Lady’s Mantle

“Lady’s Mantle”

Reminiscent of the virgin’s cloak in medieval paintings, the leaves with scalloped edges are reputed to have given Lady’s Mantle its name.
Like many herbs with ‘lady’ or ‘mother’ as part of their common name, it is a valuable gynaecological herb, specifically for heavy menstrual bleeding and vaginal itching.
Highly astringent and rich in tannins, it was one of the most popular wound herbs on the battlefields of 15th and 16th centuries.
Lady’s Mantle leaves are ‘waterproof’ – beads of dew/rain gather upon the leaves.

Botanical Name: Alchemilla vulgaris

Common name: Ladies’ Mantle

Family: Rosaceae

Parts Used: Aerial part (picked in early Summer before the flowers appear)

Active Constituents: Flavonoids and tannins, salicylic acid, saponins, phytosterols, volatile oil, bitter principles

Qualities: Cool, dry, bitter and astringent to taste (Ody). Hot and dry in the 2nd degree.


Emotional/Energetic: Women who crave subtle balance, poise & integrity – wishes to uplift those around her. Someone who needs protection but feels the need to do good in the world. She needs to bloom to be happy but yet be protected from masculine energy that tries to keep her in a tight bud.

Ladies Mantle refines and preserves the fluidic element of the organism; the yin or feminine part.


“It is one of the most singular wound herbs and therefore highly prized and praised, used in all wounds, inwards and outwards” – Nicholas Culpepper, 1653

Historical Use: Highly astringent and rich in tannins, it was one of the most popular wound herbs on the battlefields of 15th and 16th centuries.  Because this herb is warm and dry, it was used for ‘mopping up the humidities’ in wounds and was indicated for those wounds with discharge and fistulas accompanied by inflammation. William Salmon (1710) classified it as astringent, drying cleansing, and strengthening to the tissues.  It can restore the integrity of torn, ruptured, or separated tissues (i.e. hernias, perforated membranes).

“It is an excellent thing also against bruises, cuts or punctures of the nerves and tendons; for it suddenly eases the pain, and alleviates the inflammation, and thereby induces the cure” – William Salmon, 1710

A ‘mantle’ due to the folded, fan-like aspect of the leaves and the fact that the leaves are waterproof.  Rain and dew bead up upon the leaves.  The leaves are bitter and astringent with warm undertones.  The leaves also contain salicin, which is often found in plants that thrive in wet places or expel water.  The properties of the leaves hint to the uses of Ladies Mantle to dry up and expel water from tissues (i.e. stopping haemorrhaging, diarrhoea, excessive menstruation, leucorrhoea and infection).

Called “Frauenmantel” in German a woman’s remedy which was then translated into Lady’s Mantle.  Like many herbs with ‘lady’ or ‘mother’ as part of their common name, it is a valuable gynaecological herb, although it was originally regarded a key vulnerary herbal medicine used for wounds.


 Actions: 

  • Uterine astringent
  • Uterine tonic
  • Nervine – anti-anxiety?
  • Astringent
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Progestogenic?
  • Dry up and expel water from tissues

TONES THE REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS, Said to also tone the breasts (Rosemary Gladstar), bladder and pelvic floor.

“Inwardly also taken, and outwardly applied to the breasts, which are great and over-much flag, it causes them to grow lesser and hard” – William Salmon, 1710


Indications:

  • Menorrhagia (especially in adolescence and perimenopause); can reduce pain.
  • Perimenopause to reduce flushing and vaginal irritation
  • Dysfunctional uterine bleeding for reducing excessive flow while also toning. 
  • Prolapse
  • Fertility promotion and to improve uterine tone and cell membrane integrity
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhoea (BHP specific for acute diarrhoea and epidemic diarrhoea of infants)
  • Rashes
  • Anxiety
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Abdominal hernia
  • After birth when used as a tonic to tonify and strengthen tissue
  • Wounds with discharge; drying, cleansing and strengthening to tissues; strengthens the tissue integrity
  • Damage to nerves and tendons for easing pain, reducing inflammation and healing
  • Topically – Leucorrhoea and vaginitis

Give as a general remedy when a woman is contemplating hysterectomy or other gynaecological surgery – ideal to use as a herb for recovery after surgery

Ladies Mantle can also be given when there is trauma to the uterus from miscarriage, abortion, the use of an IUD, pelvic inflammatory disease, or surgery of any kind.


SUMMARY: 

  • Astringent aerial parts of herb are useful in gastroenteritis and diarrhoea.
  • They are useful for controlling heavy periods, as well as useful in cases of period pain and cycle regulation. Vaginal discharge can also be treated with this herb.
  • A cooling herb that is useful in inflammation and infections
  • Strengthens tissues
  • Removes excess fluids from the body but does not act as a diuretic 

    Ladies Mantle in Pregnancy and Post-Partum: Similar to its Rose family cousin, Raspberry Leaf, Ladies Mantle has been used as a tonic in pregnancy, although it strengthens tissues by removing excess dampness and inflammation and it not directive nutritive. It is suited to tissue weakness and inflammation.  On the other hand, Raspberry Leaf feeds the reproductive issues and gives them the required tension and tone.  While Raspberry Leaf is often an ideal tonic during pregnancy, Ladies Mantle makes the perfect uterine tonic following birth and it has been popular to ‘slim the figure’ by toning and strengthening abdominal tissues and structures after childbirth.  NOTE: Ladies Mantle is contraindicated in early pregnancy due to reported emmenagogue activity.


Cautions: 

Theoretical caution with anticoagulants but no pro-thrombotic effects reported

Tannins may inhibit mineral supplement absorption

**AVOID USE IN PREGNANCY: As this herb is a uterine stimulant**


Dosage: 2-4ml TDS of a 1:2 25-30 per week

DROP DOSE: 20 – 40 drops t.d.s.

SEPARATE DOSE FROM ALL MEDICATIONS BY AT LEAST 2 HOURS – high amounts of Tannins may hinder absorption.


OTHER USES:

  • Infusion: Use for gastroenteritis or diarrhoea – take up to five times daily for acute Sx
  • Tincture: Use for period pain, menstrual irregularities & menopausal problems
  • Ointment: Used to relieve vaginal itching – combine 50 g ointment base with approx. 20ml rosewater and 15ml of infusion/tincture and use morning and night
  • Wash: Use infusion externally for eczema that weeps or weeping sores
  • Mouthwash/Gargle: Use infusion for sore throats, laryngitis and mouth ulcers
  • Douche: Use infusion for vaginal discharges/itching
  • Pessaries: Combine 20 drops tincture with 20g cocoa butter to make 12-16 pessaries

ladysmantle


Combinations:

Yarrow for regulating menses in young girls

Look at other herbs to TREAT THE CAUSES of heavy bleeding – e.g. phytolacca, sarsaparilla & pulsatilla


References & Links to Articles:

Ody, Penelope (1998). The Herb Society’s Complete Medicinal Herbal. Milan: Dorling Kindersley


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s