Herbs and seeds offer a wide array of benefits for women and support women’s health through decreasing disease risk, relieving headaches and symptoms associated with menopause, and supporting our reproductive systems throughout the life cycle.
Here are five herbs traditionally used to support women’s health:
1. Black Cohosh – Black cohosh is a popular herbal therapy for menopausal symptoms and is particularly known for treating hot flashes and night sweats. This hormone-balancing herb is a great addition for women managing menopause naturally, but should not be used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Since black cohosh comes in fresh, dried or capsule form, it is easy to take on the road with you.
2. Dandelion – This so-called weed is a fun addition to salads or can be dried and made into tea, making it convenient for RV travel. Dandelion provides iron, calcium, potassium, vitamin A and a host of other vitamins and minerals, and is a popular choice for both preventing and battling cancer. In traditional medicine, the root is often grated and applied as a poultice to treat impacted milk glands as well.
3. Angelica – The leaves and roots of angelica are traditionally used to support women’s health by promoting reproductive health. It is also used to support good digestion and blood circulation. This hormone-balancing herb is often used to treat menstrual cramps, relieve symptoms associated with menopause and increase libido. If you have trouble finding angelica, its Asian relative, dong quai, is also traditionally used for these purposes.
4. Chamomile – Many women already know the soothing powers of a hot cup of chamomile tea at the end of the day, but this healing herb is also used to treat inflammation, nausea, irregular periods and menopausal symptoms. Chamomile tea is the most popular way to consume this helpful herb and is widely available.
5. Turmeric – Turmeric is well known for having strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which has made it a popular choice for treating cancer, digestive issues, arthritis and chronic conditions related to inflammation. You can mix a bit of turmeric powder in a glass of water, take it in capsule form or use it as a spice in a wide variety of dishes. Keep in mind that most natural health experts recommend purchasing organic turmeric or bulk turmeric from a health food store, rather than purchasing the irradiated version in the baking aisle at your local grocery store.
Always talk to your healthcare provider before adding herbal supplements to your diet. Some herbs can interact with over-the-counter or prescription medications, and some are not recommended for women who are breastfeeding or pregnant.