Saturday, 23 June 2012

Women's apothecary

That time of the month. Something that keeps women in touch with natural cyles, but it never comes convenient. Every woman reacts differently to her period: with change of moods, migraine and in most times it includes stomach- and lower back ache. Contraceptive pills can reduce pains and regulate menstruation, but it is artificial and distorts the environment and body with synthetic hormones. 
To soften menstruation complaints in a natural way, there are herbs specially for women. One of those can be found in every (grand)parent's garden: Lady's Mantle. It is an easy growing perennial plant with beautifully shaped soft leaves (indeed, as a mantle). The raindrops that assemble on the leaves were part of alchemist's brews for the quest of the philosopher's stone. Already in the early modern period, Lady's Mantle was used in several female treatments for fertility, childbirth, menstruation and uterus complaints.

This is the blend I drink for my monthly stomach cramps and accompanying nausea: it includes Lady's Mantle (dried or fresh leaves picked during and after flowering) for its sedative quality on female organs and reduction of menstruation pain; and ginger which helps against nausea, painful menstruations - and it tastes good. Just take one or two leaves of Lady's Mantle and some slices of ginger and add hot water to make a nice tea.
As stated above, every woman's body reacts differently, so try several herbs to find out what you need. Here are some other herbs that diminish menstruation complaints: Silverweed, Yarrow, Shepherd's purs, chamomile flowers and lavender. Click on the wikipedia links to see pictures of the plants; I am sure you will recognize these plants as very common 'weeds' in gardens, fields and forests, so supply yourself with this natural apothecary.

Monday, 4 June 2012

A positive drop

Here I present you a complaint-free description of the present weather conditions in the Netherlands. It is actually perfectly fruitful (except for harvesting vitamin D or growing a tan on your skin). First we had a lot of sun and some warmth, and at every zenith of drought, it started to rain. Our crops are growing tremendously. And especially, this weather makes it easy to sow right into open land. In only a few days, the seeds and beans become little plants. 
Our garden is now covered with hints of purple, yellow, and héáps of green. The ground is warm, the air smells humid. The strawberries are filling themselves with rain to become fattened with juiciness. The last parts of rhubarb emerge rapidly out of the earth. The turnips swell, the peas lengthen and the lettuce and cabbages grow faster than the snails can eat. 
You have our vote, Dutch weather.

(pictures are coming soon; unfortunately our camera is one of those that doesn't like rain)