical ),Gentian ,Angelica
(the Chinese herb Dong-Quai ), Ephedra (morman or squaw tea)
Pennyroyal, Blue cohosh, Black
cohosh, Myrrh 6 gm. Vit. C per day for 5 days before
period is due |
To decrease menstrual flow
Ova ursi (steep 1/2hr.), Red sage
raspberry, shepherds purse, black haw; witch
hazel, white oak bark, bayberry bark|
Use 1 oz. of mix and steep in 1-pint
ash, Wild yam, Red raspberries, Cinnamon, Blue cohosh
Increase calcium intake, Horsetail grass, Comfrey, Chamomile, Spearmint,
Lavender, Mugwort, Oat straw, Valerian, Vervain, Skullcap, Alfalfa, Kola nuts,
Celery seeds, Catnip, Motherwort,
Passionflower, Hops (sedative), Lady slipper (can be poisonous)
chamomile, spearmint, and lavender
catnip, Mugwort, alfalfa (high in calcium), kola
nuts, celery seeds, increasing calcium intake before period is due. One very
high calcium tea is a combination of horsetail, oat straw and comfrey leaf. A
good supplement is also a calcium/magnesium compound called Dolomite (take one
a day starting two weeks before period).
valerian (anodyne and muscle relaxant; use with
caution), Vervain, skullcap, passion flower (use with caution as it has
narcotic effect similar to morphine), hops.
Water Retention / Bloating
Use the diuretics listed in section on
Eat light diet with lots of fruit, raw
vegetables, yogurt and soups. Cut back on cheese, meat and starch.
Eat more cheese, starch, barley, bananas,
and applesauce. Herbs: Simmer herbs below in any combination for 10 - 20
minutes and sip slowly.
Elm, Stinging nettle, Cinnamon, Bayberry bark, Mallow, Blackberry root
Alternative to Tampons
Use an old diaphragm, one without holes in
a small artist or cosmetic sponge, tie a string to it and insert. Remove when
full, rinse and reinsert. When your period is over soak or wash out the sponge
in 1 tsp. white vinegar/l cup water for 15 minutes. Dry and store until next
period. Both of these suggestions work as well as a super tampon.
Sweet balm (lemon balm), Chamomile, Mugwort,
Motherwort (use as tea or poultice), Dolomite, Squaw vine, Spicebush, Parsley,
Black haw (a specific uterine sedative, also known as crampbark), skullcap
(sedative), ginger root (counterirritant; use as a tea or poultice over uterus.
Also effective for ovulatory pains. Use with caution), Blue and black cohosh,
vervain, valerian, lobelia (use in small doses, can cause nausea vomiting and
General health measures, well-balanced
diet, rest and exercise are all important. Vitamin E lOOu tablets, 3 - 4 times
a day for relief of symptoms like hot flashes and nervousness.
Combine one part each of:
Blessed thistle or holy thistle, Raspberry
leaves, Golden seal root, Uva ursi, holy thistle, Cramp bark, Cayenne, Squaw
vine herb, Ginger, False unicorn root.
Powder and cap in gel caps. Start with 3
caps, twice a day then adjust dosage according to body needs.
Tonics: (specific for women) Black cohosh, Sweet
flag (can be dangerous), licorice root, Star root, Black haw, Squaw weed (false
Valerian), Motherwort, Pennyroyal, Spearmint, All mints
Tonics: Comfrey, Alfalfa, Nettle Dandelion root and leaves, Sage, Yarrow, Yerba
Santa, Myrrh, Golden Seal.
Harmone Herbs for Menopause
These herbs are known to contain estrogens and
progesterones. Many of these contain both progesterone (P) and estrogen (E)
Red raspberry (P&E), Wild yam (E)
(root bark), Cucumber (stimulates hormone producing organs), Vitamin E (E),
False unicorn, licorice (P&E), Helionas,
Pennyroyal and other mints (E), Star root, Sarsaparilla (P&E).
Through the use of self-cervical examination and
becoming familiar with our healthy vaginal changes, we become aware of
infection processes in the beginning stages. This means that we can take action
early enough to prevent infections from happening. The best time to use herbal
remedies effectively is in the beginnings of an infection. If you cannot tell
by the discharge what kind of infection you have, have it diagnosed correctly
Trichomonas will not withstand an acidic
environment. For women who are susceptible to trichomonas, spermicidal jellies
(because of their acidity) tend to inhibit the growth of trich. Insert one
applicator daily every 2-3 weeks as a preventative measure. Drinking cranberry
juice or taking vitamin C will acidify the urine and all the tissues.
