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The 13 benefits of stinging nettles during pregnancy & postpartum

The 13 benefits of stinging nettles during pregnancy & postpartum

Are you wondering if stinging nettles are safe for you?

Imagine a daily tea that would nourish your body, soothe anxiety and stress, and help you sleep better.

It sounds so simple and it is!

Here’s a quick warning, always check with your doctor if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding or have any health concerns; especially taking diuretics.

Want to get started?

In this post, I’ll share how you can use stinging nettles during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and beyond.

But first, grab this freebie to feel more confident using herbs while breastfeeding

What are Stinging Nettles?

Stinging nettles or Urtica dioica is a common weed found in North America and is most commonly known for the sting you get when you walk by. It can be cooked and eaten in popular recipes like nettle soup or nettle cheese, but its sting disappears when you cook it.

If you happen to get the kiss of the nettles, you can always search for Plantago major nearby – chew it up and place it on the sting to soothe the burn.

Personally, I love the sting as it signifies the start of Spring and “wakes up” my immune system.

Stinging Nettle Treatment

If you’ve received the kiss from Stinging nettles, don’t worry.

  • Find Plantago major, otherwise known as plantain, chew in your mouth, and apply to the red, sting area
  • Within moments your sting will subside

13 Stinging Nettles Benefits

There are so many benefits of stinging nettles during pregnancy and postpartum.

Stinging nettles…

  1. are filled with vitamins A, C, K, and B
  2. has minerals of CA, Iron {helps fight fatigue}, and Mg {helps soothe the nervous system}
  3. may increase milk production
  4. decreases allergies when using the freeze-dried nettles
  5. decreases inflammation
  6. decreases blood pressure
  7. it controls blood sugar- have a cup with chocolate cake
  8. fights fatigue
  9. decreases the risk of iron-deficient anemia
  10. reduces pelvic congestion
  11. reduce caffeine and sugar cravings
  12. prevents osteoporosis
  13. prevents varicosities

So, Are nettles safe while nursing?

  • Stinging Nettles are considered a Level 1 herb by the German Commission E. and is safe while breastfeeding and during pregnancy

My favorite tea for breastfeeding moms is Earth Mama Milkmaid Tea which includes Stinging Nettles

Earth mama milkmaid tea ingredients:
Organic Fenugreek (Trigonella Foenum-graecum) Seed, Organic Fennel (Foeniculum Vulgare) Seed, Organic Red Raspberry (Rubus Idaeus) Leaf, Organic Stinging Nettle (Urtica Dioica) Leaf, Organic Milk Thistle (Silybum Marianum) Seed, Organic Orange (Citrus Sinensis) Peel, Organic Anise (Pimpinella Anisum) Seed, Organic Caraway (Carum Carvi) Seed, Organic Alfalfa (Medicago Sativa) Leaf

3 Ways to use Stinging Nettles

—-

#1 Postpartum Stinging Nettle Tea

If you love making teas yourself, here is my favorite recipe for women of all ages.

Postpartum Tea Blend

Ingredients

  • 1 part Chamomile tea
  • 1 part Stinging Nettles
  • 1 part Milky Oat Tops
  • 1/4 part Lavender Buds

Instructions

  1. Place 1 tbs. of herbs in a cup.
  2. Cover with 1 cup of water.
  3. Steep for 5-10 minutes covered.
  4. Add in raw honey.
  5. Add a tincture if you need more
  6. Tincture for breastfeeding: Skullcap
  7. Not breastfeeding: Valerian {see links below}
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
https://taragregorio.com/the-13-benefits-of-stinging-nettles-during-pregnancy-and-postpartum/

#2 Stinging Nettle Supplement for allergies

One of the benefits of Stinging Nettles is for seasonal allergies.

If you struggle with allergies, consider taking the Freeze-dried stinging nettles in a supplement form to reduce your allergies naturally.

#3 Stinging Nettle Tincture

I prefer to drink Stinging Nettles for all the vitamins & minerals, but you may want to use it as a tincture as well.

How to use stinging nettles for postpartum depression

Conclusion

Stinging nettles is one of the most beneficial botanicals to nourish our body with vitamins and minerals and ease the everyday stress of motherhood. Taken as a tea, you’ll notice the soothing effects immediately.

I hope you grow to love nettles as much as I do.

Have you tried Stinging Nettles? Let us know

xo

Tara

P.S. Are you a mom who loves natural remedies? Grab this freebie to feel confident using herbs while nursing 👇

 

How to use herbs while breastfeeding without fear – 4 simple steps

How to use herbs while breastfeeding without fear – 4 simple steps

Are you wondering how you can use natural remedies while nursing without worry?

