Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris) is a member of the rose family. The Latin name is derived from the word alchemy and the dew which collects in the centre of the softly crinkled leaves was believed to be able to turn base metals into gold. The droplets were also reputed to be infused with mystical powers and the plant has been used in magic potions down the ages.
The leaves have traditionally been used for women’s health issues due to its possible hormonal actions. Like its cousin Meadowsweet, Lady’s Mantle contains the pain relieving chemical salicylic acid, making it useful for cramps in the smooth muscles of the stomach or uterus. The astringing, or drying, action of the herb helps to tone the gut and it also has sedative properties which calm feelings of anxiety. The herb’s styptic properties may help stem bleeding from open cuts and wounds and an infusion of the leaves can be used as a wash on the affected part.
I love the gentle action of this herb and I use it with women who are going through the menopause and who have associated digestive problems or who are experiencing high levels of stress at this time.