Welcome our Birth Song Botanicals Herb Garden!
I invite you to get to know each of the herbs behind our herbal tinctures, teas, baths, and salves. Here, you will dive deeper and become more familiar with the properties, history, and a brief morphology of each botanical, as well as where you can find them in our herbal remedies.
Alfalfa ( Medicargo sativa) - Alfalfa is a healing plant in many ways, and it begins by healing the soil in which it grows. Alfalfa is rich in important minerals including calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, magnesium, essential enzymes, choline, sodium, and silicon, as well as vitamins A, B6, D, K, and P. Alfalfa also contains rutin, which builds capillary strength and reduces inflammation of the stomach lining. Vitamin A helps maintain stomach health, and the enzymes present in alfalfa aid in food assimilation. Vitamin K aids the body's ability to make blood clots and recover from birth. Alfalfa tea aids in the digestion of proteins, starches, fats, and sugars.
Related Product: Lady in Waiting Pregnancy Tea
Arnica (Arnica montana)- The bright, aromatic Arnica flower belongs to the sunflower family and can be found widespread across most of Europe, calling the alpine meadows home. The flowers have been renowned in herbal medicine for centuries for their analgesic and anti inflammatory properties. Though Arnica is considered toxic to consume and shouldn't be applied to broken skin, it is safe for topical application and is a modern day go to for relieving sore muscle pain as well as soothing inflammation in the ear due to acute infection.
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Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) - Ashwagandha is famous for its ability to support your body to rest when it needs to rest, and energize you when you need more energy. It is an adaptogenic herb, which means it is helpful in minimizing stress reactions and provides protection against the long term effects of stress. Ashwagandha is also known to increase the female libido along with regulate their menstrual cycles, as well as improve their chances of conception. The roots of this sacred herb can be enjoyed in the form of warm tea to combat a stressful day.
Astragalus Root (Huang Qi)- This herb has been honored in Chinese Herbal Medicine for centuries for its immune enhancing qualities. The root has shown the ability to increase the production of white blood cells, which help to prevent harmful bacteria and viruses in the body. The root is often ground into a powder to be fashioned into teas or tinctures, or the root as a whole can be infused into soups or decoctions. Astragalus can exacerbate cold symptoms, so it is more for preventive measures than for caring for the illness. However, it is safe to use as a daily immune tonic.
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Black haw (Viburnum prunifolium)- A member of the Honeysuckle family and native to North and Central America, Black haw supports the female reproductive system. The bark from the Black haw shrub can be brewed in teas or fashioned into extracts to ease uterine cramping whether menstrual or postpartum, and has also been believed to prevent miscarriage. The Cherokee specifically made infusions with the bark as an overall tonic and to prevent recurrent spasms.
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Blessed Thistle (Cnicus benedictus) - Blessed Thistle is considered a galactagogue herb, meaning that it is helpful in supporting milk production for women who are nursing. It can be extracted in the form of a tincture and taken or brewed into a tea to aid with digestion thanks to its Cnicin content, which is believed to increase saliva and gastric acid in the body. By improving digestion, you are also increasing your absorption, which leads to an increase in milk supply.
Calendula (Calendula Offininalis)- Calendula is a bright, sunny herb that is gentle enough for children and the elderly. Calendula ointment is often used for dressing wounds and a salve made from its blossoms has been shown to take the sting out of bee and wasp stings. An infusion of the flower petals has been used for treating conjunctivitis and other eye inflammations, while the fresh blossoms have a traditional application in breaking fevers by inducing perspiration. We love using Calendula in our salves and herb bath because of it's gentle yet effective nature.
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Catnip (Nepeta Cataria) - Catnip is an herb that has been well known for its relaxation and calming properties throughout time, helping to promote sleep and reduce anxiety. It's known beyond its effects on cats, like aiding with increasing milk production in a nursing mother. Catnip can soothe gas as well as aid in healthy digestion. The leaves can be infused into a simple tea or extracted in the form of a tincture to enjoy the most from this tranquil herb.
