The Flower of Abundance

“The marigold, that goes to bed wi’ the sun and with him rises weeping”, wrote Shakespeare. In our region, marigold water is used as a facial wash for Đurđevdan (Saint George’s Day). In the West, it was believed that marigold water rubbed into the eyes could make one see fairies. Since time immemorial, girls used to give this flower to their suitors not to pine after them. If the plant failed to grow in a girl’s garden that would mean that she would pine after someone. Girls thus needed Marigold to show them the way to the right partner. The power of marigold to cure love pains can be traced to Ancient Greek mythology – a young girl falls in love with Apollo, the Sun god, but his rays burn her and what is left behind are only marigold flowers. That is why it has been believed for a long time that marigold has the power to heal the pain of unrequited or lost love.

Long wreaths of yellow marigold flowers can be seen all over the place during Indian holidays and at Indian weddings. Since they were brought there by the Portuguese, people have worn those festive wreaths around the neck and have been decorating their houses to attract prosperity. Early Christians used marigold during celebrations dedicated to the Virgin Mary, hence its English name, marigold – Mary’s gold. Its scientific name, Calendula officinalis, is associated with a heavenly remedy. No wonder, as its healing properties are numerous.

The Aztecs regarded marigold as a sacred plant, and a legend has it that where innocent victims of the Spanish conquest fell marigold grew.  In Mexico it is used on Day of the Dead, 1 November, in order to show the souls of the dead the way to the altar. In olden times in England, marigold had another superstitious use – it was placed under the bed as protection against thieves; if robbery still took place, marigold would give the victims visionary dreams to help them identify the miscreants.

No wonder this plant is woven into the mythology of many a nation: marigold is full of the magic of abundance, from the moment when it flowers in early spring, throughout the summer up to late autumn, remaining yellow and cheerful all this time. It grows in many types of soil, in different climates, it is self-pollinating and does not require much care. This is how it gives us a lesson about both physical and mental vitality and reveals the secret of abundance, as if whispering to us that no matter what situation we find ourselves in, we should always flower, turn to the Sun and never give up.

Marigold is a plant with a potentially longest and most diverse application throughout history. The German Commission E (a scientific advisory board of the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices) has confirmed its medicinal properties used in wound healing and for soothing inflammations. That is only one of many applications of this incredible plant. Let’s see what it can do:

  • the estrogenic effect of marigold helps women balance the menstrual cycle, reduce discharge, candida, protect the uterus, relieve the symptoms of menopause, and soothe breast pain and mastitis in breastfeeding women;
  • it is great in dermatology: it soothes skin inflammations, hives, eczema, psoriasis, seborrhoea, herpes, baby rash, ulcers, it moisturises the skin and prevents dandruff, relieves itching from insect bites, prevents infections and pressure sores in bed-ridden patients, protects burnt skin and helps its healing, and is also beneficial for mucous membranes and in gingivitis;
  • it occupies a special place in cosmetics: it prevents and heals acne, tightens, softens and nourishes the skin, both face and body; it rejuvenates, it reduces the appearance of wrinkles, closes enlarged pores, protects from the sun, removes age spots and pigmentation;
  • it is excellent in diets as it helps to flush out excess water from the body, it stimulates the lymphatic system, increases sweating, detoxifies the body and increases metabolism;
  • it has a beneficial effect on the digestive system: it calms the stomach, soothes cramps, gastritis, stomach and duodenum ulcers, cleanses the liver and the gallbladder;
  • it is excellent for blood vessels, it has a soothing effect on varicose veins and bruises, it is good for arteriosclerosis, it reduces cholesterol, improves circulation, calms palpitations and is extremely efficacious against haemorrhoids;
  • cold marigold infusion is used as an eye rinse, against inflammations and conjunctivitis;
  • it strengthens the immunity, it has antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-cancerous and anti-carcinogenic effect; latest research shows that it is effective in fighting HIV.

It is also used outside herbal medicine: marigold’s natural colour is used as a food additive, which has given it the name of “a pauper’s saffron”. Marigold is edible and is full of vitamins C and A; its petals can be added to salads, or in its dried form it can be used as a spice. Marigold is also known in folklore as a natural barometer: if its flowers are closed in the morning it will definitely rain.

Apart from being very therapeutic, marigold flowers embody the image of abundance with their beauty and scent. Its magic shines like the sun: always and everywhere.

