Category Archives: Woman’s health

mastitis infected plugged duct

Mastitis – Infected Duct Natural Treatments

mastitis infected plugged ductMastitis is a condition that results when a plugged duct becomes infected, the breast swells due to a bacteria that enters through tinny cracks on the nipples. The breast infected with mastitis becomes red and painful with pus secretion, other symptoms are fever, fatigue, vomiting or nausea.

Natural non-antibiotic Mastitis treatments

  • Take poke roots this helps mastitis. Use under doctor supervision.
  • Queen’s delight clears congestion of lymphatic vessels, stimulates white blood cells to react to infection.
  • Place hot towels on the breast or run hot water over them in the shower.
  • Elder is used to reduce swelling of breast infected with mastitis.
  • Rest as much as you can.
  • Drink lots of water or alfalfa juice.
  • Take mom’s and baby’s clothes off, get into bed and nurse, nurse, nurse (mastitis appears to be the body’s way of telling mom to SLOW DOWN). Get as much rest as possible.
  • Between feedings, use a cold compress on the breast to help with any inflammation. Some moms use hot compresses directly before nursing, but others prefer to stick to the cold. Compresses/poultices that can be helpful:
  • Make a rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) infusion: to make an infusion, add 2-4 teaspoons of fresh or dried rosemary to a cup of boiling water. Infuse (steep) for 10 minutes, then strain.
  • Use a fenugreek seed poultice;
  • Make a dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) compress: boil about an ounce of minced dandelion root in two to three cups of water until only half the liquid remains; use compresses of the resulting brew.
  • When your baby nurses on the affected side (use that side first), massage the breast towards the nipple. Massage the breast often during feedings and between feedings to help loosen the plugged area.
  • If there is a fever, mom can take
    • Raw garlic – At least 2-3 raw cloves per day, 4-5 cloves a day if possible. Chop a clove into 5 or 6 pieces and then swallow the pieces whole like pills. Raw garlic acts as a broad-spectrum antibiotic, without the added antibiotic side effects of the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, or the development of yeast infections or thrush. The antimicrobial property in garlic, allicin, is very sensitive to heat and is destroyed when cooked. In order for it to work, it needs to be raw. Swallowing the cloves with orange juice helps with the taste for some. Allicin is also what gives garlic its pungent odor, so the deodorized garlic capsules that some companies offer are essentially useless, if they are being taken for the antimicrobial properties. However, deodorized garlic is still beneficial for its blood pressure reducing properties and for stimulating the immune system.
    • Tincture of echinacea, 3-4 times/day
    • Tincture of Oregon grape root, 3-4 times a day
    • Vitamin C (3000-5000 mg/day megadose)
    • Another option: Mix a dropperful of echinacea tincture, three cloves of raw garlic and four to six ounces of carrot juice in a blender and drink the mixture every two hours.
  • A very warm shower can help – let the water just run over your breast.
  • You can also take ibuprofen, which will help with inflammation and pain.
  • If the mastitis does not improve or gets worse after using this treatment for 24-48 hours, contact your doctor – you may need antibiotic treatment
Causes-Of-Vaginal-Itching

Vaginal Itch natural remedies

Causes-Of-Vaginal-ItchingMost women are bothered at one time or another by vaginitis — the itching, burning, pain, and discharge that comes with a vaginal yeast infection. Yeast infections can be caused by a number of organisms, many of which inhabit the healthy vagina. One of the most common causes of vaginitis is the fungus Candida albicans. The annoying symptoms can include itching, discharge that has a “baked bread” odor, and reddening of the labia and, in some cases, the upper thigh.

What is Vaginal Itch?

Vaginal itching is a bothersome problem where the external skin of the vagina, labia and vulva becomes tingly and irritated and often leads to the desire to scratch. This is a distressing problem for many women, especially if it becomes a chronic condition, and it can cause much discomfort.

What Causes Vaginal Itch?

Many women immediately attribute vaginal itching to yet another bout of vaginal thrush and immediately seek over-the-counter thrush creams for relief. However, there are a number of causes for external vaginal itching, and while yeast infections are a common cause, there are many others that should be considered.

Help for Vaginal Itch

Natural Remedies

There are a number of natural herbal and homeopathic ingredients which can have a very soothing affect, while also helping to address some of the possible causes of vaginal itching. Kreosotum is an example of one such ingredient as it has been shown to reduce and stop itchiness, while also helping to treat vaginal thrush, one of the most common causes of vaginal itching.

Some effective natural cure for vaginal itching are:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar: It is suggested that natural apple cider vinegar can inhibit the growth of yeast by killing them. This can help in giving relief from vaginal itching. You can dilute 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a cup of warm water. You may apply this mixture as a topical wash in the vagina and on the vulva.
  • Garlic: Experts suggest that the potent antifungal property of garlic can help in destroying yeast, thereby treating vaginal itching. For this, you may crush a whole garlic clove and mix some water into it. Drink the mixture several times a day for few days till your symptom is gone.
  • Yogurt: The acidophilus and bifidus bacteria contained in yogurt can help in killing yeast. This remedie may help in treating vaginal itching. Using a plastic tampoon applicator or your finger you may insert some plain yogurt into your vagina.
  • Buttermilk: Buttermilk is considered effective in arresting the growth of yeast infection. This can help in treating vaginal itching. You can smear the vaginal area with some buttermilk or you can drink 2 glasses of buttermilk everyday.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar with Yogurt: You can prepare a douche by adding ¼ cup of yogurt and 4 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in one liter of warm water. You may lie on a towel on your back and douche gently.
  • Merc sol: which is especially useful when vaginal itching is accompanied by offensive discharges and is very useful at soothing itching and burning of the vaginal area.
  • Lycopodium is also an excellent ingredient for soothing itching, redness and irritation, while also addressing thrush, especially when it is caused by stress.
  • Calc carb helps to treat itchy and irritable skin and is excellent at soothing a bout of vaginitis.
  • Sepia is also very beneficial at soothing itchiness, reducing discharge and inflammation, while easing the irritability often associated with vaginal infections.

