Teas, Herbs & Supplements

ORGANIC HERBAL TEA

Chamomile: for cramps, indigestion, gas and insomnia; antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic, antiseptic, antifungal; soothes the nervous system, including restlessness, irritability and over-sensitivity; good for Strep throat

Comfrey: anti-inflammatory, good for gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract and urinary tract

Elder flower: for cough, cold or flu

Ginger, turmeric + lemon tea: My favorite tea recipe is perfect for chronic pain and cramps. Chop up big chunks of ginger and turmeric root, no need to peel the skin. Throw them in a pot and squeeze the juice of 3-4 lemons on top. Add a small amount of black pepper. Cover with water, bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes. Serve with honey and cinnamon (optional). Make a huge pot of this ahead of time and drink some every morning right when you wake up.

Pau d’arco bark: anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, antiviral, anti-parasitic, anti-inflammatory; can also be taken as tincture (3x a day for 6 weeks; stop for a week then repeat)

Peppermint: antispasmodic; good for bloating, IBS, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, cold/flu and gallstones; topically apply to insect bites, stings or itchy skin

Red raspberry leaf: good for indigestion, diarrhea, uterine health and blood flow

Sarsaparilla: for hormonal balance; supports the luteal phase of menstruation

Endo Tea Recipe from “Treating Endometriosis Naturally”:

3 parts dandelion root, 3 parts wild yam root, 2 parts burdock root, 2 parts pau d’arco bark, 1 part Oregon grape root, 1 part chaste berry, 1/2 part dong quai root; optional: sassafras, cinnamon, ginger and orange peel to taste

Drink 3-4 cups daily for 3-4 months. Use 4-6 tablespoons herb mixture per quart of water. Add herbs to cold water and bring to slow simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Strain.


ORGANIC SUPPLEMENTS: Make sure that all herbal supplements you buy are cold-pressed in vegetarian capsules, not animal glycerin capsules.

• Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) – in the legume family; best eaten fresh as sprouts; anti-inflammatory and nutritive

Description from “Herbal Medicine, From the Heart of the Earth” by Sharol Tilgner, ND: “Alfalfa contains a high mineral and vitamin content, rich in protein, carotene, calcium, trace minerals and vitamins E and K as well as many water soluble vitamins … Phytoestrogens can act as anti-estrogens by competing with estrodial for cytoplasmic receptors in estrogen-sensitive tissues. Soybeans, which also contain estrogenic isoflavones, have been implicated as being responsible for the low incidence of breast and other female reproductive cancers in Japanese women who consume large amounts of soybean products. The same protective action may be possible with Alfalfa and should be studied further.”

• Black cohosh root (Cimicifuga racemosa) – in the Buttercup family; bitter, sharp, spicy, acrid

Description from “Herbal Medicine, From the Heart of the Earth” by Sharol Tilgner, ND: “Consider black cohosh when there are spasms, achy pains, chilliness, fevers, nervous system irritation or excitement, depression of a deep, dark and heavy nature … It is specific for headaches in the late luteal phase associated with low estrogen levels. Use: (a) Antispasmodic, (b) Sedative, [c] Diaphoretic, (d) Digestive stimulant, (e) Mild expectorant, (f) Peripheral vasodilator, (g) Hypotensive, (h) Female reproductive tract tonic, (i) Anti-inflammatory. Black cohosh is used for menstrual cramps, amenorrhea, oligomenorrhea, late menstruation, endometriosis, menopausal complaints or post hysterectomy, dyspepsia, joint inflammation and rheumatism … Especially consider black cohosh with reproductive tract problems related to congestion, nervous irritability or depression. Black cohosh is well known for its support of the female reproductive tract function. It appears to act as a phytoestrogen. Black cohosh has been shown to suppress luteinizing hormone surges associated with hot flashes in menopausal women … It relaxes the smooth muscles of the blood vessels, relaxes the uterus and skeletal muscles as well as dilates the bronchioles. Contraindications: Large doses can slow the heart, create hypotension and bradycardia … This plant is currently under heavy demand. There is concern that the sustainability of this plant is poor and it will become endangered soon.”

