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Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA


Herb Information From A Contributor's Files

Easy Steps to a Safer Pregnancy - View e-book or Download PDF - FREE!
An interactive resource for moms on easy steps they can take to reduce exposure to chemical toxins during pregnancy.

Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy

These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.

Managing Blood Pressure

RE <<< Now my question is, can she have a homebirth if her bp is

controlled by medication. Does anyone have experience with this? <<<

Well, that woman's BP scares me some (diastolic of 100 at 13 weeks??). I think she needs to see a good doc!

I doubt you would see major drops with calcium. In this region lots of folks swear by capsicum (red pepper) capsules. Can't imagine it would harm anything to try it for a while.... I myself have very low bp (don't ask me why), but here are some herbs that are helpful for a non-pregnant woman to help lower bp. We have to be careful with herbal recommendations these days, so I'll say I have read that these herbs are good for this purpose.

Parsley-strengthens venous tissue


Black Cohosh-alleviates tension and stress

Scullcap-very soothing to the nerves

Only scullcap may be used safely during pregnancy.

Only use herbs with the guidance of an herbalist.

>Someone that owns a healthfood store in AK told me that cream of tartar is

>picnoginol. Anyone hear of such before? The folks up there eat it by the

>teaspoonful. If this is true sure would be an inexpensive way to get it in

>our ladies!

<< Does anyone out there know anything about cream of tartar taken by the teaspoon full being a picnoginol source? >>

Well I don't have a direct answer, just a little more info. Now I believe it is *** that uses cream of tartar to bring down BP. Cream of tartar atleast in the past came from grape juice. Here is a quote from an old baking powder cookbook, "This juice is allowed to stand for some time, during which period crystals form... These crystals are Cream of Tartar, and have the beautiful purple color and rich fragrance of the grapes themselves. The purple crystals are called "argols. These were washed and boiled and recrystallized to grind into a white powder-cream of tartar. in my newest copy of the Merck Index,8th ed. still very old- "Argol. crude cream of tartar;crude potassium bitartrate. ...Contains over 40% tartaric acid, potassium bitartrate, calcium."

"Potassium Bitartrate. cream of tartar." part of the chemical formula K(potassium) 20.78% tartaric acid 79.74% "the salt is 99.5% pure".

Picnoginol as I understand it atributes its usefullness to flavonoid content, amoung other things. this is probably true of red grape juice, and possibly crude cream of tartar, and I'm guessing there would be very little in cream of tartar, but I'm not versed in chem. ( this is a question for David Hoffman)

In Susan Weed's book she tells of the cream of tartar. I have used it before myself and seen it work wonders and me and my clients.

2 t cream of tartar in the juice of half of a lemon once a day for 3 days, skip a day and then repeat again (3 more days)

drop the bp about 20/10 right away and it stays down I have to repeat it about once a year because I keep experiencing so much stress.

Irritable Bowel Sydrome

>From Healthy Healing by Linda G. Rector-Page, N.D., Ph.D Diet: Mono diet for 2 days with fresh apples and apple juice. Then low fat, mild diet, with plenty of fiber but low roughage. Include fresh fruits, green leafy salad with olive oil and lemon dressing, whole grain cereals, fruit fiber from prunes and raisins. Never eat fried foods. Avoid nuts, seeds, dairy and citrus fruits while healing. Have glass of fresh carrot juice 3x a week. Eat cultured foods such as yogurt and kefir for friendly flora.

Herbal therapy: Peppermint oil drops in water 2x daily. Chamomile tea and valerian/wild lettuce as anti-spasomodic. Effective teas: slippery elm, pau de arco and rosemary. Alfalfa tablets 6-10 daily with bee pollen 2 tsp daily.

Body Work: Gentle enemas to rid colon of fermenting wastes and relieve pain: peppermint tea, white oak bark, slippery elm, chamomile, lobelia Apply warm ginger compresses to spine and stomach; acupressure. Avoid antacids. Eat smaller more frequent meals.

Homeopathic: silicea tablets (no dosage given but assume its therapeutic).

- Irritable bowel can be due to a number of causes so it's best to get at the cause, if possible. I see bowel dysbiosis (literally "bad life") with an imbalance in the types of bacteria found and with yeast frequently. So usually I will get a stool culture to see this. Also, stress management - not putting things "into" your gut. Diet is important too. Plenty of fiber has frequently helped, of the metamucil or other psyllium husk fiber suppplement variety, 1 tblsp in a glass of water, followed by a second glass, before bed (oh great, pee all night - can do 2 hrs before bed). Sometimes the digestive enzymes are too low and these can be added to make sure that the food isn't getting low in the bowel undigested - putrefies like your garbage can or irritates and causes rapid movement throught the bowel.

So now you have the big picture, things like charcoal can help, pepto bismol (old fashioned remedy of bismuth, peppermint, and a little aspirin), peppermint in other forms - preferably a enteric coated peppermint oil if you can find it. Fennel is great - make tea by boiling 1 teasp seeds in 1 1/2 cup water for 10 min. Lots of acidophilus - make sure it's good quality - can help, too. Combine with catnip.

Homeopathic Carbo veg is good for cramps.

I hope this helps - you caught me in a chatty mode!


>She now tests positive for trich, and not gardnerella. She seems averse to

>using allopathic medicine, and I'm under the impression that she didn't

>treat the BV because she didn't want to take "medicine" and was not given

>any alternative. I haven't had a pos. trich in a long time and I can't

>locate the natural treatments. My memory is that it's fairly resistant to

>most natural remedies, and "tricky" to treat.

>What do you recommend for trich.?

Anne Frye says in Diagnostic Tests: 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice in water twice daily, plus 5000 mg. Vitamin C. The following douche can also be used: Add 2 Tbsp. white vinegar and 1 Tbsp. activated charcoal powder to 1 qt. water. Douche daily for one week, every other day the next week, and twice weekly for two more weeks. At the same time, use garlic cloves in the vagina. Place 2 to 3 cloves in the vagina every 3 hours for the first 3 days of treatment, then once a day overnight for the next four days. The third week use garlic suppositories every other day, then twice during the fourth week.

The above is for pregnant women. She suggest a stronger douche for nonpregnant ladies: use a dilute solution of providone iodine(1Tbsp. to 1 qt. of water the first day, and increase the providone iodine by 1Tbsp. each day for 6 days total. Repeat the 6 Tbsp. douche for 4 days--a grand total of ten days of treatment. On the tenth day, begin to alternate iodine douches with a douche made from 4 Sulfax tablets and 1 cup of water. Use 1Tbsp. Iodine douches in the morning and the Sulfax douches in the evening for ten days. Follow each douche with two acidophilus capsules inserted into the vagina. Do another test to make sure the infection is cleared before resuming sexual relations.

Male partners can take 30 drops each of Golden Seal and Myrrh tincture 3 times daily for ten days.

Oat straw herb is a apecific for trichomonas. So is homeopathic Creosote.

Re: echinacea topically

I use echinacea as my "drug of choice" for practically everything! My kids don't even mention symptoms til they tell me their echinacea status! So that's where I'm coming from.

I've used echinacea as a vaginal wash (versus douche) for bacterial vaginosis with good success and feel that it will be equally effective against b strep--some nice proper studies need to be done, somebody! This is safe for pregnancy.

I recommend 2 droppersfull of echinacea tincture in 1 cup warm water. I suggest to my clients that they get in the (empty) tub, scooch down, open their labia with their fingers and pour the warm solution into their vagina. (or they can use a short plastic funnel to direct it) then I tell them to put their fingers in and swoosh it around for a while, trying to get it into crevasses and folds (gently of course). After a while (your tailbone won't like the tub too long) just sit up, let whatever wants to run out do so, get out, wipe off! It can be repeated bid for a couple of days as nec, but for bacterial vaginosis, once is often adequate. I haven't done culture studies--the combination of also-used-antibiotics-somewhere-along-the-line and comes-back-negative-even -without-treatment is too bothersome for my non-research oriented mind, and it was not a treatment chosen by very many of our clients.(Oh, well) Now I'm not working and don't have access to a population for study- so somebody go for it.

If someone was + for strep and didn't choose antibiotics, vaginal washes q3days or so the end of pregnancy (or weekly, maybe) and then once in very early labor, (thoroughly and gently) would protect the baby quite nicely I would think--at least from vaginal exposure.

I will be interested in feedback and response from more experienced herbalists.

The whole prophylactic antibiotic thing is getting really hairy with the proliferation of "superbugs" , antibiotic resistant strains which are increasing rapidly. I think this is really scary stuff and we need to figure out what we're going to do. The more we use the antibiotics, the quicker the new strains develop. But b strep can be pretty scary,too. Time to explore immune enhancers and things like echinacea vaginal washes (which I think work great) and won't get us into "super trouble".


Just got in the mail yesterday the protocols for the Escharotic treatment for cervical atypia, cervical dysplasia and carcinoma in situ from *****. She uses crushed Bromelain tablets topically on the cervix as one portion of the treatment. It is a very detailed 3 page protocol , the bromelian tablets are only a small portion of the treatment regeme.

<< what are the healing properties of pineapple and what is pineapple enzymes i.e. where can the enzymes be procured and what is Bromelein? is is for healing all over the body? >>

In Sept of 95, there was a discussion on the list about whether eating pineapple would encourage labor in overdue moms. No evidence was really presented that settled the question, but one post was relevant to your question. It was sent by ******, whom I don't believe is on the list anymore. Here it is:

"Well, I know that pineapple contains bromelaine which is a fairly potent enzyme used by naturopathic medicine types for anti-inflammatory kinds of effects. The German sports medicine types advocate bromelaine with some other enzymes somewhat routinely following soft tissue injury and there is some data to suggest this decreases healing time.

As I understand it, very lay terms, now, the bromelaine helps to decrease the walling off of inflammation by somehow digesting it, therefore making injured tissue more available to natural healing properties withing the body.

The other possible relationship is that it is like papain, from papaya that is a meat tenderizer; softening of the cervix?"

Pineapple enzymes are supposed to help with indigestion also.

Bromelein is in pineapple and helps reduce swelling, such as in dental/gum surgery. It's an enzyme and is really helpful. It could be used for things like severe sprains/swelling due to sprains or broken bones. Plus pineapple juice tastes pretty good so few complain about it.

This is not a midwifery use, but I carry pineapple/papaya enzymes around in the car and on hikes to treat bee, wasp and scorpion stings. I just chew up the tablet with my front teeth and then take it out of my mouth and put it on the sting. It helps to break down & digest the protein in the sting which lessens the swelling and bad reactions. I guess you could powder it up some other way but this seems to be the fastest for me. You could use meat tenderizer the kind with papain and it would work, the action is the same as tenderizing meat , breaking down the proteins. I have had to resort to using the tablets because my favorite fresh plant remedy plantain (which I feel is more effective) can only be found in the earily spring here.

Inflammation is set into motion immediately at the site of injury. There is a negative pressure which causes the healing components of the immune system to congregate there for quicker healing. It's similar to the fact that a slightly elevated fever helps the immune system work better. When we attempt to reduce swelling, we are telling the immune components to go away. Maybe there is some other explanation for bromelaine's healing effects?

Peeled the papaya, ate it, then applied the skin to the vagina inside a pad. Also can buy papaya in pill form and take 6-8 a day, works slower. Eating fresh papaya and applying fresh to vagina works the best and quickest. Learned this trick when my five year old daughter flew off a bike and hit a fourxfour post with her legs open. Broke her hymen, lacerated perineum, brused from waist to thighs. Her ped who was really cool, told me about papaya for brusing. Worked great, have been using it ever since.


Do you like papaya better than comfrey? I've seen comfrey heal in less than an hour if it is fresh from the yard.

I love comfrey. I've seen it do miracles for a small laceration, but for real bruising, brought on by extended pushing, fast delivery, forcep delivery etc. I stick by the papaya. In our postpartum sitzbath we use, comfrey leaf, sage, shepards purse, uva ursi leaf, comfrey root, myrrh gum, garlic, sea salt and lavendar. It works like a charm. Only resort to papaya for extreme damage.

The big leaves have more of the little "spines" on them and the "spines" or "spikes" are stiffer. Use the younger shorter leaves and stir them well after you heat them. This helps break the spines. Also, with your hand in a glove you can massage the leaves to release more of the allantoin and to "beat down" those little spikes. (Be careful if the leaves are very hot.)

When you use comfrey fresh, do you do anything to soften it?? I have an enormous comfrey plant in my backyard, and last year I had a bad bruise, so I went out and grabbed a 2 foot long leaf, soaked it in hot water for a minute, and wrapped it around the leg that was bruised. Within 2 minutes I had a rash on my leg. Are the big leaves too rough perhaps? I would love to be able to use fresh comfrey for my postpartum moms, but I don't want them getting rashes.

