Herbal knowledge is built into your DNA.
It is an undeniable truth that herbs have been woven throughout women’s history across every culture.
To truly support whole body healing for women in the years after birth, there has to be a blend of eastern and western approaches to care.
My intention with this postpartum herbs training is to empower you to bring back ancient and intuitive root medicine. When professionals can move past conditioning and fear, the value of women’s stories, experiences, and traditional practices have space to be revealed.
From this place, we can all serve in deeper and more profound ways.
In this postpartum herbs training, I am sharing:
- My 15+ years experience with herbs and herbal remedies
- The modern fear around this ancient healing channel
- How herbs have been a part of women’s history across every culture
- Bringing back one of the largest sought after alternative medicines
- Blending eastern and western care to support whole body healing
- Connecting functional, therapeutic, and intuitive medicine
- Limited number of scientific studies available
- The value of women’s stories, anthropological studies, and traditional practices
Welcome to the Postpartum University podcast where we support you and your provider in understanding the science, the art, and the sacredness of healing after birth. I’m Maranda Bower, your host, your Postpartum Nutrition Specialist, and homesteading mom with four wild kids. It’s time to get you the holistic, whole body healing that works. Welcome to the Postpartum University podcast.
I’m Maranda Bower, and I have quite a topic that I want to share with you today. It’s actually one that is near and dear to my heart, which is something that I should always say when I’m sharing information with you because everything related to postpartum is near and dear to my heart. But I will tell you, this takes the next step. It’s like the combination of two of my most favorite things in the whole world. And that is postpartum and herbs.
And I will tell you, over the last several weeks, I have learned some very fascinating things about herbs and not in the sense that you’re probably thinking. So I’m going to give you a little bit of some background information here. I have been using herbs for well over a decade now. Since I’ve been in the postpartum field and the birth field, almost 15 years plus using herbs. I have my own herbal garden, which I absolutely adore. I use herbs throughout my entire life. I have made herbal concoctions and recipes. I used to actually have my own herbal shop where I would sell, I would hand make salves, breast cream. I would make lotions, everything that you could ever possibly imagine, tea blends, galore, everything. And I would sell them. I would go to trade shows in my hometown and beyond. And I would share this information and I would share my knowledge with the world. And it was something that I was so incredibly passionate about.
And I ended up selling that business many, many, many years ago after having my third child. And we were also beginning to foster at the time. I became a foster mom. So life got crazy. And I put that on the back burner. I sold that business. But just to give you a little bit of background, that is something that I am incredibly passionate about. I will actually, hopefully, fingers crossed, finish and complete my perinatal herbalist certification in the next year. I just am super excited about where that goes. So anyway, here’s the background information. I am fascinated with herbs. I absolutely love herbs. And this last couple of weeks, as I’m putting together an herbal training for professionals, which I won’t get into too much. I haven’t announced any information or shared any of that with you just yet.
But I have found that so many people in this field are very scared and reserved from the use of herbal medicine. We have grown so scared of using herbs in the pregnancy and postpartum state. And this is quite terrifying for me. Because I’m looking at herbs and what I know from herbs– and I’m going to share with you this in just a minute here– is that herbs is one of the oldest forms of medicine. And certainly, there are some very strong medicines in our world. And herbs are not something to just necessarily take lightly. But it’s absolutely not something to be afraid of. We all can have some sort of basic knowledge here to support herbs. There’s herbs that are used for everyday life and everyday healing and everyday feeling good. And everyone, everyone should be able to use that without feeling as if they are operating out of the scope of practice. practice.
What we’ve essentially done is we’ve classified herbs as a form of medicine and we have scared ourselves into practicing this, one of our most root, root forms of medicine, one of the most rooted forms of medicine within women’s health care. And we’ve sanctioned that off as if it was not something that we could participate in. Clearly, it’s not okay. This is part of our innate knowledge. This is part of who we are as women, as females, as healers. And so I’m going to highly suggest that if you are afraid of using herbs in your practice, if herbs scare you to take some opportunity to really look into this topic a lot more.
Yes, of course, I always recommend an herbalist, especially when you are looking at some deeper rooted issues, when you’re looking at autoimmune issues, when you’re looking at personalized herbal care. But when you’re looking at the basics of healing, when you are looking at how to add a couple of herbs for nutrient repletion and just overall feeling good, that is in your wheelhouse, no matter your background.
So I’m going to introduce you to one of the trainings that I had did for this upcoming course. And it’s a training that I find to be really important, which is why I’m opening it and sharing with you the entire module here. This is called root medicine, the entire snippet of training here on the module of root medicine. And this training, this video that I am opening up and sharing with you in today’s episode is really going over a very basic historical look into herbal care and its origins and how herbal care fits into the three major forms of medicine and how evidence-based science has brought so many limitations into the herbal healthcare field and has really created this fear. So enjoy, take a listen in and can’t wait to hear your thoughts. Postpartum herbs for professionals, root medicine.
