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Excepts from Saving Tristan
Chapter Six

Women and Herbs

Women have used herbs for centuries to improve health and ease discomforts, benefiting in innumerable ways from these God given gifts. Today women are still interested in knowing what herbs are most beneficial to them, and this became a frequently asked question both from customers and friends. Setting out to discover the answer became a fascinating project beginning of course with another question. What are women suffering and dying from the most? Once the leading causes of death were identified this naturally led to research and studies done on herbs to prevent and address these conditions and others discussed in this chapter.

Breast cancer claims the lives of one hundred ninety six thousand women yearly in the United States alone with most of them being women over fifty years old. Cancer cells can take up to fifteen years to develop; it makes sense to use herbs as a preventative along with a healthy lifestyle while in the thirties or even earlier if there is a family history of the disease. Propolis Resin extract is high in caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) and may be helpful along with Scullcap which has been studied and shown to increase the body's defense against cancer of various types including breast and skin. Red Clover enjoys a long history of use in fighting cancers and is now thought to inhibit the proliferation of breast and ovarian cancer cells.

Ovarian and cervical cancers take the lives of approximately another 32,000 women every year. Many of them are mothers leaving behind grieving children and spouses. Here again it makes sense to have and implement a prevention plan in the thirties as most cases are being diagnosed after age forty five. Excessive estrogen is considered to contribute to most cancers of the female organs, making it very important to avoid hormone imbalance. Here Vitex Berry shines as a normalizing herb that is not known to overcorrect any hormone, False Unicorn, Blessed Thistle, and Squawvine are all valuable female tonics. Rosemary counteracts the negative effects of certain estrogens. Inflammation is believed to contribute to cancer as well; Olive Leaf, Astragulus, Ashwaganda and Green Tea reduce inflammation.

Heart disease is another leading cause of death in women. Hawthorn Berry is very beneficial to the cardiovascular system in alleviating angina and arrhythmias while improving the structural integrity of the arteries. Gingko Biloba helps prevent abnormal blood clotting making it useful in preventing stroke, it is also used to lower blood pressure and may prevent heart attack. Bilberry Fruit and leaf along with Ginger improve blood circulation and lower blood pressure. Olive Leaf improves overall heart function.

Liver and skin cancers also take a toll on women. Milk Thistle seed extract is high in silymarin, a liver protectant known to strengthen and stabilize cell membranes. Parsley Root and Nettle Leaf are rich in minerals and vitamins along with chlorophyll used to rejuvenate red blood cells and accelerate the clearing of toxins from the liver.

Ashwaganda and Cats Claw are thought to inhibit skin cancer cells, protect the liver and reduce inflammation. Hops flower extract is associated with prevention of breast, colon and skin cancer due to its humulon content.

Fatigue has become a chief complaint among women, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has half a million women searching for answers. Sarsaparilla Root, Condonopsis, and Eleuthero alleviate fatigue and improve the body's ability to handle stress. Licorice Root and Neem Leaf contain powerful antioxidants to relieve chronic fatigue, and Licorice also stimulates adrenal hormone production. Gingko Biloba Leaf may alleviate fatigue as well as destroying free radicals and inactivating their formation. Hops Flower decreases the sensation of pain through its effect on the central nervous system.

Osteoporosis causes the bones to become brittle, porous and less dense as bone mass is lost, and affects one in four women over the age of 50. It is preventable and waiting until the late forties to implement a preventative plan is not wise. Regular exercise during the early adult years adds to bone mineral density and reduces bone loss during menopause. Progesterone cream increased bone mass by up to 15% in postmenopausal women after three years of use in clinical studies by increasing osteoblast activity. Calcium and the minerals it needs to build and maintain strong bones such as manganese, magnesium and silicon are readily available in plant matter and easily assimilated as liquid extracts. For a description of these herbs and Herbal Calcium please see chapter three.

Our quest to discover the herbs most beneficial to women culminated in a combination of the twenty-six herbs discussed in the previous paragraphs in addition to Horsetail, Oat Straw, Cornsilk, Chamomile and Mistletoe. It represents more than six months of careful intense research and was named Femme Defense. Containing all the herbs found in Herbal Calcium and Herbal Cardiocare, this all in one formulation makes it quick and easy to use on a daily basis for the busy mom who takes prevention seriously.