Herbs for Your Reproductive Tract

by Paula Youmell, RN

Herbs are amazing, healing tools because herbs are whole foods.  Whole foods nourish each and every cell in your body. 

Whole food eating means feeding our bodies the way nature intended.  This means eating foods in their natural state, as close to the perfectly “whole” state in which nature provides them.  This also means following the natural growing seasons and eating more foods that are locally grown and produced, in season. Whole food nutrition is eating in balance, which in turn keeps the body in balance.  Foods grown naturally develop with the right proportion of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats intended for that particular food.  They contain balanced vitamins, minerals, phyto-nutrients, and enzymes. This natural balance for each food ensures that the body can properly utilize the nutrients. 

The effects of moving away from our whole food diet and eating a refined, processed, and convenience food diet are very prevalent in our society.  (Ask me for my educational handout titled Whole Food Eating for an easy introduction to healing body cells with whole food nutrition, pyoumell@gmail.com)

One of the biggest tragedies of human civilization is the precedents of chemical therapy over nutrition.  It is substitution of artificial therapy over natural, of poison over food, in which we are feeding people poisons trying to correct the reactions of starvation.    Dr. Royal Lee

As a culture, we have created the same scenario with our healing medicines, including those for healing the female body.  We have moved away from whole, natural medicines to the processed, refined, factory made pharmaceuticals that upset balance in the human body.  Just as refined, factory made food products upset the body’s natural balance.

Herbs, whether ingested as a medicinal infusion, taken as a tincture or in any other form of herbal medicine, are whole foods.  The nutrients in the herbs: vitamins, minerals, phyto-nutrients, and the nutrients yet to be discovered, are utilized by the body cells to cleanse, nourish, and heal each and every body cell.  Herbs specific for the female reproductive tract are nourishing to the reproductive organ’s cells.

So often we get the message from main stream media and medicine:  Do NOT use herbs as they are potentially dangerous.  This is as crazy as saying that eating beets, apples, or any other natural, whole food is potentially dangerous.

When we eat a beet, an apple, some broccoli, or any whole food, our body digests and absorbs the nutrients in the whole food to nourish our cellular health.  The same process of digestion and assimilation of nutrients happens with herbs.  Herbs are whole food; herbs are healing medicine.

Herbs are plants (leaf, root, stems, bark, berries, seeds), like a beet or an apple, that have nutritional and healing properties with affinities for certain tissues.

Stinging-Nettle-Image

Herbs for female health are many and each has its own healing purpose.  Used in combination, they create powerful healing energy in the female body.

Some excellent female healing herbs are:

  • Stinging nettles
  • Red raspberry leaf
  • Wild yam
  • Chaste tree berry
  • Motherwort
  • Red clover flower
  • False unicorn root
  • Passion flower
  • Don quai root
  • Wild carrot
  • Ginger
  • Blue and Black cohosh
  • Squaw vine
  • Black haw
  • Yarrow
  • Pennyroyal
  • Mugwort
  • Partridge vine

These herbs balance female hormones, tone and heal the female organs, and add nutrients to every cell in your body.

A simple healing tea I used to make for my roommate, many years ago before I had become a certified herbalist, to ease her menstrual cramps:  chamomile tea with 30 drops of black or blue cohosh tincture.  When she moved into her own apartment, just up the street, she would call me every month and ask me to bring her a jar of this cramp relief tea.

For specifics on which herbs to use for your personal needs, contact an herbalist in your area.  In the Potsdam, NY area?  Give me a shout.

Herbs for healing other organs: (Just to remind you how amazing herbs really are!)

  • Saw palmetto for the prostate
  • Hawthorne berry for the heart
  • Rhubarb root for the colon
  • Milk thistle for the liver
  • Nettle as a general nutritive herb (Yes, I truly love nettles!)
  • Dandelion and burdock root for liver cleansing and nourishment

The list of herbs and the cells / organs they nourish goes on and on.  These are just a very few example of herbs and the cells / organ they have affinities to nourish and promote healing. This healing action happens because the herb adds whole food nutrition to your body cells.  This is the same thing a beet does; feeds your body cells.

