to boost Progesterone while pregnant?
Dear Susun Weed,
Thanks for all you have done for women.
Can you recommend any herbs that will help boost progesterone?
A blood test a year
ago identified very low progesterone as one cause of my
repeated miscarriages. I have become pregnant again (age
44, no children) and would like to boost this hormone if
possible without taking progesterone supplements. Currently,
I drink a quart of raspberry/nettle/alfalfa tea each day.
Any advice in the way of herbs, other foods, other supplements?
Thanks for your help,
Ps. my health habits and diet are pretty good. I grow a
lot of our own food, am
vegetarian, no coffee, no alcohol, lots of exercise.
Susun's Response: try wild yam
Wild yam is the herb most likely to help you increase progesterone.
You can read
more about it in my WIse Woman Herbal for the Childbearing
Year. Also, note the
recipe for preventing miscarriage by Jeannine Parvati Baker
in the foreword. Many
women have found it especially useful.
I prefer to use herbs as simples and would urge you to use
one herb at a time rather
than mixing them. Also, teas (a little herbs brewed for
a short time) do little, while
infusions (a lot of herb brewed for a long time) do a lot.
Instructions for making
infusions are also in my books.
Green Blessings, Susun Weed
I use motherwort for premature labor?
Dear Susan Weed,
Your book, Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year,
recommends the herb
motherwort for premature labor. My midwife suggested that
I take it to help
abate contractions that I was having too frequently (I am
34 weeks). I took a
dose of it and it increased the frequency of the contractions.
worried that I would go into labor.
I looked up Motherwort in Rosemary Gladstar's book and
Deb Soul's book on
women's herbs and both of those books state that Motherwort
is an emmenegogue
and to be used to stimulate contractions. I was even more
distressed to find this
information. I drank lots of water to flush my system and
took lots of valerian. My
midwife recommends it because your book does.
Do you still recommend motherwort to ease premature labor?
Susun's Response: Re: Motherwort is an
Susun is in a intensive until Monday. I will
refer to her book that you noted,
Childbearing Year, to try to answer your question. Below
I have copied all of the
sections that Motherwort is referred to in her book. In
chapter one Motherwort
INFUSION is listed as an emmenagogue. The rest of the references
in the book have to do with easing pain and calming the
nerves, all doses are in
TINCTURE form. There is also mention that motherwort may
and there is an Anti-hemorrhage tincture that includes Motherwort
in its list of
So, based on my studies of Susun Weed's book Wise Woman
Herbal for the
Childbearing Year I can state that she does NOT recommend
premature labor. In fact, she lists it as an emmenagogue
on page 10, in the first
chapter of the book. She does recommend motherwort tincture
to ease PAIN
and to aid the nervous system.
Please read the following excerpts from Susun's book and
forward or print them
for your midwife. Thank you for contacting us to verify
this and it is good that you
are taking care of yourself in a well-informed way rather
than passively believing
what others tell you. You are truly a wise woman. Your choice
of valerian will help
with the pain, which is why the midwife might have recommended
in the first place....
Please let us know what comes of this matter. And, if you
have further questions
concerning your condition, Susun will be here Monday to
answer email. She is now
in a four-day intensive.
Justine (Susun's daughter)
Please: note disclaimer at the end of this email
Chapter One: Before Pregnancy
On page 9-10 a list of emmenagogues is listed - Motherwort
plant infusion is
listed here as an emmenagogue.
Chapter Two: During Pregnancy
On page 43 Motherwort tincture is noted to calm without
Five drops can restore emotional balance. there is a CAUTION
to use it in a
limited way as it can become psychologically habit forming.
Chapter Three: Childbirth
On page 58, Motherwort tincture is recommended to ease the
pain of early labor.
The very next line guides the reader to refer to Preventing
pages 27-28 (motherwort is NOT mentioned in this section
at all). Next, there is a CAUTION to seek immediate assistance
and guidance for premature labor
before 37 weeks.