Castor Oil/Labor Recipes

<<I was looking for the castor oil induction numbers to give to a friend, and I cannot find them. Do you know the amounts and time intervals needed to stimulate labor? Any other natural labor stimulation methods would be appreciated, also.<<<<<

REPOSTS from a quick folder search re castor oil


>What are the indications for using castor oil? Do you suggest that the mom

>>be so far along in dilation or in time? <<<<

.......<<<<<< I think castor oil almost always works if the cervix is ripe, and almost never works if it isn't. Sometimes the castor oil contractions will kind of peter out, and then later in the day, or night , she'll kick in.

We suggest

>taking it in the am after good sleep and breakfast, (tho sometimes if a

>woman has been up w/ contrx. a few nights in a row that piddle out by dawn,

>we'll have her take it in the afternoon). The dosage we use is 2TB, in half

>an hour another tablespoon, in half an hour a fourth tablespoon, so 4 TB

>over an hour's time. Stirred into juice or taken from a spoon, either way

>we suggest following with a cup of hot herb tea to rinse the mouth.

I usually suggest in the morning. i work with a midwife who always tells them before they go to bed. She says the castor oil lays in there for a while, and that when it kicks in, is precisely the time most people go into labor. She thinks it works with the biological clock.

We use 4 oz (which is A LOT) but it works!

Susun Weed's book "Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Years" suggest a concoction I call the "California Cocktail": 2 oz of OJ, 2 oz Vodka and 2 oz of Caster Oil.

This "Cocktail" worked for me (2nd birth). Took it at 3:00 pm had an hour nap, woke up with very loose bowel movements. When to bed at 9:00 pm, woke up with ruptured BOW at 1:30 am. Gave birth (9 lbs 2oz) at 4: 54 am. I have had several primips use this "Cocktail" to no avail.

Ahh, the memories! For many years back when I was a younger L&D nurse in Ohio, we mixed many a castor oil cocktail -- 4 to 6 oz. of Root beer mixed with 1 oz of castor oil and a dash of baking soda to make it fizz and palatable. It followed the 3H enema. It worked fairly well, but then maybe those patients were just ready to go into labor anyhow.

One of the tricks I learned from inner city Detroit CNM's was to have the woman put the castor oil in 3-4 oz. of rootbeer, then place a palm over the glass, and shake it up HARD; then immediately guzzle all of the now-all-foamy rootbeer. You can put it in juice, but the rootbeer works GREAT because of all the foam, it suspends the castor oil so it can't be "tasted", as long as you guzzle it right down. Kind of like slammers at the bar (a past remembrance from my college days)!

I know it tastes ok, because I did this for both of my last pregnancies. Couldn't even taste the oil!

<< In Texas, you can't legally deliver a baby at home if she is past 42 weeks unless you have had a doctor consult saying it's OK. (not likely) >>

In ARkansas it is the same. No 43 weekers at home here.

So I do a three day induction plan that works about 95% of the time if the mother is truely overdue.

It consists of taking 2 blue and 1 black cohosh capsule every hour the first day.

Most women have to make sure they keep something in their stomaches because that many gel caps can make them nauseous.

The second day you take the 3 caps on the hour and also take B&B tincture (Nature's Way) on the half hour.

The third day they take B&B tincture every 15 minutes and do the castor oil.

They take 2 T castor oil with 1/2 cup of OJ blended in the blender with some ice cubes to make a castor oil daiquiri. But night fall she will be in labor.

If it does not seem to be working we have also put them on the double electric breast pump for 20 minutes the first hour and then an hour later for 15 minutes. Sometimes the pump works by itself. And I have never seen hypertonic contractions from any of this. But I do see labor every time.

from ***** exerpts -- HERBS FOR LABOR

The following is a list of herbs or remedies to encourage or strengthen labor. Individuals may vary in their sensitivity and response to these remedies. Always start with the lowest recommended dosage first and increase slowly only if needed. Please check with your care provider before initiating any of these remedies to be sure they are appropriate for you.

Cervical Ripening.

1. Borage and Flax Seed Oil , Black Current Oil. or Evening Primrose Oil, 3-6 capsules, taken orally, everyday and/or rubbed directly on the cervix if bag of waters is intact, after 37 weeks.

2. Blue and Black Cohosh Tinctures, 5-10 drops each, in cup of water or tea, 1-2 times everyday, after 37 weeks.

3. For rapid ripening: Black Cohosh Tincture, 15 - 25 drops, under the tongue, every 30 - 60 minutes, will usually soften the cervix within 6 hours. Evening Primrose Oil may also be rubbed directly on the cervix and in the os and repeated after 30 minutes if necessary.

Initiating Labor

If considering any of these labor stimulating remedies, begin early in the day after a good nights sleep and a light breakfast.

1. Blue Cohosh Tincture, 5 - 10 drops, in glass of water or tea, every half-hour for up to 4 hours, until contractions are regular. If no labor in 4 hours, take 1 dropper full, under the tongue every hour for up to 4 more hours until labor is strong and consistent.. 2. Castor


a. May be warmed and rubbed on the belly and covered with a warm towel or hot water bottle if the cervix is ripe and labor seems near.

Blue Cohosh call also be used as above.

OR b, Mix 2 ounces in 2 or more ounces of orange juice with a couple ice cubes in the blender and followed by a hot shower if desired.

The dose may be repeated in 2 hours and followed by an enema if desired.

If poor response, a third dose may be attempted. Labor will usually begin within 3 - 5 hours of the last dose. Many women object to this regimen since uncomfortable diarrhea and intestinal cramping is common.

Strengthening Labor

Blue and Black Cohosh Tinctures, 5 - 10 drops each under tongue or in glass of water or tea, every hour for up to 6 - 8 hours if labor stalls or contractions become weaker.

Evening Primrose Oil  (EPO)

I had cervical surgery about 3 years before I had my third child. Speaking from a laboring mothers point of view, I knew something was wrong. I felt like the ctx were very strong but I wasnt making any progress. I felt like my uterus was going to just explode with the pressure from the ctx!! I was complaining about this to the midwife. After about 7-8 hours in labor (stuck at 2 cm) my friend an OB nurse who was there assisting, did a VE. My cervix was paper thin so she manually dilated me to complete!! What a relief. No pain at all while she did it and I birthed that baby in less than an hour after that!!

Oh by the way, I was also taking EPO near the end of the pregnancy but I dont think that she used it on my cervix any time during labor.

Never heard of EPO causing a smaller baby or are you talking about getting labor started so that she doesn't go 42 wks again. I have my first and second time moms start taking EPO 6wks before their due date. 500mg three times a day orally. Then 10 days before their due date I have them insert 3-4 caps into the vagina at night. The caps melt and the EPO gets to the cervix and gets it nice and ripe. The cervix melts over the baby's head. Very little bleeding on dilation and the labor seems to go very smoothly. I don't use it for third or more babys as cervix seems to get so soft and friable.


> Dear list,

> I am looking for guidance in use of evening primrose oil. My friend is 39

> wks with hx of large babies- (one at 42 wks was 10#8oz not GDM) She is

> planning a RHB (repeat home birth) and would like to avoid such a big baby

> again. EFW now is >9#. Any suggestions for use of EPO or other ideas would

> be appreciated.

> Thanks in advance

EPO is great to soften a cervix either applied locally to the cervix and/or taken orally - about 500 to 1500 mg per day. Get her walking!


<< I have my first and second time moms start taking EPO 6wks before their due date. 500mg three times a day orally. Then 10 days before their due date I have them insert 3-4 caps into the vagina at night. The caps melt and the EPO gets to the cervix and gets it nice and ripe. The cervix melts over the baby's head.<<

How many of your moms go past their due dates? Some, most, all? I've not been impressed with evening primrose, but maybe I'm expecting too much of it. I got the impression that women would never go much past their due dates if they used the stuff; I still see a LOT of EPO users get to 41 weeks and more.


Tell your friend I wish her good luck. I always have big, past EDD babies, and with the last 2 I tried the EPO, orally and vaginally. Didn't help a bit, sorry to say. In fact I did everything mentioned in any book. The only thing that did work was acupuncture, and that labor was just like an induced labor, hard and fast right away. Spent 1 hour in the dr.'s office but the contractions started almost immediately after the needles were in.

I read somewhere once that prenatal EPO would make a woman's tissues (did it say her perineum?) much more likely to tear? You find that this is not so? Do you see a difference in the tear rate with these women?

I find the EPO makes womens tissues incredible stretchable. No tears at all and almost no "skid marks" either. Don't know how much to attribute to EPO or just gentle slow deliver of head and keeping that bottom shoulder from coming through the soft peri.

Just a clarification...do you mean that you don't consider someone post-dates until >42 weeks? Does that mean that women who deliver 10 days late are 41+3 or 43+3? Help me out here...

We have an extremely low postdates numbers. Most of our women deliver within five days of their due date. Once in awhile someone goes 41.5 weeks, but rarely. I must say the ones that do are the ones who don't use the EPO.<,

This sounds pretty good! What sort of number is "extreemlly low"? got a rough guese-percentage?

Do you do anything else as they near and pass their due date? (strip membranes, massage cervix, use herbs etc?

We did 74 births last year. 35 were first time moms. 20 delivered more than five but less than 10 days late. All of the them used EPO. 20 were second time moms. 2 delivered 10 days late. They had cooked their first babies 11 & 13 days. 17 used EPO. Our 19 remaining moms were third or more time moms. No one delivered late and no one took EPO either. So those are the numbers. I'm not good at stats or figuring out percentages, so maybe you can help me?? Most of our moms drink pregnancy tea prepared for them by a local herbalogist. They also get a visit from our massage therapist who spends a great length of time massaging their feet starting with day 3 past dates. It just seems to work..Remember that we don't think someone is going postdates until day 14. Figuring it that way we have a low post dates issue. Hope it helps....


A friend asked me to post this.

Does anyone know of an anticoagulant effect of EPO?

My friend's client has a family history of VonWillibrand's disease and has been told never to take aspirin. The client herself has not been diagnosed as VonWillibrand's.

The client is a 40 y/o primip at 38 weeks who took 2 EPO capsules t.i.d. for ONE day, a total of 6 capsules. She had a bad nosebleed. Then, at the OB's office after an exam, she bled, dinner plate sized pool of blood. The OB observed her for an hour and sent her home. Now, she just had pink-tinged mucus. She has stopped taking the EPO.

My friend read somewhere that EPO has salicylate, but could not find the reference again.

Does anyone have any information on this? We are just curious.


I read this as Twenty out of thirty-five first time moms delivered near or past 41 weeks -- between 5 days and 10 days "late"... (it would be nice to know how many were under and how many were over 41 weeks. It's almost crucial to break it down further by weeks to get any sense of these numbers. Is it possible to go back and do them by weeks instead of half weeks? "betwene 5 days and 10 days" is very broad and difficult to work with).

I'll do my best with what's here though.

20 out of 35 means that 4/7 or 57% of your first time moms went over 40 weeks -- though we don't know how many of these went beyond 41 weeks (just that they were "betwene 40.5 and 41.3). But this sounds about average to me for women who do NOT use evening primrose oil.

Ear Infections

I have a very good care plan for infected ears. It has worked for me when my children were little (7 of them) and for may clients. It sounds rather bizarre but wonderful and does not intrude on the body systems and builds. Here it is. First wash out the ears with warmed Hydrogen Peroxide, I use a medicine syringe for that and put it in a warm cup of water. Then put it in the ears. It will bubble up and out. It softens the wax and drys out the ears. Next you get some liquid acidophilus soy based and warm it up the same way. This will take the pain away almost immediately. The ears will heal and you will see a difference in the child that day or the next. I usually hardly have had to wait till the next day though. Continue the treatment for at least a week 2 x's a day at least. Peroxide first then Acidophilus. The only time you wouldn't do this to the ears is if the ear drum had ruptured. Also a good idea for her is to get an otoscope that way she can become familiar with her childs ears and see what is infected and what is not. The investment in one would save her lots of time & money. The ears are the first place to weaken on a child when illness hits and it is just the ears nothing else. So when in doubt do the ears as a preventative. Candling is also another option but I like the HP and Acid. better.

Ear infections:

Believe me, this is by no means complete. Yes, it is a midwife issue.

Havn't you been asked what to do a number of times?

First, recognize when this particular infection (or is it an inflamation) is treatable without medical intervention. Is there a friendly ped. who will oversee treatment to see that it is working?

Many years ago, with one of my own children, I had a ped like that. She helped diagnose the problem, taught me to use the otoscope, and told me to be back in so many days to make sure my treatment was working. I'm assuming otitis media here. Externa requires a different approach. As soon as the child starts that wet, rattly cough (often an allergic reaction to something), assume that it will end up in his ears. Try clearing up the mucuous before it gets to the ears. Prevention. Mullein leaf can work well here. Echinacea can be added to stimulate the immune system too. These can be given to babies. Or, use your favorite otc decongestant. Find a way to dry up the snot.

