I’m a witch!

Today I finally went out and got the supplies to make my own home brewed PMS relief tea. Hooray! I feel like a good kitchen witch. As with many female-bodied folks, the days before I menstruate are fraught with mood swings and break outs; others get physical symptoms like water retention, breast sensitivity and the like. I’ve been drinking raspberry leaf tea on and off for a few years to help with period cramps but it hasn’t quite helped out the mood swings the week before I bleed, so I sought an alternative.

After a few months of laid-back research, I’ve come up with a tea blend that is simple to make and inexpensive. I’ve based my recipe on the Wiccan Woman’s Brew which can be found on the fabulous website Doula Right Thing. Here it is:

PMS Soothing Tea

  • 1 part Raspberry Leaf
  • 1 part Vitex (Chasteberry)
  • 1 part Nettle

Mix all three dried herbs together and store in a glass jar (make sure it’s completely dry to avoid molding) away from direct sunlight. To brew the tea, steep 1 teaspoon in a cup or so of just boiled water for 10 minutes. You can cover the cup while steeping to retain heat. Add honey, if desired, and serve. Drink 1-3 cups a day for a week or more before menstruation.

In Montreal, I found the  necessary herbs over at Herbarome: La Bottine Aux Herbes (3778A St. Denis, corner of Roy near Sherbrooke metro). The minimum order for loose leaf medicinal tea is 30 grams so I purchased that amount of each herb and the total came to about nine dollars.

Not weed.

When I got home, I mixed the three herbs gently together in a non-reactive bowl and then transfered the mixture to a covered jar. The taste of the tea is mild, kind of a lightly grass-like/almost-eucalyptus tinged flavour. Once again, the Doula Right Thing blog has some easy-to-understand information about each herb, some of which I’ve quoted below. This post, in particular, describes how different herbs are effective for pregnant women while this one frames the herbs as promoters of fertility. In the interest of describing this particular tea, I chose quotes about the three herbs for the ways they can reduce PMS symptoms:

(all info from Doula Right Thing)

Red Raspberry Leaf– Brewed as a tea or as an infusion, raspberry is the best known, most widely used, and safest of all uterine and pregnancy tonic herbs. It contains fragrine, an alkaloid which gives tone to the muscles of the pelvic region, including the uterus itself. (more)

Chasteberry (Vitex)– stimulates the hormones involved in ovulation and restores female hormonal balance. It is useful in normalizing pituitary gland functions and the balance of progesterone and estrogen levels. Vitex is used as an herbal treatment for infertility and is especially helpful for women with irregular cycles, failure to ovulate, or a short luteal phase (a shortened second half of the menstrual cycle). The effectiveness of Vitex increases over time with continued use. (more)

Nettle – Nettle leaves are one of the finest nourishing tonics known. It is reputed to have more chlorophyll than any other herb. The list of vitamins and minerals in this herb includes nearly every one known to necessary for human health and growth. Vitamins A, C, D and K, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, iron and sulphur are particularly abundant in nettles. (more)


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