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Chamomile (Matricaria Chamomilla) - Chamomile is a delicate, gentle flower that is a wonderful botanical for pregnant women and babies. It has sunny and uplifting attributes, yet it is soothing and relaxing to the spirit. Chamomile can be enjoyed as a relaxing tea in the midst of daily life stressors or as a whole body experience in the form of a warm, soothing herbal bath. Chamomile is high in calcium and is a wonderful tonic herb for the nervous system. Its bitter constituents are specific for digestive disorders, and when combined with ginger and peppermint it makes a soothing tea for morning sickness and colic.
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Chlorophyll - Hemoglobin and Chlorophyll have similar cellular structures. The main difference is that hemoglobin is built around iron (Fe), where as chlorophyll is built around magnesium, (Mg). The primary function for hemoglobin is to transport oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body. Hemoglobin is composed of four elements- carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. All four are organized around iron. Chlorophyll is composed of the same elements, which are organized around magnesium. Chlorophyll helps do the job of hemoglobin when ingested. Chlorophyll promotes healthy circulation, cleanses the body, increase the number of red blood cells, and therefore increase oxygen throughout the body. In other words: Chlorophyll helps build hemoglobin. This is exactly what our depleted and anemic bodies need. More oxygenated hemoglobin! Chlorophyll can potentially aid with stimulating the immune system, reduce fungus in the body, and improve symptoms of anemia. It's ideal for vegetarians or vegans in need of more iron, in pregnancy to maintain healthy iron levels, or for those feeling overall fatigued and depleted.
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Cleavers (Galium aparine)- A favorite food of Geese and in the same family as coffee, Cleavers is recognized by tiny star shaped flowers of white or green with angular, simplistic leaves. Found across the globe with some stems growing taller than three feet, Cleavers can be made into a poultice to care for a variety of skin aliments including minor burns and wounds due to its anti inflammatory, astringent, and antiseptic properties. A tea of Cleavers is sometimes chosen to tone the lymphatic system and sooth swollen glands irritated by allergies, or as a diuretic to flush the kidneys and bladder of toxins.
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Coptis (Coptis chinensis)- One of the 50 traditional herbs in Chinese Herbal Medicine and often called Goldthread, Coptis is native to Asia and grows stiff flowers and yellow rhizomes that were once used to dye fabric. The root of the Coptis plant has been known for its antibacterial, anti inflammatory, and anti viral properties and eases gastrointestinal woes. Coptis Root can be brewed as a simple tea for the digestive system, or infused into oil to relieve pain associated with ear infections.
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Cramp Bark (Viburnum opulus) - Much like the name suggests, Cramp Bark is traditionally an aid for pain relief from muscle spasms, menstrual cramping, and afterbirth cramping when the uterus is contracting back down to its pre-pregnancy size. Cramp Bark softens the pain from cramping, allowing you to still have effective cramps for postpartum recovery, preventing you from postpartum hemorrhaging. Historically Native Americans shared a special relationship with Cramp Bark, it provided relief from inflammation and was also a common substitute for tobacco. The bark from the branches is collected in Spring and in Summer when the plant is in flower and the medicinal properties are at their strongest. Once dried, it can later be infused in teas or extracts to receive the benefits of this wise herb.
Damiana (Turnera diffusa) - Damiana is a renowned herbal aphrodisiac used by the indigenous peoples of Mexico throughout time. It is believed to increase libido, but can also be associated with relieving mild stress, anxiety, and depression. Damiana is an herb for women's health, being known to improve menstrual irregularities. The essential oil that permeates from this herb is reminiscent of chamomile, while the plant only produces one solitary yellow flower. The leaves are picked when in blossom and are infused in teas and tinctures. While Damiana is great for increasing the libido in women, it is not intended for breastfeeding or pregnancy.
*Avoid During Pregnancy or While Breastfeeding*
Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis) - Dong Quai is often referred to as "Female Ginseng" because of its ability to support women during all stages of life, whether during menstruation, postpartum, or during menopause. Not only does Dong Quai provide relief from painful cramping, but it is also seen as an overall uterine tonic. The flowers are delicate and white, while the root has been used in Chinese Herbal Medicine practices for centuries. Given its nourishing relationship with the female body, we have chosen this special root for our fertility tincture to promote overall uterine wellness and chances of conception.
