Top Five Herbs for Postpartum
During your pregnancy the amount of advice offered up can be overwhelming (especially if you are not asking for it! There is so much excitement and all that advice, attention, and doting is showered upon the expecting mom. But, when it comes to postpartum recovery, most new parents have to go at it alone.
I always think of the movie Birdbox with Sandra Bullock blindfolded in the peril filled woods, kids in tow, with intense music playing, feeling her way to safety.
Medically it is often just "take an NSAID like Tylenol and ibuprofen for pain" and that’s about it.
Holistically, there are more options. Natural remedies can be used to not only support physical resilience and recovery, but also to aid in the emotional shifts that occur during postpartum.
Here are my Top Five Herbs for Postpartum Support:
1. Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora)
I always relate skullcap to getting out of one’s head (do you see what I did there -- head, skull, eh eh?) Skullcap is a great mood-supporting herb for those who are working through anxiety, stress-induced restlessness, and poor sleep which can be literally a definition for the postpartum experience. Skullcap should definitely be considered for parents experiencing mild postpartum mood concerns, headaches, and trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep.
2. Ashwaganda (Withania somnifera)
Ashwaganda is a resource for anyone recovering from stress. It is an ally for the overworked and overwhelmed. It works as a general body tonic helping to normalize cortisol and hormones. It targets the adrenal glands and helps the body rebalance after disturbances in sleep patterns (that those overstressed adrenal glands can cause). It is also a great support for a breastfeeding mother especially when paired with Shatavari root.
3. Holy Basil (Ocimum Sanctum)
Holy Basil gives you comfy old friend vibes in a cup. Medically, it works as an adaptogen that can restore balance after stress. It can be taken for a long time, serving the body as a tonic to support resilience against long term stress, improve energy levels, and benefit mood in the case of mild depression post-childbirth.
4. Nettle (Urtica Dioica)
Nettle is an amazing herb pre, during, and post pregnancy. It strengthens kidneys and adrenals after birth. During postpartum we are flooding with hormones. Hormones are processed and removed from the body through the liver (and kidneys for urine), if our liver and kidneys are slow, they are overwhelmed by all the hormones and that can lead to more pronounce mood swings, acne, and just a general feeling of fatigue (postpartum wise). It serves as a nutritional supplement high and iron and Vit K. The Vit K can through the breastmilk to the baby and it is a great support for breastfeeding.
5. Moringa (Moringa Oleifera)
I suggest moringa leaves to new parents as a nutritional supplement, tonic, astringent, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune system stimulant. After childbirth the body is depleted and needs nutrients to heal itself. Moringa is a complete protein high in iron, calcium, and phosphorous. It also is a great support for breastfeeding.
Conceiving Healthy Babies. Dawn Combs.
Herbal Healing for Women, Rosemary gladstar.