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Herb Lore's Postpartum Sitz Bath Herbs is an herbal combination used after birth to help soothe and heal the mother's perineal/vaginal area (even in severe cases), as well as to help heal baby's umbilical cord stump. The sitz bath combination contains the following herbs:
Shepherd's Purse - this herb is an amazing blood coagulant and vasoconstrictor. Arrests internal and external bleeding after childbirth virtually immediately. High in oxytocin, it will help the uterus contract to clamp off blood vessels. This herb is best in its fresh form, but for this application, dried is just fine.
Self-Heal – as the name suggests, this herb is noted for its wound-healing capabilities.
Garlic - Herbal antibiotic. It is one of the most effective anti-microbial plants available, acting on bacteria, viruses, and fungus, as well as alimentary parasites. Stimulates, builds and supports the immune system. Garlic is also helpful in increasing clotting time in the blood. One of the best herbs ever!
Uva Ursi - kills bacteria in the bladder and will disinfect the urinary tract. One of the best herbs for bladder infection, even those resistant to antibiotics and standard allopathic medicines. Helpful for vaginitis as well. Although it is astringent and antibacterial, it will generally soothe, tone and strengthen the urinary system. (Also known as Bearberry or Kinnikinnick.)
Lavender - one of the best calming and soothing herbs, not only for the body but the mind as well, as it is quite effective in alleviating depression. It has a special affinity for women's spirit. Good for all kinds of skin complaints, from sunburn to vaginal discharge and anal fissures. Excellent for headaches, depression, and nerves (both physical and emotional!).
Sage - astringent, antiseptic, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory. Good for skin infections and vaginal discharge. Promotes healing of wounds and is a uterine stimulator.
Here are some of my favorite ways of using these herbs:
1. Frozen Pads - this is my favorite, and the method of use I've gotten the most feedback and rave reviews on from my clients. It worked incredibly well for me after having a 3rd degree tear (to the rectum) with stitches. I had no pain and no swelling - it was incredibly soothing. My other clients have said the same thing. Here's how to do it: make the tea as directed on the bag (use the whole bag to 1 gallon of water). Fold sanitary napkins in half (hold top and bottom ends together with adhesive in the middle and pad surface on the outside). Dip the pad into tea, soaking the middle of the pad. Lay the dipped pads into Tupperware or other container side by side, in a slight “C” shape to fit your body once they're frozen. Place wax paper or saran wrap on top and in between the pad layer and then make another dipped pad layer on top of that - kind of like pad lasagne! The wax paper will keep them from freezing together and becoming one large ice cube. Place the entire container of pads in freezer before the birth to have ready. To use: wrap one frozen pad in a soft, white (no colors or designs) paper towel (to prevent freezer burn on the skin). Place in a waterproof pair of underwear (you can get Kotex Personals® or Depends® at any drug/grocery store and they are perfect. They are disposable, waterproof, reasonably priced and very comfortable.) Or you can use a disposable diaper in your own underwear also. The Kotex Personals or Depends are much better, much more comfortable, stay in place, and are less bulky. And then you just wear the frozen pad, which will help keep pain and swelling to a minimum, while the herbs help the area to heal, and the pad helps to catch postpartum bleeding. Use a new pad each time you use the bathroom or as you like. One bag of herbs will make a good supply of frozen pads.
2. Peri Bottle- make the tea as directed on the bag (1/4 cup herb to 1 quarts of water). Pour cooled tea into peri bottle and have available for rinsing the vaginal/perineal area during and after urination. This idea is recommended for use along with any of the other ways you choose to use your sitz bath herbs.
3. Sitz Bath - make the tea as directed (1/2 cup herb to 2 quarts of water). Pour tea into sitz bath and soak.
4. Regular Bath - make tea as directed (1/2 cup herb to 2 quarts of water). Add to bathwater and soak. Great for baby too (helps heal umbilical stump).
And don't be afraid to try other ideas you may come up with! There is no wrong way to do this - these are just some ideas to get you started.
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written by Pam Caldwell
Certified Herbalist --- Fertility, Pregnancy, Birth, Postpartum & Lactation Specialist