*Avoid During Pregnancy or While Breastfeeding*
Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea)- The many varieties of cone flowers can be found throughout gardens and prairie land across the United States, but the most impactful of the cone flower's for our health and wellness is Echinacea Purpurea, or Purple Coneflower. This soft purple flower holds a lot of healing power, with immune boosting and anti-inflammatory properties that are safe for children all the way through adulthood. Whether consumed in warm tea or a herbal extract, Echinacea Purpurea is always a good choice for your herbal apothecary.
Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) - Not to be confused with Dwarf Elder (Sambucus Ebulus) which produces fruits that are extremely purgative and poisonous, Elderberries are renowned for being antiviral, stimulating immune function as well as its anti-inflammatory properties. It's medicinal qualities can be traced back as far as Egyptian times, and is still often adopted as an effective remedy against coughs, congestion, and sore throats. One of the best ways to enjoy ripe Elderberries is after they have been processed into a tincture or syrup, or even dried for later use in teas since the berries become sweeter and store best when dried.
Elderflower (Sambucus Nigra) - Much like the name suggests, Elderflowers are the flowers that accompany the Elder Tree. Before the berries are produced the tree first must flower, exuding small, lace like white flowers that are also valued for their healing benefits. Elderflower holds many of the same properties as Elderberries, medicinally as well as culinary. They also smell amazing!
Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis)- The whimsical flowers of Eyebright, along with the leaves and steams, has been traditionally looked to for their ability to relieve irritated and inflamed eyes. Studies have shown that Eyebright is able to inhibit the growth of bacteria linked to eye infections, as well as contains natural anti inflammatory agents. Eyebright poses antihistamine properties, making it ideal for soothing common seasonal allergies like itchy, watery eyes and runny nose. Considered a semi-parasitic plant since it attains some of its water and nutrients from the roots of other plants, Eyebright is commonly found across Europe, Asia, and North America and typically flowers for only a short time.
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Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) - The seeds of fennel have a pleasant licorice like flavor and are often a remedy for an upset stomach or to stimulate milk production. In India, after a meal, people typically eat a handful of fennel seeds to help with digestion. Not only does this delicious herb have the ability to help with overall digestive health, it also posses the ability to soften intense abdominal cramps and has antibacterial properties. Herbs that are very aromatic and flavorful such as Fennel seed are classified as "carminative." Simply put, they aid with digestion and expelling gas in the body. The carminative properties of this herb are why we've chosen Fennel seed for our Stomach Soother tincture, it's gentle yet potent enough for morning sickness or to soothe a colicky baby.
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Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) - Fenugreek is the star of our Let There Be Milk! tinctures and capsules, as well as a key ingredient in our Nursing Nectar Tea. Fenugreek is probably the most well known and trusted herb for supporting lactation. It is very multifaceted and has been enjoyed for centuries, regularly centering around women’s health. This herb is classified as a galactagogue, meaning it can increase or maintain milk production in a nursing mother. When incorporated into medicine, the seeds are harvested and prepared for anything from topical preparations, ingestion remedies, culinary spices, and breastfeeding herbal supplements or tinctures. The leaves are not used medicinally, so when fenugreek is mentioned, it’s understood that the seeds are being used.
*Avoid During Pregnancy
Garlic Bulb (Allium sativum)- The close bond humans share with Garlic dates back to early Egyptian civilizations, where the precious bulb was a form of food as well as admired medicinally. When extracted in oil and applied topically, Garlic has been known to reduce the inflammation as well as speed the recovery time of painful, hot earaches or upper respiratory afflictions. Some research has even shown that Garlic Bulb can reduce cholesterol levels and has an overall positive effect on the heart. A warming and powerful antimicrobial, raw Garlic can be consumed to ease infection in the body associated with cold and flu, and does a grand job of keeping the immune system stimulated. Garlic is something most have on hand already for culinary use, so adding it to your herbal medicine chest is easy!
