One of the key benefits of Lady’s Mantle is its ability to regulate menstruation. It stimulates the production of progesterone which is essential to regular periods – low levels of progesterone can result in eggs not being released and irregular menstruation. The ability to enhance progesterone levels makes Lady’s Mantle one of the best herbs to combat fertility problems too. It stimulates ovulation whilst acting as a uterine tonic, toning the uterus in readiness for conception.
Rich in tannins, Lady’s Mantle is also used to stem excessive menstrual bleeding. Its tannins display antihemorrhagic properties and its astringent nature makes it helpful in stanching excessive menstrual flow in cases of menorrhagia, and in metrorrhagia - when menstrual bleeding happens at irregular times in between menstruation.
In cases of menstrual cramps, the anti-spasmodic and pain relieving effects of this herb are attributed to compounds such as salicylic acid and quercetin which are known for their analgesic and anti-inflammatory actions.
The action of Lady’s Mantle on progesterone receptors can help to reduce the occurrence of hot flushes, night sweats and other menopausal symptoms such as anxiety and mood swings.
It also helps to tackle “oestrogen dominance”, a condition that affects many women in the peri and post-menopause. With fewer ovulations as they get older, women produce more oestrogen and less progesterone which can lead to the hormone imbalance that can cause havoc in the body. The ability of Lady’s Mantle to stimulate progesterone production can keep these important hormones in balance which can help to alleviate a wide range of symptoms that are commonly associated with the menopause.
The salicylic acid contained in Lady’s Mantle can boost digestion, strengthen the digestive system and ease stomach cramps. The astringent nature and high tannin content of this herb also makes it an excellent remedy for diarrhoea. The tannins help to dry up excessive watery secretions that occur in cases of diarrhoea, and the German E Commission has approved this herbs safety for this use, stating its usefulness in “light and non specific diarrhoea.”
Used topically, Lady’s Mantle has an astringent effect on the skin and protects newly formed elastin fibres. Elastins are a protein in the skin that are required for skin elasticity, which together with collagen and glycosaminoglycans make up the connective tissue.
The tannin content is made up of oligomeric gallotannins and flavonoids which are powerfully antioxidant, further protecting the skin from oxidative stress and damage. The astringent properties imparted by the high tannin content of Lady’s Mantle helps to tone and tighten the skin, reducing the appearance of enlarged pores whilst helping to keep the complexion glowing and smooth.
Finally, Lady’s Mantle is an excellent herb for wound healing, helping to repair damaged skin and is commonly used on eczema, acne and redness.
Folklore and history
With a history of use dating back to at least medieval times, Lady's Mantle made its first appearance in a botanical tome named "The History of Plants" by Jerome Bock in 1532.
Sir John Hill, auther of "The Family Herbal" recommended its use for those frightening "bloody fluxes", so common in eighteenth-century health literature. He went on to say, "The good women in the North of England apply the leaves to their breasts, to make them recover their form, after they have been swelled with milk. Hence it has got the name of Lady's Mantle".
Lady's Mantle acquired its Latin name Alchemilla (translated as "little alchemist" or "little magical one"), because it was favored by Alchemists who believed the plant to possess magical healing properties. Alchemists would collect the dew from the plant's leaves and use it in their formulas, believing that it could purify and cleanse any illness.
Just as its name suggests, Lady’s Mantle is a powerful women’s herb whose botanical name “Alchemilla” is derived from the word “alchemy”. The droplets of water that formed on its leaves were thought to be the purest form of water – so pure that it could be used to produce the Philosopher’s Stone.
In traditional herbal medicine it has been used for all manner of women’s problems including; menstrual issues, menstrual cramps, menopause, hormonal imbalances and to strengthen the uterus in late pregnancy. It was also used as a wound healer and as a remedy for various gastrointestinal issues.
Lady's Mantle Tincture
Can be added to water or fruit juice and taken when required.
Traditionally Taken: 2-3ml taken 2-3 times per day, or as directed by a Herbal Practitioner.
Lady's Mantle Powder
Take ¼ teaspoon in water daily.
It can also be added to salves for wound healing and a decoction or infusion of the powder can be incorporated into soaps, lotions, creams and baths where astringency is required.
Lady's Mantle Tea
Use 1 - 2 teaspoons of Lady's Mantle Tea per 1 cup of boiling water. Let the tea brew for 5 - 15 minutes. Strain and enjoy.
Lady's Mantle contains: 6-8% tannins (partly gallotannins), ellagitannins (pedunculagin, the dimeric alchemillin), flavonoids (quercetin 3-O-b-D-glucuronide has been identified)
Not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Some herbalists recommend taking Lady’s Mantle tea in the last few weeks of pregnancy to prepare the uterus for labour and prevent hemorrhage. Please always check with your healthcare provider before using any herbs during pregnancy.