Other Names: Bear's Foot, Leontopodium, Lion's Foot, Nine Hooks, Stellaria
Lady's mantle is a perennial herb found in North America, Europe, and Asia. It is a member of the rose family. The plant is also called nine hooks at times. This is in reference to the leaves which usually have nine distinct lobes.
The plants name derived from the shapely and pleated leaves that look like a lady's cloak from medieval times.
Lady's mantle contains compounds called tannins. Tannins endow it with an astringent action. These compounds aid the herb in its ability to reduce bleeding.
Lady's Mantle as an Herb for Medicinal Uses
The medicinal part is the herb collected in the flowering season and dried. Lady's Mantle is odorless and has an astringent taste.
The most common use of lady's mantle in ancient days was the treatment of sudden infections of the mouth and throat. Cuts, scrapes, and burns were bathed in warm teas of lady's mantle to prevent infection.
Early herbalists believed the lady's mantle possessed such strong contractile powers that it was could "restore" lost virginity to women. It was also believed to bring on a new firmness to flabby breasts in older women.
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Lady's mantle tea has also been used to treat heavy menstruation, menstrual cramps, and symptoms of menopause. Lady's Mantle tea may also help in the treatment of diarrhea and gastroenteritis. In Europe, Lady's Mantle is still used to control excessive menstrual bleeding, and to help the uterus return to its natural size after childbirth.
Lady's mantle herb has also been used as a compress for treating puffy eyes.
Decoctions made from the lady's mantle can be used as vaginal douches or as a lotion. It can be mixed with rosewater, as well. These decoctions can help reduce vaginal discharges and minimize irritation and infection in the vaginal cavity. The herbal lady's mantle decoction can also be used as an excellent skin lotion for treating rashes from diseases such as eczema.
The herbal decoction can also be used as a mouthwash and gargle in cases of bleeding gums. It is used to treat mouth ulcers and to minimize the symptoms of sore throats.
In folk medicine the drug is used internally for menopausal complaints, dysmenorrhea, gastrointestinal disorders, and as a gargle for mouth and throat inflammation. Externally, it is used for ulcers, eczema, skin rashes and as an additive in baths for the treatment of lower-abdominal ailments.
Some modern herbalists recommend lady's mantle as a treatment for diabetes as it may help prevent circulatory problems.
Culinary Uses of Lady's Mantle
The most popular use for Lady's Mantle for consumption would be in salads. Wash then chop tender leaves, then add salads. These leaves may be added to herbs salads. The slightly bitter flavor of this herb gives an unexpected flavor to your everyday green salad.
Tannins in this herb may lead to liver damage.
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