Stinging nettles are my favorite herb!  Nettles are a power house of nutrition and healing energy for the whole body.  I add nettles to every combination herbal formula I create. Use nettles in your female healing remedies!

With that said, I recommend you read up on the herb you want to ingest for its nourishing, medicinal abilities.  Learn about the herb and its healing affinities before you make the decision to take it.  Contact your local herbalist for help in choosing the right herb or blend of herbs to add to your whole food dietary plan to promote personal health and healing.

Words from a happy client that demonstrates my point about herbs and whole body healing; that body cells are nourished by ingesting herbs:

Thanks Paula! The herbs you recommended for my peri-menopausal symptoms have really helped! No more migraines, moodiness, or horrible night sweats. After years of challenging health symptoms, I am very happy to be healing with whole foods, including female healing herbs.  Sherry B.

Herbs are whole foods.  Use them wisely for healing your female energy and whole body healing.  Blessings of health, Paula

Red clover flower and Red raspberry leave, combined with my favorite herb: Stinging nettles, are the three herbs I recommend for a fertility infusion to drink daily.

Paula Youmell is an RN, author, holistic healer, and blogger who thrives in northern NY State, USA.  Learn more about her healing lifestyle at www.HandsOnHealthHH.com, http://www.wholefoodhealer.com, or http://www.wisewomenredtent.com

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Filed under and Hormone Cycle, blood, growing up, healing, Infertility, Menopause, menstruation, miscarriage, mooncycle, motherhood, PMS, Reproductive Health, sex

Ablation, Shhh, Things We do Not Talk About

by Paula M. Youmell, R.N.

Ablation is removal of material from the surface of an object by vaporization, chipping, or other erosive processes.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ablation). This definition alone, erosive processes??, would make me shudder and stop to think about what was being recommended for my body, my precious uterus.

“Stop your heavy period and restore your life” is NovaSure’s advertising hype for uterine ablation.  Wow, my life needs restoring because I bleed?  Really?  Then, the opening paragraph on the NovaSure’s website is a scary patriarchal mindset, PMS as Wise Woman Susun Weed aptly calls it.

Heavy bleeding is a symptom that there is an imbalance in a woman’s body.  Eroding the endometrium will not heal this imbalance.  Correcting the imbalance will heal the heavy bleeding and prevent more complex female health problems down the road of life.

Youmell

I am an RN and Holistic Health Educator and Healer.  I worked in Maternal Child Nursing for 12 years before leaving to focus on Wise Women centered care; holistic health education and healing.

I first heard of this uterine ablation while sitting at my healing table working with a beautiful female soul.  She told me she had this procedure 10 years prior, at age 32!  I then gently said, “Wait, what? Please explain that to me again.”  I was shocked to say the least but maintained my compassionate energy.

When I removed myself from standard medical care, I lost tract of new procedures created to “solve women’s issues.”  Consequently, I am paying attention again, not to recommend the procedures, but to support women in healing and avoiding such procedures.

Not wanting to make her feel bad for her choice; I opened my ears, heart, and soul and listened to her story.  I was amazed and frustrated at how she was convinced that burning away the inside of her uterus, the endometrium, was just the thing she needed to do to solve all her womanly problems.

I have since heard this story, many times over, and it breaks my heart.  Red tents are needed in every community to remind women of the wisdom of their own body, to listen and hear what the symptoms of heavy bleeding are struggling to tell them.

My wish is to be able to support women in these situations.  By sitting with them, listening to their “her-stories,” and helping them to unravel the causes of the menstrual symptoms.  The body will heal when we remove the cause(s) of the health symptoms and nourish the body back to health with nourishing, Wise Woman supported, life giving choices.  Lifestyle changes centered on whole food eating, whole health living, and herbs to nourish and heal the woman’s beautiful female organs and her entire body, every cell in her body, would be how I would create a Red Tent for every woman I am blessed to support on their healing paths.

