Lady’s Mantle / Alchémille

imagesBy Anne Driscoll, R.H., Traditional Herbalist

Alchemilla vulgaris (Rosaceae) is also known as lion’s foot, bear’s foot, nine hooks, dew cup, old syndow, drosera, greater sanicle, manteaux de Notre Dame, Frauen-mantel, pinou and porterosée.

Parts Used: The herb consists of the top 25% of the aerial parts of the plant picked as the flowers just begin to open.

Habitat: The plant is a perennial that is native to Europe and Asia. It is particularly at home in the more northern regions of Europe. The leaves are soft and fuzzy, with small teeth around the edges. The distinctive shape of the leaves in combination with the gem-like drops of water that bead their surface make it easy to identify. The chartreuse flowers are small and inconspicuous. In North America the plant is most commonly found as a garden ornamental. It likes part shade, moist soil and can be invasive.

Properties: analgesic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, diuretic, febrifuge, hemostatic/styptic, lymphatic, nervine, relaxant, sedative, uterine tonic, vulnerary, vascular tonic.

Uses: Lady’s Mantle has come to be known as an herb with an affinity for the female reproductive system. Originally used by the tribes of Germany, the herb was linked with both Freya and Frigga. After the advent of Christianity the herb became linked with the Virgin Mary. The herb has a toning and harmonizing action on the female. It is useful for amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, menorrhagia and menopausal symptoms. Lady’s Mantle is particularly effective for menstrual flooding. It works best if taken before menstruation has begun. The herb has a history of being used to increase fertility. Lady’s mantle can be used as a partus preparator and is also very useful post partum to help heal any tearing of the tissues. Lady’s mantle is a strong astringent and vulnerary. It is an excellent wound healer for cuts, scrapes and bruises. It is almost as effective as arnica for bruises and strains with the added benefit (unlike arnica) of being safe for use on broken skin.  The herb can be used as a gargle after dental surgery for inflammations of the mouth. It can also be made into eyewash for conditions of the eyes. Lady’s mantle contains salicylic acid and can be used for pain relief. The herb can be used for calming those those who are anxious.

Preparation/Dosage: Fresh or dried herb tea or tincture. A strong tea can be used as gargle, eyewash, douche or sitz bath.

Safety Considerations: Unless you are working with a practitioner who is experienced in its use this herb should not be used during pregnancy.



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