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Herbal Allies for Post-Menopausal Women: Part III - Bioflavonoids

by Susun S. Weed

Plants containing flavonoids (from the Latin, flavus, yellow) were originally valued as dye plants. Today we appreciate them because we know they are anti-inflammatory, antihepatotoxic, anti-tumor, antimicrobial, antiviral, antioxidant, antiallergic, antiulcer, analgesic, and strengthening to the entire circulatory system, from capillaries to heart.

Flavonoids have an estrogenic effect, scientifically established as 1/50,000th the activity of estradiol. Bioflavonoids in foods are essential to our ability to absorb ascorbic acid. No wonder plants exceptionally rich in flavonoids are such important allies for post-menopausal women.

Regular use of bioflavonoid-rich herbs helps:

· restore vaginal lubrication

· decrease or end hot flashes

· improve pelvic tone

· improve liver activity

· strengthen the bladder

· lower risk of stroke & heart attack

· reduce water build-up in tissues

· reduce muscle cramping

· ease sore joints

· improve resistance to infection

{ The richest source of bioflavonoids is the inner skin of citrus fruits. “Peel Power” is a lovely way to start the day.

{ Buckwheat greens, Buckweizen, Sarrasin (Fagopyrum esculentum) are an exceptional source of bioflavonoids. Grow them at home, like alfalfa sprouts, or buy them dried and made into tablets. (Kasha, the grain of buckwheat, does not contain bioflavonoids.) The wild equivalent is the leaves of yellow dock (Rumex crispus) or any knotweed (Polygonum).

{ Elder, Holunder, Sureau (Sambucus nigra and other species) are rich in bioflavonoids. I use the berries in jelly and wine, and the flowers for tinctures and wines.

{ Hawthorn, Weissdorn, Aubépine (Crataegus oxycantha and other species) offers berries, flowers, and leaves full of bioflavonoids. I use the berries to makes jellies, wines, and a heart-strengthening tincture. The flowers and leaves, dried, make a wonderful tea.

{ Horsetail, Ackerschachtelhalm, Prêle des champs (Equisetum arvense) is best picked in the spring. I use it fresh in soups (not salads) and dried as a tea.

{ Knotweeds, Vogelknöterich, Renouée des oiseaux, Ho Shou Wu (Polygonaceae) are well known for their abundance of bioflavonoids. In addition to buckwheat and yellow dock leaves, try the greens of any other knotweed local to your area.

{ Roses, Hagrose, Rosier (Rosa canina and other species) are sisters to hawthorn and similarly abundant in bioflavonoids. I use fresh rose hips in jellies and wines and dry them for winter teas and soups. We eat the blossoms in salads and use glycerin to draw out the healing qualities of flowers and leaf buds.

{ Shepherd's purse, Hirtentäschel, Capselle (Capsella bursa-pastoris) leaves are wonderful in salads. When it flowers, I use the whole fresh plant to make vinegar and vodka tinctures, capturing bioflavonoids for later use. (A dose is 25-50 drops three times daily.)

{ Sea buckthorn, Sanddorn, Argousier (Hippophae rhamnoides) leaves are rich in many nutrients needed by post-menopausal women: bioflavonoids, carotenes (vitamin A), vitamin C, vitamin E, and the B vitamin complex, especially B6. If you live where it grows, try the tender baby leaves in salads.

{ Toadflax, Frauenflachs, Linaire commune (Linaria vulgaris) flowers add flavonoids to salads. They can also be tinctured. (A dose is 15-20 drops.)

{ White dead nettle, Weisse Taubnessel, Lamier blanc (Lamium album) doesn't sting, so try it in salads. Or dry bunches when it's flowering and get your bioflavonoids from the infusion; or make a vinegar.

Susun Weed

PO Box 64

Woodstock, NY 12498

Fax: 1-845-246-8081

Visit Susun Weed at: www.susunweed.com and www.ashtreepublishing.com

For permission to reprint this article, contact us at: susunweed@herbshealing.com

Vibrant, passionate, and involved, Susun Weed has garnered an international reputation for her groundbreaking lectures, teachings, and writings on health and nutrition. She challenges conventional medical approaches with humor, insight, and her vast encyclopedic knowledge of herbal medicine. Unabashedly pro-woman, her animated and enthusiastic lectures are engaging and often profoundly provocative. Susun is one of America's best-known authorities on herbal medicine and natural approaches to women's health. Her four best-selling books are recommended by expert herbalists and well-known physicians and are used and cherished by millions of women around the world. Learn more at www.susunweed.com

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