What It's About:
Join Loren Sofia, Functional Fertility Coach and owner of Innate Fertility, and Arielle de Martinez, an herbalist, hair healer, and medicine maker, as they discuss everything you need to know about herbs and how to incorporate them to support your wellness, no matter what phase of life you’re in.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
-How you can actually make herbs “work” for you
-Standout herbs that can replace pharmaceuticals for common issues
-The difference between using whole herbs versus essential oils
-How you can actually use essential oils safely
-Guidelines for using herbs safely, including during pregnancy & breastfeeding
-Arielle’s favorite herbs for everyday wellness, cycle support, pregnancy, & breastfeeding
-How you can use everyday herbs from your backyard starting today
[00:00:00] Loren: Welcome to the Innate Wisdom Podcast. I'm your host, Lauren Sofia, Functional Fertility Coach and Owner of Innate Fertility, and I'm honored to guide you through each episode, where we'll cover not just fertility, but how to rediscover the innate wisdom of your body, restore your connection with your physiology, bioenergetics and metabolism, and get back in touch with Mother Nature and ancestral traditions.
[00:00:26] Loren: Welcome to another episode of the Innate Wisdom Podcast. On today's show, I'm so excited to invite herbalist, hair healer, and medicine maker Ariel DeMartines to chat all about herbs. Okay, so today's guest is Ariel DeMartines. I'm so excited to have you, Ariel. Welcome to the Innate Wisdom podcast.
[00:00:47] Arielle: Hello, thank you so much for having me.I'm so excited to be here too.
[00:00:53] Loren: Awesome. Yeah, I feel like I've always admired your work and I'm just super excited about our conversation today. But before we dive in, I would love if you could share a little bit about your story and how you got into doing what you're doing today and doing all the amazing work.
[00:01:10] Loren: Regarding herbs and things like that, I think it's such an amazing world that you are really bringing a different kind of voice to and I just so appreciate it. So I'd love if you could share more about that.
[00:01:22] Arielle: Absolutely. I think like a lot of the women who are listening to this podcast at the time of its recording, I kind of had a little bit of a reawakening during my first pregnancy.
[00:01:34] Arielle: Pregnancy is a time in our life when we really tend to want to like dial back down to simple, very basic. We want to do as little harm as possible and we want to make sure that we're our best, most healthy, vital selves. And I had a very holistic upbringing. You know, I had a mother who was pretty distrustful of like allopathic systems.
[00:01:58] Arielle: And so I grew up taking echinacea and doing home remedies. They were normal until a point when I grew up and then they weren't anymore. And I was like, mom, I don't care. I'm getting a Z Pak. You know what I mean? And then during pregnancy, I kind of refound that again. I was having a hospital birth with a certified nurse midwife.
[00:02:17] Arielle: And it resulted in a traumatic C section that just totally rocked me. And I kind of had the perspective, like, pretty, pretty right away as soon as it happened. Like, I remember being in the hospital and being like, you know, I can't really rely on anybody except for myself to keep me and my family safe.
[00:02:36] Arielle: And it just kind of spurred this dedication in me to... Really want to care for my family and keep us out of a system that we had experienced so much trauma. And so I knew I didn't want to be taking my kid to the pediatrician every two months. And I didn't want to rely on any of those systems. And so herbs were a really easy thing for me to fall into and back to and start learning.
[00:03:01] Arielle: And I did, you know, those early, those early months when baby's just doing a lot of sleeping is when I really started studying herbs and reading about herbs. And. By the time I would say my daughter was maybe 10 months old, she got an ear infection. That was the first time that we would do something, you know, not outside my scope.
[00:03:22] Arielle: And I remember I gave her some garlic oil for her ears and it worked so well. And like nobody in my circle at that time was doing anything like that. So they were like shocked. I wasn't giving antibiotics to my daughter and yeah, I just really woke up in me that like. Women don't know about these things.
[00:03:39] Arielle: They don't really know that they have different options in terms of caring for their family, and so it just kind of became my mission to help spread that word, and also, my career path at the time, they're like, my whole life up until now, I had been a hairdresser. And so naturally it just kind of worked out that as I'm on this journey and this like, you know, internal revolution of self and family, it bled into my career choice too.
[00:04:05] Arielle: And so I started simplifying there and becoming more low tox and experimenting with my own hair and stuff. And I no longer work behind the chair, but I do teach women now about herbal hair care as well as herbal remedies for their families. So.
[00:04:20] Loren: Oh, I love that. Thank you for sharing your story. I think it's so beautiful that this reawakening happened during your pregnancy.
[00:04:30] Loren: I feel like a lot of reawakenings happen during pregnancy and some things to be said about that.
[00:04:38] Arielle: Yeah, it really does. I really do think that it's a time in our life when because like a new soul is coming into our bodies that I think Energetically, we're just a lot more open to things like that, like those inner awakenings and those inner voices.
[00:04:53] Arielle: And like, there's like so much energetically happening that we don't see that allows for that inner voice to come through.
[00:05:00] Loren: I think you're totally right. There's just like this channel that opens and there's so much amazingness that comes out of that. And it's so interesting to you become more discerning in so many ways as well.
[00:05:14] Loren: And it's a beautiful time. So thank you for sharing that. I so appreciate your journey too, with sort of pursuing the more natural sort of remedies that maybe other mothers don't know that are available. I think that we think if our kid gets sick, of course, we don't want them to be ill and we want to do the best we can for them.
[00:05:35] Loren: And, you know, I think. Knowing that there are other options may help quell that fear of immediately reaching for something that may have consequences in the long term. That's a whole other conversation, but I think what you're sharing is there are other options that you can consider, and maybe we'll even cover some of those in today's conversation.
[00:05:58] Arielle: Yeah, definitely.