Tips for Vaginal Itching

  • Avoid bubble baths and scented sanitary towels
  • Do not use spermicidal gels
  • Do not douche and never use soap to wash your vagina. This causes irritation and kills healthy bacteria, allowing bad bacteria to grow. Rather, wash with warm water.
  • Let your vagina breathe by wearing only cotton underwear and if possible do not sleep with underwear at all until the itching has subsided.
  • Avoid sex until any suspected infection has cleared. In addition, always use a condom to prevent STD infections.
  • Use a natural lubricant if intercourse is painful or if you suffer from vaginal dryness.

Young girls should learn to practice good feminine hygiene. This means washing hands before and after going to the toilet and always wiping from front to back to avoid bacteria from the rectum coming in contact with the vaginal area.

Visit your doctor if itching persists to determine the underlying cause as some causes of vaginal itching can be serious. If left untreated certain viruses and bacteria may cause fertility complications.

If a sexually transmitted disease is the cause, then make sure your partner is also treated. Failure to treat both with mean the infection will come back.

Common causes of vaginal itching include:

Stress can increase the likelihood of developing an infection and it can make feminine itch worse or cause recurring vaginal itching.

Yeast infections or thrush, most commonly caused by the fungal organism Candida albicans. A yeast infection is generally accompanied by white curd-like discharge and can be brought on by antibiotics, birth control pills, pregnancy, menstruation, condom use, sexual intercourse, diabetes, and a weakened immune system.

Menopause causes a drop in estrogen, which often results in a thinning of the vaginal wall and less lubrication which can lead to vaginal itching.
Dry Skin is a common problem. Skin needs moisture in order to stay supple, and retaining moisture becomes difficult the older you get.

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease and is caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. Different strains of Chlamydia cause genital, eye, lymph node, and respiratory infections

Vaginitis is an inflammation or infection of the vagina and/or vulva and is often accompanied by discharge and vaginal odor. Vaginitis can be caused by a variety of other infections including bacteria, viruses and sexually transmitted diseases.
Chemical irritants, such as washing detergents, fabric softeners, feminine sprays, scented sanitary towels, ointments, creams, douches, and contraceptive foams or gels.
Vaginal Itch in Children and Babies

Vaginal itching in babies is oftentimes a symptom of yeast diaper rash. Leaving a child in their diaper for extended periods of time, allows Candida to grow due to the warm moist environment. Rarely does the rash go beyond the edges of the diaper; however, it can make the vagina itch, especially in the folds of skin where fungus can easily inhabit.

Alternatively, vaginal itch may be caused by a reaction to soaps, dyes, or perfumes. When bathing your child, make sure you use chemical free soaps and wash their clothes in chemical free detergent.

For older children who aren’t quite aware on how to clean their bodies properly, vaginal itching may be a sign of poor wiping or toilet paper stuck in the folds of the skin of the vagina. Lastly, adolescent girls who are just starting to reach puberty may be suffering from a yeast infection; at this point it is imperative for young girls to have a clear understanding of proper hygiene.

breastfeeding natural remedies and Breast milk production

Breast Feeding Remedies

Throughout your pregnancy, you probably imagined how wonderful the breast-feeding experience would be for both you and your baby. All you could think about was looking down into that tiny, trusting face and feeling the closeness between you and this new little being. So naturally, when it finally came time to put baby to breast, you were excited. But now, you’re in agony. Your nipples may be painful, cracked, and bleeding (See below) or perhaps your breasts are uncomfortably swollen (See below). The milk may not flow when you need it to and may seem to flow uncontrollably when you most wish it wouldn’t (like when you’re standing in line at the grocery store or sitting at a dinner party).

So where are those tender, happy moments you’ve seen in the magazine and television advertisements? Well, hang in there. Those moments do happen, just not always right away. The problem is, many mothers give up breast-feeding in frustration because they don’t realize that things will get better with time and practice. They also don’t realize there are steps they can take to decrease breast-feeding discomfort and increase nursing success. This article will give you the helpful nursing home remedies that can make breast-feeding a rewarding and comfortable experience for you and your baby. Before we begin, we should examine the sources of breast-feeding discomfort.

Breast-feeding is the act of naturally feeding an infant with milk produced in the mother’s breast. This has great deal of benefits for the baby not only breast milk is healthier but the action of feeding the child is a moment of love in which the baby learns to bond, smell, and caress with his or her mother as she gives nourishment and affection.

Without a doubt breast milk is the best food for a newborn, nothing comes even closer to provide all the nutrients that the baby will need later in life. Breast milk is much easier to digest then any formula in the market, at the same time it provides protection against infections, prevents future food allergies, helps the growth of healthy teeth, and most important it improves brain development. Studies had shown that breast-fed babies are more intelligent than formula fed babies.