Be on the lookout for signs that the fluid has travelled to the middle ear: Tugging on the ear, fussing when holding him lying on that ear, unexplained crying, fever, droopy, ... . If you are sure that the ear drum has not perforated, put in some ear oil. There are several products available in natural foods or herb stores. Most contain garlic oil, mullein oil, and St. John's Wort oil. Blessed Herbs, Eclectic Institute, and Tri-Light all carry a good product. (No financial intrest, ph #s on request. ) Or, oil can be made at home using sweet oil and adding some fresh garlic and even onion. Easier to buy some.

Stroke from behind the earlobe (with a drop of oil) down toward the throat to help the eustachian tube drain. This usually feels nice.

Bake 1/2 an onion in a 350 oven for 20 min. Wrap in a cloth diaper and hold over the ear. Make sure it is not too hot. Those onions can really hold heat. Or, heat some salt in an iron frying pan and place in a tightly knitted sock to make a nice warm salt tube to place right behind the ear and down the neck. The warmth feels great. These can be used while nursing, rocking or lying down.

If the Echinacea and Mullein do not seem to be working, move on to Red Root and Cleavers (Red Root -Cleavers Virtue from blessed Herbs).

Remove mucuous-producing foods from the diet, if possible. Milk and milk products, citrus, chocolate, beef, wheat gluten,... . This is very individualized. Formula-fed babies may require switching formulas. Nursing moms may have to look at their own diets and adjust them for a short while.and dogs away from the baby and clean up all the dander.

Get rid of old, yucky carpeting that is breeding dust mites.

Surely I am forgetting something here, but at least it is a start. There are other listers who will fill in the blanks. Does it sound like I've dealt with a few ear infections?

I have used garlic and mullein oil very successfully for ear infections. One it *cleared up* within 20 minutes! Even I was astonished.

You heat up the oil using a match or flame. DON'T OVERHEAT; TEST ON THE INSIDE OF YOUR ELBOW. Put as much in the ear canal as you can and have child lay with that ear up for 20 minutes. Then put a cotton ball in the outer ear and let child sit up. You can make it yourself if you don't have a source for it. Chop up garlic and put in a glass jar. Put in mullein to fill the jar as jammed packed as you can. Pour high quality oil over it (e.g., olive oil, etc.) Cover and put in sunny window *at least* a week. Can go longer.

Every day or so, turn it upside down and then right side up again to mix oil. Strain and store in the refrigerator.

Aviva Jill Romm says that apple or orange juice can contribute to ear or sinus infections, especially when taken cold in winter as can any "unseasonal" foods. She also points out that iced drinks can cause ear problems (most likely due to shrinking the size of the blood vessels in that area). She has a book out about healing with herbs and such for babies and children. Check out crossing@aol.com or call 408-722-0711.

Ephedra in Pregnancy

I have always told clients not to use MaHaung in pregnancy. It isn't good for the adrenals.

Too much of a stimulant. Would'nt recc. to my clients. I would use fenugreek & apple juice concentrate for congestion. Minerals, echinacea, vit.C, lotsa H2o and mostly prayer for direction and insight. What is wrong w/ slippery elm? It is okay in most instances as I recall.


Be sure you tell the mom that Echinacea is ignored by the body after it's been given for 6 weeks. The most effective way to give it long term is to give for a *few* weeks; stop for a few weeks; start; stop; etc.

Have you recommended Essiac tea? It has cured leukemia in some people. It is wonderful immune builder. Many recipes are floating around, but it's important to know: *the ingredients are based on weight not volume; *the ingredients are sheep sorrel (some companies are selling curly or yellow dock as sheep sorrel), burdock root, turkish rhubarb root, and slippery elm bark;

*the tea is at its most potent for two weeks - make a new batch at that time. The weights of the various ingredients per gallon of water are:

Burdock root - 21 g; Sheep sorrel (powdered is best) - 17 g; Slippery elm bark - 5 g; and Turkish Rhubarb Root (powdered is best)- 2 - 3 g (this one can be flexible). Boil distilled water, stir in ingredients; put lid on pot and boil for 10 min. Take off heat and scrape down sides of pot. Set aside with lid on it for 12 hours to steep - do not lift lid during 12 hours to prevent bacteria getting in. After 12 hours, sterilize dark brown jars (you'll need about 3 quarts of room) (prune juice jars work well) and lids.

Put in oven at 250o to dry. Heat Essiac tea for about 10 min. almost to boiling. Strain as many times as you wish and pour into sterilized bottles.

Cool and keep refrigerated. Do not use aluminum or teflon or microwave for any of this process. Drink 2 oz with 2 oz of hot water every morning for prevention of disease and 2 - 3 times a day when there is active disease. Do n't start off with 2 or 3 times a day - work up to it.

What about Comfrey/Nettles tea for a tonic to help raise her nutrition level?

Make it strong and dark and fresh every day. Use dried, not fresh, Comfrey leaves.

I sell Essiac tea to several people and have used it myself. One of the concerns you may want to know is that the Burdock root works on the hormones to balance them. if the mom was on Essiac before she got pregnant, I'd tell her to stay on it. If she has just started it, I'd be more concerned. If she would take Essiac without the Burdock root, she'd still have the Sheep Sorrel for the reduction of tumors, so it may still do what she wants it to do. Slippery Elm Bark is not going to hurt anyone. Turkish Rhubarb Root is a laxative, but if she's been on it a while, her body has probably adjusted to it.

My experiences with this tea is that it can interfere with clotting factors. One close friend of mine in particular called after passing several uterine tumors needing help getting the bleeding stopped nothing we knew to do would stop the bleeding for long , her uterus was clamped down tight. Her sons took her to a hospital, she refused a transfusion until they agreed to let her have son's blood. post transfusion crit of 6. Vitamin K factors low. 2 others I have known have had bleeding problems although not as severe, also associated with vitamin K .

Another comment I would like to make is that tumors are not always reabsorbed, sometimes they are expelled, sort of polp up/out and then come off or pass, not something you want to do and maintain a healthy pregnancy.

Can anyone comment on the usage of essiac, an herb, during pregnancy for a woman who wants to use it to shrink a uterine fibroid? Anyone aware of the safety of it? Sorry but I'm not finding anything in my herbal books.

Thanks in advance.

the web site for the Herbal Healer Academy is http:

this is where you can find info on Essiac, products for children, pets, etc. as well as info on our correspondence courses and see our policies etc. This is the company I work for here in the Ozarks. Family run business, started literally from nothing, owned by Dr. Marijah McCain, ND, DIHom, MH, CNC (etc). She is dedicated to bringing natural medicines and supplies as well as bulk herbs and education to people and making it affordable. Some of the stuff is a little pricey, but mostly she is very competitive price wise and I honestly think she has the best products around. She spends lots of time and money in research to make sure she offers only the best.

I have known her for ten years and went to work for her specifically

because of her dedication to helping people. Have personally seen her send 100lbs of herbs back because they were no longer potent. We package the 4 herb tea (generic Essiac) everyday so it is always fresh, and use only organic herbs from here in the states.

Sorry, didn't mean for this to turn into an advertisement :), it's just that I believe in the products and have used them extensively.

sounds like she is toxic. IMO she needs to do a liver/blood cleanse. The best formula I know for this is Essiac. Burdock root, sheep sorrel, Turkey rhubarb, and slippery elm. don't know the exact ratios, but can direct you to a web site that will help. the symptoms she is exhibiting, especially if chronic, would clear up when she has done a proper cleanse. We have used this formula and done research on it for 5 years with incredible results. I could send the info to you along with testimonials if you want to leave me your snail mail. She shouldn't take it while pregnant though, and I'm not sure about while lactating, but I could check for you if you like.

For Essiac ingredients, organically grown, or for the tea,try

Trout Lake Farms

40 Warner Road

Trout Lake WA 98650-9727

Phone: 509-395-2025

FAX : 509-395-2645

Ginger Packs for Tear Reduction

Perhaps this woman tore at the shoulders. We seem to emphasize slow gentle delivery of the head yet how many of us know we had seen the perineum intact at head expulsion but felt it go at the shoulders? Either delivery of the anterior arm first or flexing the shoulders gently or one shoulder at a time can really be helpful at minimizing tears. I think oil and ginger compresses really make a diff if you don't put the ginger compress on too early. I compress the whole vag opening emphasizing the place of greatest resistance. I have good success.

Thank God it is not a sacred perineum and we usually heal quite well. I know it took me a while to get a good tech down when I tried to hoan one in. Maybe this'll help?

Foundation of good nutrition in pn period.

Use warm ginger packs and olive oil. (Move into this slowly w/ the hosp.)

Lotsa women love the soothing nature of the oil and ginger. Wait until beginning of crowning for ginger washcloths. Oil - I start as soon as there is clearly occipital pres. and she is "full on" pushin. Try and ease out head w/o ctx from beginning of crown. (have her push between ctx). Pant for ctx or deep "breathe the baby out". Don't forget to gently flex the head downward in an OA pres. to avoid labial tears.

Main thing is to be willing to take the time w/o letting the time get to you.

I have noticed in a hospital setting sometimes people get a little more nervous about "how long it takes" to birth the head. Ofcourse this is w/ a babe you can take the time on. In other words one that is not distressed already.

It is an art that we all have to develop, yes? It is wisdom to ask w/ the great resources from the list. Works the same in whatever position she is in. Side lying - I would pull up her upper leg more than hyperflex it; to avoid any undo stress to her labia.

Golden Seal for Sinus Problems

I've found that Golden Seal HERB and Golden Seal Root are both effective for sinus problems. The herb is specific for sinuses but tastes very bad. The Root, of course, is antibiotic. The Root cannot be given in pregnancy as it can bring on labor (it is often used to induce labor). It is more difficult to find the herb as opposed to the root, but sometimes I've opened bottles of capsules that were supposed to be root and found green capsules inside. The root powder is golden orangish/yellow (see where the name came from?), so the green capsules had to be herb.

Also, Comfrey leaf and Nettles tea (TOGETHER) are excellent for helping respiratory problems. I gave it to a nurse friend of mine and she got over a bout of pleurisy in 36 hours (had not gone to the doctor for meds.)

> but sometimes I've opened

>bottles of capsules that were supposed to be root and found green capsules

>inside. The root powder is golden orangish/yellow (see where the name came

>from?), so the green capsules had to be herb.


Not necessarily. This is a problem with purchasing herbal remedies. Though I am an arnarchist at heart, the problem here is that most herbs are not regulated. In many cases, you might not know what you are really buying. Also herbs vary in strength of medicinal quality. This may be a function of species, growing conditions or processing conditions. In Canada, some herbs have been given a DIN number which I understand irons out some of these difficulties. Anyway, my preference is to use only those herbs I have gathered or grown myself. At least I know what I picked....most of the time!!

Grape Juice?

We frequently ask moms to have grape juice included in their birth supplies. It is easily digestable and a good source for quick energy. And, if they have to throw up, it is not too irritating (and tastes the same as when it went down). In light of recent evidence on the benefits of grape juice in preventing heart attacks, I might now question its use during labor. According to a John Folts, M.D., University of Wisconsin Medical School, red grape juice slows clotting. "Folts discovered that aspirin and red wine slowed the clotting of platelets by 45%, whereas red grape juice slowed clotting by 75%." (Energy Times, May 1997) I know, I know...It was a freebie at the store where I get my chlorophyll. :) So, what do you think?

I advice white grape juice in labor rather than red, because of the tannins and anticlotting factors. If you reread the item, it stated that it was RED grape juice that had the anti-platelet factor. (this research was originally started as an investigation into why the French have so little heart disease on a very high cholesterol diet).

Herbal History of Ergot, other PPH remedies

Methergine is a purified derivitive of ergot, a fungus which blights rye grain. In the middle ages, epidemics of ergot poisoning led to outbreaks of what was called St. Anthony's fire. The victims hallucinated and suffered from lack of circulation (in some cases enough to cause gangrene) to their extremities. (It felt like they were on fire). Ergot derivitives have also been used to treat migraine headaches (Cafergot is a mixture of caffeine and ergotamine) and to treat postural hypotension, as they raise the blood pressure. LSD, of psychedelic fame, is an ergot derivative, (d-lysergic acid diethylalamide). Ergot has also been used historically to induce abortion. Berton Rouche, in one of his collections of medical stories, relates a fatal case of ergotism in a woman who used it (because it was 'natural and herbal') as her primary method of family planning. Various ergot preparations have also been used to induce and augment labor, but the tetanic contractions often had deleterious effects on the infant. (to put it mildly!). In the USA, the nost commonly used ergot preparation in childbearing is methylergonovine (methergine) but in other countries ergotrate is used. Some caregivers practice "active management of third stage" by injecting oxytocin, ergot compunds, or a combination of the two with the birth of the posterior shoulder. Advocates claim a lessening of the length of third stage as well as a lessened blood loss. The studies I have read had methodological flaws.