[00:05:59] Loren: So your whole world is herbs and I love it. I also think that a lot of people are skeptical about herbs because they're like, Oh, how could an herb be as powerful or produce as good of a result or better a result than a medication can? And so I think the other flip side is that a lot of these people underestimate their potency a lot, like quite a bit.
[00:06:25] Loren: Herbs are very potent too. And so can you tell us the truth about herbs? Are they powerful? Are they just like this placebo effect? Or is it possible to take too much?
[00:06:39] Arielle: So I'd love if you could clear that up for us. Yeah, definitely. So herbs work. There's plenty of studies to back that up. There's studies that show that herbs work just as well, if not better than pharmaceuticals.
[00:06:51] Arielle: Some examples are St. John's Wort. I think in 2011, New York Magazine wrote about St. John's Wort on the cover, referred to it as like herbal Prozac because a study had shown that it works just as well, if not better than Prozac. And within like six months, you couldn't find St. John's Wort. On the shelf in any health food store because people just like flocked to for St.
[00:07:13] Arielle: John's wort and it still carries that reputation today Usnea is another herb that there's studies that show that it works better than penicillin actually That's an herb that I find a lot of people don't know much about unless it grows in your area So herbs definitely work. I personally find that when people say like, Oh, I tried to take this and it didn't work.
[00:07:33] Arielle: So I had to get the antibiotic or I tried this and it didn't work. So I got the over the counter, whatever. We are, especially like in the Western world, we are very trained by like Allopathic medicine in the fact that we want to take one pill once in everything, not just when it comes to treating ourselves, like we want to lose weight, we want the magic pill, and we want one time released pill that we're going to take one time or once a day, and it's going to work.
[00:08:01] Arielle: Pharmaceutical medicines work that way because they have been chemically formulated that way with different chemicals to be very, very potent and time released so that that medicine is being released in our system a little bit of a at a time throughout the day. Herbs do not work that way. They have a very short half life.
[00:08:20] Arielle: Your body clears them quite quickly and because they're plants, they're not, you know, a super, super, super potentized version of themselves. They have a variety of constituents. You have to take quite a bit of them. And so typically if people are saying they took an erm and it didn't work, they're either not taking it enough often throughout the day.
[00:08:41] Arielle: They're not taking them for a long enough period of time or they're not taking a high enough dose. I find, this is just kind of very general across the board with any sort of supplement, whether it's a collagen capsule or beef liver or herbs, you know, the bottle says take eight capsules. And it's a 30 day supply.
[00:09:02] Arielle: So there's something in our brains and I'm guilty of it too. That's like, well, I'm just going to take two and make it last four months. Of course, it's not going to work that way. You're not going to get the best results or any results if you're doing it that way. Echinacea tincture is a tincture I utilize a lot in motherhood.
[00:09:20] Arielle: It's really beneficial for me. It's helped get me through mastitis, strep throat, like all these different just kind of like things that come up where normally I'd take an antibiotic, but dosage wise, I take like three to four droppers every couple hours. And so I'll go through an entire bottle within like two or three days if I really need it.
[00:09:38] Arielle: But at the end of it, I've made it through. I'm better. I haven't taken an antibiotic and typically nothing is recurring. I don't get strep throat again a month later.
[00:09:46] Loren: Yeah. I think what you're saying too, it goes back to kind of dismantling the allopathic view of how we've been conditioned to look at sort of health and remedies.
[00:10:01] Loren: Because I think even in my practice. Like one dose of herbs might work really nicely for somebody, but the next person needs three times the amount to see an effect and herbs also take some of them take a while to take effect and sometimes you have to be on them for at least three months to see the sort of progress, especially when it comes to herbs that support the female cycle.
[00:10:28] Loren: So I think it's not quite as black and white as. Allopathic medicine is necessarily, and there's a lot of flexibility though, too, within this, which makes it so beautiful. There could be many herbs that you can use at once, and you know, you can customize them to suit your needs and your bio individuality versus like a one size fits all medication.
[00:10:52] Loren: So I think that, that is a huge plus, I think, when it comes to herbal medicine. So the truth is, herbs are very powerful, and they're worthwhile.
[00:11:03] Arielle: Yeah, there's also a lot more opportunity with herbs too. Yeah, like you were saying with customization, there's a little bit more opportunity to get a customized result versus like going to the grocery store and picking like the one headache reliever.
[00:11:17] Arielle: You can really dial in and figure out like exactly how your headache's presenting and like pick an herb that's gonna work for your headache versus a broad spectrum. We try not to look at herbs in that same allopathic way that we do medicine.
[00:11:31] Loren: Right, right. There's so much nuance, which is why I think also working with an herbalist can be really beneficial.
[00:11:39] Loren: I love what you teach as well, which is a lot of sovereignty in your herbal choices, but I guess One of the questions that I'm sure the audience has, too, is, and that I want to clarify and make sure we do that, too, because there are so many components to a plant, and I think there's a lot of confusion when it comes to, like, just using the flower versus the bud versus the stem versus the leaves, and Can you explain, I guess, what's the difference between using whole herbs versus something like an essential oil, too?
[00:12:12] Loren: Because I feel like when people think of herbal medicine, they also think of essential oils as almost like a replacement for making infusions or tinctures. Or maybe somebody listening thinks that tinctures are essential oils when they're not. So can you give us the dish on all this?
[00:12:33] Arielle: Okay, so first, just a quick description between the two difference is a plant is made of many different phytochemicals, plant constituents, etc.
[00:12:46] Arielle: So if you've heard of like flavonoids, that's a plant constituent. If you've heard of essential oils in the chemistry world. They're called volatile oil compounds. That is a phytochemical. And there's so many different little teeny tiny individual constituents that make up essential oils. There's amino acids.
[00:13:05] Arielle: That's a phytochemical. You know, all these different phytochemicals and constituents make up the recipe that becomes the whole plant. Now when you're using whole plant medicine, all that that means is you're using a part of the herb that hasn't been extracted or broken down. So whether it's the flower, the leaf, the root, it doesn't mean I'm using the root and the leaf and the flower in the medicine.