It all boils down to four things.

In this post, I’ll cover the four simple steps you can take to use herbal medicine without fear during the nursing years.

But don’t forget, always check with your doctor before taking herbal medicine.

So, what’s the secret? Follow these four simple steps.

#1 Do you have any allergies?

  • If you or your child’s father has a known allergy, stay away from these botanicals.
  • For example… Chamomile is the safest herb to take while breastfeeding, BUT if you have an allergy to the daisy or Asteraceae family avoid this botanical and the other herbs in its family altogether.

#2 Are you taking medications?

  • If you’re taking medication, you always want to check with your doctor before adding in botanicals.
  • For example, if you’re taking SSRIs, the biggest herb/drug interaction may be St. John’s Wort.
  • You would never want to take a botanical for which you are already taking conventional medication.

#3 Botanicals to avoid while nursing

There are botanicals you may want to avoid while nursing. Keep in mind, this is not a complete list but it will help you feel a bit more comfortable.

Some of the herbs on the list are not safe to take internally, but you may see they are suggested externally; like comfrey root for cracked nipples.

And, some of the herbs like Lemon Balm – will not hurt your child, but will affect the taste of the milk.

And lastly, some women have taken St. John’s Wort for postpartum depression; even though it is a Level 2/3 botanical.

For a complete list of herbs to avoid, DOWNLOAD this PDF

#4 Safe Natural Remedies While Nursing

Then you’ll want to know which herbs are safe to take while nursing.

Here are five references for herbal medicine safety while breastfeeding.

In Dr. Aviva Romm’s book, Botanical Medicine of Women’s Health – they break down a handful of botanicals and their safety.

LACTATION RISK CATEGORIES

  • L1 Safest – No adverse effect observed in infants of lactating motherspostpartumdepression L2 Safer – Limited studies demonstrate no increased risk
  • L3 Moderately Safe – No controlled studies in breastfeeding women or controlled studies
    demonstrate minimal adverse effects
  • L4 Possible Risk – Positive evidence of risk but benefits may make the risk acceptable
  • L5 Contraindicated – Significant documented risk.

 

The safest thing to do is try one herb at a time and wait and see.

You’re looking for adverse reactions in your child.

What are adverse reactions?

  • any changes in your child’s skin color
  • any allergic reactions
  • if they fall asleep – when it’s not nap time. This has happened with valerian root.
  • if they’re fussy, colicky, or unusually uncomfortable

Stop taking the botanical and wait.

Typically, when you’re child is three months or older their liver is able to process all medications and it’s a safe time to introduce Level 1 botanicals.

In a nutshell, you’ll want to know which herbs are safe to take internally versus externally and the lactation risk categories determined by studies. {pubmed is a good source}

Then decide if you want to take the herb as a tea, tincture, or externally for mastitis or cracked nipples.

xo

Tara

P.S. Are you a mom who loves natural remedies? Grab this freebie to feel confident using herbs while nursing 👇

 

 

Ashwagandha while breastfeeding

Ashwagandha while breastfeeding

Wondering how to use Ashwagandha while breastfeeding?

Ashwagandha, or Withania somnifera, native to India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and part of Africa; has become very popular in the past year; possibly due to Covid and all the stress we’ve endured.

It’s the ONE botanical, that helped me shift out of postpartum depression as it is an adaptogen; helps us adapt to stress.

So, How do you take Ashwagandha? It’s simple, let me show you how.

In this post, I’ll share the benefits of using Ashwagandha, dosing, and safety concerns.

Let’s get started. But first, If you’re breastfeeding – grab this freebie to learn about the safe herbs for you and your baby.

 

Ashwagandha Benefits for Women

  • Bitter, warm, and dry, Ashwagandha is best known for its calming effects without sedating you. That means, you can take it in the morning and you won’t feel groggy all day.
  • But, you can also take it at night if you wake and cannot go back to sleep.
  • Known to give you the strength and stamina of a stallion, it will enhance your sleep so that you wake up feeling more rested than before.
  • In Ayurveda, it’s considered a Rasayana; “one of the herbs that reportedly promotes youth and longevity and alleviates suffering”.¹
  • David Winston adds: “It’s known to prolong your life, stimulate your mind and enhance vigor and sexual prowess”. ²

Ashwagandha While Breastfeeding

  • It’s considered safe for breastfeeding. Lactation Category C or compatible with breastfeeding by Mills & Bones ³
  • It can re-regulate the thyroid & adrenal glands {a common concern postpartum} Better for hypothyroidism.
  • It’s effective in helping if you have anxiety, fatigue, cloudy thinking, and insomnia
  • It’s rich in iron and can be used to treat iron deficiency when taken as a powder * see below
  • It can relieve muscle pain and cloudy thinking

Perfect for moms, don’t you think?