_________

Bio:  Paula M. Youmell is an RN, author, and Wise Woman Holistic Health Educator and Healer in Northern NY state.  Find her at  www.HandsOnHealthHH.comwww.WholeFoodHealer.com, and  www.wisewomenredtent.com.

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Filed under menstruation, Reproductive Health

Making fun of a disease?

by Vida

“Ha, ha! Look at her, she has a disease! Ha, ha! What, does she have pain from her disease? Oh, how hilarious that she has a disease! OMG, that’s SO disgusting! How embarrassing it must be to have a disease! If she is not ashamed of her disease, then she should be!”

launch_ribbon_cutting_small

You would never say that, would you? It sounds so absurd and repulsive, that it was hard to even write!

Now replace the word disease with the word period…!

For all of you that have ever made fun of a lady for menstruating, are “grossed out” by periods, or avoided the topic when a loved one needed you, because of your distorted “feelings” about menstruation, you should really take a few minutes to THINK about what you are doing and educate yourself more about menstruation, please. Your mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, daughter, and every woman you know, have known, or will know has or will menstruate! And she will have her period for approximately a week out of every month, for 40 years of her life!

For those understanding, loving, wonderful supporters, we thank you, on behalf of every woman that will ever grace the planet!

Without menstruation, none of us would even exist! Isn’t it time for the “P” word to be as openly discussed as topics that were just recently “taboo”, such as breast disease and same sex marriage? Isn’t it time that we start being more knowledgeable and understanding, as we do all co-exist and menstruation is here to stay, if mankind is going to continue!?!

Isn’t it time for your daughter, sister, wife, and mother to have a proud period, instead of being ashamed of her God given ability to co-create a human life? We know it is! And if you are honest and decent, then so do you!

Please be understanding and educated, so that life on planet earth will be better for everyone! And if you want to, please take The Period Pride Pledge by Period PantEEZ at http://www.periodpride.org !

For more information on menstruation, please visit us at http://www.periodpanteez.com

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My Mother Told Me…

What messages did your mother give you about being a Woman?
What messages are you offering your daughter about being a Woman?
What legacy would you like to pass-on Today’s Girls?

Help me celebrate Mother’s Day! Join us in the virtual “Red Tent” for a special episode of Red Tent TV featuring a provocative conversation with Dr. Isadora & her mother (Teresa Moorehouse) as they give you their answers to the questions above.


This video was originally created for the ‘Red Tents In Every Neighborhood’ 2nd Annual World Summit. The Global Summit’ drew more than 5,000 women from all over the world during February 2015, and featured speakers from the U.S.A, Spain, Germany, U.K, Italy, Ireland, Israel, New Zealand, and Australia. Participants from around the world felt transformed, inspired, and ready to start a Red Tent in their neighborhood – as a result of the summit!

After you’ve watched the episode, I’d love to know…How would you answer the above questions.

If you liked this video, subscribe to our channel & sign up for our free weekly episodes of Red Tent TV at http://www.redtent.tv/

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Filed under "things we don't talk about", coming of age, daughter, DeAnna L'am, From the filmmaker, grandmother, growing up, Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost, mother, motherhood, parenting, red tent, red tent film, red tent movie, Red Tent TV, Red Tents in Every Neighborhood

Women’s History and the Red Tent Movement: Provocative Questions at Georgia Screenings

by Jayleigh Lewis

From Latin American countries to college campuses, March 2015 was a lively month for screenings of the Red Tent movie, Things We Don’t Talk About. On March 5th, the film came to Harvard University’s Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, while on the 12th a screening was hosted by the Feminist Collective of Northeastern Illinois University. A hemisphere away, the Parque de la Herradura Barrio Miraflores in Cali, Colombia, was the site of another screening on March 15; on March 28th the movie came to Talca, Chile, and the Casa de la Luna.

It is fitting that for Women’s History Month (celebrated every March in the U.S.) the movie traveled so widely and was embraced by those seeking to preserve and understand the story of the role of women in the world. The Red Tent movement continues to grow, to define its place in women’s history. It both complements and enhances other women’s movements of the present and past. The movie, as a readily accessible icon of the movement, inspires questions that help to clarify the unique contributions of the Red Tent.