The BIG contraindication to giving ANY ergot compound is an elevated blood pressure. It can blow a high normal blood pressure into the stroke ranges. Once again, the risk/benefit ratio needs to be considered.

Back when I had time to roam libraries I encountered a fascinating book on Ergot and St. Anthony's fire. I wish I could remember the title and author, because it also had some insight into the politics and culture of childbirth in the 19th century, where ergot was seen by many as women's salvation from prolonged childbirth. I think most of us recognize the contribution twilight sleep and anesthesia made to the medicalization of childbirth, but I wonder also if techniques for inducing and augmenting labor also contributed...?

> Some past remedies on this list for PP bleeding

> were:


> 1.Pitocin with the anterior shoulder (active

> management), deliver the

> placenta right after birth.


> 2.Witch Hazel and Blue Cohosh, 1 dropper each,

> before the placenta is

> birthed, then Wombstringe afterwards. If mother

> is bleeding profusely,

> skip the herbs and go right to bimanuel comp.

> and pit.


> 3.*****stated she has had good results with

> essential oils for PPH,

> Anterior lip, pain... OK , ***** which oils???

> Geranium for uterine

> inertia, rub on lower back and abdomen.


> 4.Yunnan Pai Yao


> 5.Low lying placenta- assume she's going to

> bleed and be ready with

> fluid replacements and meds.=20(pit and

> Methergine) Mom can start

> guzzling Recharge immed. after the birth.

I also use various herbs and/or homeopathics before the first pit. My favorite is erigeron/cinnamom compound from Herb Pharm out of Williams, Oregon.

Energy Boosters

I followed the thread on energy boosters on the MW list, and I had something that might interest some of the other midwives, but I would not presume to stick my head up there, so I was just wondering if there was something I could add to the conversation that would benefit.

We know that giving birth is an athletic event--well I am a mother *and* an athlete and I've learned a lot about our energy systems and how they work when they are being called upon. I compete in road races on my bicycle. The races are 50 or more miles long, and take at least three hours to complete. My average heartrate during the race is 170. It's not quite like labor because it is a sustained effort at that rate, but I do work out doing intervals in that heartrate zone and higher with a recovery between efforts and I appreciate a great similarity with these workouts and second stage labor. Liver glycogen lasts only about 2 hours, after that point one "hits the wall" or in cycling terminology, "bonks." Fat stores cannot supply enough energy quickly enough to keep the legs going, so the blood glucose has to be increased with additional intake. That, of course, is why the honey helps. Us cyclists, at least the smart ones, drink water at least every 15 minutes during exercise. During rides over 2 hours we add glucose replacers such as athletic drinks and the new energy gels. The drinks, while they provide electrolytes, don't have many calories and some can cause GI upset due to high fructose levels, so we've found the new energy gels work really well. We use them every 15 minutes washed down with several mouthfuls of water. They are quickly assimilated and well tolerated, and they taste yummy, too. They contain 28g carbs (approx. 110 calories). Best of all, they are readily available at sporting goods and athletic stores and are fairly cheap (about $1 each, I imagine less expensive than the specialty diabetic gels). They are sold under such names as Power Gel, GU and Pocket Rocket. The three-way replacement system (water to hydrate, sport drink to replace electrolytes and gel to replace glucose) keeps me powered up and in great condition even during the long races in the middle of summer when the temp is over 100 degrees. As you know, bonking can be very discouraging, but once the gel takes effect the attitude really improves and sometimes that's what you really need the most. I think exercise physiologists have a lot they could teach those of us who work with laboring women.

CHINESE ginsing and royal bee's jelly, it is a combo, comes in small little viles, does the job for me.

> Margie<<<<<works really well is the glucose products that diabetics use

> for insulin shock. There are several kinds, gels and solids....I like

> the gels, like Glutcose, best as it's easier for the mom to get down.

> Usually I spoon it into their mouths between a few contraction with a

> good drink of water to wash it down. If I have a mom who's really

> getting poor contractions and is getting exhausted I give her some of

> this stuff and it's amazing how their labors will just slam back into

> gear!<<<


> we use honey here with the same sort of results; it can be a night and

> day difference!

> It's probably easier to find too. Most folks have it, or have

> remembered to include it in their birth supplies, and I carry a small

> bottle in my box...


> We can give it as a tiny spoon at a time, or in very sweet warm tea...

I use something called GU. It is made for long distance bicycle riders, marathoners, etc. It is high in glucose and carbs and is very easy to digest. Some women can keep it down when they are throwing up everything else. Comes in flavors and in plain.

I also use spirulina mixed in the water bottle for long labors. This seems to help keep moms going too.

I hang on to the little plastic packets of honey like from Starbucks and other places and use those. Poke a pinhole or tear it open, and have the mom suck it down. My dad is on insulin so I always used to carry stuff like that around. He also recommends pure maple syrup, but reminds me that you need to add in a protein within 30 minutes or repeat the sugar, otherwise you will have an even harder crash.


Just got back from trip and noticed your posting. In trying to curb my hot flashes, I tried most of the usual preparations that Susun recommends. While picking herbs in my garden to avoid the frost several months ago, I used a handful of motherwort in my salad w/o realizing that I had done so. This was supposed to be used in tincture and I just was lazy in separating the salad herbs from the medicinal herbs. The consequences were intersting. After a short bout of diahrrhea, I noticed that my hot flashes ceased entirely for several weeks and now I hardly have any! A bit untidy way of finding a solution, but you might proceed w/caution and investigate my finding. Who knows, you may get lucky too:-) BTW, loved Susun Weeds workshop in Citra FL couple of years ago.

> First, have your patient check the product insert of Tamoxifen and see if

> it has damaging effects on the liver. (I just checked- it does.) Susun

> said she went through a period of serious, repeating hot flashes, that

> didn't seem to stop. Taking vitex and black cohosh didn't help and she

> concluded that her liver wasn't able to "deactivate" the chemicals

> circulating in her blood after the flashes, so that they kept coming

> back. She took steps to nourish her liver, including dandelion in all

> forms, burdock, curly (yellow) dock and milk thistle. The hot flashes

> greatly diminished.


> Susun Weed's book "Breast cancer? Breast Health!" has an entire section

> devoted to herbal supports for women who are taking Tamoxifen. The liver

> isn't the only area of concern. Side effects like inflamation of the

> blood veins may exacerbate the hot flashes. (Garlic; an infusion of 1/2

> oz. red clover, 1/2 oz. nettle leaf and a pinch of horsetail in a quart

> of boiling water, capped and left overnight, drunk daily; 1-8 drops of

> pokeweed tincture (which also has anti-cancer and anti-endometriosis

> effects.)]


> Dandelion should play a major part in her diet. She can eat the greens

> (raw in salads or cooked like spinach, including the pot liquor), drink

> the flower wine and make vinegars. (Fill a jar with fresh greens and

> some root, cover with apple cider vinegar, protect the metal top with

> saran wrap, shake daily and decant after 6 weeks). Fresh milk thistle

> seed is delicious and can be ground like pepper over food or made into an

> alcohol tincture.


> She should probably increase phytosterols in her diet, through daily use

> of beans, lentils, soy products, astralagus and red clover. (Phytosterol

> rich diets may give as much resistance to cancer as Tamoxifen, and since

> most women develop resistance to Tamoxifen within 5 years, it would be a

> good practice.)


> When her hot flashes are more normalized, she may find herbs useful for

> support. Fenugreek tea or nettle everything, vitex, or milk thistle or

> motherwort tinctures may help. She should probably choose one and stick

> with it for three months. Vitex especially needs time to build up. But

> she may need to change them as her menopause develops.


> I recommend both of Susun Weed's books, "Breast Cancer? Breast Health"

> and "Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way." She is very well-read in

> the literature, although the breast cancer book is much better at citing

> the references. Much of the information is available nowhere else.


> Secondly, hot flashes may well have a purpose, although the Tamoxifen may

> have pushed your patient into overdrive. They tone the heart (which

> often palpitates). Suggestive studies of octogenarian women who

> remembered suffering from hot flashes, concluded that they had measurably

> stronger hearts than did women who did not have strong hot flashes.


> Hot flashes force us to take appropriate time away from serving others to

> focus on our own spiritual and bodily development. Spiritually and

> emotionally we have hot flashes to learn from. If we hold anger in our

> hearts, the muscles contract and the flash may be blocked, increasing the

> severity of heart palpitations. If we create mental barriers, we may get

> severe headaches. If we deal with these barriers, the flashes create

> biochemical conditions that are similar to the biochemical responses of

> peak religious experiences.

> >A woman in her mid 40's is having extreme hot flashes and is seeking

> >therapies to help. She has history of breast cancer and has had

> >recent

> >hysterectomy/oopherectomy. She is on Tamoxifen and cannot take

> >estrogen

> >therapy. Anyone have any suggestions - I heard Vitamin E helps (is it

> >

> >dose related?). Other suggestions?

Low protien, of which high quality (hormone-free) dairy can be a good component. High calcium from daily tablespoonfuls of vinegar tinctures of herbs or herbs and organic eggshell. Daily cups of overnight infusions of oatstraw, nettles and/or rasberry leaf, with other appropriate herbs for good measure. Leafy vegetables. Fermented soy products for vegans- fermented and nonfermented soy for omnivores or ovo-lacto vegetarians. Beans. Daily weight-bearing exercise (including work with light ankle and wrist weights for wheelchair-bound or otherwise weak persons.)

Estrogen levels are not lower in menopause. The estrogen "spike" does not occur, and FSH/LH levels soar (they are often used as a proxy for low estrogen in tests since in a menstruating woman FSH/LH levels are high when estrogen is low. This would not be an appropriate conclusion in a menopausal or post-menopausal woman.) During normal menopause, based on test results of blood analyzed daily for 3 years, hormone levels fluctuate wildly from day to day, but are not low overall. (Susan Love) Estradriol levels do drop, but that has a cancer-preventative effect and is probably desirable.

Live bone density is important, not bone density alone, which is usually the only thing tested in estrogen therapy studies. Synthetic estrogen probably does cause density to increase, but not live bone density. (Think of a large rotted pine bough vs. a thinner live branch.)

I believe that only 32 named factors of estrogen have been identified, although there are in the neighborhood of 200 types of receptors. Those few that have been synthesized cannot match the mixture naturally produced in a woman's body. The balance in factors most probably varries according to a woman's condition and age. (Analogous to breastmilk which differs significantly in women with premature infants.)

Take the plants with building blocks for hormones and let the body manufacture what it needs. (NB that "natural" progesterone is synthesized from wild yams.)

>OK everyone, what's everyone's opinion on diet and osteoporosis? I was

>taught that calcium from dairy is not as absorbable as from vegetables

>and nuts, even though it's high...in dairy and meats, the

>phosphorus-to-calcium ratio actually encourages loss of calcium, there

>ideally a flesh-free or fish-only-flesh diet is best...Of course, avoid

>sugar, caffeine, and high fat...What do you all think?

<<<<I have never read anything about progesterone cream causing heart defects in the infant. I have a lot of information on progesterone cream and nothing, nothing says that. I would be interested in your source and would like to research it.<<<

I'm not sure if you are referring to over-the-counter progesterone creams or the prescribed meds used in hope of reducing the chance of miscarriage. Here is what the Guide To Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth says regarding progesterone/progestrogen. They note that there has been little research and larger studies may alter this conclusion.

<<pg 86>> ": there is no evidence from the available data to suggest that progestrogens reduce the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatla death in women either with bleeding (threatened miscarriage) or wih a history of recurrent miscarriage".....

"Although the progestrogen follow-up studies have been largely anecdotal and uncontrolled, there have been suggestions from some studies that fetal exposure to the drugs may increase the risk of esphageal atresia, cardiac, neurological, neural tube and other major malformations, and masculinization.. in girls. However, other studies have failed to detect these adverse effects, and so the safety of progestrogens, like their postulated benefits, remains an open question.


Progesterone supplementation is frequently used even though there is not enough evidence to support it's effectiveness and even though it's safety is "open question".

Is everyone familiar with the Guide To Effective Care..? It's an effort to investigate safety and effectiveness of routines and treatments in pregnancy chilbirth. It's not simply a collection of opinions and annecdotes (as are some other texts), but is a compilation of research results.

I'm not surprised, but many of the studies demonstrate clear advantages to midwifery-style care over our US routine management.