So I want to take a second to truly tell the story of women’s history within the herbal community and the culture in which that has derived from and of course I can only share oh so much because many of the things that we know are brief pieces of history. We clearly do not have an entire story. Actually, many of the tales and many of the stories, or what I like to call her stories, have been left out of history completely, which is part of the story of women in general. But I will say that herbs have been a part of women’s history, again her story, and within every culture across the world, particularly and very deeply rooted in Asia and Africa and of course that has spread throughout the entire world, being on most all continents. And women within this history or her story were often left out of these stories.
But what we do know, what we do have that is available to us, tells us what we already know. Herbs have been one of the first medicines of our world and it has generally been considered women’s business as most herbalists were midwives and healers dating way before even the biblical times. In the 17th century, this kind of shifted and changed. Women started to become discouraged from engaging in medicine and therefore herbs. And that was really during the drive in Europe with the politics and the systemizations of medication and medicine.
And when that really started being taken over by a more patriarchal model when even midwifery care started to take a back seat and men started entering into obstetrics and becoming doctors and taking on this leadership role and literally taking over birth and all things related to healthcare. That’s when women’s business started to kind of go out the door and we stopped really placing value in those kinds of things. And again, that the systemization and these associations that were created around medicine leaving out both women and herbs as we know it. We are in a space right now, we are coming back, we are reclaiming, we are restoring this knowledge and this wisdom that has been really taken out of history as we know it. Herbs and herbal knowledge have never really disappeared. And what we see now is that they are making a very strong comeback. The pendulum always swings, right? We were once way over on one side and then the medicalization of our world has shifted us way to the other. So the pendulum widely swung.
And as we are seeing that that is not supportive or helpful either, that the pendulum again is swinging back and eventually hopefully will land somewhere in the middle where we can blend the best of both worlds together. But until then, what we are seeing is very strong comebacks. We are seeing a very strong pendulum swings and many holistic approaches to healthcare. These are primarily pushed by the public. We have this more westernized model of care that is very much pushed by pharmaceutical companies, medical providers, and those who benefit greatly from the pushing of in terms of financial profit or fame or anything of the sort. Whereas, these more holistic approaches as in herbs, there’s really not a lot of money in herbs, and so that has been not pushed by the big pharmaceutical companies that is not studied by science, and we’ll get to the reasons behind that. It’s something that is pushed solely by the people, the public, are the ones who are asking for the use of herbal medicines.
You’ve probably seen this as someone who owns a practice or who is using some form of medicine or healing practice, maybe your chiropractor, midwife, nurse, doula, and you were seeing this call where people are probably coming to you asking for herbal use, asking for your knowledge, what you know about herbs, or I’ve been using herbs. They are seeking out this information, and again, it’s one of the largest sought after alternative medicines that we know of today, and it’s so very easy and convenient. It’s not something you can make a lot of money on.
Anyone can grow herbs in their backyard and use that in their teas or whatever the case may be. I know I have a huge collection, and it only cost me my time to water and weed and harvest, and it’s incredibly beneficial and wonderful, and we all have access to it, which makes it even more tempting and amazing and all of its rights. Medicine is now starting to really look at herbs and alternative therapies because the public is really pushing this. They very much want this on their side, and maybe they even see the benefits of it. I know so many providers are like, “Wait a second. My clients were using this,” and they’ve seen some really spectacular results in their blood work or any sort of blood tests or whatever the case may be.
And they’re seeing that their clients are wanting this. So they’re again, looking for this a lot more. And it’s now considered a biology-based therapy, which is phenomenal, it’s fantastic. Again, what we want is the blend of two worlds where Eastern and Western come together and we support the whole body healing with all the benefits of all medicine.
If you’re a birth and postpartum professional who wants to give the families you serve some solid holistic evidence-based information regarding nutrition, repletion, and nourishing your body after baby, this is for you. I have 18 beautiful pages in a handout form that is completely free. Free full guide to nutrition, completion, common misconceptions, supplement support, favorite recipes, 30 healthy and quick snacks, and so many more. You can download your free collection with handouts at postpartumU, that’s the letter U, dot com slash handouts.
There are several types of medicine and I wanna speak to a few that we hear often and very frequently. Functional medicine, let’s talk about functional medicine. Functional medicine is a systematic biological approach to addressing the root of disease. And we love functional medicine, functional nutrition. We talk about these components quite frequently. I’m very much a supporter of functional medicine. We need a systematic approach. There’s nothing wrong with creating systems to support the biological functions of the human body, particularly the female body, which is not addressed enough.
However, there needs to be another component to this. So anytime that we are working in the means of functional medicine, medicine, not only do we appreciate the systematic approach, but we don’t want to get lost in that. And we also want to take the systematic approach and we want to individualize it. For example, the postpartum nutrition plan, which has been developed and used by thousands of women across the world, was something that I developed in the form of functional nutrition. And so it’s a systematic approach to healing our hormones in the postpartum period and to replenishing our nutrient stores. And it’s a very easy plan that can be personalized for each individual.