March 27 in Canton, GA, hosted by the Youniquely Woman Red Tent community

March 27 in Canton, GA, hosted by the Youniquely Woman Red Tent community

Dr. Isadora, the filmmaker, attended two screenings in Georgia this past March, at which these questions took center stage. The first was on March 27 in Canton, GA, hosted by the Youniquely Woman Red Tent community. This dedicated group of women has been meeting monthly for about a year in a permanent Red Tent located in the home of Crystal Starshine. Since Canton is a rural community located in the hill country north of Atlanta, some women have a commute of over an hour! This screening, which included a potluck meal and a Red Tent talking circle, was attended by about 10 women; overall, it was relaxed and low-key. The talking circle was an opportunity for honest, open conversation and healing. Dr. Isadora particularly enjoyed the informal feel of the post-screening Q + A—instead of standing in front of the group as a presenter, she sat in a circle with the women and engaged in an intimate, collaborative conversation about the movie and the Red Tent. (An interesting anecdote: Dr. Isadora dreamed about attending this screening a few days before her arrival. When she shared this with Crystal, who, among other things, is a professional psychic, the two speculated that perhaps they had been unconsciously in communication prior to the event. A possible reason for the comfort and ease Dr. Isadora felt?)

March 28, in Atlanta. The First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta

March 28, in Atlanta. The First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta

The second Georgia screening took place the next day, March 28, in Atlanta. The First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta, an independent philosophical and spiritual community, co-hosted and provided the space. Also co-hosting were Charis Books (one of the first feminist bookstores in the U.S.) and Charis Circle, the educational and nonprofit arm of the bookstore. This screening was well-attended, with about 50 people present. Two of the attendees, Mary Ann and Drea, are good friends of Dr. Isadora and longtime supporters of the Red Tent movie; they were instrumental in arranging this screening. (They also partnered with Dr. Isadora a couple years ago to host the largest screening to date of Things We Don’t Talk About: it was sold out with approximately 250 women present!) Mary Ann is actually featured in the movie, speaking about her choice not to have children.

This screening’s audience was composed largely of politically active women, many of whom had been involved in consciousness raising groups in the 60s and 70s. They were keenly interested in issues of feminism and how feminist values are represented in the movie. Some tough, thought-provoking questions were asked during the Q + A. Dr. Isadora was kept on her toes as the questions brought out the scholar in her and invited everyone present to truly think about issues such as diversity within the Red Tent movement. Is the movement truly welcoming to all women everywhere, or does it only (perhaps unconsciously) reach a subset of women? Are the women portrayed in the movie truly representative of the larger Red Tent movement? Whose stories aren’t being told? Does the Red Tent movement acknowledge its debt to other women’s movements, particularly those of the past and the work of older feminists?

These questions can be answered in many ways, and the larger discussion is ongoing. On this particular occasion, the women and Dr. Isadora, through honest discussion, concluded that the Red Tent movement is indeed growing in diversity and that it crosses many racial, social, and religious boundaries. The movie was filmed in 2009 and 2010 and provides a snapshot of the movement during those years. Between then and now, the movement has spread and now embraces, for example, women who primarily speak Spanish or French (the movie is subtitled in those languages) and whose native cultures are very different from the English-speaking Caucasian women who are well represented in the movie.

While the film does not overtly address connections between the Red Tent movement and the larger women’s movement, since its focus is on the Red Tent, these connections very much exist, and Dr. Isadora believes that Red Tents represent what women want now. Each wave of feminism brought with it much-needed changes in women’s lives, sometimes in an attempt to rebalance the effects of previous changes. We are now in the third wave of feminism, when women are realizing that the stress of “having it all” (family, work, etc.) is causing them to become alienated from themselves and each other. The Red Tent, Dr. Isadora believes, brings women back to themselves and brings back women’s community.

What do you think about these crucial questions? If you have seen the Red Tent movie, do you think it accurately represents women and women’s communities? How would you add your voice to the discussion?

