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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Herbs for postpartum bleeding-Angelica

I am not super knowledgeable about herbal medications, but I do have some interest in what to use and how.  So, I took this question to some midwifery friends of mine.  Here's their answers and some information about specific herbs.

For bleeding before the placenta is delivered the herb Angelica can be used.  This is the American variety of Dong Quai, which also is used for the same purpose.  It is used to help in the release of a retained placenta.  A decoction or tincture should be used, as these have the non-volatile components that aid in uterine stimulation.

The tea can be made from 1 tsp of the dried leaf, and the tincture is 1:5 in 45% alcohol.  You can find out how to make tinctures here:
I am not able to find much research on herbs, but Angelica is thought to be a spasmolytic.   This seems like it would relax the muscle rather then help it contract, but from what I've read, the way it is prepared may make a difference on how it works.  The methods mentioned above may change how the herb acts.  So if you use it the way I've mentioned, it will help the uterus contract, otherwise, it does just the opposite.

Angelica seeds have a diuretic action which may effect glucose  and salt levels and may decrease blood pressure.  It also is an oxytocic.  Therefore, this should not be something you should take during pregnancy.  It may also be photosensitive, so make sure you you stay out of the sun for 24 hours after you take it.


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