On the progesterone the article said "fetal exposure to the drugs", drugs being the key word. That I would say needs more clarification because progesterone from wild yam is not a drug. I would probablly agree with the article that synthetic progesterone drugs could possibly cause fetal probs. I think there is a BIG difference. There are a lot of vitamins and so called durgs that have been duplicated as vitamins but they hardly get the same response from the body. For myself I would rather take a food source vitamin, hormone, etc than a made/synthetic one any time. Of course this doesn't omit any individual reactions or effects to progesterone. Plus there is no way that a study can be done on people who take the health food store or MLM progesterone. That is why the FDA wants to regulate vitamins because they have no control over them. I personally am not concerned if "they" can't find evidence to the outcomes on the use of natural progesterone I watch and see how people react and what happens to their bodies. I haven't used it on pregnant women but one and she loved it. She used it for the mood swings and it did help those immensely. I have women who have had miscarriages taking it with a very good diet and other vitamins. Those alone would help the neural tube defects. If you get to much progesterone in your system then it just converts to estrogen anyway. So I don't see how it could be damaging any way. I for one have been helped with the cream. If it is a placebo, oh well most of healing is just that anyway. I'll take what ever. Just my .02.

Migra nes

| Taking the cayenne inside the nose helps to open up the

| blood vessels. This enables the blood to get nutrients

| to all parts of the brain. To stop a migraine follow

| these simple steps:

| 1. Open the capsule and dip the flat end of a dry

| toothpick into the cayenne to pick up 3-4 grains.

| 2. Block one nostril and gently put cayenne up the

| other nostril.

| 3. Sniff deeply 3-4 times until you feel the flecks of

| pepper in your throat. (If you don't feel this, do

| it again).

| 4. Oncen you feel the warmth in your throat, you headache

| should be gone in minutes

| I used too much when I tried it, and my nose burned, my throat

| burned, and my eyes watered, but the migraine went away! It

| was a pretty nasty one too. At least it's non-pharmaceutical.

I wouldn't call it a non-pharmaceutical at all--merely an unpublicized pharmaceutical. I intend to start prescribing it, but first a few details please. First, can you use it after pain has already started, or must you do it prior to onset of pain during the "aura?" From your post, it sounds like the pain was already well underway because you described it as a "pretty nasty one." Second, does it matter which nostril you use--does it have to be the nostil on the side of the HA? Third, have you ever tried this with muscle contraction HA's? All the other migraine treatments I have ever tried before were also efficatious for muscle contraction HA's also.

Your local health food store should have some homeopathics that are labeled for headaches. They should be safe to take during pregnancy, however, if they are combination remedies, ask them to call the manufacturing company to check to make sure. If you have a homeopathic doctor available, he should be able to help.

Also, aromatherapy has some wonderful headache remedies. One that helps almost any kind of headache is applying a small amount of lavendar essential oil on all the painful spots and on top of that, apply peppermint essential oil. The lavendar is relaxing and the peppermint helps diminish the pain.

>I suffer from cronic headaches due to an auto accident. Several Doctors have

>treated me but I have found no relief. I have tried Feverfew. Is there

>anything I han take that would help. Also, I have tried an elimination diet

>just to be sure that was not the problem.

I think everyone's suggestion of chiropractic, physical therapy and accupuncture are good ideas.

However, in the meantime, there are some homeopathic remedies that are specifically for headaches that are very effective. Also you can try Tiger Balm, rub it on neck, temples, forehead, anywhere you feel pain--it is amazing stuff and you can get some instant relief. I don't know how it works, but it sure does, even on migraines.

Milk thistle is very cleansing, detoxifying, and rebuilds the liver. It's cleansing effects, not only to the liver, but to the entire body may be too harsh for the mother and growing baby to handle. Use only with the advise of an herbalist.


> Question

> 35 year old

> SAB 4 weeks ago

> passed tissue, clots, cramping, etc. all in normal parameters for SAB

> lochia went through usual pattern

> Now:

> bleeding bright red with clots, no cramping, some clots (bleeding

> never really stopped)

> gave her a homeopathic 5 days ago which discharged more tissue and

> stopped the clots but still some bleeding.

> no fever

> no hemorrhaging

> giving her an herbal combination now but wonder if anyone wants to add

> anything

> She's anti D&C

Liquid cholorophyll is standard in our approach to post miscarriage bleeding. One extreme case involved a 40 yo (G8P7) SAB @ 12 wks - hemorrhaged for three days while she was on an out-of-town trip - we communicated via telephone on day three. She was adamantly against hospitals, including D & C. Progressed to where she felt weak and shocky. Told her husband to purchase several 8 oz. bottles of liquid chlorophyll and drink 1/4 cup or or more per hour. She regained her strength and went to pass additional clots and scant tissue. She claimed to feel a remarkable difference while taking the chlorophyll.

Realize this may not be in direct response to your question but thought it somewhat relevant, in addition to the use of applicable herbals.

Anyone else use liquid chlorophyll for blood loss, anemia, etc?

I noticed the posting on FUR and I believe it is good for getting pg. but not for during pregnancy. I do a lot of work with moms who miscarry and want to get pg a thing the midwives around here dont like to do I was told FURwas the way to go and have seen women mis almost every time . If I have a mom with a hx of misc. I use black haw not FUR But I guess I have a different theory than most I kinda feel like you shouled leave the uterus alone and even more so if it is or has had a hx of being irritable I relax it with the black haw and dont even recommend red rasp. We have stopped frank bleeding with BH about 20 or more times and had wonderful live births with no defects of any kind and have given it to many more with hx and carried babies to term . I also use homeopathics on moms who are willing. We seem to have a pretty good success rate. It was something I really have a heart for I had 6 miscariages before the birth of my daughter.

Here is some information on the herbs your patient is taking. The Red Raspberry is perfectly safe to take throughout pregnancy. The False Unicorn should be used for a more specific indication and probably not throughout the whole pregnancy. When you have future questions regarding the appropriate use of certain herbs there is a sight on the web which contains the book by Grieves entitled A Modern Herbal at http/www.botanical.com. There is also a site which gives information on Naturopathic Medicine at www.infinite.org/Naturopathic Physician/frame.html if you are interested.

Red Raspberry or Rubus strigosus-

--Medicinal Action and Uses---Astringent and stimulant. Raspberry Leaf Tea, made by the infusion of 1 OZ. of the dried leaves in a pint of boiling water, is employed as a gargle for sore mouths, canker of the throat, and as a wash for wounds and ulcers. The leaves, combined with the powdered bark of Slippery Elm, make a good poultice for cleansing wounds, burns an= d scalds, removing proud flesh and promoting healing.=20 An infusion of Raspberry leaves, taken cold, is a reliable remedy for extreme laxity of the bowels. The infusion alone, or as a component part = of injections, never fails to give immediate relief. It is useful in stomach complaints of children.=20

Raspberry Leaf Tea is valuable during parturition as a uterine tonic. It can be taken freely - warm. (Grieves)

False Unicorn Root or Chamaelirium luteum

Synonyms - Helonias

---Medicinal Action and Uses---Emetic, tonic, diuretic, vermifuge. In lar= ge doses a cardiac poison. Of the greatest value in female disorders of the reproductive organs. The indication for its use is a dragging sensation i= n the extreme lower abdomen. It is useful in impotence, as a tonic in genito-urinary weakness or irritability, for liver and kidney diseases. Especially in diseases due to poor action of the liver and not to weaknes= s of the heart or circulation. It is a good remedy in albuminaria.

---Preparations---Fluid extract, 5 to 30 drops. Helonin, 2 to 4 grains.

Specific helonias, 1 to 20 drops.


And from Felter -=20

"Helonias is a valuable uterine tonic, specifically adapted to uterine weakness in which relaxation of tissue is so great as to give the sensation of downward pressure, dragging or expulsion - or as the patient expresses it, "a sensation as if everything in the pelvis would fall out.= "=20

Marked irritability and despondency are often associated =85.It is also s= aid to relieve the nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, to prevent miscarriages.=

> >We have a new OB patient in our practice who is taking a supplement

> >marketed as "False Unicorn" and is something called Chamaelirium

> >luteum. The bottle says it comes from a false unicorn root. The patien= t

> >reports it is to strengthen her uterus (as to prevent a spontaneous

> >abortion). She is an 18 year old G3P0A2, two spontaneous abortions.

> >

> >She is also drinking raspberry tea on a regular basis as this accordin= g to

> >her promotes an easier labor.

> >

> >I have not heard of either of these and would appreciate any informati= on

> >or insight.

> Can anyone on the list help me out with a suggested thoughtful reply to this

> question, including resource citations?


> Thanks a million.

Got this information for you from Encyclopedia of Herbs and their uses by Deni Brown.

Chamaelirium Luteum (false unicorn root). Chamaelirium comes from the Greek, "slow growing" and leirion, "lily". Luteum means "yellow". First used by the native N Americans to prevent miscarriage, it won favor with settlers in the 18th & 19th centuries for depression and "derangements of women". It was listed in the U.S. National Formulary and is still regarded by present-day herbalists as invaluable for gynecological problems.

Parts Used: Rhizomes, roots

Properties: An astringent, bitter, diuretic herb that acts mainly as an ovarian and uterine tonic. It also expells intestinal worms!

Medicinal: Internally for menstrual and menopausal complaints, infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, fibroids, threatened miscarriage, and morning sickness. Excess causes vomiting.


Hope this helps some. The rasberry tea is great. I would think the FUR is fine but she should not take it for to long.

> According to "Herbs and Spices for Pregnancy and Nursing" by Eileen Zum-Mallen, F.U.R. may bring excessive amounts of blood into the uterus and increase the possibility of miscarriage. It is used to strengthen a FALLEN uterus pp, but should not be used during pregnancy. It's ok for nursing, though.

Black Haw is also high in salicin which may help pain during and after labor. My sources say it's very safe and gentle for relaxing the uterus to prevent miscarriage, too.

Sometimes a women will look like they habitually misscarry when this is not a hormone problem. You may have a small low grade infection that is lingering. A two week course of Echinacea and Vit. C four times a day for you and your partner (they can give it back to you) or antibiotics for you both also can help.

A women whos birth I will be at in July had four misscarriages and after treatment she became pregnant and did not lose the baby. She has four other children. I have had other experence with this with good results.

Sometimes the low grade uterine infection is from the first miss after a D&C or surgery.

I have used chlorophyl for years. I had a client who was a marathon runner. She watched her hubby run in one and was so nervous that she got weak, shaky, and threw up. Her parents brought her to me and I tool one look at her and went and got my chlorophyl and gave her a swig. In about 30 seconds she sat up and the color returned to her face and she said WOW I feel great. I've used it for a long time for what you mentioned and this type of situation.

I do. It is good for treating these conditions but it is also imperative to address the cause of the bleeding - i.e. retained fragments. I use dong quai for this.

Shepard's Purse will stop bleeding and tighten the blood vessels. It has been used by women 3-6 months pp to stop bleeding when surgery was the only alternative.

Morning Sickness

Regarding persistant vomiting (Hyperemesis Gravidarum):

If Ginger is tried, it should be taken as 1 gram of powder daily, in 4 divided doses. Use for short peroids of time, and do not exceed 1 g. daily. No reported side effects. (pg. 116 Herbal Prescriptions for Better Health by Donald J. Brown, ND) The author cites a Danish study: Fischer-Rasmussen W, Kjaer SK, et al : Ginger Treatment of hyperemesis gravidarum. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 38:19-24, 1990.

Milk Thistle- This should contain 80% silymarin, the active ingredient,280-420 mg. daily in 3 divided doses. It is available from Metagenics/Ethical Nutrients at 800-647-6100. The book The Naturally Healthy Pregnancy, a Guide to the Childbearing Years by Shonda Parker would be a good resource for this. 1-888-HERB-101.

MT is essentially free of side effects and is considered safe to use during pregnancy and lactation. (pg. 152 Herbal Prescriptions.) Many references are listed in the back of the book supporting its use in aiding liver function. Too many to list.

I am going to try a preventative program to try to bypass that ever worsening vomiting. One theory is that the body is trying to rid itself of toxins by vomiting. We store toxins in our liver. Supposedly, if Milk Thistle (standardized to 80 mg. silymarin) is taken consistently before pregnancy and during the first trimester, the liver will gently detox, and hyperemesis can be avoided. I will find references and post them another time. Has anyone tried or heard of this?

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, hyperemesis is caused by the liver becoming more and more congested with pregnancy hormones. I recommend all women with this condition visit a practitioner who uses Chinese Medicine. Certain herbs can be used that will decongest the liver for relief. It's amazing to use a healing way that is so ancient as well as effective.