• Borage oil: anti-inflammatory; contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is converted into the “good” prostaglandins (PgE1 & PgE3, versus PgE2, the prostaglandin which causes painful uterine contractions and cramps); evening primrose oil is one of the most well-known supplements for endometriosis – however, borage oil contains even higher levels of GLA, and black currant oil also has very high levels; recommended dose 500 mg twice daily

• Burdock (Arctium lappa) – in the Aster family; cooling, distributes moisture around the body; excellent for the liver and normalization of the menstrual cycle or menopause; antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, promotes blood and lymph circulation

Description from “Herbal Medicine, From the Heart of the Earth” by Sharol Tilgner, ND: “…digestive stimulant, diuretic (especially the seeds) and a mild laxative. It stimulates the natural flow of lymphatic fluid supporting excretion of toxic by-products from cells. It is also an herb used for mild stimulation of the liver, the organ that conjugates hormones, allowing them to be excreted more readily from the body.”

• Calendula (Calendula officinalis) – in the Aster family; slightly bitter, salty; antiseptic, anti-inflammatory

Description from “Herbal Medicine, From the Heart of the Earth” by Sharol Tilgner, ND: “Calendula is indicated when the individual feels worse in damp, heavy, cloudy weather. There is a tendency to get cold easily and is greatly affected by the cold. It is specific for wounds that will not heal and lymphatic congestion.”

• Chaste tree berry (Vitex agnus castus) – in the Verbena family; for bloating and hormone regulation

Description from “Herbal Medicine, From the Heart of the Earth” by Sharol Tilgner, ND: “Used for PMS, endometriosis, menstrual cramps, premenstrual herpes, premenstrual acne, polymenorrhea, secondary amenorrhea, menopause and hot flashes. Chaste tree appears to increase luteinizing hormone production and inhibit the release of follicle stimulating hormone. This shifts the ratio of estrogens to progestagens in favor of the progestagens with a corpus luteum hormone effect. This progestagen effect is used in some cases to prevent miscarriages. Prolactin is inhibited by chaste tree. The luteinizing hormone release and progesterone synthesis has been attributed to inhibition of prolactin activity. It appears to directly bind to dopamine receptors in the anterior pituitary and inhibits prolactin synthesis and release … For amenorrhea, the herb must be used for months before results are noticed. Contraindications: It may counteract the effectiveness of birth control pills, and other hormone therapy.”

• Cleavers (Galium aparine) – in the Madder family; fresh, pleasant taste; relaxing, nutritious, supports the immune system; good for bladder and kidney problems, reduces fibrocystic tissue

Description from “Herbal Medicine, From the Heart of the Earth” by Sharol Tilgner, ND: “It corrects the inability to pass normal catabolic wastes. It is a soothing herb used in pelvic problems where a lymphagogue is needed. Cleavers is useful for swollen glands and cysts.”

• Cramp bark (Viburnum opulus) – must be taken in small doses every day, as it is slow to act and not as effective in the moment

Description from “Herbal Medicine, From the Heart of the Earth” by Sharol Tilgner, ND: “Cramp bark can be used for most spasmodic pains but is specific for spasmodic and congestive conditions of the female genitourinary tract. It is indicated when pelvic pains extend down the thighs and are accompanied by nausea. The spasms are usually worse lying on the affected side, in warm rooms and in the evening; and better in open air and from resting. Use: (a) Antispasmodic, (b) Astringent … (g) Restores sympathetic and parasympathetic balance in voluntary and involuntary muscle spasms, (h) Anti-inflammatory. Cramp bark is used for bronchial, gastrointestinal, genitourinary and skeletal muscle spasms. Due to its astringent and antispasmodic nature it is useful for menstrual cramps with excessive blood loss. Cramp bark’s astringent action also benefits atonic conditions of the pelvic organs, like uterine prolapse … As a skeletal muscle relaxant, it is wonderful for leg cramps.”

