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Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris L., Rosaceae)

Lady's mantle

A magical medicinal plant of the Middle Ages

Lady’s Mantle, with its unusual serrated rosette-shaped leaves with nine fringes, is very reminiscent of a woman’s medieval cloak. Almost completely forgotten, this magical plant, a lovely symbol of medieval women’s medicine, is gaining deserved attention again today. The leaves are known for collecting dewdrops, which ancient alchemists used to try to make the mythical magic stone and the “Elixir of Youth”. Culpepper, a 17th-century English herbalist, considered it indispensable for treating women’s diseases.

This is a perennial plant, with short roots, characteristic toothed leaves in the shape of a rosette with nine fringes, in the bottom of which dewdrops can often be seen. The flowers are yellow-green clustered in dense clusters. The whole plant is overgrown with tiny hairs. It grows on high pastures, clearings and meadows of Europe, North America and Asia.

LADY’S MANTLE

Historical and traditional application

Ancient physicians, herbalists, healers and alchemists highly valued this plant primarily for its exceptional healing properties, but they also attributed certain magical properties to it. The Babylonians believed in the magical power of the numbers 7 and 9, so they considered the Lady’s Mantle leaf with 9 villi to be especially healing. Alchemists, believing in the magical properties of Lady’s Mantle, tried to use this plant to make the “Elixir of Youth”, as well as to make a mythical magic stone, which according to their belief could turn ordinary metal into gold.

Ancient physicians considered this plant unique and invigorating for most “women’s diseases.” Since the plant is such a strong astringent, it was used to control heavy menstrual bleeding, as well as together with raspberry leaf tea (Rubus idaeus) to facilitate childbirth.

At the end of the 19th century, the famous Swiss pastor and herbalist Johann Kunzle recommended Lady’s Mantle  tea as an aid in childbirth, and we can see how much he appreciated its healing properties from what he wrote about it: “Every pregnant woman should drink a lot of Lady’s Mantle tea 8 to 10 days before delivery. Many children would still have their mothers, and many grieving widows of their wives, if only they had known this before. ”

Among the historically known facts about the medical application of Lady’s Mantle, the most well-known application is in stopping increased menstrual bleeding, regulating the menstrual cycle, bleeding during and after childbirth, as well as all types of internal and external bleeding, healing all types of wounds and healing sterility. Lady’s Mantle tea could effectively stop severe diarrhea, prevent vomiting and relieve nausea. Lady’s Mantle cosmetics have been used externally to treat scars and bruises, to tone varicose veins and tighten flabby breasts.

lady's mantle

What does Lady’s Mantle contain and how does it work?

It contains 6% to 8% of ellagitannin, such as agrimonin, pedunculagin and alchemilin, flavonoid glycosides and salicylic acid.

Medicinal effect

That plant as an astringent stops bleeding and helps wound healing. Women who suffer from increased menstrual bleeding can significantly alleviate these symptoms by using that preparations. The plant is also useful for relieving menstrual cramps accompanied by pain, helps to overcome the symptoms of menopause and leads to a significant improvement in the regularity of the menstrual cycle.

Herbal preparations are often recommended in cases of fibroids and endometriosis. Extract is used in the form of a solution for vaginal rinsing, which leads to a rapid and dramatic improvement in case of increased vaginal secretion. The astringent properties of Lady’s Mantle can help in case of diarrhea and gastroenteritis.

Lady’s Mantle extract on the outside of the skin is useful for the treatment of rashes, eczema, wound healing, insect bites. A thick aqueous solution obtained by boiling Lady’s Mantle in water (decoction), it is used for rinsing the mouth in case of bleeding gums, for treating diseases of the oral cavity (aphthous stomatitis) and relieving the symptoms of sore throat. Lady’s Mantleextract inhibits angiogenesis, ie. growth of new blood vessels. Angiogenesis is a process that stimulates and accelerates the development of some diseases such as fibroids and other tumors, endometriosis, chronic inflammatory diseases: rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, retinopathy and gingivitis. The application of Lady’s Mantle extract can help in the treatment of these diseases, which are basically related to angiogenesis.

What part of the plant is applied?

The above-ground part of the plant and, to a lesser extent, the root are used.

What do modern scientific research say about the effectiveness of Lady’s Mantle?

In recent years, interest in Lady’s Mantle preparations has greatly increased, especially due to its ability to inhibit angiogenesis and the possibility of its use for the treatment of fibroids and endometriosis. Some recent research on medical efficacy and physiological work has also emerged.

A study from 2007 in France, confirmed that Lady’s Mantle extract stimulates the growth of epithelial cells and myofibroblasts, which are necessary in the process of wound healing. In this way, one of the mechanisms has been provenby which this plant accelerates wound healing.

In the same year, the effectiveness of 3% extract in glycerin “Aphtarine” in the treatment of aphthous stomatitis  or recurrent oral ulcers, diseases of the oral cavity accompanied by the appearance of damage to the mucous membrane with inflammation. Preparationallows complete healing of oral ulcers within 3 days. This justifies the use of Lady’s Mantleextractin combination with glycerin to treat this disease of the oral cavity.

Research proven in 2006 in Bulgaria, showed that Lady’s Mantleextract, due to the content of polyphenols  has an extremely strong antioxidant activity, which prepares Lady’s Mantle in the group of strong antioxidant plants.

vrkuta - lady's mantle

How is Lady’s Mantle dosed?

Tea: Boil 5 to 10 grams of tea in 2 to 3 dl of water and drink it divided into three doses over 24 hours.

Capsules (450 mg): 3 x 1 capsule daily.

Tincture: 3 x 20 drops daily.

Mantleointment: Apply twice a day to the affected area.

Vaginal suppositories: 1 vaginal suppository daily.

Is Lady’s Mantle harmful?

This plant belongs to the group of harmless medicinal plants. There are no known contraindications or side effects.

Are there any interactions with any medications?

No drug-drug interactions were observed.

In what dosage forms is it used?

Lady’s Mantle is applied in the form of tea, tablets or capsules, tinctures (alcoholic extract), ointments or creams, baths for eczema on the skin, mouthwash solutions usually in combination with glycerin, vaginal rinsing solutions, vaginal tablets with extract of the Lady’s Mantle.

Can Lady’s Mantle be used by pregnant and breastfeeding women?

Due to its strong astringent effect, the use of prepared vrkuta during pregnancy is not recommended, except for the last 8 to 10 days when it can be used, only under the supervision of a doctor. The use of Lady’s Mantle during breastfeeding is not recommended.

Image by Pezibear, a-mblomma, Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

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