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Filed under "things we don't talk about", Jayleigh Lewis, recent screenings, red tent, red tent film, red tent movie, The Red Tent, The Red Tent Movement

My feminine winter {a menstrual story}

by Gabriella Guglielminotti Trivel

The appeal of my inner winter

Last week I was waiting for my feminine cycle to start and I was doing my best to enjoy the end of my feminine autumn; at the same time I was really looking forward to experiencing my feminine winter. My winter inner season is the moment when I enjoy the most the connection with my soul and can experience delightful moments of inner peace and bliss. I have always appreciated the time of the month when I bleed, even when I was younger and unaware of my inner seasons and its different energies, but now that I am conscious of what happens to me every month on an energetic, emotional and psychological level, I wait for my winters with trepidation for all the goodies that
come with it.

Last Thursday I could feel that my autumn was coming to an end and I could feel that it was a question of hours. I was calmly waiting for the moment of release and bliss that happens almost every month. As my awareness has developed so much these days, I can tell from so many physical signs that I am approaching the moment of my winter. It is such a joy to follow my body closely.

As my last days of autumn had been a bit agitated and intense, I was anticipating in my mind the wonderful moment of feeling liberated and released of the inner tension and being able to emotionally, psychologically and physically expand in my body and inner being. I can tell in the last hour or so that my mind becomes quieter and I start feeling more positive and calmer, as calm as I am after a two weeks’ holiday! When that happens I know that my only duty is paying close attention to everything that shows up in my mind, body and spirit especially in my dreams. It is like having an inner party where everything is allowed and I am the only participant where I can dictate my rules and have fun … I appreciate my time on my own even more than normal and feel sacred in a way that I don’t feel in any other time of the month. I become a goddess and respect my authority. My inner voice becomes very loud and assertive and I start having insight after insight after insight about myself, life, my relationships, my behaviour, my decisions, etc.

Out of space and time …

I like feeling spaced out and not totally connected with everybody around me and every day life. I allow myself to expand and experience a different dimension: my dimension! I do my best to listen to my body impulses and follow them, like eating, sleeping, resting, meditating and do certain activities that are more introspective like writing, walking in nature, being idle and allowing the mind to flow … One of the most nurturing thing for me is sitting in the sun and basking like a cat allowing all my muscles to relax feeling the warmth of the sun slowly going into my skin and body.

I love flying and this time is even more magical when I am in my winter, but I allow my partner to be the pilot in charge and fly me, so that I can enjoy the landscape and allow my spirit to expand and dream among the clouds! I have learnt to go with the flow of my winter and respect it, instead of being annoyed because I can’t remember things, words, I tend to be late, drop things and nothing seems to me to be so important any more. The biggest impact of my winter is on the first two days, then little by little it slowly finds its way out and I can feel my mind going back to normal and my body wanting to move more and be active again. Every winter has got its delights, gifts, lessons, insights, revelations, healing moments, new ideas and surprises.

The feminine winter, the apex of the feminine.

It is a time to be feminine, nurture myself, feed my body, love my being and listen to my spirit. It is a time to be receptive and still and allow the supra-natural to reveal itself with grace. It is a time to deepen my intimate relationship and allow my partner into my secrets and inner body in all senses. I can feel the power of the feminine energy, all its depth, truth, clarity and wisdom. So many nuances become evident and the inner landscape gets very colourful indeed. I am in my forties and am aware that my winters might start to be less frequent in the next few years, therefore I am cherishing them as best as I can, being thankful for the exquisite opportunity of being intimate with my soul and inner being. It is such a pleasure to be a woman and able to share my knowledge and experience with other women in my work as a Feminine Cycle Consultant and Women’s Coach. I feel a woman of the XXI century in total evolution, are you one of them too?

About the Author

Gabriella Guglielminotti Trivel is an Author, Speaker and Feminine Cycle Consultant.