So it’s a systematic approach that can be slightly altered or even more than slightly altered to fit our individual needs. Then we have therapeutic medicine. This is a comprehensive management and prevention of disease, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s holistic and based. We have therapeutic medications. We often refer to many medications as being therapeutic. But in the real sense of the word therapeutic medicine is the prevention of and the management of disease. So herbs very much fits into functional medicine and therapeutic medicine, and it also fits into intuitive medicine. And that’s using one’s extensive knowledge and inner knowing to get to the root of disease.
And this is really how we want to get back to who we are as individuals as healers as people who are working in this field supporting others. Intuitive medicine is what has really been taken away from us throughout history. This is where the patriarchal model has come in and has systemized things and has taken away this inner knowing and inner knowledge. Not to say that men or the patriarchal model can’t benefit from using this or don’t have the ability to use our intuition or their intuition in this. They certainly do, but oftentimes it was misunderstood and labeled as witchery or witchcraft. We have a long history of what that means.
So many women being burned at the stake, so many women being persecuted simply because they used their inner knowing, which is something we all possess. It is a sixth sense. It is whatever it is that you want to call it is a deep knowing that resides within us. And we can use this when we are working with people and it doesn’t have to be profound. I think a lot of times we think that we must be clairvoyant or whatever the case may be in order to have this and that is simply not the case. It’s an intuitive knowledge, a knowing of our practice so well that when a client comes to us and says, “This is something I’m experiencing,” we kind of get a hunch.
We get a feeling like, “I bet that must be this. Let’s look into this. Let’s discover that more. Let’s see where that leads us into the next way. Does it mean that your hunch is right or that your intuition is going to be correct? Not always, but it always leads us to the next place where it will be.
And so it’s this honoring of who we are within and honoring what we know and allowing that to come through to the medicine that we serve. It’s often the biggest missing piece to medicine and how we approach health care in today’s world and one of the things in which we want to bring back, especially with herbal medicine. Herbal support fits into every form of medicine, except for one.
Evidence-based medicine is a treatment that is based in scientific proof. And this is very limited because the number of scientific studies that are done on herbal effectiveness and safety is very dismal. These studies are not done. And many providers will err on the side of caution and say that some are not safe, particularly in pregnancy and postpartum, simply because there’s no studies to prove that it is safe. We’ll talk about the safety and effectiveness of herbs in another module. But for now, I want to stress the importance of this in particular.
When it comes to the study of herbal use, it is not something that is done much to the science of women’s health care. A lot of the health care that we know it in terms of women’s health care in general, we have PCS, endometriosis, hormonal imbalances to the extreme. We study men’s bodies for nutrition-based information, and then we lower those numbers to reflect a smaller human body, i.e. the female. So when we look at what has actually been done in terms of science for women’s health care, we know that that in its own right is very limited and very dismal. And thankfully, that is shifting significantly, but it’s not so shifting and changing when it comes to the herbal world.
And so just take note of this. When you are looking into evidence-based medicine, you are not going to find a whole lot in terms of herbal use simply because there is no money in herbal use. And so it’s hard to find the backing, the financial backing to actually create a very good study or like a double blind placebo, which is like the gold standard. It’s very difficult to fund and it’s difficult to make. If there’s no money to be made behind it, then many researchers and companies don’t want to put effort or financial backing behind it.
So unfortunately, a lot of this completely revolves around money. So that makes what we know of herbal care not quote unquote evidence-based medicine. So until those studies are funded, herbal use, safety and effectiveness will have to come from anthropological studies and the study of traditional practice and medicine across the world.
And I want to speak deeply on this, that women’s stories are incredibly valuable and we have undervalued them for thousands of years. And we need to get back to listening in to women, to their stories, what they’re sharing with us. Through this listening and this understanding and this study, we can create an overwhelming amount of evidence that is needed to support evidence-based care and practice within the herbal world.
So when you are looking into the safety of an herb or herbal concoction, always, always, always encourage your clients to speak to their provider and do their research.
Okay, there’s not or do their research, it’s an and do their research. And as the provider yourself, I highly encourage you to look way beyond the scientific studies, go past Google Scholar, go past online journal articles, look for the historical use of these as well. Listen in to the training on herbal safety and business for questions that providers can use to look into how to support their clients better, but also speaking to your local herbalists, get to know the people in your community who are very well known for the work that they do in herbs. Use their knowledge, seek them out, recommend them. Those are the people that you want on your side to help you understand the safety and effectiveness of herbs in general.
I’ve also included some amazing resources for you, Google Scholar being one of them, but there’s several others as well, American Herbal Skills. They have a lot of free professional trainings. There is a massive guide here on Dropbox. Amazon has some beautiful books as well. I highly recommend grabbing these just so that you can use them as reference points. It’s not something that you have to necessarily read in depth, but these are places that you can go if you have any sort of questions or when somebody is making, “Well, I don’t feel good using echinacea,” right? Well, what does that mean? What can I offer you instead? Going to look into alternatives. These are great sources to do that, as well as the book that you have received with this course.
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