Feeling like motherhood is too much? Ashwagandha can help. Click To Tweet

Ashwagandha Dosing

Dosing and Safety:

  • Tincture; Take 30-40 drops; 3x day
  • Capsules: 400-500 mg capsule; 2x day
  • Powder: Take 1 tsp. in warm milk with ghee at night for a good night’s rest

Is Ashwagandha Safe?

  • Mills & Bones suggest no warnings or precautions with Withania, but at high doses, you may get gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea, or vomiting.

David Winston suggests:

  • avoid using the herb if you’re sensitive to plants in the nightshade family – but this could be a case-by-case situation
  • Do not use the powder internally if you have excess iron
  • He also suggests avoiding the use if you have hyperthyroidism, as Ashwagandha can increase T4 and maybe T3

David Winston also suggests avoiding it during pregnancy. Still, Mills & Bones consider it a Category B1: Studies in animals have not shown evidence of an increase in the occurrence of fetal damage. So, it’s a bit confusing if you’re pregnant and want to try Withania.

  • Also, caution may be needed if you have auto-immune conditions as it increases T1 activity.
  • How do you know an herb is safe while breastfeeding? Read this post:

How to use herbs while breastfeeding without fear – 4 simple steps

Ashwagandha Powder

  • Ashwagandha is commonly available as a churna, a finely sieved powder that can be mixed with water, ghee (clarified butter), or honey. ⁴
  • In India, the Ashwagandha powder was traditionally used in milk and taken at night to help you sleep better.
    • The popular company Apothekary, has made this easier for us to integrate once again.

Is Ashwagandha Safe While Breastfeeding?

The popular researchers; Simon Mills & Kerry Bones list Ashwagandha as a Lactation category C; Yes, compatible with breastfeeding.

Withania is used to promote lactation in Ayurvedic medicine and the traditional medicine of south-east Asia. – Mills & Bones

  • * Powder Dosing: 1 tsp. of Withania powder may be given 2x day with milk for insufficient lactation. ³
  • Dr. Aviva Romm also suggests it’s a Level 1; the safest herb to be used during lactation in her book Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health. ⁵

When to take Ashwagandha

  • For my moms who are breastfeeding, I always suggest trying one herb at a time to see how you and your baby respond. If it’s safe, you can take it as a blended tincture with motherwort to ease stress.
  • I prefer taking tinctures, but have just explored the powdered version and enjoy it in my hot cocoa or coffee!

Conclusion

Ashwagandha is considered a Level 1 or safe while breastfeeding, unless you have hyperthyroidism you may want to choose another adaptogen. It’s calming, but not sedating so you can take it any time of day. Traditionally, it was used as a powder, but I enjoy using it as a tincture 2-3x day. It’s considered an adaptogen, so it can help take you out of the “fight or flight” response and help ease tension and stress. As always, check with your doctor before adding any new botanicals to your diet.

I’d love to know your thoughts.

Have you tried Ashwagandha? Let us know below in the comment area💕

xo

Tara

P.S. Are you looking for a complete resource for safe, effective herbal remedies for the breastfeeding years? Grab the 26 Breastfeeding remedies for just $11.

 

 

 

References

References

¹ http://herbalgram.org/resources/herbalgram/issues/99/table-of-contents/hg99-herbprofile-ashwagandha/

  • ¹ Romm M.D., Dr. Aviva; Hormone Intelligence pg. 34
  • ² Winston, David & Maimes, Steven (2007); Adaptogens Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief. Healing Arts Press.
  • ³ Romm, Aviva, (2014): Botanical medicine for women’s health. Churchill Livingston.
  • Upton, Roy; Bear, Soaring, Winton, David; Gagnon, Daniel; Romm, Aviva Jill; Low Dog, Tieraona; Hardy, Mary; Craker, Lyle. Botanical Safety Handbook, Second edition (2013). CRC Press.
  • ⁴ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3252722/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK501905/
4 Galactagogues to increase your milk supply

4 Galactagogues to increase your milk supply

Are you a mom looking to increase your milk supply naturally?

As a momma of twins, I attempted to breastfeed for 3 weeks but had to stop due to recurring mastitis.

One of the key factors to increase your milk supply is to restore your nervous system. Along with galactagogues, you’ll want to add in nervines and adaptogens to soothe your stress as a new mom.