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Ginger Root (Zingiber officinalis) - Ginger Root is a stimulating, warm tonic herb for the reproductive system. In pregnancy, ginger is specifically recommended for morning sickness and digestive problems. Not only can this warming root soothe nausea associated with pregnancy, it is also known to aid with loss of appetite. It is also considered safe and effective for colds, sore throats, and congestion. The rhizome can be used in teas as well as tinctures, and is so multifaceted that it is effective and safe for children and adults alike.
Goats Rue (Galega officinalis) - Goats Rue, also known as French Lilac, has a long history of its known galactagogue properties. It has been known to increase milk supply in nursing women, and is also a tonic for the liver. During the summer season the dried, above ground parts are harvested and can later be used medicinally in tinctures. Although used as a breastmilk stimulate, this herb should be avoided during pregnancy.
*Avoid During Pregnancy
Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra)- An herb held in high regard in Chinese Herbal Medicine practices, Licorice root has stood the test of time as a stomach soother, a stimulant of the adrenal gland which aids in reducing stress, and helping promote healthy mucus production in the respiratory system. Ancient Egyptians added Licorice to their teas as a "cure all" concoction, and the root has been added as a sweetener to candy and beverages through out history and still to this day.
*Avoid While Pregnant
Lavender (Lavandula) - This familiarly fragrant and gentle botanical is most renowned for its ability to calm and soothe. Lavender is an extremely multifaceted herb, not only does it possess the power to relieve anxiety, it is also loved for its antiseptic, decongestant, and anti-spasmodic properties. The delicate, purple flowers can be dried and used in teas and herb baths to ease stress and acute muscle pain, as well as relieve congestion from cold or flu symptoms. It's gentle nature makes it safe for internal as well as external use for all ages, making it a perfect and important component in our Nursing Nectar tea and Cord Care Powder for baby.
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) - A member of the mint family, its leaves release a pleasant, lemony fragrance when crushed. Sniffing the bruised leaves is invigorating and therapeutic in itself! It is traditionally consumed to treat the nervous system as a nervine. Lemon Balm not only helps to relieve stress, but it also soothes an upset stomach and relieves gas. It is also known as the "Joyful Herb" for its ability to uplift and remedy depression and anxiety.
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) - An aromatic healer belonging to the grass family Poaceae, Lemongrass is known for its antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antimicrobial properties. Growing tall and recognized by its distinct lemon flavor and citrus scent, Lemongrass is also extremely rich in vitamins and minerals. Beyond the realm of culinary use, this botanical can also offer relief from insomnia and inflammation, ideal for women during pregnancy.
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Marshmallow Root (Althaea) - With the origin of the name coming from the Greek word althainein, meaning "to heal", Marshmallow Root has a long history of healing. The root was used by the Egyptians paired with honey to soothe sore throats, and is still held in high regard for its ability to remedy sore throats and coughs. This is because of the demulcent/emollient properties, meaning it is soothing to the tissue it comes in contact with. A perennial with delicate white and pink flowers, the marshmallow plant is native to Europe and is now naturalized and cultivated in similar climates such as the United States and Russia. Marshmallow root also serves as a galactagogue, known for stimulating thick, rich breastmilk production as well as aiding with digestion in a nursing mother.
Motherwort (Leonurus Cardiaca) - A native to Europe and Asia, Motherwort serves the female reproductive system for a plethora of disorders. Known in Japan as an "Herb of Life" Motherwort aids in longevity and cheering the mind, especially in postpartum women experiencing "Baby Blues" and women who are entering their Menopausal chapter of life. Not only calming without being overly sedating, Motherwort eases uterine and other muscle spasms associated with your cycle or postpartum cramping, and helps to regulate menstruation and symptoms of PMS.