On pages 67-68 Motherwort tincture is recommended as being
just right for the
early achey part of a REGULAR LABOR when the actual birth
is still hours away.
On page 71 it is written that midwives who give Motherwort
tincture to every
mother after the baby is born claim that it prevents hemorrhage.
On page 74 One dose of 10 drops of Motherwort tincture is
said to act quickly
to calm the feelings, strengthen the heart, and allay shockiness.
There is a
CAUTION that bleeding may be increased by repeated doses.
Chapter Four: After Pregnancy
page 81 Motherwort herb is noted to relieve after-pains
and help to tone the
uterus and ease the nervous system. Tea or tincture can
be used, but the tea is
page 84 Motherwort tincture is said to offer clear-minded,
from the tension and confusion of overwhelming emotion.
There is further
CAUTION to resist excessive use to prevent dependency.
page 154 Motherwort is included in the recipe for Antihemorrage
Tincture #1 -
it is noted that the Motherwort adds a calming influence
to help forstall shock,
and relieve pain.
and Bleeding alittle
Justine and Susun,
Hope you both had a lovely holiday. We all had a mellow
I have a question. I have a young friend who is 2 months
pregnant. She has
had 2 other children. Today she called and said she was
having some slight
bleeding. Yesterday pinkish, today reddish.
I don't think she is going to a regular OBGYN or to a midwife.
I told her I'd
make some inquiries. She has never miscarried before. I
know this isn't much
to go on, but any info would be helpful.
Susun's Response: try the miscarriage
Try the miscarriage formula in the introduction to childbearing
year, the one by
Jeannine Parvati Baker.
Love to you. Sorry to be so short. Hundreds of e-mails
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and wisdom through
this resourceful site!!
I read Jessica Godino article with great interest. I was
Hypothyroidism in 1993 and was put on levothyroxine. In
1996, I had two
miscarriages (at 10 and 7 wks) and had my son in 1997 after
put me on progesterone. I stopped taking the levothyroxine
for 4 yrs a few
months after my son's birth.
I used to get a breast infection every four weeks for 4-5
months right after
delivery. My period never stopped after the delivery and
I breast-fed my son
for almost 3 yrs. I followed your book "The Child Bearing
Years" to deal with
the breast infections. I also took bladderwrack and astragulus
for my thyroid.
Right now, I am 35 and am planning to get pregnant soon.
I just started taking
Thyrolar and since then find myself very tired and sleepy
right after lunch. I
also get a lot of tenderness on my right breast just before
my period starts. I
was interested in taking Vitex (chasteberry), however, I
wasn't sure if it safe
to take with the thyroid medication.
Susun's Response: thyroid/vitex
You say you stopped taking thyroid medication after your
son's birth. When
did you start again? For what reason?
In what form are you taking the bladderwrack? My herbal
friend Ryan Drum
suggests a large dose of the uncooked bladderwrack. There
is a whole section
on herbal allies for thyroid health in New Menopausal Years,
just released (and
available from www.ash-tree-publishing.com
) Includes information on some
herbs you may want to avoid too.
As far as I know, there is no contraindication for taking
thyroid medicine and
vitex, but this is a rapidly changing area. And I have never
heard of Thyrolar.
Is it a standard drug? How is it different from Armor thyroid?
(That is the one
most alternative practitioners' recommend.) The vitex may
make your breast
more tender though. What effect did you hope to get by taking
Most people do get tired and sleepy after lunch, that's
why moms invented naps
for the kids! I hate to teach classes after lunch because
they just want to sleep
and I have to work extra hard to keep their attention. So
maybe this is normal,
but you know yourself best.
Premenstrual breast tenderness is also common and normal.
can be helpful for this.
Hope this helps.
Green Blessings, Susun Weed
+ Leg Cramps
I need your help. I am 26 weeks pregnant with my fourth
cannot sleep. I have severe leg cramps every night that
keep me up. I have
tried everything and nothing seems to work.