In this video, I share the 4 botanicals you want to take to boost your milk supply, along with herbs to help soothe your nervous system. Click below to watch.

4 Galactagogues to Boost your Milk Supply

Along with the botanicals, make sure you reach out to a lactation consultant to ensure you’re child has a good latch.

Worried about using herbs during the breastfeeding years? Grab this freebie to feel confident today!

4 Herbs to Boost Your Milk Supply

#1 Marshmallow root tea

You can purchase marshmallow root {I like www.mountainroseherbs.com} bring to a boil and simmer covered for 20 minutes. This also soothes your gut lining and aids digestion.

#2 Oats and barley

Add oatmeal and barley to your diet to ease digestion and boost milk supply.

#3 Hops

Purchase hops as a tincture and add it to water to take daily

#4 Fenugreek

Look for mother’s milk tea or take a tincture or supplement.

mothers milk

4 herbs to Promote relaxation when nursing

  • Lavender
  • Motherwort
  • Chamomile
  • Blue vervain

xo

Tara

P.S. Are you a mom who loves natural remedies? Grab this freebie to feel confident using herbs while nursing.

 

16 Herbs every breastfeeding mom should know about

16 Herbs every breastfeeding mom should know about

Wondering how to use herbs safely while nursing?

Botanicals can be a beautiful addition to the breastfeeding years and help you shift into each season with grace and ease.

In this post, I’m going to share my favorite herbal remedies to help you navigate the various symptoms you’ll experience while breastfeeding and which botanicals are safe for you.

So, the #1 question moms always want to know is…

What do I drink to increase my breastmilk?

  • Galactagogues are the main category of herbs you’ll want to include to boost your milk supply.
  • But, keep in mind, that you’ll also want to address your stress as this can also decrease your milk supply.
  • So, if you’re experiencing a decrease in milk consider adding in the botanicals I suggest AND work on decreasing your stress.

The first 12 botanicals are to boost your milk supply.

12 Galactagogues Herbs To Increase Your Milk Supply

  1. Marshmallow Root (Althea Officinalis)lactation
  2. Dill (Anethum graveolum)
  3. Oats (Avena sativa) A cup of oatmeal every morning may help soothe digestion and increase milk supply!
  4. Caraway (Carum carvi)
  5. Blessed thistle (Cnicus benefictus)
  6. Fennel Seed (Foeniculum vulgare)
  7. Goat’s rue (Galega officinalis)
  8. Barley (Hordeum vlugare)
  9. Hops (Humulus lupulus)
  10. Anise seed (not Star anise) Pimpinella anisum
  11. Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)
  12. Chaste berry (Vitex angus castus)

{Pin the image to make the recipe}

How do you boost your milk supply naturally?

Here are 4 little steps…

  1. Try eating oatmeal in the morning
  2. Make Lactation cookies. Recipe here or Bars here
  3. Drink tea of stinging nettles and milky oat tops or purchase our lady of la Leche here https://amzn.to/3ArnZRL
    1. or Earth mama milkmaid tea here>https://amzn.to/3R5DNPN
  4. Allow time for YOU. I know, I know.. don’t laugh. It’s important to try to figure out HOW you can relax while raising children:)

Too much milk? Try these herbs to decrease your milk supply.

This is a lot to take in. Are you wondering which botanicals are safe for breastfeeding? Swipe my favorite remedies here to learn about all of them.

Adaptogens while breastfeeding

  • Adaptogens are a category of herbs that help us “adapt” to stress. They are life-changing for the momma struggling with the baby blues or PPD or just the daily stresses of raising a family.
  • The #1 Adaptogen that is safe to take while breastfeeding is Ashwagandha. {along with Tulsi and Stinging Nettles as well}
  • For a complete list of adaptogens while breastfeeding see this post: https://taragregorio.com/8-must-have-adaptogens-for-breastfeeding-moms/

——–

Ashwagandha while Breastfeeding

#13 Ashwagandha Tincture (Withania somnifera)

  • Known as a Category 1, safe adaptogen during breastfeeding, Ashwagandha can help reduce stress and ease the anxiety that mothers often experience.

Read more about it here:

Ashwagandha while breastfeeding

Mastitis is another common challenge moms have when nursing. My favorite remedy for mastitis is a homeopathic remedy called Phytolacca.