*Avoid During Pregnancy
Mugwort (Artemisia Vulgaris)- Named after the Greek Goddess Artemis in part for its benefits to the female body, Mugwort offers herbal support during many stages of womanhood. Whether easing cramping or increasing flow during menstruation or relieving symptoms experienced during menopause, Mugwort is an overall uterine tonic. Mugwort also holds a special place in Chinese Herbal Medicine. For centuries, it has played a key role in Moxibustion Therapy, which consists of burning the herb over a certain acupuncture point to stimulate blood circulation that results in fetal movement; thus reversing a fetus in the breech position. Mugwort is seen in the same ceremonial light in Native American culture as White Sage, being burned to cleanse a space before ritual. In traditional witchcraft, Mugwort was thought to bring forth a sense of clairvoyance and lucid dreaming. Mythical and medicinal, Mugwort has also been known to benefit the digestive system by stimulating the production of bile.
*Avoid During Pregnancy*
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Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) - Derived from the French word for "soft", Mullein is a velvety, wooly plant that is often confused with Lamb's Ear due to their similar texture and sturdy stalk that shoots up when flowering. However, they are classified in different families and Mullein is renowned for its healing properties. The leaves are known for providing relief from breathing conditions ranging from asthma and common coughs and colds, to drying up a mothers milk supply when weaning. The joyful yellow flowers of Mullein can be processed with oil into an incredible remedy for earaches. Enjoyed in hot teas or tinctures, the expectorant properties in Mullein will help expel mucus in the chest and "wetness" in the lungs in general.
Myrrh Gum (Commiphora myrrha) - Myrrh Gum is often recognized in many perfumes and incenses, but did you know it is highly medicinal? A gentle yet powerful healer, which is why we have chosen it for our Cord Care Powder blend. Myrrh Gum is often used in wound care because of its ability to calm inflammation while also possessing astringent properties that thwart hemorrhaging and protect the wound from infection. The sap like resin is derived from a small, thorny tree and gathered by penetrating the bark of the tree and reaching the sap. What is expelled is collected, then quickly coagulates and becomes hard and glossy. Over time, Myrrh Gum darkens and develops white streaks.
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Neem (Azadiracta indica) - Other alias include Indian Lilac since being native to India, nearly all parts of this plant are processed in medicine making for various aliments. Widely honored by Ayurvedic practitioners for its antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties, Neem is also a well known anti-inflammatory. Since this botanical offers so much, it is often used in first-aid and wound care, but most are familiar with Neem through their own dental care routine since it makes an appearance in so many toothpastes and mouthwashes.
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Nettle (Urtica dioica) - Nettle is a key ingredient in our Lady In Waiting tea blend because of how nutrient dense this herb truly is. Rich in bio-readily available iron, the human body is able to absorb and utilize the iron in Nettle compared to a traditional iron supplement. Ever wonder why Nettle is sometimes called "Stinging" Nettle? While Nettle has beautiful, heart-shaped leaves paired with soft yellow or pink flowers, her stem is covered in very tiny and stiff hairs that actually release a stinging chemical when touched! Despite the stinging sensation, all parts of nourishing Nettle can be safely used for teas and tinctures, as well as topical use in creams and salves for inflammation.
Oat Straw (Avena sativa) - Oat Straw is yet another very nourishing herb that can offer relief from cramping. Whether cramping associated with menstruation, or the after birth cramping a new mother experiences as her uterus is contracting back to size after giving birth. Rich in calcium and antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatory properties, Oat Straw is an herb that can be appreciated in all stages of life.
Oregon Grape Root (Mahonia aquifolium) - Oregon Grape Root is a source for many aspects of wellness. A cleanser of the bowels and a soother of digestive woes, Oregon Grape Root is also a powerful ally when combating an infection. Oregon Grape has similar foliage to that of Holly, bearing sharp, pointed leaves. The fruits of Oregon Grape are reminiscent of conventional purple Grapes, although they share no relation, only appearance.
Partridge Berry (Mitchella repens) - An evergreen plant with strikingly red berries, the Partridge Berry is a tonic for cramping and inflammation. There is a history of Indigenous women consuming Partridge Berry during childbirth, but it is modernly consumed to ease after birth cramping as well as cramping during menstruation. A more hearty plant, Partridge Berry fruits and ripens from July to October and can often survive through winter. This beautiful berry can be dehydrated for teas or processed into tinctures.