Increasing breast milk production

Milk production is a demand & supply process. If you need to increase milk supply, it’s important to understand how milk is made – understanding this will help you to do the right things to increase production.

To speed milk production and increase overall milk supply, the key is to remove more milk from the breast and to do this frequently, so that less milk accumulates in the breast between feedings. Many herbs have traditionally been used to encourage the production of breast milk. These include Fennel, Aniseed (Anise), Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle.  Herb teas are the easiest ways to use Fennel and Aniseed. Blessed Thistle and Fenugreek are rather bitter to take as tea; capsules are available.  Fenugreek can stimulate the womb so do not take it during pregnancy; more than 100g (3 ounces!) daily can cause digestive upset. Sage has been traditionally used to dry up milk, at time of weaning.

Increasing your milk supply

Is your milk supply really low? First of all, is your milk supply really low? Often, mothers think that their milk supply is low when it really isn’t. If your baby is gaining weight well on breastmilk alone, then you do nothave a problem with milk supply. It’s important to note that the feel of the breast, the behavior of your baby, the frequency of nursing, the sensation of let-down, or the amount you pump are not valid ways to determine if you have enough milk for your baby.


What if you’re not quite sure about baby’s current weight gain (perhaps baby hasn’t had a weight check lately)? If baby is having an adequate number of wet and dirty diapers then the following things do NOT mean that you have a low milk supply:

Breast Milk Increasing Herbs

Nettle

Stinging Nettle (Urtica Dioica) has been shown to enrich the milk, and increase milk flow. It has been traditionally used as a tonic to restore women’s energy following childbirth. Nettle is considered safe in pregnancy and breastfeeding.  It is available as loose tea or teabags, and has a pleasant ‘green’ taste. Don’t make it too strong if you are not used to it. You can make your own with fresh unpolluted nettle tops, one to a mug.  Nettle is also available as capsules.

Agnus Castus

This is a widely useful herb for so many female problems, including fertility, menstrual and pre-menstrual problems, and thrush. See the reference at Women’s Health.

Agnus Castus acts on two hormones, progesterone and prolactin. During breastfeeding, prolactin encourages milk production. Agnus Castus is well recognised in Europe as a galactogogue – a herb to promote breast milk. One study shows Agnus Castus increasing milk production by up to three times that of control group, after 20 days of use.

Warnings: Not to be taken during pregnancy. Agnus Castus appears suitable for long term use at normal doses. Avoid with any progesterone drug, contraceptive pill or HRT. Agnus Castus may aggravate spasmodic dysmenorrhoea (menstrual cramps) if not associated with PMS. Caution with dopamine antagonist drugs.

Other remedies for increasing milk production

  • Your baby nurses frequently. Breastmilk is digested quickly (usually in 1.5-2 hours), so breastfed babies need to eat more often than formula-fed babies. Many babies have a strong need to suck. Also, babies often need continuous contact with mom in order to feel secure. All these things are normal, and you cannot spoil your baby by meeting these needs.
  • Your baby suddenly increases the frequency and/or length of nursings. This is often a growth spurt. The baby nurses more (this usually lasts a few days to a week), which increases your milk supply. Don’t offer baby supplements when this happens: supplementing will inform your body that the baby doesn’t need the extra milk, and your supply will drop.
  • Your baby nurses more often and is fussy in the evening.
  • Your baby doesn’t nurse as long as she did previously. As babies get older and better at nursing, they become more efficient at extracting milk.
  • Your baby is fussy. Many babies have a fussy time of day – often in the evening. Some babies are fussy much of the time. This can have many reasons, and sometimes the fussiness goes away before you find the reason.
  • Your baby guzzles down a bottle of formula or expressed milk after nursing. Many babies will willingly take a bottle even after they have a full feeding at the breast. Read more here from board-certified lactation consultant Kathy Kuhn about why baby may do this and how this can affect milk supply. Of course, if you regularly supplement baby after nursing, your milk supply will drop.
  • Your breasts don’t leak milk, or only leak a little, or stop leaking. Leaking has nothing to do with your milk supply. It often stops after your milk supply has adjusted to your baby’s needs.
  • Your breasts suddenly seem softer. Again, this normally happens after your milk supply has adjusted to your baby’s needs.
  • You never feel a let-down sensation, or it doesn’t seem as strong as before. Some women never feel a let-down. This has nothing to do with milk supply.
  • You get very little or no milk when you pump. The amount of milk that you can pump is not an accurate measure of your milk supply. A baby with a healthy suck milks your breast much more efficiently than any pump. Also, pumping is an acquired skill (different than nursing), and can be very dependent on the type of pump. Some women who have abundant milk supplies are unable to get any milk when they pump. In addition, it is very common and normal for pumping output to decrease over time.

