A practical guide for nutritional and traditional health care.
The plant called the lady's mantle is called Alchemilla vulgaris, in botanical circles. The botanical name of the plant is due to a peculiar pseudoscientific reputation the plant has, and the belief that the leaves of the herb are very efficient at collecting dew. Alchemilla, as suggested by the genus name of the plant is a direct reference to the alchemists, these early chemist and magicians believed that dewdrops which gathered on the leaves of the lady's mantle had some magical powers that could really help them in their ultimate quest for the philosopher's stone - a mythical magical stone, believed to be capable of turning base metals like lead to precious gold. Aside from the botanical name, and the allusions to alchemy, the plant also has a common name - lady's mantle given due to the plants very shapely and pleated leaves that look like a lady's cloak in medieval times. Perhaps the cloak was though suitable for the Virgin Mary and the original common name of the herb was - Our-Lady's-mantle in honor of Mary.
The potent astringent properties of the lady's mantle herb have been a subject of praise by many generations of folk healers in Europe. A herbal remedy made from the lady's mantle has been used in stopping both externally as well as internal bleeding - as well as excessive menstruation in women, the herb has been used in the healing of all kinds of wounds, it is used to bring relief from vomiting and nauseous sensations, and the herb is also used combined with a whole host of other herbs and minerals used in homeopathy. The major belief of the early herbalists regarding the lady's mantle was that this herb was possessed of such strong contractile powers, that it was though capable of "restoring" lost virginity to women and was believed to bring on a new firmness to flabby breasts in older women. The current system of herbal medicine still sees the use of remedies made from the lady's mantle in many roles, however, the lady's mantle is now most famous as a garden plant in Europe and other parts of the world. The plant is also called nine hooks at times; this is with reference to the leaves which usually have nine distinct lobes.
Aerial parts, root.
The wound healing abilities of the lady's mantle have always been highly prized in the herbal tradition. The herb also possessed potent astringent effects and this staunches blood flow and allows the first stage of healing to begin without hindrance. Women who suffer from problems of heavy menstrual bleeding also greatly benefit from doses of the herb, and the herb is also useful in bringing relief from menstrual cramps, it also aids in overcoming the symptoms of menopause and can lead to a great improvement in the regularity of the menstrual cycle in the body of the woman. The herbal remedy made from the lady's mantle is also often prescribed for the treatment of conditions like fibroids and endometriosis in women. The herbal extract is also often used as a douche to wash off excess vaginal discharge and bring rapid healing. The herbal remedy made from the lady's mantle is believed to act as a liver decongestant and it is said to facilitate the birth of a child. The treatment of diarrhea and gastroenteritis is hastened by the astringent properties of the herb.
Menstrual pains as well as the regulation of periods can be achieved by the use of the lady' mantle by affected women. This herb was in fact traditionally used as a remedy to induce sleepiness in patients. Disorders such as diarrhea and gastroenteritis are easily dealt with by the strong astringent action of the herb, the herb is also rich in salicylic acid and this induces a rapid reduction in the inflammation affecting the digestive system as well as the reproductive system of patients.
Decoctions made from the lady's mantle can be used as vaginal douches or as a lotion - it can be mixed with rose water as well. These decoctions can help reduce vaginal discharges, minimize irritation and infection in the vaginal cavity. The herbal lady's mantle decoction can also function as an excellent skin lotion for the treatment of rashes in diseases such as eczema, it can be used to heal cuts and wounds, as well as external sores and insect bites of all kinds. The herbal decoction can also be used as a mouthwash and gargle in cases of bleeding gums, to treat mouth ulcers and to minimize the symptoms of sore throats in patients.
Other medical uses
Habitat and cultivation
The harvesting of the lady's mantle occurs during the summer months - the plant is a native of the British Isles and also grows in other parts of continental Europe.
Lady's mantle contains tannins, a glycoside, and salicylic acid.
Dosage of the herbal lady's mantle infusion can be 200 ml or 8 fl oz, taken thrice daily to aid in regularizing the onset of the menstrual cycle and also to bring relief from heavy bleeding during the menstrual periods. The herbal tincture can also be taken for stomach problems, especially of accompanied by conditions such as diarrhea, dose of the tincture can be 2 ml or 40 drops, taken thrice daily during the treatment period.
How it works in the body
Lady's mantle contains compounds called tannins which endow it with an astringent action; these compounds aid the herbal solution in bringing a reduction in bleeding, especially with respect to problems underlying the reproductive system in women. The herb is there of considerable value in the treatment of excessive menstrual bleeding and in problems associated with menopause in women. The herbal remedies made from the lady's mantle also make an excellent tonic for the problems associated with the uterus in women. Lady's mantle also possesses other beneficial properties that enable it to act as balancer of the internal hormonal actions in the body - this property of the herb in effect enables it to act as a great normalizing during an irregular menstrual cycle. A mild painkilling action is also evident in the herb due to the presence of salicylic acid - this compound helps in easing the painful periods. The tannins in the herb tend to form a protective layer over the tissues - this property is helpful in complaints affecting the digestive system, particularly those related to cases of diarrhea and other gastrointestinal disorders.