Passion Flower (Passiflora) - A stunning botanical, this whimsical looking flower is full of healing. For many centuries, the Native Americans of North America had a special relationship with Passion Flower, typically harvesting the leaves and flowers to make teas for insomnia. To this day, we still turn to Passion Flower when faced with trouble sleeping or anxiety. Being found all across the globe including species in South and Central America, Africa, and across Europe, Passion Flower is a calming herbal ally for many on a broad scale.
Pau D'Arco (Handroanthus impetiginosus)- The tea of the inner bark of this medicinal tree was often crafted into a tea referred to as La pacho by the indigenous healers of South and Central America. Holding a rich history of use by the Inca's, Pau D'Arco is a remedy for fever, infection, inflammation, and gestational upset, and when applied topically can be found helpful for wound care. The tree grows in the Andes of South American Rainforests at very high altitudes and has earned the name Pink Trumpet Tree from the beautiful display of pink flowers it bears in July - September in the Southern Hemisphere and December - January in the Northern Hemisphere.
Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium)- Much controversy surrounds this member of the mint family because of its abortifacient properties, but Pennyroyal has played an important role in folk medicine dating as far back as ancient Greek and Roman times. It serves the purpose of repealing fleas as well as other pests, was often incorporated into culinary practices, and still to this day is known to stimulate menstruation because of it emmenagogue properties. The dried leaves of this botanical have aided women to expel already deceased fetuses from the womb and helped those suffering from constipation find relief when consumed as tea. Though small amounts of consumption of the leaves are not considered lethal, extracts of Pennyroyal are considered too strong for human consumption or topical use because of its high level of the Pulegone molecule and should be avoided.
*Not Intended For Pregnancy or Breastfeeding*
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Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)- When most think of Peppermint they usually envision Christmas time, Candy Canes, or even their toothpaste, but Peppermint should most definitely be celebrated year round! An extremely aromatic herb that grows in abundance, this botanical offers support ranging from soothing digestive issues like nausea, to relieving tension associated with muscle pain. Commonly brewed in a tea or extracted into a tincture, Peppermint is easy to grow yourself and is a great addition to any apothecary. Cooling and warming, medicinal and culinary, Peppermint is an herbal ally that has much to offer.
Plantain (Plantago major) - Does Plantain look familiar? Maybe you've noticed this resilient herb thriving in your own back yard. Before writing Plantain off as a "weed", try harvesting some for your bug bites! When applied topically Plantain offers soothing for rashes, bug bites, cuts, and scrapes. That's why it's such an important component in our salves, it offers soothing to common skin ailments and protects wounds from infection.
Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) - Clover is another herbal ally many of us are familiar with. White Clover is a common inhabitant of most lawns and roadsides, but it is the Red Clover variety that herbalist hold in high regard. Rich in nutrients and often used in Chinese herbal practices to support bronchial and respiratory health, women too often look to Red Clover to regulate and support them during their cycle or during menopause for its ability to tonify the uterus. The dreamy purple or red flowers are used in teas and tinctures, and are a great common herb that can be easily found in your own backyard.
Red Raspberry Leaf (Rubus idaeus) - A common go to herb to support a healthy pregnancy or during menstruation, Red Raspberry Leaf is nourishing and supportive for a healthy womb. A well known uterine tonic, many midwives recommend that drinking Red Raspberry Leaf tea through out pregnancy will not only support you during your overall pregnancy journey, but can also help speed up labor and reduce complication while giving birth. Rich in iron, nutrients, and antioxidants. Whether pregnant or not, Red Raspberry Leaf has a lot to offer when it comes to supporting the female body, which is exactly why we choose to blend Red Raspberry Leaf with many of our Birth Song herbal remedies to help nourish and support many wise women.
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Rose Hips (Rose canina)- Another nutrient dense herb and pregnancy tonic, Rose Hips develop from the blossom of the wild rose plant. Rich in vitamin C, Rose Hips also offer immune support, cardio vascular support, as well as being an overall tonic for the digestive system. They can be consumed fresh or dried for later use in teas, and Rose Hips actually doesn't taste like a rose like most would assume! The flavor is more tangy, similar to the Hibiscus Flower.
