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Wise Woman Ways
Healing after a Cesarean section surgery
with herbalist Susun Weed

Hi Susun,
A friend of mine just had an unplanned Cesarean section and would like to use herbs to help her heal. Do you have any topical salves and infusions/tinctures to recommend for this specific situation? Thank you for any wisdom you can share.


Susun Weed’s response:
Below are some nourishing, tonic, and anti-infective herbs to use following a cesarean.

Safe Use of Herbs After a Cesarean:

  • Water-based infusions provide optimum benefit and greatest safety
  • Capsules are most likely to cause ill-effects and odd reactions
  • Avoid poisonous forms of herbs such as essential oils
  • Use tinctures diluted to treat acute problems
  • Herbs move rapidly into breast milk (10-20 minutes)

Simple Nourishing Herbs for Mother and Child After a Cesarean:

  1. Nourishing herbal infusions:
    • Nettle (Urtica dioica)
    • Oatstraw (Avena sativa)
    • Comfrey leaf (Symphytum uplandica)
    • Red clover (Trifolium pratense)
    • Linden flowers (Tillia americana)
  2. Benefits of nourishing herbal infusions after a cesarean:
    • Nettle increases breast milk and helps replace blood loss.
    • Oatstraw improves sleep and strengthens the nervous system.
    • Comfrey leaf helps incisions heal and helps prevent scarring.
    • Red clover improves breast milk production and brings hormonal sanity.
    • Linden soothes and heals mucus surfaces and incisions; prevents colds.

Tonic Herbs for Mother and Child After a Cesarean:

  1. Water bases:
    • Raspberry leaf (Rubus ideaus) to tonify uterus.
    • Aromatic mints – rosemary, lavender, and lemon balm – for digestion.
    • Avoid sage (Salvia officinalis) if breast feeding.
  2. Tincture bases:
    • Astragalus (A. membranaceous) strengthens immunity, prevents infection.
    • Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) to ease after-birth pain and prevent post-partum depression.

Herbs That Can Counter Infection After a Cesarean:

  • Echinacea (Echinacea augustifolia) to increase macrophages; counter bacteria.
  • Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) against all gram-positive and -negative bacteria.
  • Usnea (U. barbarata) to counter deep infection.
  • Poke root (Phytolacca americana) – USE WITH CAUTION.

Eclipse

THE EMPOWERED WOMAN PROMOTES HER OWN HEALTH

Benefits to Being Pro-Active in Healing After a Cesarean:
• Quicker healing for mom.
• Less scarring of the incision site.
• Better bonding between mom and babe.
• Deeper sleep for mom and babe.
• Fewer problems with infection at incision site and fewer infections for baby.

Bringing It Home:

  1. Making nourishing infusions:
    • One ounce stinging nettle, quart of boiling water; steep 4 hours – for energy.
    • One ounce oatstraw, quart of boiling water; steep 4 hours – for patience.

    • One ounce comfrey leaf, quart of boiling water, steep 4 hours, strain; rebrew with two cups cold water, bring to a boil; steep 4 hours, strain – to improve chances of a VBAC with next child.
    • One ounce red clover blossom, quart of boiling water, steep 4 hours, strain – to prepare for the next pregnancy.
    • One-half ounce linden flowers, quart of boiling water, steep 4 hours, strain; rebrew with two cups cold water, bring to a boil; steep 4 hours, strain.
  2. Additions to infusions:
    • Honey (Note: do not give honey to infants younger than 12 months)
    • Milk
    • The Israeli Public Health Ministry recommends against soy beverage for children under the age of eighteen (18); it’s not good for mom either.
    • Ice
    • Juice (Note: problems with fructose)
  3. Sources for buying herbs and tinctures:
Green blessings, Susun Weed

photos: Wise Woman Spiral ©iStockphoto.com / Chuck Spidell | Eclipse ©2001 Wendy Wilkerson
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posted on February 19, 2008 | tags: , ,

Comments

  • Nina

    April 3, 2014 at 6:09 am

    Are there any herbs i can take to restore breast tissue after breast augmentation?

  • earthwalker

    April 6, 2014 at 8:23 am

    I do not know, Nina. This column is currently closed to new questions. Try doing a Google search, you can probably find info online or you can search Susun Weed’s website.

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