• Dong quai root (Angelica sinensis) – in the Parsley family

Description from “Herbal Medicine, From the Heart of the Earth” by Sharol Tilgner, ND: “Dong quai is beneficial for gynecological complaints with spasms and pain, chills, dryness of skin, constipation due to dryness and uterine or ovarian masses. It is also indicated for congestion in the pelvic region. Use: (a) Warming female tonic, (b) Enriches the blood, [c] Promotes blood circulation, (d) Regulates and normalizes menstruation and the menstrual cycle, (e) Mild laxative, (f) Diuretic, (g) Sedative, (h) Hepatoprotectant, (i) Anti-inflammatory, (j) Analgesic, (k) Antibacterial, (l) Hypotensive, (m) Calcium channel blocker, (n) Antispasmodic. It is beneficial with gynecological problems, including PMS, cramps, menopausal-related symptoms, uterine bleeding due to stagnation and chronic pelvic infections. It is also indicated for constipation, headache due to blood deficiency, thrombosis, anemia, vasculitis, arthritis, sciatica and chronic bronchitis.”

• Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) – in the Parsley family; aromatic, sweet, spicy, warming; excellent for the liver and relaxation of the uterus; contains phytoestrogens

Description from “Herbal Medicine, From the Heart of the Earth” by Sharol Tilgner, ND: “…an antispasmodic, estrogenic and anti-inflammatory herb, which has traditionally been used for its estrogenic activity.”

• Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) – in the legume family; mucilaginous, bitter, tastes like maple; anti-inflammatory

Description from “Herbal Medicine, From the Heart of the Earth” by Sharol Tilgner, ND: “…known to promote fertility, lower blood sugar and cholesterol, improve the digestion and decrease menopausal hot flashes. This herb is considered a hormonal balancer.”

• Fish oil: for omega-3 fatty acids; anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting

• Grape seed extract: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant

• Magnesium + calcium: can often be found together in a drink powder form; make sure it does not have any weird additives in it

• Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) – in the Mint family; antispasmodic; can be taken in tincture, tea or capsule form; take small doses every day, rather than wait for pain, as this herb needs time to accumulate in the body before it is effective (like cramp bark, dandelion and feverfew)

Description from “Herbal Medicine, From the Heart of the Earth” by Sharol Tilgner, ND: “Motherwort is used for melancholy, restlessness and disturbed sleep from emotional or physical ailments of the heart. It strengthens the heart … Motherwort is used for premenstrual cramps with delayed menstruation, congestive amenorrhea or dysmenorrhea, nervous palpitations, premenstrual nerve tension, high blood pressure due to stress and nerve pain from herpes zoster and herpes simplex. It should be taken over a period of months for best results.”

• Pulsatilla (Anemone vulgaris and pratensis) – in the Buttercup family; slightly acrid, bitter, cooling

Description from “Herbal Medicine, From the Heart of the Earth” by Sharol Tilgner, ND: “Often the person who responds to pulsatilla will have nervous conditions like fearfulness, general nervousness, dejection, and weep easily. The individual is gentle, with a yielding disposition, and has changeable symptoms and moods. The body discharges are usually yellow. Use: (a) Anti-inflammatory, (b) Sedative, [c] Analgesic. Pulsatilla stimulates gastrointestinal and hepatic functions. It is indicated for menstrual complaints in women who are anemic, intolerant of fatty foods, have coated tongues, cold extremities and a feeble pulse. It is specific for amenorrhea following wet cold feet, acute endometriosis, ovarian neuralgia and congestive ovaritis with inflammation, dull, nagging, aching, tearing pains; not cramping pains.”

• Pycnogenol (French maritime pine bark)

• Red root (Ceanothus americanus) – in the Buckthorn family

Description from “Herbal Medicine, From the Heart of the Earth” by Sharol Tilgner, ND: “It is indicated for stagnation of fluids, turbid lymph, mucus, swollen glands and poor nutrition to the tissues. Consider red root when the person is melancholic and the tongue is enlarged, swollen, with a dirty white or yellow coating. Use: (a) Astringent, (b) Lymphagogue, [c] Expectorant. Red root is used in lymphatic, splenic and liver congestion, enlarged lymph nodes, sinusitis, tonsillitis, laryngitis, pharyngitis, chronic post-nasal drip and mononucleosis. It also can increase platelet counts and is specific for reducing cysts. This herb is best suited for subacute and chronic conditions.”

