Taking Care after Abortion, Miscarriage or Herbally induced Abortion
When conception happens it send the body into a flurry of activity, getting ready, and caring for the fertilized egg. After the egg implants the body is required to do even more. When herbs are introduced to the body with the intent to disrupt pregnancy it puts additional stress on the body. Many abortifacient herbs are strong and powerful, some of them have toxic properties, they tax the body, and stress the liver and kidneys. Being pregnant when you don't wish to be is also very stressing emotionally. If and when bleeding begins, this to drains the body of iron and other important elements.
This is why it is important for your health and wellbeing to take steps to aid your body in regaining what has been lost, not only for physical wellbeing but for emotional and spiritual as well. A wholesome balanced diet is important high in Iron, Calcium and other vitamins and minerals; plenty of rest; and the use of nourishing herbal remedies.
When using alternatives for abortion (herbs or menstrual extraction)
Following the completion of abortion or miscarriage, herbs which would be beneficial:
- a brief round of Echinacea (tincture or tea) would be beneficial for about a week, to stimulate the immune system. But really, my first choice to boost immunity would be something called Nutriferon (2 tablets a day for as long as you feel is necessary). This botanical blend has been shown to naturally increase the body's own interferon and can be safely used every day on a long term basis. I've found it very helpful for avoiding colds and flus, and have successfully managed to avoid the flu twice so far this flu season, which is great especially with all the concern this year (2009) about the swine flu, I'd really rather not get sick. Also another one of my favorite immune system "stimulants" which I use in emergencies, like when I feel that first tickle from a cold or flu is Defend and Resist. This is a blend of elderberry, echinacea and larch tree extracts in a purple tablet, which you can swallow, make into tea or chew (that's what i do). This is used for a short period of time (3 to 4 tablets up to 3 times a day for about 10 days or so). After ending a pregnancy (doesn't matter how - miscarriage, abortion or giving birth) it's not a bad idea to ramp up your immune system to help prevent infection. Following a clinical abortion it's pretty common for them to dispense antibiotics to help guard against infection. This is the same idea, but without the negative effects. If you do end up using antibiotics, Please get yourself a really good probiotic and prebiotic. The one I like best is the Optiflora system (it has both the prebiotic and probiotic) and the bacteria is very stable. I'm not crazy about the idea of swallowing dead bacteria so I really like this product and get great results with it. If you don't take steps to replace the beneficial bacteria after antibiotic use, you leave yourself vulnerable to candida infection and dysbiosis.
- for long term immune building a chinese herb called Astragalus can be used. 3 weeks on 1 week off, repeat as needed.
- Nettle leaves will do wonders to help rebuild the body, high in iron, calcium and other minerals; can be combined with other herbs like raspberry leaf (a uterine tonic), blue vervain or Siberian ginseng. Drinking 2-3 cups per day for a week or longer.
- a tincture of Yellow Dock aids in rebuilding iron stores as does dandelion leaf or root. Nettle leaf would also be a great choice. If additional nutritional support is needed, consider using a high quality food based multivitamin. I prefer Vita-Lea with Iron. Be aware of the supplements you choose to use, just because something says "natural" doesn't mean that it does not contain synthetic ingredients. It only needs a certain amount of the ingredients to be natural to qualify as a "natural" product then the rest of the ingredients can be whatever they want, and chances are the company will go with what is cheapest. It's my opinion that quality is worth every penny, and I'd rather pay a little extra for something that I know is safe, that I know is made from food and/or herbs and doesn't contain anything weird. I also like that Shaklee runs their products through all kinds of testing to ensure that there is nothing harmful in the product. It gives me peace of mind for my own personal use and for something that I would suggest for you. I feel like your body has been through enough and now it's time for nurturing and repair, you really do deserve the best suggestions that I can give.
- Other nourishing drinks may be available commercially, check your local herb/whole foods market.
- Sunflower seeds are also a good source of iron, vitamin E, B-vitamins, and other minerals, helping your body to rebuild itself.
- Sleep is extremely important! Sleep is where we rebuild our tissues and repair our body, be sure to get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night, and 8 hours would be even better. Sleep is very important! If you need help, minerals like calcium and magnesium at bedtime can be very helpful, especially if you have tense muscles. You might also try herbal teas like Chamomile, or Sleepy Time tea, or Gentle Sleep Complex if you prefer a tablet.
