My Doula Herb Garden

May 5, 2009 at 4:54 pm (Doula, Herbs) (, , )

St John's Wort

St John's Wort

This weekend I went to the Asheville Herb Festival with my daughter and our 9-year-old friend.  We spent  a happy hour wandering, looking at all sorts of green growing things, and talking about plant medicine.  I intended to pick up some staples for my garden, but I got drawn into the medicinal herb area.  As I spoke with the girls about how each herb can help women and mamas, I decided it was time to start my own doula herb garden.  Here’s what I chose:

Motherwort:  A pretty little plant with pink flowers, it promotes relaxation and helps to de-jangle mama nerves.  I used it after Stella was born, when caring for two rowdy boys and a brand-new baby girl pushed me right up to the edges of my coping abilities. 

Chamomile:  An all-around good herb to have in a garden.  Its flowers make a lovely and calming tea.  I mix it with red raspberry, alfalfa, and nettle to make a nurturing and nutritional brew for the mamas I know.  Chamomile tea is also great for a nursing mama (and as it goes through the milk, it helps to calm the babe), and it’s wonderful for young kids as well.  My boys love to drink it, and it tones down my eldest son’s energy when he’s wound up too tight.

Lavender:  Another calmative with a great scent.  Combined with other herbs, it makes a great sitz bath. I love lavender tea, and the dried flowers can fill a small stuffed animal or pillow for a new baby gift.  Lavender essential oil is also a great addition to a massage oil, for mamas or babies.

Comfrey:  A skin and tissue healer.  Comfrey is another good addition to a postpartum sitz bath, especially if mama has torn or had an episiotony.  Comfrey poultices or comfrey salves are great on scrapes, cuts, and sprains. And the fuzzy leaves are fun to rub:)

Blue Cohosh:  This one isn’t going in my doula bag, as its effects are stronger and need to be monitored by a midwife or doctor.  But I planted it anyway, in anticipation of the midwifery training I plan to embark on in a few years.  Blue Cohosh is a labor enhancer, and can sometimes be used to induce labor as well. 

I plan to include many more herbs as the summer goes on- I’ll let you know as I plant more gentle and helpful herbs!

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