The 17 Best Medicinal Herbs

The godmother of American Herbalism, Rosemary Gladstar, gives her list of time-tested, essential herbs that can help treat dozens of women's health issues. Learn how to use them to treat women's health conditions naturally

For dried herbs and supplies, try Jean's Greens or Mountain Rose Herbs.

1. Black Cohosh
Renowned and well studied as a menopause herb, black cohosh also helps ease PMS-related pain.

2. Wild Yam
A classic liver tonic, wild yam balances hormones and eases morning sickness. Seek out cultivated sources, since it's been overharvested in the wild.

3. Motherwort
A classic women's herb used for menopause symptoms, heart support, and painful or delayed menstruation.

4. Sage
This common garden plant helps reduce hot flashes and regulate mood swings during menopause.


5. Blue Vervain
Known in mythology and history as a sacred herb, it relieves hormone-related anxiety and restores energy.

6. Ginseng (Asian)
A famous tonic for men, ginseng is restorative and energizing for women, too, especially during menopause.

7. Schizandra
A classic sexual tonic in Chinese medicine, this plant also helps the body and brain adapt to stress.

8. Hawthorn
An all-purpose heart tonic, hawthorn strengthens the cardiac muscle and eases heartache and mild depression.


9. Dandelion
By tonifying the liver (which produces hormones), dandelion root eases a variety of women's imbalances. Often combined with burdock and milk thistle.

10. Vitex
With a normalizing effect on women's hormones, vitex treats conditions like menstrual irregularity, PMS, and infertility.

11. Licorice
A renowned herb, licorice balances cycles and restores energy. Avoid large quantities if you have hypertension or kidney issues, or if you take heart medicine.

12. Ginger
With warming, stomach-soothing properties, this rhizome eases menstrual cramps and morning sickness.


13. Dong Quai
Often called "female ginseng," this traditional Chinese herb builds strong blood and tones the uterus.

14. Nettle
Rich in vitamins and minerals, nettle nourishes the reproductive system, making it a great tonic for many concerns.

15. Lady's Mantle
Rich in tannins and nutrients, this herb can ease excess bleeding and pain, and may help support fertility.

16. Raspberry Leaf
Rich in minerals, raspberry leaf is a classic fertility and pregnancy tonic and helps treat uterine prolapse.

17. Oat Tops (not shown)
The green milky tops of the oat plant nourish the reproductive and nervous systems. Substitute oatstraw if necessary.

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