Marigold is the inevitable ingredient of Herba Svet products: in Femisan A it protects women in their reproductive age; in Femisan B it helps to reduce the symptoms of menopause. In Equigal, it is used to help detox the body, to shed extra weight and reduce cellulite, while in Devi skin regeneration balm all its dermatological and cosmetic powers are present.

An Optimistic Plant

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), balm, common balm or balm mint… It grows everywhere around us and its application is very wide. And what is most important is that this beautiful fragrant plant can restore our faith in life.

It has been known in southern Europe and northern Africa for more than two millennia. Lemon balm grows along fences, in the woods and near towns and villages, it is often found near beehives because bees love its aromatic flowers that last throughout the summer. It was given its Latin name after the bees.

The Arabs were the first to use it medicinally, as infusions against tension. It was particularly popular in the Middle Ages and nuns of the Carmelite Order devised the famous recipe for Carmelite water which was believed to bring longevity, remove depression, palpitations, fear, fatigue and restore consciousness; it consisted of alcohol, lemon balm leaves, lemon zest, angelica root, coriander seed, nutmeg, cinnamon chips and whole cloves.

Maurice Mességué, a French herbalist and a pioneer of herbalism in North America, famous for his slogan “working with the patient, not with the disease”, had a particular affection towards lemon balm. He called Melissa officinalis “the queen of all stimulative herbs” and glorified its wide spectrum of effects.

In addition to its medicinal properties, lemon balm has a very pleasant smell reminiscent of citrus fruits and is used in the perfume industry and cooking. The Mediterranean cuisine would not be what it is without this herb which is used in stews, freshly cut in salads, pastries and drinks. This herb imbues everything with its special fresh lemony aroma.

What can lemon balm do? Information passed from generation to generation, proven by modern medicine, shows that lemon balm does the following:

  • it relieves stress, tension, anxiety, depression and insomnia
  • it soothes palpitations and irritability in menopause
  • it improves concentration, creativity and aids the thought process employed in the resolution of complex cognitive problems
  • it is rich in antioxidants, protects the cells from damage caused by oxidation
  • it helps patients with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, it improves memory and concentration
  • it soothes cramps and imbalances in the digestive tract and period pains
  • it calms infections, herpes and reduces swellings
  • it has antiviral properties and accelerates healing
  • it prevents and stops bacterial infections, including candida
  • some studies have shown that it effectively destroys glioblastoma multiforme cells, a type of brain tumour
  • it reduces headaches and head tensions
  • it reduces the symptoms of diabetes and improves glucose tolerance
  • phenolic alkaloids in lemon balm can prevent the synthesis of bad cholesterol and reduce the level of triglycerides in the blood
  • it reduces high temperature and helps relieve symptoms of colds and flu
  • it helps with hyperthyroidism
  • it helps the body cleanse itself of toxins
  • it helps those involved in increased mental activity, students and intellectuals
  • it moisturises the skin, soothes eczema, acne and small skin abrasions

Even though it almost has no adverse effects, it should not be used in combination with chemical tranquillisers without prior consultation with a medical professional. It should not be used by pregnant and breastfeeding women.

If we have it to hand, we can put some fresh lemon balm in tea or lemonade, add it to a stew or a soup, or just bunch it and hang it to dry spreading its appealing fragrance around our home.

There is also an easier way – it can be found in Herba Svet products. In Femisan B, lemon balm soothes problems associated with menopause – anxiety, irritability and palpitations; in Optima Forma it calms and soothes the symptoms of stress and gives mental strength. Lemon balm also helps with insomnia and other sleep-related issues, without causing drowsiness. In Leocardin, this herb calms heart rate and tachycardia. In Disan it prevents respiratory infections and eases breathing and expectoration.

With lemon balm and Herba Svet products we can live la vie en rose!

Kiss under the Mistletoe

In his famous work Naturalis Historia Pliny the Elder pays tribute to Gallic druids, even though he was a Roman through and through, and as such a natural enemy of the Celts. These barbarians, uncouth, rough savages – as labelled by the Romans – had special powers and knowledge which were passed from generation to generation. In a comic book series about Asterix the Gallic Celt, brought to life by its creators Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo, the famous druid Getafix is seen either meandering around the woods picking plants or protecting the magic potion whose recipe the greedy Romans could not succeed to obtain. The Celts did not leave behind any written traces about their culture; paradoxically, we can learn all about them from historical records kept by the Romans who tried their best to tarnish Celts’ reputation.