[00:13:28] Arielle: It means that I'm using, like, all of the constituents in that plant from the whole plant. Nothing's been extracted or anything. So, like, lavender essential oil only contains the volatile oil compounds in lavender. However, lavender infused herbal oil contains all of the constituents that are found in lavender.
[00:13:48] Arielle: Now, if you're taking a supplement, like, for example, berberine is a really popular supplement people take. That is one constituent that's found in the plant golden seal. So, a golden seal tincture is a whole plant. form of berberine, which is an isolated. Now, the problem that I have with the isolated constituents and phytochemicals is, and kind of like what we hinted to earlier, you know, nature has a really intelligent design.
[00:14:15] Arielle: And the more that people get comfortable with using herbs, and the more familiar they get with plants, you really start to notice this design, this grand plan, kind of in all of the inner workings of how plants work. So, for example, If you're going to take a over the counter diuretic for edema or a water pill, this diuretic is, as you're, you know, increasing your urination and your detox pathways, you know, you're going to be losing a lot of minerals.
[00:14:43] Arielle: You're going to be losing a lot of your stores because you're just kind of flushing your system. Now herbal diuretics generally tend to be really mineral rich. So if you're utilizing, let's say, nettle for its diuretic ability, you're replacing the minerals that you lose as you're taking nettle because you're not just increasing urination, but you're also increasing your nutrition that you're getting in.
[00:15:04] Arielle: So that's an example of like the vital nature's intelligent design. Another really simple example is the Herb Meadow suite. Meadow sweet contains salicylic acid, which is the active ingredient in aspirin. So many people know that aspirin can be pretty hard on the stomach. If it's not taken appropriately, or if it's taken too long or too much or whatever, um, that ingredient is just pretty rough on the stomach.
[00:15:29] Arielle: So meadow sweet contains mucilage, which is a demulcent characteristic where it coats the stomach. So as you're taking Meadowsweet, you're actually getting that stomach protection. So it's kind of just like a built in insurance policy around some of those more active ingredients. You know, we all know that with pharmaceuticals, you take a pill and it might cause other symptoms that you have to take more pills and more pills for, right?
[00:15:52] Arielle: With herbs, you don't actually necessarily tend to have those because typically it's a lot more well rounded. And so when you remove those herbal constituents, whether it's just using essential oils or, you know, one constituent like berberine, You're removing them from their built in safety net of nature's intelligence.
[00:16:09] Arielle: So we know that essential oils are very medicinal, okay? Studies show that for sure. There's thousands of studies showing that essential oils work. You can still benefit from essential oils in the whole plant. Like a lavender herbal oil will still contain a little bit of lavender essential oil, but what's happening is when you're isolating the lavender essential oil and you're just using that, you're exposing yourself to way more essential oil than you would be if you came across the whole plant itself in nature.
[00:16:40] Arielle: So, for example, if you're using a drop of essential oil, whether you're adding it to your water or you have a headache and you're putting a drop of it like on your wrist to smell or whatever, In order to get exposed to one drop of an essential oil, you would have to drink gallons and gallons and gallons of mint tea.
[00:16:58] Arielle: Like, quite a lot. That we would never do. I mean, you wouldn't even drink that much water. It'd make you sick. So, it's clear to me that we were not, as humans, meant to come across that amount of isolated constituents. Same with berberine. I don't recommend that people take it or use it. It's super hard on the liver.
[00:17:17] Arielle: It doesn't come with its safety net. We're not meant to take berberine on its own because otherwise it would be found in nature that way. So with essential oils, there are properties that are good and that are beneficial and help to enhance the property of an herb can get exploited when you're using the essential oil on its own.
[00:17:35] Arielle: So for example, lavender is naturally antimicrobial, so it can be really beneficial. If you have acne and you're using it topically on your skin to help kind of lightly balance out some bacteria on your skin from acne. Now, if you're using lavender essential oil, you're leading to a risk of microbiome disruption because at that high level, it can be rough to distinguish between.
[00:17:57] Arielle: good and bad bacteria because you've just amplified that antiseptic property by magnitudes, you know. So then, you know, we know that this can create, it's similar to antibiotics, it creates resistant bacteria problems there. There's also certain essential oils have been linked to endocrine disruption and those essential oils contain many constituents that are found in other essential oils.
[00:18:20] Arielle: In fact, those two, lavender and tree tree, contain the most constituents that are found across the board and a hundred other essential oils. So it's pretty safe to say in essential oils, you can make that inference that essential oils contain that property across the board. Those two aren't even the most common side effects.
[00:18:35] Arielle: The most common side effect of essential oils are immunotoxicity, which just means that our immune system responds to them as something that isn't supposed to be in our body and over time we can develop an allergy to them. And purity doesn't really matter here. It doesn't matter if the essential oils you're using are pure or not because we're talking about the effect of the pure constituent, the pure phytochemicals and constituents themselves that are being exploited.
[00:19:01] Arielle: So if you're using a pure essential oil, you run these risks. If you're using an un pure essential oil, you have these risks along with additional side effects due to whatever the not pure essential oil is being cut or diluted with. So that's the gist here with what you're risking when you're working outside of whole plant medicine.
[00:19:19] Loren: Thank you for breaking that down. I think that is very illuminating probably for many of our listeners who may view essential oils as kind of like an ideal alternative to pharmaceuticals, but I think what you're pointing out is there's always nuance and kind of like food and isolated nutrient supplementation.
[00:19:42] Loren: I have a very similar perspective where Getting it from nature is really going to gift wrap all the micronutrients that allow this one singular nutrient that you're trying to get more of to allow it to work better. It contains the cofactors that it needs to function optimally in the body, whereas isolated supplementation, while there can definitely be instances of therapeutic use, it does open up your nutrient balance to more opportunities for imbalance and throwing things off kilter and potentially other new deficiencies or even toxicity.