Gabriella was born in Italy and studied foreign languages at the University of Turin, her home city. She is a qualified Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Time Line Therapy and has travelled around Europe, Asia, Africa, America and Antarctica. She has recently published a book, “Antarctic Odyssey: a New Beginning”, about her adventures there. She is learning to fly gliders in order to gain a different perspective on the world and become a real ‘Flying Inspiration’! She is an author, speaker, visionary and coach who helps women to gain confidence, authority and fulfilment in life by knowing better their body. She also helps couples improve their relationship and find a more satisfying way to communicate to have better intimacy. Women often experience a loss of identity, lack of direction, disconnection from their body, lack of libido and intimacy with their partner and themselves at some stage of their lives. This can trigger physical problems like pms, cravings, mood swings, weight gain, low self esteem, lack of energy/libido, direction and cause relationship issues. In fact, our body is trying to get in contact with us through these symptoms which can create mental and emotional states that can be very challenging to say the least. Gabriella has a solution for all these problems and helps women to reconnect with their body and feminine cycle to improve the quality of their lives.

For more info: http://www.flyinginspiration.com

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Filed under Menopause, menstruation

My First Blood Story

by Karen Tinner
I wish that I could say my first blood was an encouraging departure from how menstruation is treated in Western cultures, but sadly, it wasn’t. Rather, it embodied every negative association. I had just turned 11 years old less than a week before, and had never been informed about menstruation. Although I was well-read for an adolescent, I was not yet interested in anything to do with maturation, reproduction or sexuality and no one, either at home or in school, had shared any information with me. Further, although I knew of one or two girls who had “gotten their period,” they were 2-3 years older than me. When I started bleeding, I remember running to my mother and telling her that something was terribly wrong, that I was afraid I was dying. She simply scoffed at me, took me to the bathroom and showed me the sanitary napkins. Still shaken, I remember telling her that I was “too young to go through this,” that I “wasn’t ready,” and that I was “afraid.” All of this fell on deaf ears. There was only the inference that menstruation was a dirty, distasteful fact of a woman’s life, an inconvenient reality to be endured as tidily as possible. The home I grew up in consisted of my mother (born in 1946) and her parents, and as an isolated only child, there were no other women in whom I could confide my feelings. This theme of isolation would be carried over into all of my journey to adult womanhood. Matters of romantic love and sexuality were never addressed, and my isolation was greatly compounded due to my mother and grandmother’s activities in the pseudo-Christian cult of Jehovah’s Witnesses. My grandfather was an emotionally cool, somewhat dictatorial man who demanded respect but never communicated with me with any degree of warmth or positivity. My mother and grandmother lived up to his expectation that women be uncomplaining and subservient. And my father was absent, divorced from my mother due to alcoholism when I was two years of age. Needless to say, I grew up feeling as if being female was an unfortunate accident. In the years since, I have been caregiver to all of my family of origin, saying goodbye to all of them within a five year span (my mother succumbed to terminal cancer in 1997, my grandfather to terminal cancer in 1998 and my grandmother to autoimmune disease in 2002); was married; birthed a son and a daughter; was widowed; remarried; birthed a second daughter; and have returned to school to complete my undergraduate education, switching from English (and Philosophy and Women’s Studies) to Psychology with an eye to obtaining a Master’s in Counseling. All of these experiences have helped me to replace the ambivalence, misogyny and emotional vacancies of my upbringing with healthy, positive and empowered images and narratives. My awareness of and appreciation for the unique emotional, intellectual and physical capacities of women grows with each day, and I am happy to say that I have embraced my good fortune to have been born female! My older daughter has just turned 7 and my younger daughter is 2 1/2. Even before I conceived my older daughter, I resolved to ensure any daughter I might birth would have a very different experience in growing into her womanhood. Both my daughers will be well-prepared to celebrate their first blood. Even now, they are aware that being female is a gift. Further, my son, who is 9, is being raised to appreciate the contributions of women, not least of which is the fact that all man- (and woman-) kind comes into this world by way of a woman’s love and physiology. In part through my children — and also through the career I am preparing for — I hope to make a meaningful contribution in effecting positive change in the way women experience their rites of passage, view themselves and their life experiences, and in the way women and men value one another.

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Filed under blood, coming of age, growing up, menstruation