A good portion of our genes in the Balkans is Celtic. Before the Romans reached the Balkans, the Celts had lived here for millennia. Belgrade’s modern-day suburb of Karaburma used to be populated by the Celts; the location where the current farmers’ market stands used to be a large necropolis. The Celts used to roam the banks of the Danube, they adored tall trees, the oak in particular, a tree that also occupies the central position in Slav mythology. And it was in the tall strong trees where they used to find the key ingredient for the preparation of their “magic potion” – mistletoe.

It is precisely because of mistletoe that Pliny the Elder paid tribute to them. The Celts did not view it as an unimportant parasitic plant – as it appears to be on first glance – but a plant that has great powers. Mistletoe was the basis of their myths, legends and rituals – and what is most important – of their medicine. How powerful the druids were is best illustrated by the fact that the Romans understood that they first had to get rid of the druids if they wanted to subjugate the Celts. In the first century AD, the Roman Emperor Tiberius launched a massive campaign to execute the druids in Gall, but the later Roman Emperor Claudius brought in a law to ban those executions. Those Celts who adopted Christianity interwove its belief system with their pagan beliefs and continued passing their legends from generation to generation.

Why is mistletoe so special? And what is it that the druids understood in those ancient times when there was no chemical research, no labs or microscopes?

First of all, it was the way it reproduces – a bird needs to eat its ripe berry; after eating the white flesh of the berry, the bird has to wipe its beak on twigs and branches, leaving behind the seed. Once the sticky content is dried and hardened, the firmly attached seeds germinate, stealing nutrients and water from their host. The ancient Celts believed that the mistletoe, apart from the nutrients, also takes over the spirit of the tree, and thus remains green even in wintertime, when most of the vegetation is dormant.

Mistletoe’s modus vivendi – its ability to draw energy from its host – can be regarded in a new light when we learn that this exceptional plant has the power to destroy tumour cells. This fact has been recognised by modern medicine, and some hospitals use mistletoe to treat tumours as it has been scientifically proven that it prevents the growth of blood vessels of malign tissues. One has to be mindful of the fact that mistletoe berries are very poisonous and therefore this plant can be used only if professionally processed.

In addition to suppressing malignant cells, mistletoe has the power:

  • to regulate blood pressure and prevent arrhythmia
  • to prevent dizziness and cramps
  • to regulates hormones
  • to improve metabolism
  • to prevent diabetes
  • to accelerates the work of the lymphatic system
  • to eliminate hot flashes and irritability
  • to have a beneficial effect on the glands with internal secretion

Irritability, palpitations, mood swings, insomnia, hot flashes – these are the symptoms that every woman entering a menopause can recognise. As the druids used to have their magic potion in the times long past, Herba Svet nowadays has its own magic potion – Femisan B. Mistletoe is one of five plants that are ingredients in this precious food supplement.

In the end, let’s not forget the famous ritual that is practised all over the world at Christmas time: if a woman stands under the mistletoe, a man has the right to kiss her, without risking a slap on the face. Because that is exactly when hot flashes have begun and she is totally irritable…

Protector of the Weak and the Infirm

If we were to draw up a list of the most powerful plants, it would certainly be topped by mistletoe. Our ancestors glorified it since time immemorial and ascribed to it magic powers; modern science has proved that the magic is real. Mistletoe is strange in itself – it grows as a parasite on trees and feeds on them. We can spot it easily, on leafless tree crowns of deciduous trees in wintertime as mistletoe is still green. Its fruit is very poisonous, but the plant itself – if prepared professionally – has such potent therapeutic properties that it even has the power to destroy cancer cells. It is interesting that the therapeutic power of mistletoe depends on what tree it lives on: it has medicinal properties if it grows on the apple, pear and plum trees, not on conifers, willow, oak and linden trees.

What scientific research has established is that mistletoe stimulates our immune response at the cellular level and that it selectively attacks and destroys cancer cells. That is why it is used officially in many hospitals as therapy for malign diseases and precancerous conditions. What makes this possible are mistletoe’s viscotoxins, cardiotonic polypeptide and lecithins which have an impact on granulocytes which destroy pathogenic cells. Standard anticancer treatment destroys granulocytes and thereby the immune system of the patient. Unlike the standard therapy, mistletoe eliminates cancerous cells, but at the same time it protects and strengthens the patient’s immunity.