5 Symptoms of Mastitis

  • fever as high as 104
  • local redness, hard tender inflamed area
  • chills
  • achiness
  • exhaustion

#14 Phytolacca for Mastitis

Phytolacca 30C

  • Phytolacca Symptoms: “For sore, cracked nipples, which hurt when the baby nurses. One of the most commonly used remedies for mastitis, especially where the pains radiate from the affected area and the breast is hard and lumpy. The patient may feel heavy with flu-like symptoms, or may have a breast abscess threatening.” ¹
  • Along with Echinacea, this helped resolve the inflammation within minutes when I had mastitis. If you’re having these symptoms, consider Phytolacca as a remedy. Click here to purchase.
  • Dosing: Take 2 tablets, wait 20 minutes, take another 2 and you should see improvement.

Read this post for natural remedies for mastitis:

5 Natural remedies for mastitis

The next two botanicals you can use EXTERNALLY to heal ANY skin cuts, scrapes or wounds; even for your children!

#15 Calendula Externally

Botanicals For Sore, Cracked Nipples

  • Calendula is a beautiful botanical for sore, cracked nipples and for diaper rash!.
  • Calendula is used topically and EXTERNALLY for the treatment of minor inflammations of the skin. Typically used as an oil or salve. Apply to cracked, dry nipples to prevent infection and soothe inflammation and wipe thoroughly before breastfeeding.
  • Caution: The oil or salve may stain clothing and although there are no known risks with minimal ingestion, wipe off your nipple before breastfeeding again.

#16 Chamomile Externally

  • The German Commission E. approves chamomile for the use of skin inflammation and bacterial skin diseases. Chamomile Matricaria oil has demonstrated activity against Candida albicans at the concentration of .7%.¹ {think thrush!}
  • Taking preventative steps to support your immune system, rest, and applying an herbal salve will prevent cracked nipples which may increase your risk of mastitis.
  • Chamomile is safe to drink as tea as well to help soothe your nerves and help reduce bloating that may occur for you and your baby. Keep in mind, if you or your baby’s father has an allergy to Chamomile you’ll want to avoid this botanical.

>>>Euphorical Herbals has amazing products for your time of breastfeeding.

Additional tips to reduce cracked nipples

  • Ensure proper latching
  • If nipples are sore or cracked, gently rinse and pat dry after each feeding
  • Avoid the use of breast pads, when possible, and spend time without a bra
  • Wash nursing bras regularly to avoid infection
  • Treat oral thrush in the newborn with yogurt and probiotics to prevent the spread to the nipple. You can coat the inside of your baby’s mouth with yogurt or offer them an infant probiotic. Mom can take one as well!
  • Apply an herbal salve several times a day after nursing and wipe off before nursing again
  • When there is an infection, use an antimicrobial – like Echinacea internally – to support the mother’s immune system

Herbs For Plugged Ducts & Mastitis

Milk ducts can become inflamed, tender, and distended creating a ‘plugged duct’.

In mastitis, the plugged duct is accompanied by infection and fever.

 

Bonus: Breastfeeding and a natural remedy for the common cold

Echinacea Tincture Internally breastfeeding remedies

Boost your immunity with Echinacea tincture. In Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Years, Susan Weed recommends a dose of a 1/2 drop for every pound of body weight (so a 130 lb woman would take 65 drops/day) for mastitis, but you can also take Echinacea for the common cold, flu, and sore throat as well!

 

Conclusion

Botanicals can provide great support during the breastfeeding years to reduce medications and save your child’s gut health. I found great comfort in these remedies when I was trying to breastfeed twins!

Stress is one of the most overlooked pieces of the puzzle during postpartum time. It’s important to learn how to soothe your nervous system now, so when you begin weaning you have many botanicals to reach for to help you through the transition of motherhood. I teach you how on my Youtube channel @tarajgregorio.

I’d love to know if you’ve tried any of these botanicals. Write in the comment area if you have any questions at all and I’ll be sure to get back to you. 👇 {looking for references? see below 💕}

xo

Tara

P.S. Are you looking for a complete resource for mastitis, boost milk supply, the common cold, and more! Grab this template for just $11 to get started.

 

 


References

  • https://www.homeopathycenter.org/breastfeeding
  • https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/Breastfeeding/Pages/Benefits-of-Breastfeeding.aspx https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/115/2/496.full
  • https://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastfeed/herbs/fenugreek/
  • Romm M.D., Dr. Aviva; Hormone Intelligence pg. 34
  • Winston, David & Maimes, Steven (2007); Adaptogens Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief. Healing Arts Press.
  • Romm, Aviva, (2014): Botanical medicine for women’s health. Churchill Livingston. Upton, Roy; Bear, Soaring, Winton, David; Gagnon, Daniel; Romm, Aviva Jill; Low Dog, Tieraona; Hardy, Mary; Craker, Lyle. Botanical Safety Handbook, Second edition (2013). CRC Press.
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