- If you are feeling stressed, do what you can to reduce stress levels. If you need additional support, consider using a botanical blend called Stress Relief Complex. I notice a difference within 20 minutes of taking it and I also use it when I'm having difficulty falling asleep because my mind won't quiet down. I find it very helpful. Also, stress burns up B vitamins, you may also want to consider Shaklee's B complex. Again... this is a food based supplement, you want to avoid synthetic B vitamins... nasty. The amount to take will vary from person to person. Its also very helpful for depression. To figure out how much you need, increase the amount slowly... the right amount will give you a slight increase in energy, where as too much may make you feel jittery. I know of people who needs as much as 8 or 10 a day... they are usually really stressed or depressed. I'm sure everyone knows that B vitamins are water soluble and you excrete what you can't use or don't need, but many people are B vitamin deficient and it can take a while to build up the reserves in the tissues. How do you know you are deficient? You may experience symptoms and you can also tell in someone's blood chemistry if you are working with a practitioner who understands how to read blood chemistry (it's much more than making sure you are not above or below the lab reference range - but is too much detail to get into here).
Most of all, remember to take time out for yourself, give yourself time to heal, recover, grieve as needed. This is a time to care for you.
Other Post-Abortion Tips
Additional remedies you can include in your recovery routine if needed:
Prolonged Bleeding - if this is an issue, consider using a tea or tincture of yarrow leaf or a shepherd's purse tincture to help stop the bleeding and follow with nutritive steps and a uterine tonic like raspberry leaf.
For hormonal imbalance - if your hormones are having difficulty returning to normal, look at liver and bowel function. Your liver must be working properly in order for you to process and remove excess hormones. Many toxins and hormones are lipid based (fat-soluble) and are sent out of the liver in the bile. We make up to a quart of bile a day, most of which is reabsorbed through the intestines. The bile carries with it toxins for removal, including excess hormones and hormonal metabolites (which in some cases may be more harmful than the hormones themselves) if we do not have adequate fiber in our diets to absorb these toxins they will be reabsorbed through the intestinal wall. If our bowels are sluggish the same will happen, these toxins will be reabsorbed. Having a properly functioning bowel is essential to detoxification. If you are consitipated or have a tendency toward this, strongly consider visiting a colon hydrotherapist for a few sessions. Let them tell you how often you need to come, some people get cleaned out in two sessions while others take five or more. It is well worth the investment. You are worth it, your health is top priority. A couple of products i really like to help support detoxification is Liver DTX and if bowel function is not optimal, consider Herb-Lax as well. Great products. Dandelion and milk thistle are great for liver support and as far as a herbal product for bowel function (constipation or too loose stool - it's very balancing and healing) I have not found anything better than Herb-Lax.
GLA is also very helpful for balancing hormones, and is very helpful for dealing with PMS symptoms. You might try GLA complex.
Remedies for Low Energy: Reishi Mushroom - 1/2 to 1 tsp of tincture 3 times a day (or simmer 1/3 ounce of dried chopped reishi in 3 cups of water for 30 minutes. Strain. Drink 1 cup 3 times a day, reheat)
Astragalus - 1/4 to 1 tsp three times a day or 3 cups of tea (decoction) - simmer 2 tbsp of dried root in 3 cups of water for 30 minutes.
Siberian Ginseng - follow manufactures instructions. Spend a little more and get a product with a guaranteed eleutheroside potency for best results. Supports and rebuilds the adrenal glands.
Licorice - 1 to 3 cups of tea daily.
I've also found CorEnergy very helpful to help combat fatigue and low energy, it's a nice combination of Cordyceps (a mushroom), Asian Ginseng and Green Tea.
Nervous System Support: Oats - help to restore biochemical balance, ease depression, anxiety and insomnia. 1 to 3 cups of tea; 1/4 to 1 tsp of tincture daily. See the comment about B-complex above under stress.
To rebalance kidneys, liver and other eliminatory organs: Use herbs like shave grass (especially good), dandelion, rose hips, rosemary, artichoke, honey and pollen. And trace elements are also helpful.
For mild depression: Saint Johnswort - 900 mg a day in capsules standardized to 0.3% hypericin, divided into three 300 mg doses or 1 to 3 tsp of tincture. St Johnswort is a well known herb for treating mild depression, it should not be combined with pharmaceutical anti-depressants. It can be combined with Siberian Ginseng for additional benefits. B-Complex can also be very helpful, see above under stress. You might also find Mood Lift helpful.
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This page last updated November 18, 2009