Mistletoe has a wide range of effects: it is a natural vasodilator – it widens the arteries which results in blood flowing more easily through vessels. That is why it is excellent for cardiovascular diseases, used both therapeutically and prophylactically. Mistletoe lowers blood pressure, it has a soothing effect on the heart muscle and helps flush excess water from the body. This magical plant calms cramps, aides wound healing and stops bleeding, stimulates healthy digestion, flushes out intestinal parasites, balances the hormones and helps with diabetes. As an efficient diuretic it can help with inflammations, rheumatism, arthritis and gout. It is the protector of the female reproductive system and strengthens both female and male fertility.

Numerous studies have confirmed mistletoe’s powerful anti-viral properties; with the emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, it has taken centre stage. It is mostly used in China to inhibit 3CVLpro, the main protein that helps the virus spread in the host’s body. But it plays its most important role by protecting the most vulnerable people, those most at risk from Covid-19 – the people with existing co-morbidities, heart patients and diabetics. This is where mistletoe’s effect on the glands with internal secretion and the cardiovascular system is precious.

Mistletoe is the biggest protector of the weak and the infirm, a true Robin Hood among the plants. It strengthens our immunity, helps the body to fend off external enemies, but also to restore balance in our body. What is very important to bear in mind is not to use it if not prepared by the experts. As all other medicinal plants, mistletoe works best if it joins forces with other plants. This powerful synergy of mistletoe with other plants is found in Disan – a natural bio-elixir which strengthens our immunity and protects our vitality and health. In addition to mistletoe, Disan contains broadleaf plantain, echinacea, nettle, lemon balm, angelica, heath speedwell and dandelion, together with honey and vitamin C. In addition to helping us fight off viruses, Disan will protect our respiratory tract, it will cleanse our lungs, soothe or calm coughs, stimulate circulation and micro-circulation, cleanse our blood vessels, but also calm and relax us. This is why Disan can also help smokers give up smoking.

Therefore, Disan is an obligatory part of a home pharmacy, a bio-elixir which is worth having at home, taken as prevention or having in your medicine cabinet “just in case”, particularly at the time of epidemics when we all need extra protection.

Herb Robert, Our Super-Hero

There is an element which is known to have extraordinary powers. Germanium stimulates the body’s immune response, it prevents the effects of free radicals, transmits oxygen – thus nourishing the cells, increases the levels of interferons which stimulate anti-bodies… Germanium is a super-hero which protects our body from bacteria, viruses and tumours.

Double Nobel laureate Dr Otto Warburg established that the main cause of cancer is a lack of oxygen in cells, after he had discovered that cancer cells could not survive in fully-oxygenated environments. And it is exactly germanium that showers the cells with oxygen. It is the one mineral which brings us energy, vitality, immunity, and restores balance when there is a lack of it. Germanium is found in the nature, in some mushrooms (e.g. shiitake), in ginseng, garlic and in one exceptional medicinal plant – red geranium, herb robert.

Herb robert, Geranium robertianum, also known in the West as Robert, was named after a monk who lived in the 13th century and who used this plant to heal many people. Throughout history it has been the symbol of happiness and it was frequently depicted next to storks, as a symbol of fertility.

In a sea of medicinal plants, herb robert is often overlooked, which is a pity as it can prevent the emergence and development of cancer. It can be eaten, fresh in salads; in its desiccated form it can be used in delicious herbal infusions and is excellent in combination with other herbs. A powerful scent of a freshly picked plant rubbed into the skin repels mosquitos.

Its exceptional antibiotic and antibacterial powers help with open wounds, cracked ulcers, internal bleeding and nosebleeds, toothache, and it is a woman’s best friend. Herb robert is great in regulating the menstrual cycle, preventing ovarian inflammations, and is an excellent fighter against sterility in both sexes. That is why herb robert is an inevitable ingredient of Femisan A. With another five plants in Femisan, herb robert does what it does best – it produces miracles.

This low-growing plant with small pretty pink flowers grows throughout Europe and was also brought to America. Its reproductive process is very interesting: when it flowers it produces seed pods which break, suddenly spreading seeds in a five-metre radius. This inspired many folk stories and fairy tales, one of which was even embodied in the character of Puck in Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Herb robert is a very persistent weed – you can try to cut it and remove it, but it always comes back. Maybe, its persistence does have a message for us.