Things that can help increase your milk supply:

  • Make sure that baby is nursing efficiently. This is the “remove more milk” part of increasing milk production. If milk is not effectively removed from the breast, then mom’s milk supply decreases. If positioning and latch are “off” then baby is probably not transferring milk efficiently. A sleepy baby, use of nipple shields or various health or anatomical problems in baby can also interfere with baby’s ability to transfer milk. For a baby who is not nursing efficiently, trying to adequately empty milk from the breast is like trying to empty a swimming pool through a drinking straw – it can take forever. Inefficient milk transfer can lead to baby not getting enough milk or needing to nurse almost constantly to get enough milk. If baby is not transferring milk well, then it is important for mom to express milk after and/or between nursings to maintain milk supply while the breastfeeding problems are being addressed.
  • Nurse frequently, and for as long as your baby is actively nursing. Remember – you want to remove more milk from the breasts and do this frequently. If baby is having weight gain problems, aim to nurse at least every 1.5-2 hours during the day and at least every 3 hours at night.
  • Take a nursing vacation. Take baby to bed with you for 2-3 days, and do nothing but nurse (frequently!) and rest (well, you can eat too!).
  • Offer both sides at each feeding. Let baby finish the first side, then offer the second side.
  • Switch nurse. Switch sides 3 or more times during each feeding, every time that baby falls asleep, switches to “comfort” sucking, or loses interest. Use each side at least twice per feeding. Use breast compression to keep baby feeding longer. For good instructions on how to do this, see Dr. Jack Newman’s Protocol to manage breastmilk intake. This can be particularly helpful for sleepy or distractible babies.
  • Avoid pacifiers and bottles. All of baby’s sucking needs should be met at the breast (see above). If a temporary supplement is medically required, it can be given with a nursing supplementer or by spoon, cup or dropper.
  • Give baby only breastmilk. Avoid all solids, water, and formula if baby is younger than six months, and consider decreasing solids if baby is older. If you are using more than a few ounces of formula per day, wean from the supplements gradually to “challenge” your breasts to produce more milk.
  • Take care of mom. Rest. Sleep when baby sleeps. Relax. Drink liquids to thirst (don’t force liquids – drinking extra water does not increase supply), and eat a reasonably well-balanced diet.
  • Consider pumping. Adding pumping sessions after or between nursing sessions can be very helpful – pumping is very important when baby is not nursing efficiently or frequently enough, and can speed things up in all situations. Your aim in pumping is to remove more milk from the breasts and/or to increase frequency of breast emptying. When pumping to increase milk supply, to ensure that the pump removes an optimum amount of milk from the breast, keep pumping for 2-5 minutes after the last drops of milk. However, adding even a short pumping session (increasing frequency but perhaps not removing milk thoroughly) is helpful.
  • Eat alfalfa or take it in capsules, it stimulates lactation, improves quality and quantity of milk.
  • Chaste tree Increases flow of milk, by affecting pituitary’s prolactin secretion.
  • Chinese use a herb called codonopsis to increase lactation and strengthen the blood.
  • Goat’s rue this herb has been used by midwives for hundreds of years to improve breast milk production by as much as 50%.
  • Vervain encourages milk secretion and flow, it also increases absorption of nutrients from food and helps with postpartum depression.
  • Medical studies have shown bovine colostrum to be identical to human colostrum in composition. Colostrum is the milk secreted for a few days after birth. It is characterized by a high protein and immune body content. Colostrum has been shown to stimulate normal growth, regeneration and accelerated repair of aged or injured muscle, skin collagen, bone, cartilage and nerve tissues. Colostrum helps build lean muscle and helps stimulate the body to burn fat. Research has shown that colostrum has powerful natural immune and growth factors. Colostrum helps combat disease-causing organisms such as bacteria, viruses, yeast and parasites. Research has shown that bovine colostrum is easily assimilated by humans and is up to 40 times richer in immune factors than human colostrum. It is very important that the highest quality Bovine Colostrum is taken.

Potential causes of low milk supply or low quality

Low quality of milk can be cause by medications or a poor diet, many antibiotics contaminate the milk and a diet high in caffeine may cause colics and sleeping problems. For the baby it is very important that the the mother keeps eating a well balance diet after giving birth, and preferably foods with no traces of pesticides these poisons become highly concentrated in the milk.

The use of a breast pump may inhibit the production of milk, lowering the amount available to the baby, this gives the false idea that the infant should be change to formula in order for him to be satisfied, when in fact the problem is the quantity of milk that the mother is producing. Home remedies can help with both of these common problems

These things can cause or contribute to a low milk supply:

  • Supplementing. Nursing is a supply & demand process. Milk is produced as your baby nurses, and the amount that she nurses lets your body know how much milk is required. Every bottle (of formula, juice or water) that your baby gets means that your body gets the signal to produce that much less milk.
  • Nipple confusion. A bottle requires a different type of sucking than nursing, and it is easier for your baby to extract milk from a bottle. As a result, giving a bottle can either cause your baby to have problems sucking properly at the breast, or can result in baby preferring the constant faster flow of the bottle.
  • Pacifiers can cause nipple confusion. They can also significantly reduce the amount of time your baby spends at the breast, which may cause your milk supply to drop.
  • Nipple shields can lead to nipple confusion (See Above). They can also reduce the stimulation to your nipple or interfere with milk transfer, which can interfere with the supply-demand cycle.
  • Scheduled feedings interfere with the supply & demand cycle of milk production and can lead to a reduced supply, sometimes several months later rather than immediately. Nurse your baby whenever she is hungry.
  • Sleepy baby. For the first few weeks, some babies are very sleepy and only demand to nurse infrequently and for short periods. Until baby wakes up and begins to demand regular nursing, nurse baby at least every two hours during the day and at least every 4 hours at night to establish your milk supply.
  • Cutting short the length of nursings. Stopping a feeding before your baby ends the feeding herself can interfere with the supply-demand cycle. Also, your milk increases in fat contentlater into a feeding, which helps baby gain weight and last longer between feedings.
  • Offering only one breast per feeding. This is fine if your milk supply is well-established and your baby is gaining weight well. If you’re trying to increase your milk supply, let baby finish the first side, then offer the second side.
  • Health or anatomical problems with baby can prevent baby from removing milk adequately from the breast, thus decreasing milk supply.

