This Moon Time Tea is wonderful to drink for premenstrual imbalances and during your cycle to ease tension and promote harmony.
Growing up I had very painful menstrual cycles. I was often in bed for the first day and took handfuls of over the counter pills to dull the pain. In high school I went on birth control (which I do not recommend at all). This was the 90’s and the pill was very popular. Everyone was on it. When I came of birth control in my late 20’s my PMS came back even stronger than I remembered. And it wasn’t just the soreness and cramping, it was very emotional and I would get extremely depressed, like scary depressed before hand.
Until I found herbal medicine to regulate my hormones which in turn regulated my cycles my moon time was very challenging. I didn’t know about charting my cycle with the moon or how to use the distinct phases of my cycle (working on a post about that) to reach deeper levels of awareness and creativity. All I knew at the time was that I felt like a crazy person and I just wanted it to stop.
Thankfully with the help of some incredible alternative practitioners I learned how to take care of myself and bring my hormones into balance. It took a couple of years, lots of herbs and some lifestyle changes but today I’ve never been better and my PMS is actually manageable. When I learned that PMS didn’t have to be so bad I was relived. I was brought up to believe that periods were terrible and just to numb them out as much as possible. Today I celebrate my moon time and honor this monthly cycle of letting go and rebirth. Oh I can’t wait to share about that in the next post!
For now, the herbal tea! This recipe is very easy to make and tastes good. It is effective and gentle enough to drink before and during menstruation. I typically drink 3-4 cups of this tea during menstruation and a few days before depending on my PMS symptoms. Herbs work best when taken consistently over time. Try this tea for 3-4 months to get an idea of how it will support you. If you have any allergies to herbs or are on medications that are contraindicated for herbs please talk to your health care practitioner.
Please note this tea is not going to knock out pain in the same way as an over the counter medication like Advil. Herbs are much more nuanced in their capabilities. Before herbs I had to take handfuls of Advil during my moon time. Today I take maybe 1 or 2 if things are really crazy and drink tea. I’ve been on this journey for years so please use your own intuition and guidance – ultimately you know what is right for your body.
Moon Time Tea combines some of my favorite herbs for women’s health. Each one has specific functions which I will explain below. If you buy the herbs in bulk you can maker a large batch which will last for several months. This tea also makes a wonderful gift for women’s friends and can be a great teaching tool for younger women learning about their cycles.
Chamomile is a very effect and soothing flower that is known to reduce the severity of muscle cramps and tension. This potent flower also eases anxiety and depression.
Dandelion Leaf cools and cleanses the liver which is the main organ that breaks down hormones like estrogen when levels get too high. In Chinese medicine the liver is associated with anger so taking good care of this organ will help reduce irritability. Dandelion leaf is also a great diuretic which helps remove extra water from our system – less water can often mean less cramping. It contains high levels of potassium.
Ginger is a potent warming herb that eases digestion and relives nausea. Ginger also helps increase vitality and helps nutrient absorption.
Raspberry Leaf is the mother herb of uterine health. Keeping the uterus well toned is very important for overall wellness and pain reduction during menstruation. Raspberry leaf has high levels of vitamins C and E and contains calcium and iron.
Vitex is a powerful hormone balancing herb that has been used for ages to treat menstrual irregularities, regulate reproductive cycles and ease PMS symptoms. Vitex reduces cramps, depression and inflammation. This herb can be taken by itself to bring your cycle into balance and is best taken over a course of at least four months to start as it takes time to work.
A few more notes on PMS. It is really important during this time to eat lots of veggies and whole foods. Meditation and yoga are great practices that can also balance our endocrine system and bring us long term relief. Even drinking tea can be a meditation. Use your tea time to slow down, reflect and count your blessings.
In the recipe below I have written out instructions for making this tea as an infusion. This is the way I like to prepare it during my cycle so it is always on hand. Allowing the herbs to steep for longer periods of time helps to extract their medicinal qualities. The longer they steep the stronger the tea. If you prefer to make it in single servings that is fine too. Make this work for your lifestyle.
In herb schools measurements are typically taken by weight or parts. I like to use parts as it’s more of a folk medicine tradition and you can make the recipe as large or small as you like, just keep the ratio. This is a very easy method for working with herbs and one that I’ve used for years. In this recipe I use this measurement, 1/2 c. = 2 parts. You can make the quantity larger or smaller. Play around with it and see what best suits your needs.
Moon Time Tea
- 2 parts raspberry leaf
- 2 parts dandelion leaf
- 2 parts chamomile
- 1 part vitex berry
- 1/2 part ginger root or ginger tea
Combine all ingredients in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Any metal or glass canister will work here. This is where you will store the blend for future use. Shake well.
Remove 1/4 c. herbs and place them in a large glass jar. Pour 4 cups of boiling water over the herbs and fill the jar. Cover and let steep for 20-40 minutes. Strain and serve. You can easily reheat this on the stove when you are ready to have a cup. I usually have 4 cups per day during pre moon and full moon time.
I linked to my main source for dried herbs in the recipe. Dried organic ginger root sells out quickly. You can search locally in your area or use ginger tea bags in your brew. Use 1 tea bag per 2 c. of water.
3-4 cups of tea per day during PMS and menstruation.
Do you have any favorite herbs for your moon time? I’d love to know. Feel free to share in the comments and/or ask questions.
// Photos by Sera Lindsey