Herb for Heroes and Hajduks

Achilles, an almost invincible hero of the Trojan War, owed his immortality to his mother Thetis, a nereid – a sea nymph – who regularly dipped him in the river Styx; however, he was left vulnerable in one part of the body – that by which his mother held him while dipping him in the river: his left heel which never touched the sacred waters of the river Styx. Thetis also used other methods in an attempt to strengthen her son. Some unorthodox methods which were opposed by her husband Peleus involved Thetis anointing the boy in ambrosia and holding him over a fire in order to burn away the mortal parts of his body. After she had been stopped by Peleus, she abandoned both her husband and her son in a rage and returned the the depths of the sea.

Peleus entrusted the upbringing of Achilles to Chiron the Centaur who achieved a feat that even modern medicine would be envious of – he carried out the first transplantation. He implanted the bone of the giant Damiso, a famous runner, in Achilles leg, thus making Achilles an extraordinary runner. Achilles had all the advantages of the most modern education of the time: his diet consisted of the intestines of lions and wild boar (so that he should become strong) and honey to make him sweet and eloquent. In effect, Achilles had all the advantages of the traditional medicine of the period.  

As the Greek fleet gathered in Aulis, Achilles mother gave him Hephaestus weapons, a divine horse and the slave Mnemon. Legend has it that the Greek army first reached Mysia on its way to Troy. Convinced that they had arrived in Troy, they set out to ravage the city, until Telephus, the son of Heracles, appeared. After Telephus had stumbled on a vine, Achilles struck him in the thigh with a spear.  

After many adventures Telephus and Achilles met in Greece again. Telephus’ wound was not healing and – as he leant from the oracle – it could be healed only by the person who inflicted it. Therefore Telephus donned beggar’s clothes and went searching for Achilles. In Aulis, he managed to get medical help thanks to his cunning: he promised the Greek army to show them the way to Troy if Achilles healed his wound.

A version of the story says that Achilles scraped pieces of his spear onto Telephus’ wound, which miraculously healed. According to another version, he used herbal medicine – he applied yarrow to Telephus wound. We all probably know how Achilles ended his life and how his heal became legendary, but that is not all. In year 1753 his healing powers inspired Carl Linnaeus to name a very special plant by Achilles’ name. That is how yarrow was given its scientific name Achillea millefolium. 

Many heroes’ wounds were healed by this herb.  In our region it became legendary thanks to hajduks (legendary anti-Ottoman freedom fighters and highway brigands in West Balkans), who are fated to have carried it on themselves, just in case. Centuries have passed, but yarrow (in Serbian called hajdučka trava /hajduks’s herbs/) does not cease to fascinate. It has a beneficial effect on the liver and kidneys, the reproductive system, digestive organs, the nervous system, and circulation; it lowers blood sugar, relieves the symptoms of the flu and colds, regulates blood pressure and cures haemorrhoids. As Achilles and hajduks have known for centuries, it can stop bleeding and can promote wound healing. 

Yarrow has a very good reason to be one of the ingredients used in Femisan A and B. Thanks to achilleine and tannin this precious plant soothes lengthy and heavy bleeding and has a positive effect on the hormonal balance. With its soothing effect on the nervous system it calms its oversensitivity in perimenopause and menopause, and after the onset of menopause it has a positive  effect on the cardiovascular system by preventing diabetes and strengthening immunity. 

Myths a legends are one thing but reality is something completely different. We all know that women are in effect the biggest silent heroes. That is why this heroes’ herb is here to ease their way through many heroic deeds – both those experienced on a daily basis, but also some momentous events in one’s life. 

The protector of women

The first description of lady’s mantle dates back to 1539, when the German botanist and physician Hieronymus Bock, known also by his Latin name Tragus, kicked off the process of modernisation of medieval botany. Bock laid the foundations of modern science with his catalogue of 700 plants based on observation and detailed description. Kreutterbuch, literally translated as the “plant book”, first appeared unillustrated. In the following 1546 edition it contained excellent drawings by the artist David Kandel. This particular book later served as a basis for Carl Linnaeus’ bionomial nomenclature, the modern system of naming organisms.

Bock knew well where each plant grew, which shows that he must have travelled a lot researching vegetation in the field. It is not an accident that a German scientist classified lady’s mantle in his book as a very important and useful plant; the plant was highly respected by the ancient German tribes and devoted to Frigg, the goddess of beauty and fertility.

Lady’s mantle was given its scientific name Alchemilla vulgaris thanks to alchemists’ belief that dew on its leaves could lead them to philosopher’s stone which has the ability to transform base metals into gold. Lady’s mantle is a pretty plant on whose leaves one can see droplets shining like little pearls throughout the day. Probably it was its beauty that first attracted our ancestors who soon realised that lady’s mantle’s biggest value were its medicinal properties. Women were particularly convinced of that.

