Being a modern woman certainly has its perks, whether you’re a fan of stilettos or not. We do it all: work, mom, friend, community member…it’s enough to make you want to don a cape and spend a bit of time coming up with a superhero name (I’m considering going with “SuperFoodie”). Yes, we’re superheroes all right; that is, until our hormones remind us who’s really in charge.
The cyclical nature of the female body can bring with it unpleasant stress, skin breakouts, bloating, exhaustion, moodiness…if only we could go on vacation every 28 days! But for most of us, that’s not a reality. So we make do and suffer through it (another testament to our superpowers). We can also find relief in herbs that calm and bring balance to our hormonal system. This tonic can help.
There are a lot of herbal tonics on the market, particularly for aiding women during that time of the month. What I like about making my own is that there’s also an intuitive self-nurturing aspect to preparing something for my body, which is an important part of connecting with and healing my body.
This recipe calls on a few items you likely have in your kitchen right now and a few more you may need to seek out at your local health-minded market.
Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory and can help to reduce any nausea or digestive discomforts as well.
Raspberry leaf tea (tastes nothing like raspberries, by the way) tones and strengthens the uterus, which can help reduce cramping. It can also help to decrease excessive blood flow and normalize digestive issues.
Licorice root (you should look for a liquid extract of this) will help to relieve PMS symptoms as well as reduce menstrual cramping. It can be particularly beneficial to women transitioning off the pill as well.
Fennel seeds can help to relieve cramping and provide an overall relaxed feeling.
This recipe also includes a bit of raw honey for its energizing and immune-enhancing properties. You can replace with a vegan sweetener if you like. Vitamin C is added for its anti-inflammatory properties. It gives the brew a tartness, so you can leave out if you want something more on the sweet side.
Makes 2 large mug-size servings
- 20 ounces fresh water
- About one inch of fresh ginger root, grated
- 1 raspberry leaf tea bag (Traditional Medicinals has high quality options)
- 30 drops licorice extract
- 30 drops fennel extract
- 1 teaspoon raw honey
- ½ teaspoon vitamin C powder
Place grated ginger and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a slow simmer. Add tea bag, honey and extracts and let simmer another 1-2 minutes, until the tea colors the water. Remove from heat, strain out the ginger pulp and tea bag, stir in the honey and vitamin C powder and serve immediately. Unused portion can be refrigerated for and reheated for up to 7 days.
Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger
Photo credit: naama