Men do not always show signs of
trichomonas and they should abstain or use a condom for 10 days. The organism
will not survive. They can also wash their genitals with the Betadine solution
- Garlic suppositories. Insert one clove
two times a day for 3 - 5 days Change every 12 hours. To make suppository peel
a clove of garlic and place it in the center of a piece of gauze (2 - 3 inches
wide). Fold the gauze in half and twist around the clove, dip into vegetable
oil (for easier insertion) and insert into the vagina. Push in as close as
possible to the cervix, leaving a tail of gauze to pull out.
- Day 1: use garlic suppository twice.
- Day 2: douche once with 1-2 TBSP vinegar
in one-quart warm water.
- Day 3: use garlic suppository; changing
every 12 hours.
- Repeat this cycle until the symptoms are
- Douche two times/day for two weeks with
a solution of ˝ tsp. witch hazel ˝ tsp. comfrey root
Simmer in one-quart water for 30 minutes.
Remove from heat and add 1 tsp. golden seal. Steep for 15 minutes. Cool and
- Douche 2 times a day for 2 weeks with:
˝ tsp. Myrrh, ˝ tsp. golden seal
Simmer for 5 minutes in one pint of water.
Remove from heat and add 1 tsp. bayberry bark and steep until warm.
- Betadine douche and vagisec
Douche every morning with: 1 tsp. Betadine
in 1-quart water.
Insert one vagisec suppository each night
at bedtime. (Always insert suppositories after intercourse.)
the douche and suppositories throughout one entire menstrual cycle. Be sure you
are not allergic to Iodine. Also, Betadine stains a bright brown.
The only wart treatment found in the literature
was a statement that tincture of yellow cedar applied to warts will make them
disappears. There are no specifications as to how long to leave the tincture on
the warts or how many times to apply it.
the acid used to bum off warts, is a component of the mandrake (mayapple) root.
The diluted resin (tincture, product dissolved in alcohol) is used externally
as an irritant in Indian medicine. It could possibly be used to treat venereal
warts. It is a powerful acid and should be washed off within 2 hours after
application. DO NOT USE INTERNALLY!
Yeast is always present in our vaginas. It is
only when our bodies are off balance that yeast will create an infection. Some
precipitating factors are antibiotic therapy, stress, diet or weather changes,
birth control pills and high sugar intake (creates an alkaline balance in
Drink, douche and bathe with oat straw
tea for one month.
- Apply a poultice of natural cottage or
farmers cheese on a sanitary pad (or minipad). Change it several times per day.
This will stop the itching and help draw out the infection. Use until symptoms
do not reoccur within 12 hours. Cottage cheese contains lactobacillus, the
normal bacteria of the vagina. Do not use supermarket cottage cheese, only
natural food store type.
- Apply one applicator of yogurt or
acidophilus culture at bedtime for 3 - 5 days. Alternatively, you can use
acidophilus capsules inserted as a suppository. Use only natural food store or
- Paint the vagina with 1 - 2% water
solution of gentian violet. Do this twice. Gentian violet will stain everything
- Douche once a day for 5 days with: 1
TBSP potassium sorbate dissolved in 1-quart warm water. Potassium sorbate is an
over-the-counter product. It is used to stop the fermentation of yeast in the
winemaking process. Check at local pharmacies or winemaking stores.
- Douche once a day with: 1 TBSP vinegar to one quart of water. Use this in conjunction
with yogurt. Yogurt and diluted vinegar (white vinegar) can be applied
externally to help with itching and inflamed labia.
- Try the astringent herbs listed under leukorrhea.
- Douche 1- 2 times a day for 3 - 5 days with:
1 TBSP vinegar and one garlic pearl (or oil from one clove of garlic) in one
quart warm water.
- Douche 2 times a day for two weeks
with: 1 TBSP slippery elm bark simmered for 20 minutes in 1 cup water.
Remove from heat and add 2 TBSP plantain leaves.
Steep for 10 minutes. Cool and use.
Strain before using.
- Douche 1 - 2 times a day for 3 - 5 days
with: Comfrey leaves, Chamomile, Golden seal, Sage. Use equal parts of each
herb. Steep one level tsp. of mixture in one quart of water for 20 minutes.