[00:20:22] Loren: So I think just like herbs, nutrients and food are very similar in that, in that regard. I love that point, I guess for the audience too, because they're probably wondering, well, do I have to throw away all my essential oils? Like, is there any safe way to take or utilize? Essential oils in your life where you can still enjoy the scent, for example, but maybe it means that you don't consume it.
[00:20:51] Loren: Maybe there's some type of safe way to navigate that world for people that are really diehard essential oil lovers.
[00:20:57] Arielle: I mean, it's just going to depend on your personal risk assessment that you do for your home and family. At the bare minimum, I definitely don't recommend ingesting them. I think most of us are really hard pressed to, like, it's a challenge to find toothpaste and deodorant and all, like, we're inundated with essential oils in our natural care, so I don't think they should be relied on medicinally.
[00:21:21] Arielle: I personally choose not to use them at all because I know that I get exposed to them on my own without even trying, you know, you go into the chiropractor, they have an essential oil diffuser going, you know, I want to go get a pedicure with my daughter and I choose the organic option. It's going to have essential oils in it, you know what I mean?
[00:21:37] Arielle: So like, I know that I'm getting. I don't want to bring that into my home too. I have a very similar way of how I eat. If I go to a restaurant, I'm not worried about the poofas or the non organic or whatever, but at my home, I like to have organic food, like healthy food, you know, I won't bring things that go outside of my value system for my eating into my house.
[00:21:58] Arielle: And so I care to go about it that way because you know, the end result, we're always looking at whether it's, you know, you're taking nutritional supplements or herbs or whatever. We're always looking at how can we. increase our vitality and our resiliency. And I think that a little bit of essential oils here, a little bit of essential oils there, a little bit of iron supplement here, a little bit of zinc supplement there, you know, they all kind of can wear away at that resiliency.
[00:22:22] Arielle: And you know, what happens when you have something that really needs immediate attention? Is that antibiotic? Like maybe you need a life saving antibiotic. Is it going to work if you've been, you know, breathing in? Essentially antibacterial chemicals in your diffuser. I mean, probably not, maybe not. I don't know.
[00:22:40] Arielle: I don't want to find that out. I tend to take a pretty conservative approach on it, but everyone's going to have to choose their own. I definitely don't recommend, like if you're someone who's invested thousands of dollars in essential oils and you're listening to this, like. Freaking out. I definitely don't recommend just like getting rid of all of them right away.
[00:22:57] Arielle: I mean just like Slowly go through and first stop ingesting them and then stop using them medicinally and then stop using them You know slowly work through, you know, maybe take them out of your personal care products then stop putting your house with them You know one step at a time Wait till one step feels easy and then move on to the next step.
[00:23:18] Arielle: So then maybe a year from now you've gotten rid of all of them, but it's not so overwhelming where you've gotten rid of all of them at once and now you don't know how to, like, you don't know what your alternatives are. And one thing I do want to say, too, that a lot of people don't know, Unless you're reading material safety data sheets, is that essential oil bottles are not to be disposed of in your trash.
[00:23:39] Arielle: You actually are supposed to dispose of those at a hazardous waste company. So, if you are throwing out essential oils, like, please don't just dump them in your trash. Take them to, most big cities will have like a hazardous waste area where you can dump, you know, if you like change your oil, you can take the oil to, or paint, or whatever.
[00:23:57] Arielle: Dispose of them in the same way.
[00:24:00] Loren: Hi everyone, it's Loren. Just taking a quick break from this very stimulating conversation if you're interested in learning how to use herbs to regulate your cycle support, progesterone production, uterine LAR thickness, thyroid health, blood sugar, gut issues, recurrent loss, breast milk supply while you're trying to conceive, and so much more.
[00:24:20] Loren: I invite you to check out my pregnancy prep e course, Conscious Conception, where I walk you through the exact herbs and steps you can take to address these issues. Visit innatefertility.org/get-pregnant for more information. And if you're loving the show, don't forget to leave a review. Now back to the episode.
[00:24:39] Loren: Thanks for that tip. I think that also speaks to the potency that they carry like the almost, well, it is unnatural, unnatural potency. So that we were discussing before. I've witnessed people getting burns from putting it topically, also going in the sun with it topically, ingesting it, and having to go to the hospital.
[00:25:03] Loren: So I think while these may not have happened to you, for anyone listening, I think it's worthwhile acknowledging how powerful these things can be, and that there is a way that you can navigate them. And you know, there are stories out there They cured my cancer and things like that, but I think it's also important to acknowledge the stories that are not so positive so that you can make an informed decision around them.
[00:25:32] Loren: Arielle is a very experienced herbalist, and I think she's probably seen the gamut of effects of essential oils as well, so just some things to consider, and I really appreciate also your approach, as in, like, you have to gauge what's a priority for you, and also. Doing it in a scalable way where you don't have to just get rid of everything, because I feel like once we learn something, our nervous systems are like, Oh my gosh, I need to stop taking this immediately or, you know, I have to throw everything out and it doesn't have to be that way either.
[00:26:06] Loren: There's a very scalable way that you can do this and it doesn't have to be all or nothing. So I really appreciate that too. So, regarding herbs, it seems like there's a lot of contradictory opinions, just going back to herbs in general, regarding what's safe out there versus unsafe, like, there are, you'll see this in the more conventional space, like, don't take herbs because you don't know what you're going to get, and um, They're unsafe.
[00:26:36] Loren: But then there's this side that's like herbs are everything, the only solution. Regardless of those, I would love to get from you, you know, how do you navigate safety for herbs? And are there any general guidelines you use, especially when it comes to pregnancy and breastfeeding, which I get tons of questions about.