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Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis)- When we think of Rosemary our mind often drifts towards its culinary use or potent scent, but the medicinal depth of Rosemary is incredible. A native to the Mediterranean and a member of the mint family, Rosemary is known to alleviate muscle pain as well as boost the circulatory system and immune system, enhance memory, and remedy skin aliments. Some even believe Rosemary can stimulate the scalp and promote hair growth. The first known mention of Rosemary dates back to around 5000 B.C where it was found on cuneiform stone tablets, and was often used in Egyptian burial rituals. The rich history and folklore of this woody herb spans from ancient Greece to China, eventually making its way to the Americas in the 1700's. Rosemary can be enjoyed as an herb bath, a tea, or worked into salve to be used topically. Its versatility makes it essential for any at home apothecary.
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Sage (Salvia officinalis)- Also known as "Common Sage" or "Garden Sage" and most commonly found on a kitchen spice rack, Sage is admired outside of the culinary realm. An herbal remedy for respiratory health because of its ability to dry up "wetness" in the lungs, this woodsy perineal's soft leaves can be brewed into a tea to support the respiratory system and help to expel mucus from the body. An antiseptic and antibacterial, Sage has also been known to cool hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause.
Shepherd's Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) - An herb honored in the world of midwifery for its ability to reduce postpartum hemorrhage and increase uterine contractions, Shepherd's Purse is also looked to for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. When processed into a salve or poultice, Shepherd's Purse is great for wound care and for relief on superficial burns. After a mother has given birth, Shepherd's Purse can be incorporated into an herb bath to promote bonding for mom and baby, speed the healing process for the perineum as well as the newborns umbilical chord, and to stop bleeding.
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St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum)- Yet another great herbal ally to have stored away in your herbal first aid kit for everyday cuts and scrapes, St. John's Wort is anti-bacterial as well as fights inflammatory. It's medicinal properties extend beyond topical use for wound care, with research finding that St. John's Wort can aid with depression and overall nervousness. The bright yellow flowers can be brewed into tea and has a lovely lemony flavor.
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Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) - When we think of Thyme our mind often goes to culinary practices, but did you know just how much of a powerhouse Thyme is in the world of herbal remedies? Native to European shores and with a rich history of medicinal benefits spanning as far back as the Dark Ages, Thyme has been appreciated for its antiseptic, antispasmodic, antimicrobial, and antibacterial properties. An herb for the respiratory system, Thyme acts as an expectorant by helping to expel and thin the mucous in the body as well as soothe sore throats. Thyme can be enjoyed as a tea to support the respiratory system, a herb bath or herbal steam to clear congestion, or processed into a tincture. Its gentle yet powerful abilities make it a great herbal choice for children and adults alike, especially during the cold and flu season.
Usnea (Usnea spp.) - Commonly referred to as "Old Man's Beard" and often confused with Spanish Moss, Usnea is a lichen that dwells on the bark and branches of sick or dying trees. Usnea has been appreciated in Chinese Herbal Medicine for roughly 2,000 years, as well as in Western practices for its anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties. It is also known to aid with sore throats, promotes a more productive cough, cares for skin infections, and some species are also incorporated in modern cosmetics as a preservative. This wispy beauty is also a great fire starter, and has been noted to only thrive in areas where the air quality is extremely clean with little air pollution.
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Uva Ursi ( Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) - A cousin to the Blueberry and Cranberry, Native Americans often ingested the leaves of Uva Ursi to soothe bladder inflammation and infection. Prolonged internal use is not recommended, but Uva Ursi has much to offer topically. Uva Ursi soothes and strengthens inflamed tissue, making it a great addition to an herb bath for postpartum mothers recovering from giving birth. It poses gentle astringent as well as antibacterial properties which helps to fight infection during the postpartum healing process. Only the leaf is blended for medicine making. Why is Uva Ursi often referred to as "bearberry"? Simple; bears enjoy eating the bitter, waxy red berries!