Cool, strain and use. You can add one TBSP apple cider vinegar.
- One of the most effective remedies for
bacterial infections is the intake of large amounts of all the B vitamins: 100
mg. of B 1, B2, and B6; 299 mg B8 as well as pantothenic acid.
- Motherwort douche.
- Apply an infusion of golden seal and myrrh to
sores. Also you can make a paste of golden seal and myrrh in hot water to apply
directly to blisters. Let the paste remain on sores and soak off every day.
- Tincture of calendula (pot marigolds).
Apply tincture as often as necessary to help itching and dry them up. After
urinating is a good time. When blisters are not active, apply once a day as a
preventative measure. The tincture can be purchased at health food stores.
You can make it at home by picking fresh
flower heads and packing them tightly in a glass jar. Cover with ethyl alcohol
(the kind used in vodka and tequila). Shake the jar once a day for 14 days and
then strain off the liquid. Dilute with 10 times as much water. The same
solution may be used with the homeopathic tincture.
- Apply fresh, crushed aloe Vera leaves
to sores 3 times a day.
- Apply the gum exudate from the Sweet Gum tree
- To build up healthy tissue and dry out
blisters, place a sun lamp 18 inches away from area for 30 seconds, 4 times a
day for 3 days. Then one minute 3 times a day for 3 days, and then for 2
minutes 3 times a day for 3 days.
- Apply fresh mashed comfrey root 2- 3
times a day. Use until blisters are gone. Also, drink the tea.
- 1 - 2% solution of gentian violet will
help stop itching.
- High doses of B vitamins for 3 weeks.
(Try stress formulas with Vitamin C.)
- Paint the cervix with Vitamin E. Do this 2 - 3
times a week for one entire menstrual cycle.
- Douche with comfrey leaf or root tea twice a
day for 10 days.
- Apply a solution of: 4 oz. golden seal, echnea root, geranium root. Add to 3
quarts of distilled water. Let solution stand for 6 hours then simmer for 30
minutes. Strain then simmer down to 1 ˝ pints. When cool, add 8 oz. glycerin.
Shake and apply as needed.
This is a general term that refers to an excessive
discharge from the vagina It can be either a normal or infectious discharge.
Most of the herbs used for leukorrhea are astringents. Those listed can be used
singly or in combination. More experimentation needs to be done to see if these
herbs are effective for nonspecific or yeast infections. Use them as a douche.
Pipsissewa, Fleabane ,Motherwort,
Prickly ash bark, Sumac berries, Uva ursi, Yarrow, White oak bark, Bayberry
bark, Witch hazel bark, Golden seal, Chickweed.
Vaginal Itching associated with Infections
Cold milk compresses 5 - 10 minutes, 5 - 6 times a day.
or ointments with Goldenseal (purchase at health food store)
shallow bath with sage, nettle or slippery elm tea added
vinegar splashed on area.
Another vaguely defined term, possibly
associated with infections.
- Douche with: 2 tsp. golden seal to one
pint water, steeped for 20 minutes, 2 - 3 times a day. This will relieve sharp
pains and is highly antiseptic.
- Douche with marshmallow root tea.
- Slippery elm suppositories. Make a thick paste
of slippery elm powder and warm water. Shape into I" X 2" tablets.
Place in warm water for a few minutes. Insert 2 tablets and then insert a
sponge with a string tied to it. Let the suppositories remain for 2 days in the
vagina. Remove sponge and douche with vinegar and water to remove slippery elm.
Try a slippery elm douche (do not use if pregnant).
- Apply K-Y jelly to labia. Never use petroleum products (i.e. Vaseline) in the
vagina. Use only water-soluble products. K-Y jelly can be bought at the drug
- Drink 6 - 8 cups a day for first two days, then
reduce amount daily. Eight days total: 1-cup fresh chopped celery leaves (or
chopped parsley leaves). Simmer in 3 pts. Distilled water for 20 minutes. Use
non-metal container if possible. Or: 4 - 6 cups cranberry juice a day for a
couple days should relieve a lot of the uncomfortable symptoms.
- Take two caps of powdered golden seal
followed by V2 glass of water and 1000 mg. Vitamin C before each meal
for 3 - 5 days. 3. Drink one cup a day for one week.
- Drink one cup a day for one week: a
combination of: equal parts yarrow; uva ursi, cornsilk and 11/2 TBSP juniper
berries. Simmer 1 tsp. echinea root in 3 cups water for 20 minutes. Remove from
heat and add 11/2 tsp. of above mixture. Steep until cool. Strain and drink.