Breast-feeding pain

Pain in the fleshy part of the breast, on the other hand, is most often caused by engorgement of the breast with milk. This is most likely to occur during the first few days after your milk comes, before your body has a chance to adjust its milk production to the needs of your baby. Initially, a woman’s body makes enough milk for twins, but then gradually changes its milk production based on the amount of milk regularly removed from the breasts. So if you are nursing only one baby, your body gradually lowers the amount of milk it produces to match the amount consumed by the single baby.

Engorgement (See Below) can also occur any time the amount of milk produced exceeds your baby’s ability to siphon it off, such as when the baby’s appetite is diminished due to illness. Mild cases can even occur between feedings, especially if feedings are spaced several hours apart or if a feeding is unexpectedly delayed. Fortunately, no matter the cause, the engorgement will naturally resolve itself within a few days if not sooner (as long as you don’t do anything that encourages your body to make too much milk).

To prevent discomfort from turning you off to breast-feeding, it helps to keep in mind that breast-feeding is a learned skill, and you’ll need time, practice, and patience to make it a comfortable, successful experience. It’s also important to remember that the early days of nursing may leave your breasts a bit tender and sore, but pain, cracking, blistering, or bleeding means there’s a problem that needs to be solved. Fortunately, most breast-feeding problems can be remedied, and the pain either alleviated or prevented, with some fairly simple adjustments.

Sore nipples

The most frequent causes of sore nipples are incorrect positioning at the breast and suction trauma. During the first two to four days after birth, the mother’s nipples may feel tender at the beginning of a feeding as the baby’s early suckling stretches her nipple and areolar tissue far back into his mouth. If a baby is positioned well at the breast, this temporary tenderness usually diminishes once the milk lets down, and disappears completely within a day or two.

When helping a mother to overcome nipple pain caused by improper positioning, Leaders need to ask the mother about both the position of the nipple in the baby’s mouth and the position of the baby’s body in relation to his mother’s body. A poorly latched baby may pinch off the nipple to protect his airway from a forceful milk-ejection reflex. Sometimes a baby will pinch the nipple or irritate it due to a short frenulum, short tongue, small mouth, receding chin, a high palate, or other anatomical condition

Pain in the nipple, for example, is most often caused by the baby latching on to the nipple incorrectly. Nipple discomfort can also result from a certain fashion choice and therefore tends to be more prevalent in American women: Women in the United States are more likely to wear bras, which protect the delicate nipples and leave them more sensitive to the friction and exposure that comes with breast-feeding. In contrast, many foreign women go braless much or all of the time and often sunbathe in the nude, which gradually toughen the nipples. As a result, they experience less discomfort when they begin nursing a child. Preexisting conditions, such as inverted nipples or nipple sensitivity that developed during the pregnancy, can also lead to breast-feeding discomfort.

Cracked nipples can develop when the baby is being position wrongly or by using damp breast pads. The nipple becomes irritated, red, and painful in some cases bleeding may develop.

  • Calendula cream will soothe and encourage the healing of cracked nipples and is safe for the baby to swallow.
  • Chamomilla helps heal cracked nipples.
  • Pulsatilla helps heal cracked nipples.

Tea bags: There are better ways to heal sore nipples. Warm water dips (or saline dips), breastmilk, medical-grade lanolin (Lansinoh, etc.) and hydrogel dressings are more commonly used to treat sore nipples. Any time that mom has sore nipples, the cause of the soreness should also be addressed. Studies are conflicting on whether tea bags are helpful for reducing the pain of sore nipples (Riordan 2005). The tannic acid in the tea (which has astrigent qualities) can cause drying and cracking (Lawrence 2005), and anecdotal evidence suggests that some babies do not suck as well after tea bags have been used. In some locations, wet tea bags remain a popular folk remedy for the treatment of nipple pain. They are inexpensive and can be found in most homes, making them easily accessible at the onset of difficulties. They may be soothing because of the moist warmth. Tea bags have been the subject of a number of studies; they appear neither to prevent nor reduce nipple soreness (Lavergne 1997). Furthermore, the tannic acid in the tea can act as an astringent causing drying and cracking, rather than healing.

Breast Engorgement

Breast engorgement is a very common problem that start affecting the mother in the first two or three weeks after delivery and is more annoying to women with poor skin elasticity. Engorgement is due to milk excessively filling the breast together with blood and fluid retention in the same area.

Usually the breast feels full, hard, tight, tender, painful,  hot to the touch and a fever may develop, the baby may have a hard time to latch on and suck.

  • Take a handful of Confrey leaves and steam them for a few minutes wrapped in a gauze and placed on the breast is very helpful relieving engorgement.
  • Soak a towel in hot water and place it on the breast ten minutes before feeding.
  • Poke roots reduce swollen breast and pain. Use under doctor supervision.
  • Elder is used to reduce swelling of engorged breast.
  • Chamomile help control inflamed breast.
  • Give your baby frequent feeds on both breast 10 to 15 minutes each.

Plugged duct

This is a problem that occurs when the baby does not empty the breast completely on each feeding, the milk remaining in the duct hardens and blocks the duct eventually plugging it. Tight bras can cause plugged ducts as well. If the breast feels sore it might be a sign of plugged ducts. A plugged duct should be taking care of as soon as possible, if not so it can develop into Mastitis.