I take plenty of extra vitamins, Cal, Mag, Vit E, Folic
Acid and a Multi vitamin.
I do yoga and go to the gym. I eat salads all the time and
nothing is helping.
Could you please give me some suggestions, I need sleep.
I also am reading your book Wise Women Childbearing Year.
Susun's Response: leg cramps
It may surprise you to hear that I believe your problem
may be caused by the
drugs you are taking. Yes, drugs! What drugs? All the pills
you are popping.
There is no vitamin that can be put in a pill. You think
you are taking supplements,
but you are really consuming pharmaceutical drugs. For your
sake, and the sake
of your baby, I urge you to stop.
Women who take 10,000 IU of vitamin A supplement per day
are five time more
likely to have a baby with a birth defect.
Folic acid in pill form has already killed several women
in the USA.
Women who take calcium supplements are twice as likely to
break a bone as those
who do not.
Instead of pills, try drinking nourishing herbal infusions.
I tell you how to make these
vitamin and mineral rich drinks in all of my books. Healing
Wise is a good one to
start with, as is Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing
Year. You can get signed
copies from www.ash-tree-publishing.com/
at a 20% discount.
Also, I would be glad to answer your questions personally
by phone. I have a free
service on Tuesday nights. Call me at 845-246-8081 between
7:30 and 9:30 pm
east coast time and I will be glad to talk with you. The
line is of course busy most
of the time, but keep trying. An auto-redial phone helps!
Green Blessings, Susun Weed
Re: more help on leg cramps from Weed's
Kim, hope you are getting more sleep...I know how frustrating
it can be when you
are doing all you know to take care of yourself and its
still not working..ugggh....
You have Susun's book, Childbearing Year already, so you
won't have to buy it to
get the wisdom...skip to pages 20, 21, 36, 37 for solutions
to your problem...
.leg cramps...checked in the index under cramps..
Page 20 Covers the benefits of drinking Nettle Tea, as Susun
suggested in her email
to you, and you can learn how to make infusions on pages
Page 21 discusses the importance of calcium in your diet
(as you know) and how to
get it from natural absorbable sources: goat milk and cheese,
mackerel, seaweed, sesame salt, tahini, and dark leafy greens
such as beet greens
and kale. The problem with calcium tablets is the pass through
the body undigested,
and it is hard for the body to handle the calcium without
or vit.D... SO, if you Must take a calcium supplement, please
find a dissolvable
in water form with almost as much magnesium in the mix....You
can find this at the
health food store...BUT, remember to eat your dark greens
and oily fish...you will
also get good Omega 3 from these foods, which you will really
need extra of when
you are breast feeding (if you do so). Walnuts are good
for omega 3 too,
as is flax seed.....
PP.36 and 37 talk more about leg cramps....you are doing
over doing the exercise? only you can tell? I like the part
on p. 37 about getting a massage..and the moist, warm heat
Good luck and don't lose faith.
with questions about Squawvine
Wonderful to hear from you recently.
I am four months pregnant now and doing well. I had six
weeks of light
bleeding in my first trimester following a threatened miscarriage,
seems to have stabilized. I still have occasional slight
baby is moving and I'm feeling generally fine.
I began gathering squaw vine in the fall for my third trimester,
reading your caution in this month's newsletter, I wonder
if I should use it
or not? Presently my daily infusion includes nettles, red
comfrey leaf, and occasional red clover -, with yellow dock
and occasional Vitex added to the brew.
What do you think?
