Since the dawn of time women have been closely connected to nature and herbalism.
Our mothers, aunts, grandmothers, and even stories of wise medicine women remind us of how this wonderful tradition has been passed down from generation to generation, keeping herbalism from forgiveness and ensuring it is as relevant as ever.
After all, who better than women knows – and truly embodies – the natural rhythm and cycles of nature?
Same as nature, designed to always evolve and change, female body is a true magic which is best supported by that very nature.
In our modern times, however, women’s woes and surgeries are on the rise and we should do whatever is in our power to keep our female health in check using potent natural remedies to balance female hormones.
Herbal healing for women is widely recommended, so one of the questions we frequently get through this website is what are the best herbs for women’s health.
Below are some of our best herbs for women’s health for any of the chapters in a woman’s life, from puberty to menopause.
Try these great healing herbs and herbal extracts for women to help a number of natural transitions dictated by female hormones.
They will keep you healthy and vital throughout any important life shifts.
Lady’s Mantle – The Alchemist of Herbs
Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla Vulgaris) is one of the most famous herbs for female health and a true epitome of femininity – unique, mysterious, and rejuvenating.
A truly magical status of this herb was recognized in the Middle Ages when people thought that the dew drops that form on Lady’s Mantle plant over night contain magical essence.
This magical essence was said to be used by alchemists of that time to make mystical potions and in an attempt to create Philosopher’s Stone that promised eternity and good health.
This is where Lady’s Mantle scientific name comes from – Alchemilla Vulgaris – indicating the magical power of this wonderful herb for female health.
Lady’s Mantle has a plethora of health benefits. For the purposes of this article on best herbs for women’s health, below we will list those most relevant to female health.
Best Herb for Hormonal Balance and Female Reproductive Health
Lady’s Mantle has been aiding women with menstruation, menopause, and weight loss for centuries.
This is one of the top traditional uses of this herb and it’s one of the reasons why a tea combining Lady’s Mantle, Lemon Balm and red Raspberry Leaf is referred to as “happy uterus tea.”
Many herbalists love Lady’s Mantle for its ability to soothe the aches, cramps and pains of menstruation and even to make menstrual flow lighter. The herb works as astringent on the uterus and is beneficial for heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding or uterine bleeding between normal menstrual periods.
There is generally a hormonal shift that occurs in women during menopause that can lead to hot flashes, mood swings, insomnia and other common symptoms. Lady’s Mantle is among top recommended herbs for menopause since it is considered both a uterine astringent as well as a uterine tonic.
Used topically as an herbal douche, Lady’s Mantle can be used as a soothing treatment for various female gynecological issues, such as vaginal inflammation and discharge.
Many of Lady Mantle’s constituents, especially the tannins and the bitter substances, are thought to have a balancing and regulating effect on the female reproductive system, so it is claimed to be one of the best natural remedies for gynecological problems.
Although the herb is not recommended for use during the early stages of pregnancy due to its uterine stimulating effect, many herbalists regard it as an excellent remedy for women approaching delivery.
One of the traditional uses of Lady’s Mantle is to make an herbal tea in order to strengthen the uterus, and to facilitate easier birth. In addition, the herb is also believed to enhance milk production after birth.
Beautiful Soft and Supple Skin
Due to its antibacterial properties and salicylic acid content, Lady’s Mantle is great for treating various skin ailments.
Salicylic acid is commonly used to treat and prevent acne. A popular agent in commercial acne-fighting products like Paula’s Choice BHA exfoliant, it also has astringent properties owing to its tannin content to keep your skin looking healthy and tight.
When applied topically, it can also be used as a natural exfoliant to get rid of the dead skin cells and keep your skin smooth and silky.
Licorice – And Spice and Everything Nice
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza Glabra) is included among the best herbs for women’s health.
Licorice boasts a medicinal history going back thousands of years, with reports of it being consumed for its health benefits by the likes of Caesar, Nero, and the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt.
Glycyrrhiza’s name reflects its most popularly known claim to fame: “sweet root”. With an extract that can be 30 to 50 times sweeter than sugar, we can see why our ancestors were inspired to turn it into candy!
During the Middle Ages, Licorice was often taken to alleviate the bad effects of highly spiced and overcooked food, fat and often-contaminated meats. As refrigeration was impossible, most meats were preserved by salting and by packing with aromatic herbs and spices.
To the Egyptians, Licorice was a “cure-all”, although it was used throughout the ancient world for a variety of maladies. The herbal physician Dioscorides who traveled with the army of the Roman emperor Nero gave it to the troops to give them stamina and endurance.
By the 20th century, manufacturing allowed the Licorice root to be stripped for pharmaceutical uses and then extracted for candy sweetener.
This sweet herb also makes one of the best teas for women’s health overall.
Best Tea for Menopause Health
Licorice root tea has been traditionally used to treat the pains of menstrual cramps, and also improve other symptoms of PMS, such as mood swings, and hormonal fluctuations. It is important, however, to drink this tea in moderation.
For the treatment of menopause symptoms, Licorice was shown in a Health Care for Women International study to be more effective than hormone replacement therapy at reducing the duration of hot flashes.