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Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) - Valerian has been a part of traditional herbal medicine for at least 2,000 years, with the root often brewed as a tea or extracted into tinctures for its potent sedative properties. An amazing nervine that promotes tranquility and calms the nervous system, many who suffer from insomnia or overall restlessness or anxiety are familiar with the root of Valerian. The delicate, white flowers have a sweet aroma and are not used medicinally like the root, which is often recognized for its strong and more pungent scent due to the many volatile oils. Valerian root is a safe herbal remedy for children who could benefit from its calming and relaxing properties, and has helped many achieve a more deep, restorative sleep.
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Vitex Berry (Vitex agnus- castus)- Also known as Chaste Berry or Monk Pepper, Vitex Berry is a tonic for both the female and male reproductive systems. The leaves and flowers are believed to poses the same properties, but it is the berry that is most potent. Brewed as a tea or decoction as well as extracted into tinctures, Vitex Berry may promote fertility, regulate the menstrual cycle, and soothes symptoms associated with PMS while balancing hormones. Native to central Asia and the Mediterranean region, the aromatic lavender colored flowers are well loved by butterflies and other pollinators.
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White Sage (Salvia apiana)- There's so much to say about our friend, White Sage! When burned as a smudge the rich scented smoke is uplifting and purifying. A staple in Native American herbal medicine as well as playing a vital role in ceremony, this silver colored, handsome shrub is revered for its anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and deodorizing properties. The leaves of White Sage can be brewed as a tea or extracted into a tincture to cool hot flashes associated with menopause or to soothe sore throats, incorporated into an herb bath to reduce muscle aches and pains, or to remedy Athlete's Foot when made into a simple foot soak. White Sage has grown in popularity in a very wide sense over recent years. We are stewards of the herbal community, it is oh so important to bring awareness to the sustainability practices behind your loose leaves and smudge sticks so this sacred plant can continue to be enjoyed and protected across the globe for many more generations.
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Wild Cherry Bark (Prunus serotina)- Wild Cherry Bark offers incredible support for the respiratory system. Native to central and eastern North America, Wild Cherry Bark is a herbal remedy for coughs and is often called "Native American Hawthorn" because of its nervine and sedative ability that help to slow heart rate and circulation. Its expectorant properties aid the body to have a more productive cough, and its anti-inflammatory properties help to relieve a sore throat. An antispasmodic and antitussive, this botanical is also great for preventing and easing coughs if they are keeping you up through out the night. The inner bark of the tree is what is harvested and dried for later use in teas, tinctures, and syrups.
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Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)- Dubbed "The Warrior Herb" by Achilles after being shown it's incredible benefit on the wounds of his soldiers during the Trojan War, the mighty history of Yarrow spills into Ancient Chinese practices as well, where 64 Yarrow sticks were bundled to interpret the hexagrams of the I Ching. Yarrow's history in herbal medicine runs so deeply that it was found, among other medicinal herbs, at a neanderthal burial site. In more modern times Yarrow is a well known styptic, stopping bleeding due to its astringent properties. Ideal for wound care, Yarrow holds powerful antimicrobial, ant-inflammatory, and analgesic properties. Yarrow is also a remedy for caring for fever by inducing sweating, and has been known to lessen heavy menstrual flow and reduce painful uterine cramping. The clusters of white flowers are often confused with Queen Anne's Lace and Hemlock and often grows in the same environment, but Yarrow has distinct feathery leaves and the individual flowers themselves are much more defined. The flowers and leaves can be enjoyed in herbal teas and tinctures, and can also be incorporated into an herb bath for a newly postpartum mother to promote speedy recovery and reduce overall inflammation. This botanical is also gentle enough for newborn babies, promoting healing of the umbilical cord.
*Not Intended to be Ingested Internally During Pregnancy
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***The information on this page is for purely educational purposes only. This information is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat, or be used to replace medical advice. What you choose to do with this information is ultimately your responsibility. Always consult a trusted medical practitioner before incorporating herbs into your current diet.***