Susun's Response: Squawvine is endangered
If you want to use it you could, but I am not sure it would
be helpful. Do be aware
that it is an endangered plant (I know, hard to tell since
we have so much of it).
squaw means penis. not a great name for this plant. How
about partridge berry
Lots of love to you. Susun
Infection in Pregnancy
I am hoping for a little input to ease my mind and gain
some knowledge. My
midwife gave me a pap smear on my 2nd visit and it has come
back with a bad
reading. (High yeast, high bacteria and abnormal cells)
My main concern is that she wants to treat the bacterial
part with Flagyl. I asked
exactly what I have and she said it is undetermined. She
and the doctor she
consults with, think Flagyl is no big deal...but I hate
taking any western medicine
unless it is necessary.
I have consulted with an acupuncturist, my friend in medical
school and the net.
All I can see is the dangers and side effects from this
drug (not to mention I will
need to wean my 2-year-old cold turkey). I know the bacteria
are capable of
causing breaking of the membranes, early delivery, underweight
I get that it is important to treat this...yet I cannot
find any support in doing this
holistically. Someone suggested oil of oregano, but that
seems to be harsh in
pregnancy. Can it be worse than Flagyl?!
I have been using a douche of 1 TBS myrrh, 3 TBS eucalyptus
and 4 TBS
goldenseal in the morning and alternate nights with good
yogurt and apple cider
vinegar. I am taking lots of different vitamins and also
acidophilus and flax caps.
I have given up sugar and caffeine completely.
Do you have any advice?!
I sure would at least like to try something more natural
and get a 2nd pap before
I agree to Flagyl.
Response: eat more yogurt
Here it is a week after you wrote and I wonder how you are
doing. I hope this
information is not too late.
I agree that Flagyl is a big deal. Many countries have banned
it. If not safe for
your two year old, how safe is it for you? (But, I will
admit to being concerned
that you are nursing while pregnant. That is not so healthy
for you either.)
Eat more yogurt. At least a cup a day of plain yogurt. Make
sure it does not
contain powered milk in any form (many health food varieties
does not). Additionally, use plain yogurt as an insertion
into your vagina for at
least ten days. If your husband is willing to help, he has
the best application :)
and that will insure that he is treated, too, and thus less
likely to reinfect you.
Meanwhile, take Echinacea tincture orally. A dose is one
drop for every two
pounds you weigh. Take the full dose every four hours for
two weeks. After
you are done inserting yogurt, insert a garlic clove vaginally
for at least a week.
Be prepared to reek of garlic when you do this (worse than
if you eat it).
And (yes, all these things at the same time) start drinking
red clover infusion to
stop those abnormal cells in their tracks. Red clover is
grown to give to pregnant
and lactating cows, so it is safe for you to use in a water
base. It has a powerful
reputation as a cancer killer.
Then, another pap smear. But let me say here that I am shocked
that your midwife
decided to act so quickly and with such harsh drugs. Pap
smears are known to
be misleading, and it is standard for a "bad"
one to be redone in six weeks to see
if it was a fluke or a real problem.
How far along in the pregnancy are you? Is the bacterial
infection so outrageous
that you are worried for your baby? Please do follow your
own intuition here
and do what you feel is the best for yourself and your children.
I thought douches were contraindicated if there was a bacterial
infection of the
vagina during pregnancy since that is one way to help the
bacteria into the uterus.
I believe the insertion remedies are far safer.
Green Blessings, Susun Weed
I'll make this short (and hopefully sweet). I am 18 weeks
pregnant. On the advice
of my midwife, I had an ultrasound 2 weeks ago, and they
found a fibroid.
Do you know of any herbal or nutritional treatments I could
use to help deteriorate
I am hoping to do a water birth and want to ensure that
the fibroid does not get
in the way. She said that if it grows too big, I may have
to do a caesarian birth. Yuck!
I really look up to you, all your accomplishments are amazing,
certainly bless the earth.
with love, in peace,
Susun's Response: here are some links
Lynne, You will want to read Susun's article on fibroids
You will also be interested to read the following articles
to help you:
Herbs for Fertility
Fertility After Forty
Herbal Allies for Pregnancy Problems
And, remember to always use herbs safely :
Sending love, Justine