I frequently suggest nettles in EVERY form for respiratory allergies. I think about 60% of the time it helps tremendously. I suggest eating cooked fresh nettles if they are available, drinking nettle tea daily, taking low dose (6X-30C) homeopathic nettles (aka urtica) once daily and 1-2 capsules of freeze dried nettles 2-3 times a day. As they are nutritive and considered safe in pregnancy I am generally very comfortable suggesting this "global" approach. Of course I never know which form has worked :) Also, for any allergic reaction I think eliminating dairy, simple carbohydrates and any suspected food allergens decreases the load on the immune system thereby increasing the available resources. Lastly, but certainly far from least, I believe sleep and exercise form the foundation for all health and especially immunological wellness. You can not build a strong house without a solid foundation.

Peppermint for Peeing

We use peppermint oil ( I get mine at the health food store ) and just put a couple of drops in the toilet and have her sit. I'm not sure of the mechanism that makes this work but it does work !!

It seems like eons ago (maybe even on an AOL forum) that I read some midwife posts about using peppermint to encourage a woman to pee.

I currently have a client who was induced with her last pregnancy at 41wks because she could not pee at all. She definitely wants to avoid this problem again, if at all possible.

So what kind/form of peppermint is it that helps? Essence? Oil? And it is held right under the urethra, right? She wants to know if the peppermint oil she uses to flavor homemade mints would work.

"Spirits of peppermint are sometimes used to aid the woman to void naturally. "Spirits" are concentrated alcohol solutions of volatile substances; they are also known as essences. Spirits of peppermint give off vapors. these vapors have an external, local relaxing effect on the sphincter muscle of the urinary meatus. Use of peppermint spirits may make it unnecessary to catheterize. The nurse places a bedpan under the woman and pours a few drops of peppermint spirits into the bedpan. The vapors rise to flow over the vulvar area, the urinary meatus relaxes, and urine is released. Nothing touches the woman except the vapors; the woman feels no sensation, only notices the aroma of peppermint." I am very intrigued by this peppermint stuff. Now does it work in late labour?... and does any one have any other tricks for helping women wee when they get to that point of being unable to distinguish full bladder sensations from contractions (and with a head blocking the urethra anyway its so low?)... Would it work for women with epidurals too you think? I'm going out to buy a bottle today... I've previously relied on setting all the taps running, which makes me end up having to run out with my legs crossed but the woman still crouched dispiritedly over an empty bedpan..

I have found that peppermint essential oil is invaluable to me at a birth, for two reasons. First, to combat nausea, ( I put it on a q-tip and wave it under her nose) and for the bedpan/toilet. Two or three drops in the toilet work great.... I am unfammiliar with "spirits" but the essential oil works great!!!


I have a client whose husband was about ready to commit her due to the pms symptoms. She has been using the Nature's Sunshine- Monthly Maintenance for 4 months. After the first bottle, she called to report a MIRACLE!! She vows to never be without it.

<< To the Queens of Foliage--

I have a pt who is requesting herbal remedies for her PMS symptoms.

Tension, irritability, "basic bitch". Got some suggestions for her?


I have had personal success with Vitex (Chaste Tree Berry), which is recommended by various sources (Susun Weed, etc). I found I had to take a lot (2-4 650mg capsules) for six months to completely relieve my symptoms (weight gain, sore swollen breasts, and general crabbiness which I always attributed to feeling so lousy so much of the month) I have astonishingly short cycles, 24-26 days, so I would barely recover from one cycle before it would start all over again. Yuck.

I got relief right away, once I took a high enough dose, and it just got better and better over the eight months of therapy. I stopped about a year ago have had no recurrences. My experience is in line with what published sources say to expect---a relatively long course of daily therapy should put the hormones back in proper balance. Vitex is a tonic, ie it doesn't so much alleviate symptoms as it re-aligns the body systems responsible for the symptoms. Therefore results are a bit slow in coming, but can be expected to be long lasting.

Supposedly, it is also a good herb for peri-menopause, but so far on the list we don't seem to have any takers. Anyone up for being a guinea pig??

Oatstraw is great for the nerves. It is high in calcium and magnesium and complements Chamomile wonderfully. It is also a great herb if yeast infections are a problem. Peppermint not only gives your tea a wonderful taste, but it is a great digestive aid as well. It is used frequently for upset stomachs, poor digestion, and for colds and fever. Skullcap and valerian are always good to. Good luck.

Dear Foliage Idiot (teehee,sorry, couldn't resist)

I'm no Herbal Queen, but I do know a lot about "basic bitch" (pardon my french) having suffered from PMS myself. I have found several things to be particularly helpful in preventing those monthly heeby jeebies:

1) Pro-Gest Body Cream. This is a topically applied skin cream that contains progesterone distilled from Wild Yam Root. I get it from my chiropractor. It's made by Professional & Technical Services, Inc. in Portland, OR. 1-800-866-9085. Dosage is usually 1/4 to 1/2 tsp starting after ovulation. Varies with individual.

2) Fish Oils(for EPAs). I take MaxEPA by Solgar. I take 1275mg caps, 3 per day.

3) High GLA oils, such as Evening Primrose, Borage, Black Current Seed, or Flax. I take Linum B6 by Standard Process Labs- contains 630mg Flaxseed Oil. 2 caps per day.

There is some useful info about balancing GLAs/EPAs to control PMS symptoms in a book called "Beyond Prozac- Brain-Toxic Lifestyles, Natural Antidotes & New Generation Antidepressants" by Michael Norden, MD. It also has lots of other interesting stuff about sleep, light, diet, cholesterol, etc., and how all these things effect our moods.

Postpartum baths

We make a postprtum sitzbath for our clients using fresh herbs. We use confrey leaf, sage, shepards purse, uva ursi leaf, lavender flowers, confrey root, myrrh gum, garlic and sea salt. After our moms don't need it anymore they keep it around for diaper rash. Sure seems to do the trick...AM


> I have a friend who is writing her sr. paper in nursing about things to

> decrease perineal pain. She is including perineal massage prenatally, but

> I told her about some of the herbal things that you all have mentioned and

> she was intrigued. I know you all have your own little things to use for

> this, we have been talking some about the comfrey and papaya for bruising,

> but inundate me with all of the info. you can, re: herbal sitz baths,

> massage oils, other techniques, anything at all! Privately of course!

> On another topic -- bathing newborns. Moms are frequently advised to not

> immerse baby until after the cord falls off. But when I was a nursing

> student and did a three month internship at Evergreen Hospital in

> Kirkland, they routinely told parents that they could immerse their babies

> and we did a bath and baby care class where we showed parents how to bathe

> their babies by immersing their full bodies in water! Again, probably

> thousands of babies, no increase in cord infections. Parents were told

> that it might not be a great idea to immerse the kid daily, and to use

> alcohol on the cord after it got wet, but that was all.

In our practice, we do a postpartum herbal bath for mom and babe, something that migrated east from Michigan, I believe. We do it 1 hour postpartum, and it is usually a most wonderful experience for both (very photogenic, too). We see no infection.

Re: alcohol. We have told parents for several years NO alcohol on the cord. Now we have been supported by research evidence that alcohol actually delays cord drying and falling off (done in Ontario, I'm not sure at this time where it was published). The theory is that alcohol destroys beneficial bacteria that colonize the skin and enhance the drying and separation of the cord. We warn parents that on about day 3 or 4 the cord will get *really* stinky and then the next day it comes off. We rarely see cord stumps on for more than 3 - 4 days.

I always took a tub bath after my own home births. I didn't suggest any clients do so only if they had no shower like I did. No one ever got an infection from bathing and I think that good old fashioned soap and water work fine. I had one woman who hadn't even showered a day later develop an infec. I put a gruel sort of stuff in her vagina with her hips elevated and her fever dropped within 1 hour. That stuff was pretty gnarly looking and smelling, garlic, goldenseal etc I have the recipe somewhere but haven't had to ever use it since that time. She got better with all that stuff in her and gravity and all cleaned her out pretty good. Who knows I think it is more of a preference with individual midwives. If you take an empty coke bottle and turn it open end down and place it into a sink full of water, how far up the neck of the bottle does the water go??? Not far. When a woman is in labor, and in her own home, where the chance of infection is really low, she can sit in a tub of water. All of our women, intact or not at sometime get into the tub. We have never had one case of infection. I am new at this but I work with a wonderful woman who has been in the biz for 22 years. Between us, mostly her, we have 2000 births. Never one infection. I also labor coach for women who want to deliver in the hospital. I see infection there, but I really think its from all the vaginal exams. We never do vaginals, for any reason, if waters have broken. We only do two for most of our labors. One when we arrive and one when mom says she needs to push. Often we never do the second one. We have all our moms soak in our herb pack within 24 hours of their birth. Never any infection.

I have found that you don't have to do as much suturing if the woman is = willing to use herbal sitz baths and Castor oil packs on her yoni. This = causes the tissues to heal faster if there is a bit more tearing, and if = the mom is cooperative you may not feel the need to suture as much. I lik= e to talk about all this ahead of time to get an idea of what she wants = to happen. Also, supplements such as vit. C, E, A, and St John's Wort tin= cture help promote healing of these delicate tissues. For the severe tearing, I have a tea bag sort of thing that has powdered comfrey and plantain in it. My clients really like it for their soreness. I can't say as it works for severe tearing but why not test it. Also I have a recipe for something called People paste, or (Goose Poops). These can be put just inside where the most soreness is felt and left to do their job. Not all day or anything but for an hour or so. Then it can be changed. This is a real good paste for anything, scrapes, bruises etc. Inside and out. There are only 3 ingredients, equal parts of all 3 powdered, slippery elm, golden seal and myrrh. This is the base and now for vaginal tears you can add comfrey and plantain if wanted. Now you can add clover powder if strong pain relief is needed. You can mix these herbs with honey, molasses, aloe vera, water, etc. You want the mixture a little on the med. dry side so it will stay in a form. Make a big tear drop shape. These can be inserted just slightly or as much as the lady feels comfortable with. At least it should be in contact with the damaged tissues. I forgot all about these as I have only been using them for the past 6 months and haven't had to use them enough to have it right on the top of my head. I have been using the tea bag things for a few years and I have had ladies ask for more.

: >For the severe tearing, I have a tea bag sort of thing.

I have found that unbleached coffee filters work really well for this. You can put the herbs in it and staple or glue it together. I make them up in bulk and carry them in my postpartum visit bag.

>Do you mean unbleached paper coffee filters? Do you make a tea

>or infusion then, or put these directly on the perineum?


I do both! I pour boiling water over the (single cup size paper) coffee filter in a small bowl. Let it steep for 10 min. or so and then, after checking for temp, apply it directly on the perineum. I put the leftover tea water from the bowl in the mom's peri bottle. I do this at the first day visit usually and then leave a few for the mom to use if they want to (and have time). Mom's usually love it!

You can use the unbleached coffee filters if you want. You do like you are going to make a tea, hot water etc. Put the bag in the hot water just long enough till you see the herbs leak into the water. Then press out the excess water not to much though and carefully separate the labia and set bag on sore tissues or perineum. Leave on till cold dip very fast in to the hot water and turn over the bag and use the other side do the same to the tissues. Can be repeated with same tea bag 3 times on each side.

Can't remember someone else said about stapeling and carrying in post partum bag. the only thing about the stapels they might rust and/or poke tender tissues. If they rust that wouldn't be very hygenic. Mine are sealed or fused together. I have someone make them. Hope this is clearer.

You can sew these up, too. By hand or by machine. That way you wont have metal staples or chemicals from glue on the perineum. I use cheesecloth fabric to make these, but coffee filters would sure be easier.

Here's a formula for a PostPartum herb bath. Not sure where I got it.

1/8-1/4 cup sea salt

1 ounce Uva Ursi

2 ounces Comfrey

1 ounce Shepherd's Purse

1 clove garlic

I usually blend them up, strain and add to bath water.

Pot Smoking

I had always heard that there may be a relationship between smoking marijuana and retained placentas, but nothing else. While I don't (and never have) myself used drugs, from what I've read the research on the effects of drugs on pregnancy is very nonspecific and no one is sure of the effects of crack cocaine, let alone marijuana. The largest study being done by the US government on crack and pregnancy could find no correlation between the drugs and any newborn complications (this however was done on monkeys). Often drug abusers also abuse cigarettes and/or alcohol in addition to illict drugs. The first home birth I attended as an apprentice midwife was a woman who had tested positive for cocaine. Both did fine during the birth.

><< Wouldn't drug abuse risk someone out of a homebirth???? >>


>I know of one case that I was not involved in, but had met the woman, in

>which she was questioned as to marijuana smoking, and warned about second

>hand smoke, as her partner was a Rasta from Jamaica. She denied any smoking

>or being around him when he smoked. <snip> This midwife now questions all

>clients about marijuana eating as well as smoking.