  • Castor oil helps with inflammation and pain.
  • Elder is used to reduce swelling of plugged breast ducts.
  • Queen’s delight Clears congestion of lymphatic vessels, stimulates white blood cells to react to infection.
  • Check your nipples every day, if you see dry milk on them or dark dots remove them with a cotton and warm water and feed your child as soon as possible from that breast.
  • Place the baby in different positions every time, this will ensure that all ducts are being used.

Vaginal Odor

Vaginal odor is caused by too much ‘bad’ bacteria replacing the ‘good’ bacteria in your vagina that’s needed to balance it out.  A vaginal discharge is symptomatic of bacterial vaginosis. It is caused due to an overgrowth of the normal bacteria in the vagina. It is important to note that this condition is not usually spread through sexual intercourse. There is a possibility that you are affected by bacterial vaginosis if you notice a change in the amount and appearance of vaginal discharge, accompanied with a foul odor.

There are many natural remedies that have been used by women around the world for 1000s of years you can try.  Most women will find relief from this home remedies.

Do NOT use store bought douches, they can make matters worse. They contain chemicals that can make the order worse.  You’re dealing with a very delicate area, you just need to re-balance it.

Balsamic Vinegar and honey: Try this old world remedy.  Mix balsamic vinegar and  honey along with a teaspoon of whisky  and heat for 1 min.. Rub on and leave sitting for 15 min.

Grape seed: A douche made up of water into which one teaspoon of grape seed extract is mixed will help balance the bacteria causing the order.

Femdophilus: Some women claim this will cure the problem in one night. Visit your health food store or a pharmacy that carries refrigerated probiotic pills. Look for a product called ‘Femdophilus.   Instruction usually call for you to take the pill orally.  Instead of swallowing it try like a suppository while you’re sleeping. You don’t need to insert it very deeply. You will need to wear a pad. All symptoms should be gone in the morning. Keep some of the pills on hand for when your immune system is down, which is when you’ll be likely to get a re-occurence. You should be clear for months with just or two treatments, though!

Guava: The tender leaves of guava are helpful in the treatment of this disease. A mixture of the leaves should be used as a douche.

Lime: Pour a small about of lime juice on your vagina.  Massage it around the tissues.  Wait about 30min before bathing and squeeze one lime into a half litre of water and douch with it believe it works like magic and see the result in 21 day! Due to the acidic in the lime it helps destroy and bacteria and restores the acidic lost in the vagina

Tea tree oil and Epsom salt: Try 5 or 6 drops of pure tea tree oil, and a half cup of Epsom salt. Pour it into a bath, and have a nice soak. Don’t rub it in or anything, just let it sit for about thirty minutes. Then, you can wash up regularly (no vaginal soap for this day) and continue about your day. After a few baths, the odor is gone!

Yellow dock RootThis  herb is admired as an natural remedy for the treatment of Vaginitis.{read more}

Yogurt: You can add yogurt to your diet and use it on tampons to help with Vaginitis.  Yogurt is known to be an effective natural remedy for getting rid of vaginal discharge and odor. Yogurt contains ‘probiotic’ or good bacteria that help in eliminating the bad bacteria. You can include yogurt in your diet in order to get rid of the problem. You can also use a tampon dipped in yogurt too, as it is also known to give good results.  Women will also make a tray of yogurt and sit in it.


Morning Sickness Remedies

Besides natural herbs and vitamins that you can take to help your body adjust to being pregnant.  You can also learn to adjust to the miracle.

“Morning sickness” is a misnomer. (In fact, the technical medical term is “nausea and vomiting of pregnancy.”) For some pregnant women, the symptoms are worse in the morning and ease up over the course of the day, but they can strike at any time and, for most women, last all day long. The intensity of symptoms can vary from woman to woman, too.

Allow yourself plenty of time to get out of bed. If you usually get up at 6:00 a.m. set your alarm for 5:00 a.m. It is a good idea to keep a stash of crackers or dry cereal by your bed, so you can put something in your stomach as soon as you wake up. Get out of bed slowly as you start your day.

Some time proven herbs and vitamins:

  • L-Methionine:  Inhibits nausea. Hinders toxemia in pregnancy.
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): Inhibits nausea. Caution: Do not take this combination longer than needed. Use for a maximum of 6 weeks.
  • Magnesium:  Inhibits nausea. Caution: Do not take this combination longer than needed. Use for a maximum of 6 weeks.
  • Ginger
  • Limons
  • Catnip
  • Dandelion
  • Peppermint
  • Acupressure: Pressing an acupuncture point (pericardium point six) on your wrist may help to relieve your nausea. You can buy wristbands which help you to apply this pressure. Make sure that the button in the band is placed on the acupuncture point. To locate this:
  • Use one hand on the inside of your opposite wrist, measuring up three finger widths from the crease between your hand and arm.
  • At the point where your third finger is, lift the pressure off until you are just touching the skin and feel lightly for a slight dip. Press into this dip quite deeply and it will feel bruised.
  • Place the button on the wristbands at this precise tender point on both wrists.

Put the bands on first thing in the morning before you get out of bed.

When you experience a wave of nausea, press on the button on each wrist about 20 to 30 times at one second intervals. If you forget your wristbands, you can simply press on these two points, or ask someone to do it for you on both wrists at the same time.


Pregnancy Symptom Remedies.

If you are pregnant, consult your doctor before trying any herbal remedy. Many women swear by two herbs for a healthy pregnancy: stinging nettle and raspberry leaf.

