What is Lady’s Mantle?
Lady’s Mantle is botanically known as Alchemilla vulgaris, and it belongs to the Rosaceae family and is from the Alchemilla genus. The term Alchemilla translates to ‘universal cure’. The herb is also known by the following other popular names – Bear’s foot, Lion’s Foot, Frauenmantle, nine hooks, ladies cloak, Stellaria, Pied-de-lion and Leontopodium.
In the year 1532, Herbalist Jerome Bock in his book titled ‘History of Plants’ named Ladies Mantle as an important and useful herb. Centuries ago, the herb was made popular in Europe and was used for its medicinal values mainly in countries like Sweden and Germany. It is said that the shapely and efficiently pleated lobes of the leaves of this plant resemble the mantle of a lady. These lobes of the leaves also help in the collection of early morning dew.
Due to the same reason many also call this plant Lion’s and Bear’s foot. The herb is also associated with Virgin Mary due to the scalloped edges of the mantle. Lady’s Mantle is a low lying plant and has rich foliage with beautiful clustered blossoms that make it attractive and graceful through out the year. Many also believe that the “Lady” part in the name of the herb might also be due to its healing properties associated with many of the commonly seen female disorders.
Lady’s Mantle is predominantly seen in the Northern Hemisphere especially in the following regions – North America, Mediterranean, Iceland, Greenland, Asia, Siberia and in the Himalayas. The herb is found mainly on high-lying ground that is cold and damp with shady woods.The plant is perennial in nature and as explained earlier grows to a maximum height of 18 inches only. The flowers of Lady’s Mantle are small and bright yellow in color, and are usually found in clusters. The flowering shoots and leaves of Lady’s Mantle are usually harvested during the months of July and August. The medicinal parts of Lady’s Mantle include the following – fresh and dried above ground parts of the plant that are collected during its flowering time.
How Does It Work?
Lady’s Mantle contains the following components – about 2% flavonoids such as quercetin and about 8% tannins such as ellagic acid. Due to the presence of tannin, the herb has astringent properties for healing wounds and reducing gastrointestinal disorders.
Health Benefits Of Lady’s Mantle
Lady’s Mantle has the following medicinal properties – mild astringent, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, anti-spasmodic and emmenagogue. The following are some of the health benefits associated with this herb:
One of the most common uses of Lady’s Mantle as an herb is in treating mild, acute, chronic and non specific diarrhea. Traditionally, tea made using this herb was used in treating chronic diarrhea due to liver disorders. Lady’s Mantle has been approved by the German Commission E for the treatment of diarrhea. The herb is effective in treating diarrhea due to its astringent and anti-inflammatory effects.
For Female Problems
Another common usage of Lady’s Mantle is in treating female problems such as menstrual problems and menopausal complaints. Traditionally, the herb has been used in reducing excessive uterine bleeding and in treating excess vaginal discharge. The herb helps in reducing menstrual pain and in regulating irregular menstrual cycles in women. Many also believe that the herb helps in conception in infertile women and also prevents the risk of miscarriage in pregnant women. Another traditional usage of this herb was in helping the female body to heal after childbirth.
Historically, it was also believed that Lady’s Mantle with its powerful contractile properties could help in restoring the lost virginity in young women and in firming flabby breasts in older women. Today, herbalists use Lady’s Mantle in treating conditions such as fibroids and endometriosis in women. However, it must be noted that most of these benefits are part of folklore and clinical evidences are definitely lacking.
The herb is also applied topically to the skin for treating the following conditions – wounds, ulcers, eczema, skin rashes etc. Lady’s Mantle is also used as a cosmetic product by women.
For Preventing Bleeding & Vomiting
Lady’s Mantle was also used traditionally in healing wounds and bruises. The herb is usually applied on inflamed wounds to stop bleeding. It also helps in reducing violent purging and nauseous sensations when used as a decoction. As an herbal decoction, Lady’s Mantle also is used as a mouth wash and gargle to treat conditions like bleeding gums, sore throat and mouth ulcers.
In folklore it is believed that if Lady’s Mantle is placed under the pillow during the night time, it promotes a good sleep. The herb is also used in treating leukorrhea and acts as a liver decongestant.
In case of making an herbal tea using Lady’s Mantle, add about 5-10 grams of the herb in boiling water for per day divided use. It is generally recommended to take a cup of the herbal tea three times per day and between meals. In case of acute diarrhea, homeopathy recommends taking five drops of the herbal tincture every one hour.
Side effects, Overdose & Other Considerations
The herb is usually considered safe in many. However, those suffering from any form of liver ailments must avoid using this herb. Its safety in pregnant and breastfeeding women has not yet been determined. Long term usage of Lady’s Mantle may lead to liver damage. In case diarrhea does not stop after four days of using Lady’s Mantle, always seek medical attention.
Lady’s Mantle is one of those herbs from the older times that have been referred as a cure-all herb. However, not many scientific studies have been conducted using this herb. Inspite of this, Lady’s Mantle remains one of the most popular herbs available in the market. The herb is commonly seen in market in the following forms – herbal tea, tablets & capsules, ointment and in tincture form.
Not yet known.