Latin: Alchemilla vulgaris
Common names: lady’s mantle, lion’s foot, bear’s foot, nine hook, dew cup
Part used: aerial parts
Energetics: bitter, cool, dry, astringent.
Alchemilla vulgaris is native to Britain and Continental Europe.
- Gentle hormonal regulator
- Uterine tonic
- Circulatory stimulant, improving circulation to the womb
- Tones pelvic/ovarian tissue
- Heavy periods
- Period pain
- Breakthrough or intermenstrual bleeding
- Uterine fibroids
- Endometriosis and adenomyosis
- Anaemia due to heavy periods
- Menstrual flooding of perimenopause
- Hot flashes
- Tissue tears of any sort (an excellent herb for postpartum healing if there’s been any tears or obstetric injuries)
- Premenstrual headaches
- Nervousness, agitation, insomnia, mood swings.
- Exceptional skincare herb that softens, soothes and tones the skin and encourages healing from blemishes.
- Useful for diarrhoea, especially in babies and kids when taken as a weak tea.
- It can be used externally as a yoni wash for itchiness and irritation and to support the healing of tissue.
Lady’s Mantle is a delicate, gentle and dignified herb, growing close to the ground and having a unique ability to catch perfectly round drops of morning dew in the folds of its thick, deep green leaves. This water was particularly valued and so collected by the alchemists – hence its name Alchemilla – ‘small magical one’.
She’s a herb that has far more to her than can be written. She reinforces, protects and connects female energy. She’s a hormone regulator that soothes the nervous system and is particularly suitable for women who have sensitive constitutions. She disperses congested energy in the pelvis and tonifies muscles, ligaments and tendons.
Lady’s mantle, like raspberry leaf, is a foundation herb for women’s health. They’re both in the rose family and have many overlapping healing qualities, but lady’s mantle offers a more profound medicine for menstrual imbalances, tissue repair, wound healing and cooling inflammation.
She is my favourite herb to aid women with heavy menstrual bleeding, no matter whether the cause is fibroids, polyps, endometriosis or oestrogen dominance. She’s also valuable for helping to recover from miscarriage and an ally for post-birth healing.
Like raspberry leaf, because lady’s mantle is a tonic, she’s also useful for painful, irregular, scanty or absent periods, as well as excellent for intermenstrual bleeding or spotting. For all of these uses, lady’s mantle is best taken internally as an infusion. Although an alcohol extract works well, I’ve found the tea to be more effective.
Charlotte Metcalfe, Lady’s Mantle Flower – 1818 watercolour painting
For heavy periods:
1 part lady’s mantle leaf
1 part shepherd’s purse
1 part yarrow
1/4 part cinnamon quills broken up
Drink half a cup of tea every 15 minutes for up to 2 hours until bleeding eases. This tea can be taken preventatively on the day or two days before menstruation is due to begin.
Lady’s mantle improves iron levels by regulating excess menstrual bleeding and helping you absorb more iron from your food, and being a rich source of iron itself.
An infusion of lady’s mantle can be used for any damage to mucosal surfaces, tissues, ligaments and tendons in the body:
For ulcers, sore throats, and bleeding gums, combine with sage and use as a gargle.
Make a tea for peptic or gastric ulcers or inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
Add 3 tablespoons to 3 cups of boiled water. Allow to steep for 20 minutes and drink throughout the day.
You can create a sitz bath for post-birth healing. Or make an infusion and add to a peri wash bottle for any irritation to the vulva, such as thrush, bacterial vaginosis or if you’re feeling tender from vigorous lovemaking.
I adore using lady’s mantle for acne or any skin inflammation. In old herbals, she was revered as a supreme wound healer, which has certainly been the case in my experience.
For this purpose, fill a jar with the dried lady’s mantle leaves, pour over with distilled witch hazel and set in a warm spot on a windowsill. After 2 to 4 weeks strain or pass through a cold juice press and filter through some cheesecloth.
For scrapes, scratches and burns, apply with organic cotton wool as a wound wash.
For hormonal blemishes, dilute with equal parts rosewater and use as a toner. You can either apply with a cotton swab and wipe over the face or add it into a spray bottle and use it as a spritz. Follow up with blue chamomile oil onto the blemishes and moisturise with jojoba oil.
For postpartum healing
1 part lady’s mantle
1 part nettle leaf
1 part raspberry leaf
1/4 part motherwort
1/2 part rosehips
Make as a regular herbal infusion and add honey if you like.
Digestive healing tea:
1 part marshmallow root
1 part lady’s mantle
1 part chamomile blossoms
1/4 liquorice root
1/4 part fennel seeds
Make as a regular herbal infusion.
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