• Selenium: from EndometriosisDiet.com – “When taken together with vitamin E has been reported to decrease inflammation associated with Endometriosis, as well as immune system booster. Selenium has been historically given to cows by farmers to prevent endometriosis. Endometriosis hinders fertility, so farmers work hard to prevent a disease that results in fewer calves. The best single source of selenium is Brazil nuts, followed by tuna, cod, and meats.”

• Vitamin B6 – sugar, alcohol, caffeine and refined processed foods rob the body of Vitamin B

• Vitamin C

• Vitamin D/direct sunlight

Vitamin E + zinc: for fertility; take together before bed at night, as zinc can only be absorbed during sleep; 400-800 I.U. daily recommended for Vitamin E

• Wild yam (Dioscorea villosa)

Description from “Herbal Medicine, From the Heart of the Earth” by Sharol Tilgner, ND: “Wild yam is indicated for spasmodic, shooting, aching or shifting pain. It is specific for pains due to excited nervous system and hip joint pain that keeps the individual awake at night. Use: (a) Antispasmodic, (b) Carminative, [c] Diaphoretic. Wild yam is an autonomic nerve relaxant useful in painful gastrointestinal conditions due to irritation and spasm, neuralgic conditions and restlessness. It relieves the cramping pain of smooth muscles like the gall bladder and uterus. It is used for low progesterone/high estrogen related problems and has shown results with mid-cycle spotting, premenstrual symptoms, painful menstruation, nausea of pregnancy, endometriosis and spontaneous abortions. It supports the liver and nervous system … It is best given in hot water for dysmenorrhea.”

• Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) – in the Aster family; bitter, aromatic, pungent; inhibits prostaglandins

Description from “Herbal Medicine, From the Heart of the Earth” by Sharol Tilgner, ND: “[If the] individual has vertigo when moving slowly and feels as if something is forgotten. The head seems full of blood. Yarrow is specific for the urinary system and exerts a tonic influence on the venous system and mucous membranes. It is best for atonic and relaxed tissues where there is free discharge or massive bleeding of bright red blood, or diarrhea. Use: (a) Bitter tonic, (b) Antiseptic, [c] Antifungal, (d) Astringent … (g) Anti-inflammatory … It is used in the initial stages of colds or fevers, bleeding hemorrhoids, excessive menstrual flow with uterine atony or uterine spasms and vaginitis with vaginal atony.”


OTHER SUPPLEMENTS (NOT SPECIFIC TO ENDO)

• Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) – for migraine headaches, arthritis, cold and flu; take small doses every day, rather than wait for a headache – this herb is slow to act and needs time to accumulate in the body before it is effective; anti-inflammatory, inhibits prostaglandins

• Osha root (Ligusticum porteri) – in the Parsley family; aromatic

Description from “Herbal Medicine, From the Heart of the Earth” by Sharol Tilgner, ND: “It is indicated for a dull mind that is forgetful, sinuses full, head feels clogged with mucus and easily catches a cold or often has influenza symptoms. Use: (a) Antiviral … (e) Immune stimulating properties. Osha is used in respiratory infections, chronic viral diseases, and toothaches to slightly anesthetize the area. It is indicated for any respiratory disease, especially when it is debilitating with much mucus and congestion in the tissues and digestive irritation. As with all herbs high in volatile oils, this plant acts on both respiratory and urinary tracts.”

• Slippery elm bark: anti-inflammatory; always take with water

Description from “Herbal Medicine, From the Heart of the Earth” by Sharol Tilgner, ND: “Slippery elm is indicated for soothing mucus membrane irritation in the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract and urinary tract. Internally, it is used for inflammatory respiratory tract disorders, inflammation of the mouth, throat, stomach, intestines, bladder and urethra and externally for wounds, burns, ulcers, and all inflammatory skin disorders.”