[00:26:57] Arielle: I do too. Yeah, it's the number one question, easily, even if I put it right in the caption, I'll still get a hundred questions, you know, if I'm posting about an herb on Instagram, if it's Safe is kind of a word to be honest with you that I've just completely removed from my vocabulary because the definition just means something different to every single person out there, and I have no idea knowing what one person categorizes as safe.
[00:27:24] Arielle: I have no idea what this person's history is. Especially when it comes to like pregnancy and breastfeeding for breastfeeding, you know, if someone wants to know if an herb is safe, like I don't know if they've had successful breastfeeding history, if they're currently breastfeeding and have an ample supply, if they had to work really hard for every drop of breast milk, if a small setback would be devastating to their physiological breastfeeding relationship, you know what I mean?
[00:27:48] Arielle: Like there's just a lot of things that I just don't know versus someone with an oversupply who wouldn't be a big deal. So. Okay. I've just completely eliminated that word, not just in herbs, but just in general, like, all across the board. The word safety, just, I feel like we've kind of ruined what it actually means.
[00:28:05] Arielle: For pregnancy and breastfeeding specifically, I'll speak to pregnancy first. The way that I look at it is, is this going to make me lose my pregnancy or is this going to harm my baby? So I think in order to determine your comfort level, for me, I wanted to know, like, okay. How do I actually intentionally create harm with herbs in a pregnancy?
[00:28:28] Arielle: So I looked a lot into pregnancy release and herbal abortions, and I learned a lot. I learned that in order to intentionally release a pregnancy with herbs, there are very, very, very specific steps that you have to take. It needs to be pretty early on in the pregnancy, typically before six weeks pregnant, maybe eight weeks max, max, max.
[00:28:49] Arielle: You are taking a very specific set of herbs that have been chosen to address a few different things needed to make the body reject a healthy pregnancy. So, you know, maybe one herb is gonna create oxytocin, you know, to encourage contractions. Maybe one herb is gonna do something, you know, there's just like a lot of different markers you have to hit.
[00:29:09] Arielle: So you're not just taking one herb. It's like usually three to four. In a very specific combination, you're taking a very large dose of these herbs and you're taking them around the clock. This means setting an alarm to wake yourself up in the middle of the night to take these herbs. And even doing all of that, the rate of successful herbal abortion, it doesn't always work.
[00:29:31] Arielle: It's not like getting misoprostol or like the abortion pill, you know, it's like. Lower than that. And so it doesn't always work, which leads me to believe that it takes a lot more work to harm a pregnancy with herbs than what we have been led to believe, which it seems like some herbalists or midwives or people you talk to, you know, just act that drinking one cup of peppermint tea can just cause a spontaneous miscarriage.
[00:29:54] Arielle: And that's just simply not true. Healthy hosts and healthy babies, body is designed to protect at any cost. So if you're intentionally trying to release pregnancy, you really have to work hard to make that happen. And something else to note is that when women have had failed herbal abortions and they have gone on to keep their pregnancy, there have never been reports.
[00:30:16] Arielle: of damage done to a fetus. The babies are always born healthy and vital and perfectly okay. So that also speaks to that idea that I would go so far to say you can't really harm a child with herbs in your belly and in terms of herbal abortion. It's a lot harder to do than what we think. So actually, I believe that women can pretty much use almost any herb to pregnancy to some extent.
[00:30:41] Arielle: Especially if you look at how different past cultures or cultures around the world have used herbs. Like for example, Ashwagandha is one that Western herbalism says is a no. But it has a history of being used in pregnancy throughout time in different cultures. Same with motherwort. Motherwort actually is used, um, has a history of being used to treat anxiety during pregnancy.
[00:31:03] Arielle: but in the western world we'd never would take them with a wart during pregnancy. A friend of mine is Ethiopian and her family drinks rue in their coffee all day and like pregnant women drink rue all day long and here that's like a really big abortion herb. It's just easy to look outside of what we know in our little like allopathic herbalism bubble and see what else is going on and like use that to once again create your own risk assessment.
[00:31:30] Arielle: I could imagine that a woman who had a past history of consistent frequent losses wouldn't even want to look at an herb that has a connotation for being used in that way. So obviously like everyone has their own risk assessment analysis for their body. But the biggest piece here is giving women back the power to determine this for themselves and being able to use and practice their intuition and tune into what your body is telling you physically.
[00:31:59] Arielle: So if a mom wants to try and take motherwort for her anxiety that she's experiencing during pregnancy, she can tune in and see if that feels good. And you know, let's say she takes it a few times and maybe she notices a couple Braxton Hicks contractions when she takes it. And she's like, okay, is this coincidence?
[00:32:16] Arielle: Is it not? So she keeps taking it. She has a few more contractions. She realizes, I don't think this is a coincidence. I think my mother works making me have contractions. I don't want to have contractions right now. So she stops taking it. Her construction stop easy as that. You know what I mean? Like you can always simply choose to stop taking an herb.
[00:32:34] Arielle: Just like if you. Not pregnant. Let's say you wanted to try taking ashwagandha and you found ashwagandha makes you really sleepy during the day You're just not gonna take it during the day. So that's kind of the approach I have on it. It's very very Liberal the one category I do avoid during pregnancy myself personally is like those strong anti parasitic herbs black walnut and wormwood specifically And that's just because they're toxic.
[00:33:01] Arielle: Like, the constituents in them, essentially, you're poisoning parasites with them. And so, that's how they work. And so, I just don't want to put that in my body when I'm pregnant. And I also avoid, if possible, I would consider them, of course, before antibiotics. But I do like to avoid high doses of like strong antimicrobial herbs in the third trimester in order to make sure that my vaginal flora is really diverse and healthy for, you know, colonizing are my future baby that's going to be born.
