Live Lighter is all about natural health, which means using the Earth to heal us. Here’s an informative article on herbs, nutrients and lifestyle tips for women by guest blogger, Rahim Habib, Naturopathic Doctor & writer for Bell Lifestyle.
It’s true, women tend to care more for and worry more about others: the children, partner, parents, in-laws, friends…If it’s a choice of doing something that is important to yourself, or for the other, you will more often than not, do it for the other person in your life.
It’s always a good time to remember to take care of mom or the woman in your life, not just on Mother’s Day. Below are a number of ways to use the benefits of natural herbs and remedies to care for women.
- Stress. If you have the signs of persistent stress (headaches, high blood pressure, poor digestion, insomnia, low libido), then it’s time to make a change. The first thing is to know what stresses you have and reduce those situations, or if you can’t eliminate those stressers, then learn to reduce their effect. Simple ways to do that are to do daily mini relaxation sessions: as you take the elevator up or down at work, do slow easy breaths; before you go on an errand, take two minutes on the rocking chair as you imagine yourself in a beautiful place you like to be. Regular meditation, yoga or tai chi is also very beneficial. Herbs can also help. Certain herbs help to reduce the long-acting stress hormone called cortisol – the one that leads to the high blood pressure, and increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Herbs that can help with stress and reduce cortisol include rosenroot, ashwagandha, and holy basil.
- Iron deficiency is very common in women. Low energy and cold hands and feet are the most common symptoms, however, other symptoms include shortness of breath, headache, dizziness, pale skin, restless legs, and even chest pain. Some important points about iron is that tea and coffee can inhibit the absorption of iron, so avoid drinking tea/coffee with or near your meal. Other foods can decrease iron absorption including milk, eggs, and bran. Another important factor is the strength of your digestion, if it is weak, then your iron levels can suffer. Calcium supplements can reduce the absorption of iron, but vitamin C dramatically increases iron absorption, so take 250-500mg of vitamin C twice a day with meals and your iron levels will likely increase significantly.
- Herbs to decrease menstrual cramps and pain can really help. A 2011 study in the International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics found that the herb valerian significantly reduced the pain of menstrual cramps. Many other herbs can also help: crampbark, dong quai, ginger, false unicorn, blue cohosh and black cohosh. Magnesium and fish oil can also make a big difference in reducing painful cramps.
- Premenstrual symptoms. Irritability, cravings, low energy, bloating, and low mood are some of the common symptoms women experience before their period. Some of the most effective herbs for reducing such symptoms before the period include chaste tree, saffron, and dandelion leaf. Nutrients including calcium, magnesium, zinc, and omega fats may also be of significant benefit.
- Bone health. Women often wonder if they are getting enough exercise and calcium to strengthen the bones. In addition, there are many foods and herbs that have been found to support the health of bones. Foods include onions, garlic, parsley, oranges, and prunes. Herbs include sage, rosemary, and thyme. Vitamin D and vitamin K2 are also important vitamins for bone health.
- Get help. Some of the above concerns can be complex, particularly when other medications are factored in. To address the complexity of how our lives can be, seek professional help to get the best advice: nutritionists, naturopathic doctors, psychologists, etc.
About the Author
Rahim Habib is a writer for Bell Lifestyle Products (www.belllifestyleproducts.com), which is a natural health herbs and supplements company. Rahim Habib is also a registered naturopathic doctor who has a general family practice, with a special interest in helping patients comprehensively detoxify their bodies for preventative and therapeutic benefit. He is the director of the Four Seasons Naturopathic Clinic for Detoxification and Healing.
Do you have any fav herbs for any of these womanly issues or those not listed here?