Stinging nettle is worth growing or foraging for a healthy pregnancy.

Stinging Nettle: Nettle is very high in vitamins and minerals, so it adds a good shot of additional nutrition to the diet — important especially during pregnancy.

Raspberry Leaf: Raspberry leaf tea is traditionally drunk during the last trimester to help prepare the uterus for the work of childbirth and help reduce labor pains. { read more }

Consider making a pregnancy tea from nettle, raspberry leaf, and mint.

Nettle is often considered to be a weed, but it is well worth growing for tea. Be careful: it’s called “stinging nettle” for a reason — brush your arm across just one of its leaves and you’ll know why. It’s best to grow nettle where you can keep it away from kids for exactly this reason. Depending on where you live, you may not have to grow it. It can be foraged in many areas. Though it’s not a fun plant to harvest, once brewed or cooked, it loses all of its sting.

If you are growing red raspberries for the fruit, you already have the leaves you need.

Herbs to Reduce Nausea

 

Mint is easy to grow, and a great nausea reliever.

Nausea can be a problem during both pregnancy and menstruation. There are two herbs in particular that are great to brew as teas.

Ginger: Make a ginger tea, or find or make a good natural source of ginger ale and drink as necessary to reduce nausea.

Mint: Mint tea (one tablespoon of fresh mint leaves steeped in boiling water for fifteen minutes) is a great nausea reducer. If you are pregnant, steer clear of peppermint. It’s just too strong, and can make you feel worse than you already did. Spearmint, apple mint, or any of the other fruit-scented mints work very well.


PMS Remedies

Women have between 350 and 500 periods in a lifetime. If your monthly period is five days long, each year you spend 60 days menstruating. You spend one or more years out of every ten years of your life bleeding. If you bleed from the time you are twelve years old until 52 years of age, you can spend four to five years or more of your life shedding menstrual blood!

Menstruation is a sign of good health. Sometimes that is hard to believe when there are over one hundred different symptoms that are associated with PMS. Prior to and during menstruation, more than 70% of American women experience PMS symptoms at some time in their life. The medical research around PMS is inconclusive. Every woman is different and there is no decisive medical etiology of why women have PMS. There is not an agreed upon cause, treatment or theory and the standard medical approach of cause and cure is not working for women.

The menstrual cycle is NOT a sickness. The menstrual cycle is the nurturer and giver of life. Without menstruation there would be no human life. It was not meant to be riddled with suffering and trouble. There are many cultures where women don’t experience the PMS symptoms that we do. Why then does our menstrual cycle cause us so much pain?

Take a look at the most common PMS symptoms – and how to ease menstrual cramps comes down to the right combination of key vitamins, minerals and herbs:

Cramping: You know the feeling of cramps all too well. The gripping pain in your pelvis and lower back that makes your double over in agony. For many, the pain is so severe that they can barely get out of bed for days. Prostaglandins, certain molecular compounds, are released during your period. These compounds cause the sharp uterine contractions that women fear. The best treatments for these cramps are anti-inflammatory agents and pain killers. Niacin is a great B vitamin that can help ease cramping. Also, take advantage of herbal solutions like White Willow Bark, which has been used as a natural pain killer for centuries.

Bloating: Bloating is another symptom that women can look forward to during that time of the month. Do you suffer from a swollen abdomen, ankles, or legs as a side effect of PMS? Many women retain so much water that they feel like they can barely fit into their clothing. Think about how much of a blow to your ego this is. You already feel so emotional. Never mind that fact that you won’t be able to wear anything but sweatpants! But there is hope. Dandelion and Vitamin B-6 is a tried and true remedy that regulates fluid retention. Calcium, too, helps with bloating and a variety of other PMS ailments.

Changes in Mood: Do you feel like a stranger to yourself during this time of the month? Can your moods shift from happy, to anxious, to depressed, in minutes? Your emotions shift because your body is crying out for help. Your hormones are all out of whack. The fluctuating progesterone levels, and the sudden release of prostaglandins in your body wreck havoc with your emotions. However, certain vitamins and herbs are powerful weapons in this hormone war. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that provides relief from moodiness. Plus, extract derived from the chasteberry flower is a proven ingredient to combat moodiness.

Acne: You probably already feel unattractive when you suffer from PMS. You’re body feels like a stranger. You’re moody. Now add acne to the mix. It’s like you’ll never feel desirable again! Acne is due to fluctuations in your hormones. It’s also common knowledge that stress causes acne. And of course you’re stressed out! Think of all that your body is going through. But did you know that omega fatty acids can help beat those breakouts? Natural remedies like Evening Primrose are chock full of omega-6 fatty acids. Of course, it is well known that vitamin E is an important antioxidant that promotes clear skin.

Decreased Sexual Desire: Thanks to PMS, you’re a mess of emotional and physical problems. You don’t feel attractive, so of course your sex drive goes down the drain. Decreased libido is actually due to a mixture of emotional and physical factors. Sure, your self confidence is probably at an all-time low. But did you know that female libido is due to estrogen and progesterone levels within your body? And you guessed it—these are the two hormones that are out of whack during your time of the month. It’s important that you add remedies that regulate your hormones to your diet. Add damiana to your diet, which has been prized by native Mexicans for centuries as a sexual stimulant.