[00:33:33] Arielle: You know, I hear that a lot of women putting like a garlic in their yoni to prevent strep B or help with the yeast infection. And that's just like, to me, I'm like, no way you're wiping out. You can be doing more harm than good there. So.
[00:33:46] Loren: Well, thank you for that. I hope if you're listening, this is somewhat reassuring, because I feel like there's so much fear around herbs in pregnancy, and if you were to ask, or even Google, like, is XYZ safe for pregnancy, you will typically find either no, or no because we don't know enough, and it's just so interesting, and I wish that there was some way to get better information.
[00:34:14] Loren: All of our ancestral cultures across the world together to kind of like share Herbal wisdom because I feel like it would just make things so much easier in terms of quelling the potential Anxiety of taking an herb during pregnancy, but also help each other with the herbs that can support different things during pregnancy, too so, you know, I think that It's really important to just, if you're taking an herb and you were freaking out because you were taking it, like, one week or two weeks into your pregnancy, what Arielle's saying, it's probably not gonna cause any issues, or if you're blaming yourself for potentially a loss that you experienced because you didn't realize that this herb was not recommended, and I have my air quotations up during pregnancy, I hope that gives you some closure.
[00:35:05] Loren: Because it's very easy to blame ourselves too. But I love the liberal approach and I do think, again, it speaks to the dose as well. You have to take a lot and just using that approach as like a gauge for the rest of the herbs in terms of gauging safety. You really have to try really hard and take a lot of them.
[00:35:26] Loren: So I hope that that provides some reassurance too, for those that are like, Oh, I was taking this into my pregnancy and. Didn't even know. So, you know, I think that that is reassuring. I think taking also into account, the word safety is really important. I love your approach there too, because I will get the same questions about safety in regards to supplements and safety is so subjective to the person in terms of the context that they're coming from.
[00:35:55] Loren: the medical history, any conditions, what their goals are. And so I think that that's another really important thing to consider. What is right for you? What's right for your body? You are a bio individual person. I think it's really important to, a big part of what Arielle shared too, is listening to that intuition.
[00:36:16] Loren: What is your body craving? What does your body feel attracted to? Because you can boil the ocean by taking all the herbs and all the supplements, but really figuring out what works for you is really important. So for anyone listening, You're probably like, okay, what are some of Ariel's favorite herbs to use?
[00:36:36] Loren: Because she's mentioned a couple so far. Would you mind sharing what some of your favorite herbs are to use day to day that would support overall wellness?
[00:36:43] Arielle: So I think the adaptogen category is really popular right now. Just in general, we all kind of just seem to be stressed out little nervous systems.
[00:36:56] Arielle: As we know, stress can cause our body a lot of imbalance in a lot of different ways. So adaptogens help our bodies handle stress better. And as a result, you get A better balanced feeling throughout the whole body. All of our other body systems kind of balance out. Immunity, hormonally, etc. Like it puts a lot less stress on those symptoms as well.
[00:37:16] Arielle: So we have less issues, more balance. General overall chill approach. Reishi is definitely my favorite for this. It's fairly like neutral in terms of like constitution. So pretty much the most that can happen if you take an herb that might not be great for you is that. It's going to aggravate your constitution.
[00:37:36] Arielle: So if you're someone who generally runs warm and you take a really warming herb, you're going to get really hot until that herb gets out of your body. If you're somebody that runs really dry and you take a really dry herb, you might notice your skin's really dry all of the sudden, or you're really, really thirsty all the time.
[00:37:53] Arielle: And then you stop taking the herb and everything kind of will balance back out. We call that like aggravating a constitution. So. There's neutral herbs out there that aren't warm or cool. They're not wet or dry. They're just kind of balanced. And reishi is one of those, which is I think one of the reasons why it's gained so much popularity in the last few years, but it's definitely developed a following among pregnant and breastfeeding moms too.
[00:38:19] Arielle: But I take reishi every day. I give it to my children. It can really benefit anybody at any age, I think. And then another category that's really popular that I like to use is herbal nerve vines. So I think a lot of people use adaptogens like nerve vines, where nerve vines specifically have like a effect on the nervous system.
[00:38:37] Arielle: And so as a mother, I find my nervous system, you know, regulates my whole house. It regulates my children or dysregulates them depending on how my regulation is. So I'll rely on nerve vines like blue vervein and motherwort, you know, when I need like extra support there. And then in terms of like nutrition, Herbal infusions or oxymols can be a really great way you can work with on a day to day basis just to help get extra minerals and micronutrients in your diet, fill in the gaps a little bit.
[00:39:08] Arielle: Nettle infusions are a really popular one. I love linden. Linden is a really great nutritive herb that also has a benefit for the nervous system as well. And then another herbal category that I use every day that I think most of us can benefit from in the Western world is just liver support. Our liver just does so much for our bodies and when our liver gets stagnant, we just tend to have a lot more issues.
[00:39:31] Arielle: You know, you see a lot more PMS, painful periods, you see shorter tempers, maybe you see skin issues, inflammatory skin conditions, things like that. And so, Supporting your liver to clear that out is just really beneficial. So I like to utilize like dandelion root, reishi is really great for the liver, burdock, things like that, just to give the body balance and support the liver.
[00:39:55] Arielle: And a lot of those herbs are good source of prebiotics too, for the gut. So you get some benefit there as well.
[00:40:02] Loren: Oh, that's awesome. I hope everyone was paying attention to that list. I will try to make a note of them in the show notes, but thanks for sharing that. Are there any herbs for those that are dealing with, I guess, cycle issues or trying to optimize their fertility to get pregnant?
[00:40:21] Loren: Are there any that you would particularly suggest on a regular basis for that?
[00:40:27] Arielle: So for people who are struggling with specifically a shorter luteal phase or progesterone issues, things like that, I think generally in this day and age, if we have a problem, generally progesterone tends to be low because estrogen dominance is so prevalent.