Voluminous Smooth Hair
Known for its moisturizing qualities, Licorice tea can prevent dryness of the scalp and prevent dandruff, while also delivering rich antioxidants and minerals to the hair, strengthening the follicles and improving the appearance of your hair.
One of the best women’s health herbs, Licorice has also been praised for its ability to stop hair loss, both when consumed as a tea or liquid extract / tincture and when applied topically.
Anti-Aging Natural Sunscreen
In terms of women’s skin health, Licorice is a herb that can help to keep your skin moisturized when used as a skin toner topically (cold tea), but can also improve the antioxidant levels in your body, helping to minimize signs of aging skin.
Furthermore, Licorice can help soothe inflammatory conditions like psoriasis or eczema, reduce redness, and even act as a natural sunscreen, helping to block UV rays that damage the skin long-term.
Calmness and Happiness
In spite of living in a relatively simple time in history, our society is plagued by environmental, physical, and mental stress disorders. So many of us have sent our adrenal glands in overdrive like we’re running from wooly mammoths when we’re really just dealing with a budget issue or a decision at work.
That’s where adaptogens come in – they help our body adapt to stress and deal with it, regulating cortisol – the stress hormone. This gives our adrenals a break and helps us manage our daily lives in a more peaceful, healthy way.
It turns out Licorice is one of the main adaptogen herbs – it is very nourishing for burned-out adrenals and is best used during times of chronic fatigue and tiredness that usually results in frequent illness.
Commonly paired with St. John’s Wort, this herbal tea is often recommended for people suffering from anxiety and depression. The soothing flavor and stimulating activity of this tea improves mood and re-balances stress hormone levels in the body.
All of this makes Licorice one of the best women’s health herbal teas to drink during PMS time to help with any mood swings and other problems that appear around that time of the month.
Fennel – Humanity’s Warmth
You may know of Fennel (Foeniculum Vulgare) as a flavoring agent in sambuca and absinthe, or maybe your grandmother sliced fennel bulb for you as a remedy for gassiness and indigestion.
But Fennel has actually been used for its nutritious properties since ancient times and it plays an important role in traditional medicine.
According to a legend, the fire Prometheus stole from heaven was carried on a fennel stalk. He took it to earth and gave it to man – and the rest is history.
The Romans thought of Fennel as a sacred ritual object and they used it as a digestive stimulant. The Greeks would use Fennel during their ceremonies because it symbolized pleasure and prosperity. And the ancient Chinese and Egyptians used this herb as food and medicine.
Nowadays Fennel is considered one of the most important and best herbs for women’s health.
Best Herb for Balanced Body Weight
There are a number of ways in which Fennel can help you lose weight.
First of all, by promoting urination, it can eliminate water retention and bloating.
Secondly, as a metabolism booster, Fennel can help your body burn fat and calories faster, making your exercise efforts more rewarding.
Finally, by regulating your appetite and hormones, it can prevent overeating and obesity.
Fennel’s ability to decrease inflammation led researchers to investigate if Fennel’s properties could be applied to some inflammatory diseases, including various forms of cancers.
Fennel contains an oil called anethole that has been shown in some clinical studies to act as a natural cancer remedy, helping to reduce the growth of breast cancer cells.
Fennel seeds also have very powerful free radical scavenging properties that help beat oxidative stress and protect the body from various cancers of the skin, stomach and breasts. These seeds have a very potent chemo modulatory effect, too.
The compounds found in Fennel have estrogen-like qualities, meaning that they can alleviate many of the painful symptoms of menstruation, while also regulating hormones, increasing libido, and stimulating the production of breast milk in lactating mothers (a good combination of plants is Fennel, Milk Thistle and Goat’s Rue ).
It also helps soothe menopausal symptoms like vaginal itching, dryness, sleeping issues, and vasomotor symptoms like night sweats, flushes and hot flashes. Fennel also helps to improve sexual function and sexual satisfaction.
Due to its calcium content, Fennel can help maintain bone strength and boost your overall health.
One cup of Fennel contains about 43 milligrams of calcium, which can be helpful for those who don’t consume enough foods high in calcium and may have a calcium deficiency.
Research shows that increasing calcium intake from dietary sources increases your bone mineral density.
But calcium isn’t the only bone-strengthening nutrient found in this herb good for women’s health.
Fennel also contains magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin K, which all play a role in maintaining bone strength.
There are a lot of supportive and nourishing herbs that are beneficial specifically for women. You should choose those that you intuitively connect with and include them in your self-care.
If you’re already taking some therapy, a consultation with your health practitioner would help you make the wisest choice of a herb that can supplement and improve your therapy, making it holistic.
Remember: our hormones are affected by our sleep, nutrition, and exercise, so make sure you get enough. These combined are what most affects any woman’s hormonal and reproductive wellness.
Keep your stress in check and avoid any environmental contaminants and harmful chemicals. It’s always best to go natural, especially in your skin and hair care routines, as well as home maintenance products.
Apart from including these wonderful herbs in your self-care routine, don’t forget to have regular check-ups and self breast exams. It is truly simple and life-saving.
Need ideas? Check our Sweet Violet Massage Oil Recipe.
Happy Women’s History Month, Ladies! 🌸