- For infections with bleeding drink 3 -
5 cups a day for 3.5 days, a combination of equal parts shepherd's purse, flax
seed, uva ursi, echinea root. Use 1 TBSP / 1 cup water. Simmer 20 minutes and
cool. Do not drink with honey or sugar.
- For bladder pain or painful urination:
Apply comfrey leaf poultice over bladder. Drink pepsissewa tea, hydrangea root or leaf tea,
cornsilk tea, or buchu leaf tea (do not boil).
- Antiseptic herbs are good to add to
pipsissewa, smartweed, elecampane, wild alum root, golden seal, myrrh, echinea
Ground ivy, Cornsilk,Dandelion root & leaves,
Buchu leaves, Shepherd's purse, Marshmallow, Wintergreen, Huckleberries, Fleabane,
Sassafras, Slippery elm, Cleavers (bedstraw)
Use these in combination with antiseptic
berries Cubeb berries Wild carrot leaves Hydrangea root Prickly pear
Being pregnant entails more than the use of
herbs. Good pre and postnatal care includes adequate diet, rest, exercise and
assistance from a care provider. Herbs can be an excellent supplement to the
Peach leaves, Spearmint, Peppermint, Sweet
balm, Wild yam, Cloves, Alfalfa,Knotgrass, Lavender, Anise, Sassafras,
Red raspberry, Wild yam, Lemon grass (contains
Comfrey Squawvine water-soluble Vito A), Strawberry leaf, Sarsaparilla, Alfalfa.
Both of the following are excellent
anti-miscarriage herbs; they are uterine sedatives: Black haw; Star root.
Avoid the following:
They can induce abortion; many of them can be
poisonous. Black cohosh Blue cohosh Celery root Pennyroyal Slippery elm douche
Tansy Western red cedar, Yarrow, Rue, Lovage, Ginger, Cotton root bark, Sweet
flag, Mistletoe, Ginseng, Golden seal, Juniper berries, Oil of sassafras,
Myrrh, Southernwood, Motherwort, Angelica, Marigold, Bracken fern, Golden
ragwort, Mugwort, Also avoid other emmenagogues listed previously.
Labor and Delivery
- Red raspberry taken throughout
pregnancy will make labor easier.
- Spikenard and squaw vine taken 4 - 6
weeks before due date will stimulate labor. Steep 1 oz. herb in 1-pint water
for 1/2 hour. Drink 2 - 4 ounces daily for 3 - 4 days.
- At the onset of labor you can use these herbs to stimulate and increase
contractions: Squawvine, Cotton root bark, Red raspberry, Breathe the steam
(use with caution, of cedar bark very small sips) Squaw weed, Pennyroyal, Licorice,
Bay berry bark.
Stitches from Episiotomies
As prevention to tearing, massage perineum
throughout pregnancy with olive oil or wheat germ or sesame oil to help tissues
Apply ground ginger poultice for pain.
comfrey root poultice to build new tissue and for pain. Also drink comfrey root
or leaf tea.
Nursing and Lactation
To Increase Milk Supply
Fennel, Barley water, Saw palmetto berries
(3-5/day for last month of pregnancy), Maple bark, Cotton seed tea Alfa1fa
Wintergreen Baneberry leaves, Comfrey, White poplar bark, Tall blue lettuce,
Skeleton weed (excellent), Atole (blue
com, very high in protein)
To Decrease Milk Supply
Red sage rubbed on breasts, Wild alumroot rubbed
on breasts, Cinnamon tea, Parsley leaf tea, and Huckleberry leaf tea.
Cracked and Painful Breasts
- Take a handful of elderberry blossoms, simmer in
1/2 cup oil for 20 minutes. Strain, cool and apply to breasts.
- Use a mashed raw potato poultice to
draw out inflammation.
- Star root poultice.
- Comfrey root or leaf tea and poultice
- Poke root poultice.
- Fresh crushed alder leaf poultice.
- Rub with resin of Balsam fir.
- Simmer common spurge or milk purslane with fat
and rub on nipples.
- Take 2 oz. of squawvine and make a strong
decoction with 1-pint water. Add an equal amount of good cream and boil down to
the consistency of a soft salve. When cool, strain and apply to nipples after
* For definition of terms used here, check out the Bibliography.