If you’re a woman, you might want to turn to these four herbs for help in regaining optimal health and balance: Don Quai, stinging nettle, valerian, and bladderwrack.
Dong Quai is considered by many herbalists to be the best female tonic. In fact, Don Quai is often referred to as “the female ginseng.” When it comes to healing, Don Quai is an all-round heavy hitter. Herbalists have applied it to almost every female gynecological problem. What makes Don Quai so versatile is its ability to increase blood flow to the pelvic area, helping to restore strength and balance, especially to the uterus. Dong Quai has been traditionally used to regulate the menstrual cycle and relieve symptoms of menopause.
Stinging nettle might not sound like an herb that can boost your health, but herbalists favor it for its nutritional and medicinal value. Nettles are very high in vitamins and minerals — especially iron, which plays a vital role in women’s health. Nettle has been used as a remedy for anemia and to alleviate the symptoms of PMS and menopause.
Valerian has been used for centuries to calm the nervous system and as a pain reliever. Valerian is still a common treatment for nervous tension, insomnia, anxiety, mood swings, and headaches. It is also used for conditions in which the primary symptom is acute pain. Researchers at Laval University in Quebec wanted to compare a valerian-hops combination and the drug diphenhydramine for the treatment of mild insomnia. They found that valerian produced slightly greater reductions of sleep latency relative to placebo and diphenhydramine at the end of 14 days of treatment and greater reductions than placebo at the end of 28 days of treatment.
Quality of life was significantly more improved in the valerian-hops group relative to the placebo group at the end of 28 days. There were no significant residual effects and no serious adverse events with valerian. The researchers concluded that a valerian-hops combination is useful in the treatment of mild insomnia.
Bladderwrack is an herb with an unusual name. Bladderwrack is unique among herbs in that it provides the thyroid with iodine, which is essential for warding off hypothyroidism. Your thyroid needs a small amount of iodine daily to produce the thyroid hormone. When you are low in this hormone, you can experience cold hands and feet, low energy, excess weight, hair loss, and hot flashes.