Herbal Cramp Tea

When I was a budding herbalist in my early 20's one of the first herbal books I ever owned was by Rosemary Gladstar, Herbal Healing for Women: Simple Home Remedies for Women of All Ages. 

There are so many beautiful and effective remedies in this book. It has been my 'go to' over and over again through the years.  I have made many of the recipes and remedies in the book, and even learned to make my first fool proof homemade lotion through the information here!

One of my favorite Moontime teas to make for cramps comes from this book.  I have used this tea many many times and have made it for friends.  One friend in particular was stunned at it's effectiveness. She called me soon after I made her some to ask for the recipe! She remarked at its powerful and soothing effects.

Here is the recipe as it is in Herbal Healing for Women:
1 part Cramp Bark
1 part Pennyroyal Leaf*
1 part Valerian Root
1/2 Part Ginger**

To Make: Use 4-6 tablespoons of herb mixture per Qt of water. First decoct the cramp bark and ginger root for 20 minutes, simmering slowly over low heat. Turn off the heat and add the pennyroyal and valerian root to the mixture. Steep an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Strain. Drink 1/4 C. every 15 minutes until cramps are gone.

Notes from Lark:
*I usually leave this herb out of my tea and still find the mixture extremely effective
** I like to add extra ginger because the valerian can be very strong tasting

CrampBark (Viburnum opulus): A uterine antispasmodic and tonic. It is excellent at reliving pain and relaxing the uterine muscle: also for pain in the back and thighs. Cramp bark's sedating and relaxing actions are specific to the reproductive organs.

Valerian Root (Valeriana officinalis): Valerian is a wonderful herb used for its antispasmodic, sedative, pain reliever and anti-anxiety properties. It has long been used as a sleep aid, calms the nervous system and has been highly regarded as an herbal remedy for centuries. Sometimes called Moonroot it has a special affinity for women.  (Not for use in pregnancy)

Ginger (Zingiber officinale): Often used for the circulatory and digestive systems. It is warming, anti-oxidant, antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory. Provides support to the reprodtuctive organs. It can be used both internally as a tea and externally as a fomentation or bath. Its analgesic qualities are useful for menstrual cramps.

Pennyroyal Leaf (Mentha pulegium): Stimulates blood flow, and is good for suppressed menstruation. Alleviates menstrual cramps and tension. A powerful uterine stimulant. Use ONLY the leaf. Pennyroyal essential oil is highly toxic if taken internally. (Not for use in pregnancy)

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