Herbs are a beautiful way out of a medical system dominated by an elite class of white men. Start with trying to heal yourself or a loved one by using plants. Most people are familiar with the uses of kitchen herbs such as mint and ginger. However, most don’t know there is an alternative to the uninformative advice most doctors give to people who experience problems with the reproductive/ fun organs, especially in the case of those who have ovaries and/or a uterus. Instead of birth control or pain-pills for menstrual cramps, try building your system with a foundation of nutritious food and a roof of medicinal plants. Eliminating caffeine and alcohol stops the constriction of blood vessels and the masking of exhaustion that fuels menstrual pain. Replace sugar, white flour, high-glycemic dried fruits, trans fat, and omega-6 rich vegetable oils with olive oil, flaxseeds, a prudent amount of saturated fat, seaweed, dark leafy greens, fresh fruits, organic protein, and broths. Exhaustion and anemia are common ailments that, once reversed, will allow the ovaries and uterus to heal themselves. Iron syrups typically contain: nettle, dandelion leaf and root, raspberry leaf, watercress, alfalfa leaf, hawthorn berries, yellow dock root, and dulse. Iron syrups can be bought at herb shops or made using a recipe. Taking iron in liquid form is important: iron tablets are ineffective and can be dangerous. To ease cramps (even debilitating, nauseous menstrual pain) try cramp bark. Cramp bark is not toxic to the liver as pain-pills are. Enlargement of the prostate can often be corrected by anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting foods such as flax, echinacea, tomatoes, soy, and pomegranate.
Basic botanical healing can also be about incorporating a few plants into the diet for general wellness. The following common weeds can be eaten like kitchen greens, proving that weeds are awesome. However, please don’t gather these plants from industrial sites, as the leaves absorb heavy metals. Dandelion helps the digestive system and liver. The result is increased nutrient absorption and an overall cleansing action: helping clear the skin, decrease inflammation, and increase energy. Eat chickweed to gain a wealth of vitamins and minerals and to kick-start the lymphatic system. Nettle tea is great for allergies and asthma if taken on a daily basis. The plant’s nutritional and cleansing abilities will invigorate the thyroid, kidneys, and adrenal glands. The work of nettle on your insides will show up on your outside, improving the health of teeth, nails, skin, and hair. Burdock is a weed that produces tiny round burrs from which the idea for velcro sprang. The roots are eaten in soups in parts of Asia and Europe. Burdock is a blood purifier, helping the kidneys and liver. It puts out the excess flames of inflammation, soothing arthritis, bursitis, acne, eczema, and herpes outbreaks.
Self-education about both alternative and allopathic paths to healing is the best weapon against the dangers of many state/ corporate health care systems. Keep in mind however, that western medicine might be the only way to save your life or cure a disease in some cases. Nevertheless, there persists a disturbing loyalty of doctors to western medicine. This article is too short to address the alternative medical systems of various traditions. Please go to a local herb shop or library to learn more.
DIY medicine necessitates caution. Learn everything you can about the treatments you are thinking of using, get to know an herbal teacher (they come in all ages and titles), and take great pause before collecting plants in the wild. MISidentification is extremely easy. Arm yourself with the knowledge to thrive.
A VERY INCOMPLETE RESOURCE LIST:
–Plants Gone Wild: Redefining Ethical Wildcrafting (Decolonize perspective)
–Spectacular Specula: An Activist Dyke Discusses Self Care, Queer Reproductive Rights and Her Os: The Mimi Reproductive and Sexual Health Zine Distro
–Trans Care: What to Eat, Supplements and Herbs to Prepare and Heal Around Surgery: The Mimi Reproductive and Sexual Health Zine Distro
–Hot Pantz: Do it Yourself Gynecology
–Gladstar, Rosemary. Herbal Healing for Women: Simple Home Remedies for Women of all Ages. Fireside: 1993
–Gladstar, Rosemary. Herbal Remedies for Men’s Health. Fireside: 1999