The Reproductive System

There are a number of important books focusing on the use of healing plant
in the holistic treatment of the male and female reproductive system. I
strongly recommend that these books be read and reread by all interested
in this field. Recommended writings include:

Green, James. Herbs & Health Care for Males, Crossings
Press, Santa Cruz 1991

Koehler, Nan. Artemis Speaks, 1985

McIntyre, Anne. Herbs for Pregnancy and Childbirth, Sheldon Press,
London 1988

Parvati, Jeannine. Hygieia, a woman’s herbal, Freestone, 1978

Weed, Susun. Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Years, Ashton
Publishing, 1986

A number of excellent general guides to health and well-being for women
have been written. These are well worth referring to, especially for the
male herbalist! One I can recommended is:

Wilson, Josleen. Woman: Your Body, Your Health. Harcourt, Brace,
Jovanovich, 1990

This is an area of wonderful healing potential, but incredible semantic
confusion! It should come as no surprise that Nature is rich in plants that
nurture or address in some way the process of conception and birth. After
all, this creative process is the very keynote of life. However, there arises
an unfortunate 20th. century dilemma for the phytotherapist. Some of the
primary remedies for the female reproductive system used by the Eclectic,
Physio-Medicalist and Thomsonian herbalists of previous centuries are now
seriously endangered species. The most problematic (at the moment) are:

Chamaelirium luteum : False Unicorn Root

Cypripedium spp. : Ladies Slipper

Trillium spp. : Beth Root

It is one of the signs of the ecological holocaust that humanity has wrought
on our world that healing plants of this importance have become endangered
to the degree that they have. Whilst still occasionally abundant locally,
their ecological range has been dramatically diminished.

In the material that follows these plants are referred to, especially Chamaelirium,
because they offer such profound healing possibilities. However I would
caution against buying them unless they have been cultivated, which in the
case of Cypripedium is extremely difficult. Wildcrafting in this
case would be an ecological crime.

For more information about endangered plants and bioregional conservation
issues that relate to your area please consult local conservation groups
or Native Plant Societies. A good source of address for such groups is :

The National Wildflower Research Centers WildFlower handbook

Texas Monthly Press, Austin 1989

Herbal Therapy for Reproductive Health

  • Emmenagogues: are they or are they not?

  • Uterine Tonics

  • Amenorrhea

  • Dysmenorrhea

  • Menorrhagia

  • Pre-Menstrual Tension

  • Menopause

  • Herbs, Fertility & Contraception

  • Infertility

    There are several herbs which have been famous throughout history for preparing
    mothers for childbirth. Herbs can shorten labor and lessen the likelihood
    of complications both throughout pregnancy and in childbirth. The most used
    of these is in Europe is Raspberry (Rubus idaeus). A doctor writing
    in the Lancet (a British medical journal) said of raspberry leaf tea; `Somewhat
    shamefacedly I have encouraged expectant mothers to drink this infusion.
    In a great many cases labor has been free and easy from muscular spasm.’

    Rubus idaeus leaves have a mildly soothing, astringent and tonic
    action. They help to quell nausea and are slightly sedative. Most importantly,
    they have a particular affinity for the uterus, and act to strengthen the
    uterine and pelvic muscles and help to prevent miscarriages. In addition
    they tone the mucous membranes throughout the body, soothe the kidneys and
    urinary tract and help to prevent hemorrhage. They have been principally
    used to encourage a safe, easy and speedy childbirth, and afterwards to
    help milk production and speed recovery from the birth. In the uterus the
    action of raspberry leaves is both relaxant and astringent. The relaxant
    properties tend to predominate and bring about tonic relaxation of the smooth
    muscle of the uterus, which acts to reduce the pain of uterine contractions
    at labor.

    All the partus preparator herbs described at the beginning of this chapter
    will help.

    Herbal Therapy for Reproductive Disorders

  • Herbs to Avoid During Pregnancy

  • Discomforts of Pregnancy

  • Post Partum

  • Uterine Fibroids

  • Endometriosis

  • Fibrocystic Disease(FCD)

  • The Male Reproductive System

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    Written by David L. Hoffmann BSc Hons MNIMH

    Explore Wellness in 2021