 

Lady’s mantle can be found all over our hilly Balkan peninsula and has been used in folk medicine since time immemorial. Apart from helping with stomach upsets and diarrhoea, it helps to heal wounds and calm skin infections. It is most useful to women. Its precious ingredients – tannins, bitter glycosides, flavonoids, phytosterols, salicylic acid, saponins, ethereal oil – have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

This natural hormone balancer helps with irregular or heavy periods, cysts, polycystic ovaries, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, but is also known to ease labour pain, speed up wound healing and recovery after childbirth. Tannins and astringents prevent increased bleeding and lessen period pains. With its anti-fungal properties it can help fight fungus and bacterial vaginitis; thanks to its power to prevent bacterial growth, some experience shows that it helps even to fight staphylococcus. Research has shown that lady’s mantle is useful in treating conditions caused by the human papillomavirus and that its ingredient agrimoniin prevents breast cancer.

A legend has it that women used to believe that dew droplets from lady’s mantle leaves can help them remain forever young. But the ritual was not simple: at midnight, only on the nights when the Moon is full, fully naked, they would have to dip their small toe in the dew on lady’s mantle. Today we know that we do not have to be naked and wait for midnight, but lady’s mantle can certainly help us remain young for longer: in addition to using its leaves to treat skin conditions, it is excellent in reducing wrinkles and age spots. But the biggest aesthetic benefit is that lady’s mantle can enable us to maintain a good hormonal balance and thus remove the unwanted symptoms of such imbalance: obesity, acne, greasy skin, increased hairiness. And when the menopause time comes it can reduce its symptoms too.

 

Youthfulness and the future generations can be helped by lady’s mantle: this plant, in addition to its other beneficial properties, helps women with sterility issues. It is not by accident that lady’s mantle was devoted to Frigg, the goddess of fertility, and later in the Middle Ages, to Virgin Mary, our Lady, whose mantle or protector it was. Once upon a time women used to pick lady’s mantle and kept it in vases at home to increase femininity and attract love. Today we know that lady’s mantle increases the growth of progesterone, normalises the levels of hormones, strengthens the endometrium – the uterine lining, stimulates the ovaries and ovulation, and thus not only increases fertility but also ensures that pregnancy is free from complications and does not result in a miscarriage.

Lady’s mantle can be used on its own, but it is best used in combination with other herbs, such as yarrow, marigold, herb robert, shepherd’s purse and parsley. Nowadays we do not have to go in search of these herbs because they can already be found in their clearest and most usable form and perfect proportions in the completely natural preparation in our pharmacies. Femisan A, “cloaked in lady’s mantle” has been a woman’s best friend for two decades.

Thrown off the Track by Hormones

Do you suffer from acne, memory fog, chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety or sleep disorder? Do you often feel frustrated, extremely emotional and find it difficult to stop binge eating? Do you have tension headaches, IBS, sudden weight gain and experience extreme flatulence? Is loss of libido ruining your relationship or marriage?

Do you know that all of these symptoms and conditions can be caused by hormonal imbalance? Our modern way of living made us drift too far away from nature. We often use medications, we are swamped with toxic plastic and polluted air, we give in to unhealthy diet rich in fats, sugars and meat full of steroids and antibiotics, we sit for too long, we don’t get enough sunshine, and we are on the Pill. As a consequence, we are witnesses of an epidemic of hormonal imbalance among women all around the world.

It may take a while before we realize that the symptoms we have been having are caused by hormonal imbalance. Apart from the reproductive system, it can harm the thyroid, the bones and muscles, the heart and veins and it can increase risk of tumors. When it hits the uterus and ovaries, apart from the above mentioned conditions, it can also cause:

·         irregular or missed periods
·         trouble in conceiving
·         PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome)
·         ovarian cysts
·         cervical lesions
·         endometriosis
·         uterine fibroids
·         pre-menstrual symptoms
·         menstrual cramps and excessive bleeding during periods
·         fibrocystic breasts.
Once we get thrown off the track, going back is not easy. We are grateful to modern medicine for all the advances in various treatments of serious diseases, but when it comes to the hormones, apart from the synthetic substitutes, it does not have much to offer. Since the problem is caused by our drifting away from the nature, the solution, logically, would be to get closer to it once again.