I recently had a client who swore that the only way she could eat or drink ANYTHING for months was to smoke pot. I've seen others smoke during p, but never to this extent. She was able to eat and nourish the baby and everything went fine throughout the rest of her pregnancy and birth. I don't feel comfortable with any smoke intake to the lungs at any time of life, but have seen no ill effects from marijuana use. I've even read studies where children of mothers who smoked mj during p ended up with higher IQs! That's my 2 C.

Back in the 'good old days' when we delivered a lot of babies in teepees and school busses in the forest, I suspected a lot of pot use. Twice I saw baby boys with *very * small penises (same size as their nipple buds) and also several hypospadiases.(is that the proper plural?...)..Anyway, I believe I'd read that THC reduces the effect of testosterone. So I thought that those findings on those babies were related to heavy pot use. None of the moms admitted to using, but after the births in a couple of cases, I had relatives approach me and say"do you think it was all the pot she was smoking?"

I had a mom who was in recovery from coke use go on a binge and had a pretty severe abruptio. It's funny because I was at a MFM conference last year where the neonatologists and an OB were telling us that there was no real evidence that coke, speed or heroin caused defects or any complications other than addicted babies. That supposedly is the latest.

But I'd seen previous studies that cited fetal strokes and abruptios due to mom's elevated BPs while using. Also small babies and a variety of congenital defects. What this OB and neonatologist team was saying was that many of those problems were related to a drug user's decreased nutrition,and exposure to tobacco and alcohol.

Last year I delivered a couple of babies to moms that were supossedly in recovery, but probably not . They were both on the small side, and a little jittery but responded well to frequent feeding, so who knows?

It sure makes it hard when some authority reports no real adverse outcomes from drug use, though.A very tough situation. I met a man in his 70's in a dentist's waiting room. We got to talking and he said he had worked for a large drug company for 45 years. He said they used to put THC (refined drug from marijuana) in almost all their prescriptions. He said they never had problems with nausea and it also had a sedative effect. I guess anorexia was also not a problem. He said the had to stop using it and haven't found a good replacement

<<<I had always heard that there may be a relationship between smoking marijuana and retained placentas, but nothing else. <<

well, while almost no-one ever admits to using marijuana in pregnancy; I suspect that a large minority and possibly a majority of folks around here do....

This makes it hard to figure cause and effect of course, but I have to say that we see very few retained placentas (ae) and I don't remember any of them in our few clients whom we KNEW smoked marijuana.

If I remember right, soooo many years ago, we never let mom use mj unless labor was well established. But I do remember that we never saw any problems. I read somewhere about small penis or something but we never say anything like that.

<<<I don't feel comfortable with any smoke intake to the lungs at any time of life, but have seen no ill effects from marijuana use. I've even read studies where children of mothers who smoked mj during p ended up with higher IQs! That's my 2 C. <<

ah yes, the Rastafarian study done in Jamaica! I've never seen this actual report, just reports "of" it; but it sure is interesting. The argument against it goes that the study group of Rastas were middle class and well-to-do women, and were compared to the Jamiacan general population; rather than to a group matching their own income levels. SO one has to wonder about nutrition levels also.

But, I agree that we don't "see" problems with our known dope-smoking women.

(please, don't take this out of context. I'm NOT condoning use in pregnancy; and I agree it's possible there may be subtle problems which we are not able to see).

REmargurite<<<With women who were mj users, our problem is that they would not have effective ctx. I think they ended up with a uterus that was too relaxed.<<,

Well, the annecdotal stories in these parts say that mj users go fast and furious and often precipt! (this was the case in the few I KNOW were users) Marijuana is claimed to be an oxytocic. Actually, mj is an oxytocic! Look it up! I have worked with many women who smoke during their pregnancy and to be honest, for the most part their labours were good to great. Not always, and I'm not suggesting that it become part of your prenatal care, but the fact is it is an oxytocic and thus it will enhance your ctx. Now I have very rarely used it as a medicine in labour, but there have been times that I have. For the most part, I have not had the desired shift in labour -- I have tried during prolonged labours, again, with women who smoked it anyway, or in one case, who had smoked and who's husband had some around.

I have made my own tincture of the stuff as the tinc. form will provide the oxy. effect with out the stone (you should have seen the great reluctance of the people who I got the herb from - "Your gonna use that for WHAT? What a waste!". But sometimes the smoke is easier and quicker, but has the downside again, of getting them stoned. Thus only if they already use the stuff, otherwise the tinc. is effective and more acceptable.

Theoretically, I would give it a go for a prolonged labour to give the woman a rest and relaxation, while simultaneously getting the uterus to contract perhaps a bit more effectively (though I don't actually agree with the concept that the uterus ever ctx ineffectively, just that we have other ideas as to how it show be working, like how we feel about our husbands!). But, as I said, have not had great success with it as a "cure", but again, have seen many women smoke it during their labour, usually before I get there, with no problems including retained placentas, but I may have a different definition of retained placenta as I previously posted. Personally, I don't consider mj to be the same as substance abuse which I would consider the chemicals and alcohol, etc.

Dear beautiful midwives,

I am still in the apprentice stage and enjoy reading all the great info and wisdom, but I have a question concerning marijuana vs. cigarette smoking. My sr. midwife doesn't do homebirth for cigarette smokers, and yet I see many have a open mind about doing homebirths with mj involved. Could anyone educate me on the difference between the dangers of cigarette vs. mj smoking and if and why you would do home births for a cigarette smoker?

Both marijuana and cigarettes have devastating and long lasting effects on the baby and the mother. Some folks just don't believe MJ is a big deal, yet research is supporting its long term effects. It is interesting to me a mom would want a home birth, non-medicated birth, yet choose to use marijuana and/or smoke. I don't need to generate a list of the effects, all midwives should know them and discuss them with their clients. The reality is, smoking is addictive, and the addiction wins out for some folks. So, some midwives attend women that smoke for home births. I attend women that smoke for hospital births. How can I make them quit ? I can't. But, they are the ones that must live with the consequences of: SIDS, asthma, learning disabilities, an SGA or growth retarded baby, not me. Also, the carcinogens for the woman affect fertility, the heart, the cervix and bone density. We do the best we can, but the reality is, some women will smoke. I review the risks carefully with women. I think we are going to see more and more out about both of these, and the long term negative effects. I praise the tobacco industry for finally getting a grip on the reality. Sorry, this is one of my passions. And I've been an addictive smoker too.

Back in the old, "glow in the dark days", alot of folks equated marajuana with natural and didn't even consider it a drug, and would have really been down on someone smoking tobacco but wouldn't think twice about mj smoke. I think it also has to do with the perception of mj smoking only being occasional vs cigarette smoking being frequent and daily depending on the user's habits. This is not a justification, just an insight into how someone might think this way.


Sounds a lot like sciatica. This could be caused by the excess fluid in your tissues at that TOTM pressing on the sciatic nerve and can be painful. A chiropractor or acupuncturist could be helpful. Also doing yoga or getting a massage with oils like lavender, chamomile, or geranium, or include herbal extracts of crampbark or cayenne pepper. If the kidneys are weak, take an infusion of equal parts of bearberry, cornsilk, horsetail, and half a part of lady's slipper.

Hope this helps.

Slippery Elm

I have many women who take spoonfuls of slippery elm with meals for indigestion and have no complaints or problems, but find relief from the heartburn.

Hi wisewomen,

I've heard that slippery elm is contraindicated in pregnancy. Have a client who wants to drink it in a lemon and honey tea for a URI combined with vomiting. I know nothing about why slippery elm would be bad in pregnancy. Just remembered that my sr. midwife once said it wasn't good. What say you all? Other great suggestions for my client's symptoms?

Echinacea-goldenseal tincture is my standby suggestion and personal favorite.

Slippery elm is fine during p- sore throats, colds, irrit. of mucus membranes, inflammations, gas. It also can help produce beneficial mucus in systems such as digestive and reproductive. Also good for morning sickness and pp stitches.

Stay away from goldenseal, though, it's too stimulating to the uterus. It is okay for nursing if mom and babe aren't too sensitive too it.

Slippery elm is totally and completely safe during pregnancy. The old taboo against slippery elm in pregnancy dates to when it was used as an abortifacient when large pieces were placed inside the cervix where they would cause the cervix to open (much like laminaria) and irritate the uterus. Of course this was very unsafe and hence the old myth that it was dangerous in pregnancy. I think you can read about this in either The Herb

Book or The Family Herbal (?) sorry but it's been a long time since I read that. Slippery elm is very mild when taken orally and I've never ever heard anything but praise for its action. Echinacea during pregnancy is also good, but I'd recommend against goldenseal due to its potency in initiating preterm labor. Other good options are odorless garlic, vit. C, fenugreek, and most importantly a change in diet to eliminate mucous production (like no animal protein, especially dairy products). A good remedy for vomiting is capsules with slippery elm, cinnamon, comfrey, and goldenseal, although nowadays everyone's afraid of comfrey leaves and goldenseal has to be watched in pregnancy.

Tell your client that slippery elm is ok for vomiting and very nurishing. But goldenseal is contraindicated during pregnancy except at the end when I sometimes use it to get stalled labor going or to get a labor going period. Again it is safe in pregnancy and especially for morning sickness for nurishment when nothing else will stay down.

St John's Wort

>Why the difference? Is it a matter of strength (so we could perhaps just

>alter amounts) or are the two shrubs different medically?


>The domestic stuff grows EVERYWHERE around here....


Gail ,the wild stuff is all around you also, the official herb is hypericum perforatum. It is so abundant in the NW that the land management folks have imported bugs to decrease its population, it's considered a noxious weed . I noticed the domestic kinds all around in rock gardens and landscaping and wondered the same thing if it would make an oil. The perforatum variety has large oil glands that you can see sort of looks like black speckles looking down on it but held up to the light they are see-thru( like the leaves are perforated) I haven't looked at the domestic kind to see if they have that much oil or not. In any case how I have made the oil from the wild stuff is to cut the top quarter of the flowering plant ( this is mostly flowers) Make sure the plants don't have any dew or water on them and pack them in a clean dry canning jar to just at the bottom of the screw on part, then cover with olive oil.[ I've used the cheap stuff from "Rainbow Foods" before and it had so much solvent in it I got a much redder oil in less time] Once in the jar use a chopstick or clean table knife to get the air bubbles out, I let it sit for 6-8 weeks checking it often to besure it doesn't get moldy in Vancover and in Portland I would put it on top of my water heater , over the stove or maybe over the fridge some warm dry place to keep it from molding. Straining is another trick entirely and would probably take some creativity on your part to find something that will work for you . First pour off the oil into another jar, now its time to be creative in figuring out how to extract the remaining oil from the plant material, at different times I've use a champion juicer, a C-clamp with nesting circular grater parts cheese cloth and a bowl, a jack with some nesting stainless steel bowls, now I,m using an antique press I found at a yard sale. The idea being to get as much of the oil out of the plant material as possible because it is the richest in active ingredents. Once extracted add to the rest of the oil in the jar, now you can put it into smaller jars or make it into salve. Since I usually only make it for family and a few friends I put the red oil in pickle jars or sometimes artichoke jars and add a little Everclear on top to help preserve it(probably about 1TBS).

If you try the domestic plants let me know how it turns out.

PS I have tried to make oil out of the dried herb and it takes about one year for the oil to turn red and it wasn't as effective in relieving pain.

I have a source for St. Johns Wort Oil. I get it for making some of my blends. It is a little costly but well worth it. I use it in a Tummy Rub oil for stretch marks. Email me privately and I will send you the info.

> Does anyone have experience of birthing women with whip-lash injuries? How

> do you deal with the whip-lash pains, at birth in a hospital setting or at

> home and during the pregnancy? Information and suggestions will be

> appreciated. Thank you.

Last year, I had a client come to me who had been rear ended and was seven months pregnant. She was quite sore and had a whip lash. This is what we did and it worked to relieve her pain and she went on to have an uncomplicated birth:

1. Scheduled regular chiropractic care

2. Massages twice a week

3. St. John's Wort Oil applied directly to achey spasming muscles

4. St. John's Wort tincture (20 drops) and Skullcap (6 to 10 drops) for pain and muscle spasm.

5. Ice compresses or hot compresses to particularly sore areas as needed to relieve pain and spasms.

6. Encouraged to maintain good nutrition, lots of fluids, increased fruit and vegies, etc.

7. Increased rest (extra naps), and mild exercise, working up the amount as tolerated.

I was not familier with the use of Arnica at the time but would suggest it to my fellow listees in case you do not know this:

St. John's wort ( Hypericum)

In most of the US, except northern Michigan, the St. John's wort is ready to process:

First find the weed ( wort) make sure you know it is the right one!