[00:40:45] Arielle: Red clover is another one that you can use specifically to build the uterine lining, just like a nice, thick, rich uterine lining for optimized implantation and just nourishment in those very, very, very early days of implantation.
[00:41:01] Loren: Well, thank you for sharing. I know that anyone listening really appreciates those suggestions.
[00:41:07] Loren: Are there any you like for pregnancy or that are your go tos? I know you mentioned reishi, well in the context of like how popular it's become for pregnancy, but are there any others that you particularly like for pregnancy?
[00:41:18] Arielle: Yeah, I definitely like reishi for sure. There's a kind of, it's not a new term, but it's definitely picked up some popularity.
[00:41:26] Arielle: The term reishi baby, where women have intentionally, it's a practice that dates back to, it started in China with like traditional Chinese medicine. Women would Intentionally take Reishi during their pregnancy, and these babies are reported to be more calm, very, like, wise little souls, just very chill demeanor, that, those happy, chill Reishi babies, and that kind of seems to be the overall.
[00:41:53] Arielle: Report that continues to happen these days where women will intentionally dose themselves with reishi while pregnant and report having Calm chill little babies. So I think that's something that I think we all as parents want So it's beneficial and for those who say that maybe they took reishi and their babies weren't quite so chill I just say imagine what they'd be like if you hadn't taken reishi So we don't really know what it's doing but there's definitely a lot of success stories there for that so I also love liver support.
[00:42:24] Arielle: So those same herbs, dandelion root, burdock, things like that, um, milk thistle, especially if you're someone who struggles with morning sickness, liver support can make or break for a lot of people. And even like in the stages of conception, utilizing liver support to help prevent morning sickness as well.
[00:42:42] Arielle: An herb that I relied a lot on in my third trimester to sleep when magnesium wasn't cutting it was California poppy. California poppy has a profile for like tossing and turning at night because you can't get comfortable and so for pregnant women obviously that's like textbook one of our issues and so California poppy is really nice for sleep support for me when I was pregnant.
[00:43:04] Arielle: Also, I'd like to touch on in the third trimester is like that using herbs and just other remedies for like vaginal microbiome support Because in pregnancy in general, I think a lot of women find themselves to be a lot more sensitive to things and you know, just like external stimuli whether like I'll meet women who like They've had the same partner for years and years and years, never had any problem, and then all of a sudden they're pregnant, and like, bam, they're allergic to their partner's sperm, and they get a yeast infection every time they have sex, or things like that.
[00:43:35] Arielle: Maybe they're getting yeast infections, or they're having discomfort, and... That usually is an indicator our vaginal microbiome simplifies during this time to colonize so that ideal strains of bacteria for colonization for baby are prioritized. And if you're low in those, like those lactobacillus strains, then you're gonna, as your vaginal microbiome simplifies, and you don't have those high levels of lactobacillus that you need, you're gonna have sensitivity, you're gonna have pH issues, etc.
[00:44:07] Arielle: And so I want to reiterate that the worst thing you can do, in my opinion, is put a garlic clove inside your body every time you have a yeast infection during this stage because you're actually kind of aggravating that problem in terms of not increasing lactobacillus, you might even be decreasing it.
[00:44:23] Arielle: Some nice alternatives, you know, are like herbal sits. baths. Even herbal douching, I know it's kind of controversial because we say that like, the body is self cleansing, but when you have an imbalance, using herbs like an herbal rinse vaginally can help to gently eliminate and clear out yeast without harming other, you know, positive bacteria there in a gentle way.
[00:44:49] Arielle: Any sort of like herbal sitz bath that you buy for after pregnancy to promote healing, any blend like that can be beneficial in the third trimester as well to like take an herbal bath to help support healthy vaginal pH. Not an herb, but yogurt can be really nice too because that's rich in lactobacillus bacteria.
[00:45:07] Arielle: So, you know, applying yogurt topically to the labia or even internally if, you know, you have a yeast infection or something like that because then you're working offensively to help. Counterbalance those issues, which the root cause is being that you don't have enough lactobacillus in your body. So that's something I always like to touch on when talking about pregnancy because I find it to be a really common, common issue in the third trimester with a lot of pregnant women.
[00:45:34] Loren: Yeah. Yeah, for sure. And focusing on building resilience versus just eradicating and decimating.
[00:45:41] Arielle: Yeah, because ultimately when your baby passes through the vaginal canal, it's going to receive everything that you have in terms of bacteria and that sets the stage for what their gut health is going to be like for the rest of their life.
[00:45:52] Arielle: And so I worked on my vaginal microbiome pretty strictly in both of my pregnancies and I had one baby with a C, that was a C section and another that was like a physiological free birth. And. Neither of my babies, I can say, like, neither of my babies ever had gas. Neither of my babies ever had any issues, because I really do attribute that to, like, being very mindful about that fact that, like, my gut affects their gut, etc.
[00:46:20] Arielle: And so that's something to consider.
[00:46:22] Loren: Absolutely. I think you make really great points there. And I guess moving on the fertility continuum, are there any herbs that you particularly like to support breastfeeding
[00:46:33] Arielle: as well? Nourishing herbal infusions, which I talked about earlier. So a really great combo would be like, nettle, red raspberry leaf, oat straw, and then something like rose or lemon balm, just for a little flavor.
[00:46:46] Arielle: Those are something that you can make in bulk and keep in your fridge. Just to replenish minerals and promote breast milk production. If you have a gassy baby, fennel can be really nice. to support milk production and its constituents will pass through the breast milk to help baby release gas easier. So that's really good one to have in your toolbox.
[00:47:07] Arielle: And for moms, I find a lot of moms who breastfeed in the beginning there's like one hold that they do and it's like this hunched shoulder that gives you like a lot of like neck and shoulder tension. And so blue vervain is really nice. I find it helps support milk production, but it also is an herbal Irvine that helps the nervous system, and it's characterized by neck and shoulder tension.
