Lady’s mantle is a herbaceous perennial plant that grows in mountainous regions, forests and pastures between April and August. It has semicircular leaves and small, yellowish green flowers. The herb has been reputed to be a very beneficial for women and has been prescribed by herbalists for treating menstrual cramps. The name Alchemilla stems from the medieval alchemists. They believed that the dewdrops that gathered on the leaves of the plant had magical powers that could help them in their quest for the philosopher’s stone (a mythical stone that could turn base metals into gold). The name mantle derives from the shape of the leaves that resembled a lady’s cloak in medieval times.
Nutritional Information and Properties
Lady’s mantle is a rich source of tannins, flavonoids, salicylic acid and mineral salts. It has potent astringent properties and since centuries been used by European folk healers for many generations. Extracts from the herb have been used to stop both internal and external bleeding and have been used to heal wounds. It is also effective in cases of excessive menstrual bleeding and cramps. It is said to have a beneficial effect on hormonal levels and is recommended in cases of amenorrhea (absence of menstruation) and menopausal disorders. The high salicylic acid content is useful in treating inflammation and fevers.
Health Benefits and Therapeutic Uses
Weight Loss Aid
In Arab countries, lady’s mantle leaves have traditionally been used as a natural weight loss aid. Intrigued by the reputation of lady’s mantle as a weight loss promoting herb and three other medicinal plants with purported weight loss benefits, a team of researchers carried out a study to investigate the effects of a herbal mixture containing extracts of lady’s mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris L.), cumin, horse mint and olive tree leaves in 66 overweight and obese volunteers. Previously, extracts of lady’s mantle and olive leaf had been shown to increase basal metabolic rate (indicative of increased fat burning), while mint and cumin have been used for centuries to suppress appetite and to stimulate digestive enzymes. During the 3-month study period, the volunteers experienced progressive and significant weight loss, suggesting that one or more of the plant extracts included in the formulation may in fact have weight loss promoting properties.
Lady’s Mantle Tea as Cough Remedy
Hot drinks, such as herbal tea, are an important part of diets aimed at preventing the common cold. In one study, a team of scientists at the Cardiff University’s Common Cold Centre discovered that consumption of a hot drink containing apple and blackcurrant juice immediately reduced common cold symptoms such as a sore throat, runny nose, cough, and sneezing. These effects were not observed when the same juice mixture was consumed at room temperature, suggesting that in this case it was merely the temperature of the drink that made it effective against common cold symptoms.
The herb has a potent astringent action that can staunch the flow of blood and allow the healing process to begin. Women who suffer from heavy bleeding during their menstrual cycle have greatly benefited from its astringent action and its ability to regularize their menstrual cycle. Herbal preparations made from its extracts are also prescribed by herbalists for the treatment of fibroids and endometriosis in women.
Decoctions made from lady’s mantle can be used as a vaginal douche to wash off excess vaginal discharge. This also helps to reduce irritation in the vagina and ward of vaginal infections. It is also believed to be useful as an aid to conception.
The lady’s mantle has also been used by herbalists to act as a liver decongestant and in the treatment of diarrhea and gastroenteritis. It has also been used to induce sleep in insomniacs.
The lady’s mantle decoction also makes an excellent skin lotion which can help eliminate rashes formed by diseases like eczema. It can be used to heal cuts, wounds, external sores and all kinds of insect bites. This decoction can also be used as a mouthwash to treat cases of mouth ulcers, bleeding gums and as a gargle for sore throats.
Lady’s mantle can be used in many different forms. An infusion is made by boiling the herb in water. Taken up to five times a day, it can help alleviate acute symptoms of gastroenteritis. The tincture is preferred for treating menstrual pain and irregular menstrual cycles as well as for issues related to menopause. Ointments are made from its extracts using 50g. ointment base with 20ml. rosewater and 15ml. of infusion or tincture. These can be used in cases of vaginal irritation to soothe the affected areas. Washes to treat eczema or skin sores can be made by diluting the infusion and applying it on the affected areas. The diluted infusion can also be used as a mouthwash to treat sore throats.
WHAT DO THE DOCTORS SAY?
Lady’s Mantle helps treat premenstrual tension as well as binge attacks, tension in the chest, pain or mood swings caused by the menstrual cycle. The plant is astringent, anti-inflammatory, prevents diarrhoea, heals wounds and is an immunotherapeutic agent.
AND ACCORDING TO NATURAL PHILOSOPHY?
Lady’s Mantle helps alleviate hormonal mood swings in women, especially before puberty and the menopause. The herb also strengthens female organs during phases of hormonal change. Lady’s Mantle is empowering, helps boost femininity and generally puts people in touch with the deeper powers of intuition.