Throughout history, women sought help in green fields and woods. There is a vast traditional knowledge that cannot be denied even by modern science. Certain herbs help, and clinical trials have confirmed that the traditional beliefs are well founded.

Lady’s mantle has been used for ages for female ailments and infertility. It contains tannins which have a strong astringent effect, thus preventing heavy bleeding, which explains why women with heavy, painful menstruations and uterine fibroids find it helpful. Studies proved that lady’s mantle is an efficient tumor inhibitor. Its effect on gastrointestinal disorders has also been proven.

Yarrow, known since ancient times, is known to alleviate cramps and pain, especially in the lower pelvic region. Its flavonoids have a spasmolytic effect, while pro-azulene soothes inflammations. It is an excellent remedy for painful periods.

Marigold can heal wounds, reduce inflammation, kill microbes and parasites and is an excellent diuretic. It prevents water retention during the pre-menstrual phase, and is a potent healer of uterine wounds, cysts and fibroids. Marigold is also used for dysmenorrhea.

Crane’s bill is another very potent herb and healer of wounds, it regulates blood circulation and works as a mild sedative. It is a strong antioxidant which prevents infections and boosts the immunity. It also contains tannins which prevent heavy bleeding.

Golden maca has been used for over two millennia in traditional medicine of the Andes as an adaptogenic herb, helping the body to adapt to harsh environmental conditions, increasing stamina and endurance. It balances hormones and has a very beneficial overall effect, both on the body and mind. It eliminates depression and brain fog, and is particularly useful in stopping the pre-menstrual energy and mood roller-coaster. Its alkaloids work against infertility.

Shepherd’s purse can regulate uterine contraction, blood flow and balance menstrual bleeding. It heals wounds and burns and is also very beneficial for the heart.

These six medicinal herbs, together with zinc which is a potent essential element and antioxidant, are assembled in Femisan A in well-studied doses, aiming to help women from the moment they enter puberty, till the menopause. Femisan A, the potent protector of women, brings us closer to nature.

Menstruproblemation

Menstruation is an ever present phenomenon in every woman’s life, and a foundation of her functioning reproductive system. With small variations from month to month, menstrual bleeding is rather consistent. Thus, it is not difficult to detect sudden abnormalities. First of all, we need to know what ‘normal’ is. Periods should occur 21-35 days apart, and should not last for longer than 7 days. They should occur regularly on a monthly basis. Although a certain level of discomfort and pain is usually present, it shouldn’t get in the way of our usual everyday activities. The bleeding should occur during the period, and not in between.

Teenage girls usually find their periods rather frenzied and unpredictable, however as the ovaries age, ovulation and menstruation become more and more regular. Once it becomes stable, even the slightest changes will sound an alarm.

What are the changes in our cycle trying to tell us?

  • If periods suddenly start lasting longer than usual, it can be a sign of polyps or uterine fibroids, benign changes on the uterine wall. A detailed pelvic checkup and transvaginal ultrasound is advised.
  • Large blood clots, size of a coin, usually accompanied by heavy bleeding during periods, point at endometriosis, the disorder where the endometrium – lining of the uterus, grows outside of it and reacts to the secreted hormones the same way as normal endometrium, shedding its lining during a period. Since endometriosis can cause numerous complications, urgent help from a professional is a must.
  • Extremely painful periods can be another sign of endometriosis. Certain level of menstrual pain and discomfort is normal, however if it is so severe that it impedes everyday activities, month after month, professional help is needed.
  • Spotting between periods or inter-menstrual bleeding that lasts longer than two months can indicate a hormone imbalance or an STD. However, sometimes spotting can simply be caused by stress or sudden weight loss. Anyway, it’s always wiser to get a checkup on time.
  • If menstrual blood is too light, our estrogen levels could be too low, preventing the uterine lining to form properly. It is usually accompanied with hair loss, irregular periods and vaginal dryness.
  • Absence of menstruation, amenorrhea, unless caused by pregnancy, can occur at times of extreme stress, malnutrition and low fat diet, too much exercise, thyroid disorder or onset of menopause.
  • Irregular periods or missed periods could indicate a hormone imbalance caused by polycystic ovaries, particularly if they are accompanied with weight gain, fatigue, increased facial hair, acne, mood swings and abdominal pain. Any absence of menstruation longer than 3 months requires a medical checkup.
  • Heavy periods that last longer than 7 days could be a sign of uterine fibroids. Fibroids are caused by hormone imbalance, and although they are benign, they could cause discomfort by, for example, putting too much pressure on the bladder, or triggering extremely heavy bleeding which could lead to anemia.