Migraine Headaches: On top of the debilitating cramps and body aches, you might suffer from migraine headaches. These aren’t just your average headache. They can last for days and even bring with them nausea, diarrhea, and vision problems. All of this, thanks to your body trying to cope with imbalanced hormones! Decreasing stress levels and relaxing in dark rooms can certainly help, but these aren’t exactly easy remedies for busy women. Your body is crying out for anti-inflammatory agents and anything that can help ease your fluctuating hormones. Try adding more folic acid to your diet, which helps relieve your PMS tension. Black cohosh  been prized by Native Americans for its ability to help relieve headaches.


Breast Swelling and Tenderness: For many women, breast enlargement is an uncomfortable byproduct of monthly hormonal changes.  Evening primrose can bring you relief from your sore breasts. Although the levels of breast swelling and tenderness vary among women, the National Institutes of Health states that all women feel the effects as estrogen and progesterone levels rise during the menstrual cycle. Ayurvedic doctors often give shatavari — a female hormone balancing herb of the asparagus family — when PMS causes breast ducts and milk glands to become painfully enlarged.

Food Cravings: You know how much you crave sweet or salty foods when you experience PMS. Some women avoid the grocery store or restaurants, for fear that they’ll eat everything in sight! Did you know there is actually scientific evidence that supports these cravings? When you suffer from PMS, your body’s level of magnesium drops. Magnesium is an important nutrient that regulates how your body breaks down sugar. Once your body detects a lack of sugar, those cravings for chocolate and other fatty foods kick in. Luckily, a straight-forward remedy for this is adding a magnesium supplement to your diet.

Weight Gain: Closely tied to your food cravings is the cold hard truth that women gain weight when they suffer from PMS. Think about how vulnerable you are during this time of the month. You’re emotional so you eat. Then you gain weight, making you more distressed. It’s a never-ending battle! This is again tied to your body screaming because of a magnesium deficiency. What’s worse is that the refined sugar in sweets can actually increase your magnesium deficiency, creating a vicious cycle. You can finally put a stop your PMS weight gain by increasing your calcium intake. But did you know that you need to up your magnesium intake to be able to fully absorb the calcium that will help you keep those pounds off?

Sleep Pattern Changes: Your sleep cycle is so sensitive. It’s all tied to your mood, stress levels, and hormone variations. When your PMS symptoms are at their worst, you just want to escape with a good night’s sleep or a nap. St. John’s Wort  and Valerian Root  are traditional herbs that have been used for centuries aid sleeping and relieve sleeplessness. But if you’ve ever experienced a night of staring at your ceiling, unable to sleep, you know just how frustrating this PMS symptom is. Your irritability increases your stress levels, which makes it difficult to sleep. Without enough sleep, you’re even more stressed! Lower levels of serotonin during this time of the month are the culprit that causes your sleep troubles. Red Raspberry is a medicinal plant that helps you flush excess hormones out of your system, allowing you to find restful sleep.

Menopause Remedies

Suggested Lifestyle Changes for Menopause Treatment 
Mental attitude has a lot to do with how well a woman adjusts to menopause. If it is seen as a tragic end to youth, fertility and sexuality, it can cause significant disruptions in one’s day-to-day life, and create the temptation to “solve” the problem with unproven therapies that promise eternal youth. If menopause is seen as simply the natural transition to the next phase of life, it can be readily accepted and more easily handled. The risks and benefits of estrogen replacement therapy should be carefully considered, and many women do quite well without any medical intervention for menopause treatment. Following an anti-inflammatory diet, getting adequate aerobic exercise, and relaxation practices can help address the many practical problems that menopause can bring. Menopause is not a disease, and there is no reason for it to decrease interest in or enjoyment of sex. Vaginal dryness can make intercourse more difficult, however, and an over-the-counter product such as Replens Vaginal Lotion, as well as lubricants such as Astroglide can help. Your doctor can also prescribe a topical estrogen cream which will restore normal vaginal tissue.

Nutrition and Supplements – Herbs for Menopause 
Try the following natural remedies and herbs for menopause:

  • Dong quai. Dong quai (Angelica sinensis) is known both in China and the West for its ability to support and maintain the natural balance of female hormones. It does not have estrogenic activity. This is one of the herbs for menopause that should not be taken if a woman is experiencing heavy bleeding. {continue reading}
  • Black cohosh (Cumicifuga racemosa). One of the best-studied traditional herbs for menopause, black cohosh is used to help alleviate some symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes. Black cohosh seems to work by supporting and maintaining hormonal levels, which may lessen the severity of hot flashes. Many women report that the herb works well but it isn’t effective for everyone. While any therapy that influences hormonal actions should be a concern, black cohosh does not appear to have estrogenic activity and thus may be safe for women with a personal or family history of breast cancer. {continue reading}
  • Evening primrose oil or black currant oil. These are sources of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid that can help influence prostaglandin synthesis and help moderate menopausal symptoms. {continue reading}
  • Soy foods. The isoflavones in soy foods help balance hormone levels and have some estrogenic activity. There is ongoing research about the safety and efficacy of isolated soy isoflavone supplements. While the initial results look promising, we currently recommend using natural soy foods rather than supplements. Choose from tofu, soy milk, roasted soy nuts or tempeh.
  • Flaxseed. Substances called lignins in flaxseed are important modulators of hormone metabolism. Grind flaxseed daily in a coffee grinder at home and use 1 to 2 tablespoons a day.
  • Vitamin E. A daily dose of 400 IUs of natural vitamin E (as mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols) can help alleviate symptoms of hot flashes in some menopausal women.
  • B vitamins. This group of water-soluble vitamins may help women deal with the stress of menopausal symptoms.