[00:47:31] Arielle: So I find a lot of women can kind of get this blue vervain personality during breastfeeding, which is kind of like irritability, irritated, hunched shoulders, or like really tight shoulders that don't ever come down from their ears 'cause of all the breastfeeding. And so that's one that I find a lot of women really like postpartum too.
[00:47:49] Loren: Love that. I love that. And you're not just thinking about the supply. It's about the mother's health. I love that you keep that in mind. I'm wondering if you can share, because I'm sure that the audience is also wondering, can anyone become an herbalist? Because I know that you're all about sovereignty as well, which I absolutely love.
[00:48:13] Loren: And so, can anyone become an herbalist? Are there any herbs that someone can use in their backyard starting today? Is that kosher?
[00:48:22] Arielle: Yeah, totally. Anyone can be an herbalist. All herbalist means is one who works with herbs. It doesn't mean that you have a fancy piece of paper giving you permission to work with herbs.
[00:48:34] Arielle: It doesn't mean you've gotten a certification from an herbal school. It just means that you work with herbs. And so it's very easy to become an herbalist. You just. Start working with the plants, and it's kind of an herbalist joke that whatever herbs are growing in your backyard are the herbs that you need.
[00:48:51] Arielle: So I definitely encourage people to go in their backyard and check out and see what's growing. You know, take pictures, see what you can find. Popular backyard herbs. A lot of times they're weeds like plantain, weeded, dandelion, violet, red clover, chickweed. Those all grow in backyards in different places all over, you know, specifically speaking about the US.
[00:49:16] Arielle: And so those are really good places to start and they're all very like nutritive herbs that you can start easily like making tea with or infuse in an oil to make a cell for the skin, things like that.
[00:49:29] Loren: Absolutely. I love that news. What you have, you know, you don't have to go out and get these crazy fancy things to start and dabble.
[00:49:37] Loren: You could literally go outside in your backyard. The one thing I would probably say is like, the audience probably doesn't use this, but just in case if you use It's something like a weed killer, like Roundup. You probably don't want to use those herbs and you want to get them organic because you don't want to be consuming pesticides and herbicides and things like that.
[00:49:59] Arielle: Totally. And if you're someone that doesn't have a backyard, open your kitchen cabinet and see what you have in your kitchen cabinet in terms of like culinary herbs. Totally. That can be really beneficial too. And I rely on culinary herbs a lot for like acute illness. I love that.
[00:50:16] Loren: Yeah. Culinary herbs are not only delicious, but they do have additional uses.
[00:50:22] Loren: Well, Ariel, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with us. I would love to ask one more really big question. What is one thing that you would like to share with the audience that they can start doing today to unlock the innate wisdom of their body?
[00:50:38] Arielle: I would say that in a world where it is very common to outsource your authority and your body literacy.
[00:50:50] Arielle: Especially when it comes to our biological functions, like getting pregnant, having a baby, things like that, that probably a lot of our listeners find themselves in these stages of life. It's more important than ever to tune in and listen.
[00:51:11] Arielle: So, in times during pregnancy or trying to conceive, there is this need to intellectualize everything in order to feel control over new experiences or foreign experiences. And pregnancy is a time in your life when you have to be in your body and know the language that it's speaking, or it will be a lesson that you're going to be forced to learn.
[00:51:37] Arielle: Like, that's just how it is. If you don't know what your body is trying to tell you, it's gonna come out in a different way, and you're gonna find out in one way or another. And I hope that it's because you know what your body is telling you, and you're tuned in, and you're listening, and you're finding out that way.
[00:51:54] Arielle: So, you can start this practice today. by using herbs and tuning in to what your body is telling you simply by noticing how you feel after you drink a cup of tea, how your skin and hair look after you've been taking an herb for a while. What does it feel like when you drink too much coffee in the morning?
[00:52:13] Arielle: You know what I mean? And that is a perfect lesson in autonomy, self responsibility, and ultimately body literacy. I love that.
[00:52:22] Loren: I couldn't agree more. Just pausing to observe. And tune in to what you're feeling. It's hard because we have been conditioned and we're so used to just go, go, go, just keep moving through things, you know, but pausing can actually be really difficult, but it's so worth it because you can start building that rapport again with your body and tune into what you actually need, which is going to be so important, especially during pregnancy and postpartum and as you raise your child.
[00:52:52] Loren: So, I love that, Arielle. Thank you so much. Where can the audience find you and support
[00:52:57] Arielle: you? You can find me on Instagram. My handle's Arielle DeMartinez. And I also have my website shop subluna. com where I have an apothecary line of herbal haircare products and whole plant medicines, like tinctures and salves and products like that, along with other education and workshops and things.
[00:53:20] Loren: I love that. I love your shop and I love the name sub Luna. It's so beautiful. Thanks. Go check out Ariel and support her. And again, thank you so much for your time and sharing your wisdom today, Ariel. It was truly a pleasure.
[00:53:35] Arielle: Thank you. Thanks for having me.
[00:53:40] Loren: Thank you so much for listening to the innate wisdom podcast. If you enjoyed today's episode, please leave us a review and share the podcast with someone who you think might benefit. If you're new here, we can't recommend enough that you take advantage of my free resources like the Get Pregnant Yesterday Checklist, Psycholiteracy Guide, Prenatal Primer, and Sperm Booster Manual.
[00:53:59] Loren: And if you're trying to conceive now or in the near future, I invite you to join my Pregnancy Prep eCourse, Consciousness. Make sure to follow me on Instagram too, at innate underscore fertility, and consider joining my newsletter to receive exclusive content related to fertility, and so much more. A friendly reminder, the content shared on this podcast is for informational purposes only, and should not be a substitute for the advice provided by your doctor or other healthcare professional.
[00:54:24] Loren: It is not intended to be, nor does it constitute healthcare or medical advice.