We live in a world where menstrual disorders are becoming much more common than normal periods. Sadly, our environment is swamped with hormone disruptors which are impossible to avoid. However, there are certain aspects of our lives that we can control: getting enough sleep, exercising regularly and moderately, cutting out alcohol, caffeine, fast food and sugar, maintaining normal weight and having regular medical checkups.

For centuries, women have been seeking relief in nature. Today, old experience is united with modern, scientific knowledge in Femisan A, an entirely natural, herbal preparation. Femisan A can help regulate the menstrual cycle, balance hormones, strengthen the lining of the uterus, eliminate cysts, protect the ovaries and reduce menstrual pain.

Heavy Period, Heavy Burden

Every woman has an idea what represents ‘normal’ menstrual bleeding. Science says that the average amount of blood lost during a period is 35ml, and that anything above 80ml is abnormal, as it could lead to anemia, as well as hint at certain disorders. Young girls usually experience heavier bleeding due to the fact that they may not be ovulating on a regular basis. The uterus lining – endometrium is controlled by estrogen and progesterone. It is normally shed during a period, however a hormonal imbalance could cause it to build up. Thus, once the period comes, it is heavier. Heavy periods should subside by the age of 20.

Women with constant heavier bleeding in their twenties and thirties should consult a doctor, especially if the periods are prolonged, if they are feeling tired, lightheaded, breathless and unable to sleep well. The doctor will probably do a blood test to check the iron levels, since prolonged bleeding often causes anemia. The cause of heavy periods should also be ascertained.

As women approach menopause, the estrogen levels might vary and cause a heavier flow. The problem is often aggravated in overweight women, as the abdominal fat produces prehormone androstenedione that converts to estrogen. Hormonal changes could also cause fibroids and polyps which are the cause of heavy bleeding in approximately 40% of women.

If your period becomes heavier all of a sudden, it can be quite frightening. Still, you should not panic, but observe it: the best way to do so is to keep a journal. Write down when the symptoms started and ended, how heavy and painful it was, if you observed excessive clotting, and any other perceived abnormalities. If heavy bleeding persists during the next period as well, then you should consult your doctor. One of the signs that your period is not normal is that it incapacitates you: you miss school or work, you can’t do sports or other usual activities. If you feel so embarrassed by the quantity of blood loss that you’d rather stay at home than engage in social activities, you definitely need professional help.

So, what are the most usual causes of heavy bleeding?

  •          If you have recently changed your birth control method, especially with an intra-uterine device, you may observe heavier flow. Furthermore, if you go off the Pill, you’ll have to adapt to the change of hormones which might cause heavier periods.
  •          Heavy flow may be a sign of fibroids and polyps, benign changes and outgrowths of the lining of the womb.
  •          Adenomyosis, or endometriosis of the uterus leads to an enlarged uterus with a hard lining, which is painful and can cause seriously heavy bleeding.
  •          Pelvic inflammatory disease is caused by a bacterial infection in the womb or fallopian tubes. In 90% of cases it is caused by sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. Apart from causing heavy bleeding, it can lead to serious infertility problems.
  •          PCOS – Polycystic ovarian syndrome can be very incapacitating, painful and cause heavy, extended periods.
  •          Endometrial carcinoma, cancer of the womb lining could also cause heavy bleeding, luckily, it is not very common.
  •          In rare cases, irregular and heavy bleeding can be caused by thyroid and blood clotting disorders.

The modern medicine has one solution for these problems: a birth control pill. It will help eight out of ten women to control heavy bleeding. However, it can have serious side effects, from intermenstrual spotting, breast tenderness, decreased libido, to nausea, headaches, weight gain, mood swings, and even problems with vision, especially with contact lens wearers.

Luckily, there is a natural and effective solution: Femisan A plus Maca Capsules. Femisan A is a completely natural formula that contributes to normal physiological functions of the female reproductive system. It contains dry extracts of lady’s mantle, yarrow, marigold, crane’s bill, golden maca root, shepherd’s purse, as well as zinc, the essential element that contributes to maintenance of normal hormone levels and fertility. The combination of ingredients in Femisan A has a strong astringent effect that can efficiently control menstrual bleeding and soothe unpleasant painful symptoms.