Pick it from an area that you know is environmentally clean and stable, at least 200 ft away from any road, ditch or railroadtrack.

Got the right plant? You are sure it is clean? Want to pick it?

Now, this is important! Rub the yellow flower with your finger and see if it stains your finger purple! If it does, proceed, if not let the plant soak up more sunshine.

For the infused oil: PIck only the yellow flowerheads, stuff as many as you can into a pint glass canning jar, fill it up with a good grade oliveoil, the oil should cover the plantmaterial with at least 1/2 inch of oil on top, run a wooden posiclestick or something like that, it should be wood, around the inside edge of the glass to release airbubbles. Add a touch of vodka to help retard spoilage. Loosely cover the jar with the lid. Put outside into direct sunshine for about 10 days, it really depends on the weather, but by than you should see a beautiful red oil emerge. That is infused St. John's wort oil. Strain it through an unbleached coffefilter into sterilized, clean bottles, add a touch of Vit.E, label and there you have your stash to heal stretchmarks, wounds and scars, sciatica, hemorrhoids, bedsores, strange rashes between big boobs etc....( my experience)

Sunsensitive people should stay out of the sun when using the product. Add some melted pure beeswax to the oil and you have a salve.

Keeps for about a year.

For tea:

Again ,check the plant for it's purple residue on your hands.

Pick the whole plant, hang it upside down to dry at a warm, dry, dark place.

When sure it is dry, use flowerheads and leaves, pulverize in a wooden bowl with an oval, hard stone,( I have been taught to stay away from metal things when preparing herbs, wooden bowl and stone is a great mortar and pestle) store in a brown glass jar and use a tsp.per cup of boiling water once a day to chase the blues away.( For me )

Good luck! Enjoy ! This plant has been used by Europeans and native Americans for hundreds of years and it is kind of funny that 20/20 just discovered it.

Also, it is time to make meadow tea:

Gather: red clover, Queen Anne's lace, new burdockleaves, tender raspberry, blackberry and strawberry leaves, dry on a papersacK ( no writing)until the plants can be crumbled and mixed together, add white sweet clover, fir needles, calendula blossoms, mint, plantain..or whatever grows in your region you would use for medicine..

When I take my " checking the plants out, walk every day" I gather a bit of those plants and by the end of summer I have a wonderful tea, rich in nutrients and Vitamins that carries me through the winter..

st. john's wort is a shrubby little plant, can be up the two feet tall, with oval leaves, that have little spots underneath, flowers are clustered and yellow..

There is a plant tracker website that willl explain to you everything about the plant...

Gather the St. John's wort....

Thuja/condyloma treatments

My husband had very bad plantar warts on his feet and we couldn't afford a drs visit so he tried his grandmother's remedy for warts - vinegar. Vinegar is 5% acid and killed the warts. They turned a washed out white color, except for the blood vessels which turned black. After several days (maybe 3 - 4) they fell off leaving deep pits that healed within 10 days or so.

Now to the condyloma part. A friend of mine had bad condyloma during the last pregnancy. Dr said leave them alone until close to delivery when he would excise them. He said they'd just grow back if he did it sooner. She was very uncomfortable physically and mentally with them, so she remembered my husband's remedy and began douching with vinegar douches (not straight vinegar) about every 2 to 3 days. The warts began dying and within 3 weeks (I think that's the right time frame) the vast majority of the warts were gone. She did not have to have them excised. any of you following the thread on condyloma on the ob list? Any thoughts on the homeopathic remedy THUJA?

>Thuja is a herbal extract. How it works is still unknown,

>as is true for most homeopathic medicines.


>However, there is a very interesting article from Germany

>in Leukemia ( 1988 Aug) 2(8): 528-533. Gohla, SH et al. Mitogenic

>activity of high molecular weight polysaccharide fraction

>isolated from Thuja occidentale, which describes how it

>induces CD4 positive Th+ lymphocytes.


>There is some more information on using Thuja

>for treating warts at



>Thuja should be available at homeopathic

>pharmacies. It is extensively

>described in homepathic textbooks as well !


It works. Can also take it orally. And need to be consistent if applying it.I would recommend it even if someone is treating warts allopathically.I just suspect that if you can see warts, the woman will be at increased risk for HPV on cervix. I think the thuja helps prevent this and so I prefer the oral variety.

Thuja is actually a CD-4 T cell activator....can see that this might help in resolution of HPV. May not be magic after all.

Thuja occidentalis (Cupressaceae) Arbor Vitae Many Native American peoples prized arbor vitae as a medicine for fever, headaches, coughs, swollen hands, and rheumatic problems. It was burned as a smudge for its scent and to ward off evil spirits. The 19th-century Eclectic herbalists used arbor vitae as a remedy for bronchitis, rheumatism, and uterine cancer. It has also been used to treat the side effects of the smallpox vaccination.

Arbor vitae has an established antiviral activity. It is most often used to treat warts and polyps being prescribed both internally and externally for these condition. It is also used as part of a regime for treating cancer--especially cancer of the uterus. Arbor vitae makes an effective expectorant and decongestant remedy, and may be used to treat acute bronchitis and other respiratory infections. It induces menstruation and can be taken to bring on delayed periods, although this use is inadvisable if menstrual pain is severe. Arbor vitae is diuretic, and is used to treat acute cystitis and bed wetting in children. Extracts may be painted on painful joints or muscles as a counter-irritant, improving local blood supply and easing pain and stiffness.

CAUTIONS Take only under professional supervision. Do not take arbor vitae during pregnancy or while breast-feeding.

Apply neat tincture to the wart 1-2 times a day for up to 3 months.

I didn't write it, but I can tell you it's derived from cedar and is very healing to the lungs as in an infection with a lot of mucous. However, it is contraindicated during pregnancy because it can cause miscarriage from increased blood flow to the uterus.

If it were me, I would be very specific about where I would put this stuff. Since it can be damaging to the surrounding tissues, I would take the extract up in a TB syringe and inject the wart.

You can get it from Blessed Herbs 1-800-489-4372 1oz is $6.00.


Biological Activities of THUJONE

Anthelminthic JBH; Bactericide JEO7:271; Cerebrodepressant ; Convulsant 40 mg/kg RJH; Counterirritant JBH; Epileptigenic ; Hallucinogenic ; Herbicide IC50=22 mM 438; Perfumery ARC; Pesticide ; Respirainhibitor ; Spasmolytic ED50=0.127 mg/ml FT59:465; Toxic ARC;


Phytochemeco Database - USDA - ARS - NGRL

Stephen M. Beckstrom-Sternberg and James A. Duke



>Any hints on curing and/or preventing UTI's without using actual meds while

>pregnant? There is cranberry, but you have to be careful not to get sugar in it,

>right? And what about cornsilk? No bathing, only showers? Any other hints? It

>seems like this is a "silent problem", so many women get them and it isn't

>talked about that much, or is just in passing.

Try using Cranberry capsules, they don't have sugar, and they are more potent. Have the client drink lots of water. Horsetail, (shavegrass) herb, in tea as well as Uva Ursi is good for disinfecting the bladder and UT. There is a formula from Nature's Sunshine brand of supplements that deals specifically with UTI, helping to disinfect and strengthen the UT. I can't remember which formula it is, I think it is U2. Nature's Sunshine is usually sold at health food stores, or vitamin shops. I am sure the clerk will be able to point out the right formula.

A few notes on the use of Uva Ursi during pregnancy:

Uva Ursi causes placental vasoconstriction. According to Tieroana Low Dog, MD, former president of the American Herbalists Guild, uva ursi may cause birth defects when taken during pregnancy. Michael Moore, of the Southwest Center for Botannical Medicine, also recommends avoiding uva ursi during pregnancy.

Uva Ursi only works as a urinary antiseptic in the presence of ALKALINE urine. If a woman is taking Vitamin C or drinking cranberry juice (both of which acidify the urine), she should not take uva ursi or she will render the treatment ineffectual. The uva ursi will work to alkalinize the urine, and cancel out the effects of the cranberry juice and vitamin C.

Many women who have limited herbal knowledge self-treat their UTIs with a combination of uva ursi and cranberry juice and end up with horrendous bladder infections which have progressed too far to be safely treated with herbs. To prevent UTIs it's good to wear cotton underwear and to drink lots of fluids and to pee right after sex every time (to get rid of any bacteria that move into the urethra).

To treat them, I think that cranberry juice WITH sugar has been shown to be effective in controlled studies. A lot of people say that the sugar will just make the problem worse, but I don't think there's any evidence for that idea.

I had a really bad UTI once, I wasn't pregnant, but the herbs I took are safe for pregnant women and they worked really well. I had had the infection for several days and drank tons of (fruit juice sweetened) cranberry juice but it just kept getting worse until I started drinking nettle tea and taking burdock root tincture, then it immediately cleared up.

Nettle tea tastes a bit like seaweed and can be hard to drink, but I've found that some women will drink it if they mix it with peppermint to make it taste better.

We use "CranActin" which is concentrated cranberry in capsules. Two capsules a day is equivelent to 16 - 6oz glasses of cranberry juice cocktail but without the sugar. Works great!

THanks for the info on Uva Ursi. Can you tell me about your sources? I'm really interested to see the studies about the relation to birth defects. What are the reference material you use for understanding the pharmacology of herbals? I'd sure like to add them to my library. I was taught about Uva Ursi from a senior midwife and only use it when all else fails. Even had a mom who was so sick and was treated with antibiotics (which failed) who was cleared up with Uva Ursi very quickly. But certainly don't want to ever cause harm to anyone. I'd appreciate your response.

Thanks for the information.

I don't consider my herbal knowledge limited and I have used such a treatment, which, BTW has been recommended by several VERY knowledgeable (some well-known) herbalists. I had recurring UTIs for several years, every 6 weeks or so, treated with antibiotics most of that entire time. I tried numerous "home remedies" as well, with no success. When I used a combination approach that included cranberry capsules (can't BEAR the juice), a tea containing uva ursi, pipsissewa, cornsilk, nettles, etc., acidophilus capsules, and vitamin C, I stopped my very last (knock on wood) UTI in its tracks in just three days, though I did continue the program for the rest of a week. This has been almost three years ago. It certainly isn't impossible for uva ursi and cranberry to work together! One of my references (Richard Mabey) says uva ursi is "more effective" in the presence of alkaline urine, but doesn't say anything about them cancelling each other out...

>>>><<<< To treat them, I think that cranberry juice WITH sugar has been shown to be effective in controlled studies. A lot of people say that the sugar will just make the problem worse, but I don't think there's any evidence for that idea.

I had a really bad UTI once, I wasn't pregnant, but the herbs I took are safe for pregnant women and they worked really well. I had had the infection for several days and drank tons of (fruit juice sweetened) cranberry juice but it just kept getting worse until I started drinking nettle tea and taking burdock root tincture, then it immediately cleared up.>>><<<<

Hi all, have been so busy that I have been down loading my mail but haven't read much of it for 2 months, the UTI, thread caught my eye . I have successfully treated UTIs with nutrition and herbs and lifestyle changes.

Drink filtered water, or distilled aprox a gallon a day (dilute the bug or mineral)

DON'T HOLD IT, go to the bathroom often

pee before and after sex

wipe front to back

Wear cotton underwear, or no underwear at all. second rinse underwear with a cup of vinegar in the

wash to get rid of soap residue, don't use dryer sheets.

No colored tp, or scented

No bubble baths, or prolonged exposure to soap

If pubic hair is clumping up with dried mucous trim it off a little

I have not used the caps, but have used the fresh and frozen cranberries for acute infections. The bags of cranberries are 12oz. each .I recommend using 1 bag for 2 days. You do not have to thaw the frozen berries. You can put 1/2 the bag in a blender ,or a juicer or a food processor,then add an apple or an orange or some unsweetened pineapple for a little sweeting and fluid ( very little fruit juice maybe 1c or less), you still might need to add some water, we have generally used it thick like a slush. Drink this through the day.

Take marshmallow root( althaea officinalis) can be used to soothe inflammation and reduce pain, whether it comes from infection or stones, it can be used with antibiotics. Caps take 2, 3or4x a day, if you prefer a tea make it a cold infusion put about 1oz in a 2qt picher let it sit over night at room temp. I have used Hollyhock roots(Althea rosea),and common mallow(malva neglecta) whole plant , if you can't get these or are suspicious you could eat some okra and get some benefit-the slime is what helps mucopolysaccharides.

echinacea for immune support

No caffeine- irritating to the urinary tract

No soda pop, it changes the pH , the CO2 has to be eliminated thru the lungs, the sugar supports infection

Keep other organs of elimination in good health, this means LUNGS, BOWELS, SKIN - avoid constipation , no smoking (cigs or pot), keep the skin clean and stimulate circu 

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