Lady’s mantle — it’s such an interesting name for an herb that has so many possible health benefits. What is lady’s mantle used for? Given its namesake, it’s probably not surprising that women use it to help with painful or heavy menstrual periods and menopause symptoms.
But this herb is also highly acclaimed for its use in the natural treatment of swelling, common digestive problems like diarrhea, sore throats, diabetes, water retention and muscle spasms. (1) Lady’s mantle uses are many. Read on for some of the top ways to use this herbal remedy to experience its health benefits.
What Is Lady’s Mantle?
Lady’s mantle belongs to the genus Alchemilla, which includes around 300 species of herbaceous perennials within the rose family (Rosaceae). The plants have underground stems (rhizomes) that spread, and they tend to grow in clumps. Where does lady’s mantle grow? It’s native to Britain and Europe, but it is now grown in many parts of the world. In the United States, it does well in zones three through eight.
The bottom layer of plant leaves are often deeply lobed and covered in fine hairs. The leaves of the plant are also superhydrophobic, which means highly water-repellent. The plants can also have small yellow or yellowish green flowers that usually bloom in late spring or summer.
Many species of lady’s mantle are used as ornamental plants, but some also have a history of use as an herbal remedy. The two common species of lady’s mantle used medicinally include Alchemilla vulgaris, also known as common lady’s mantle, and Alchemilla mollis. Mainly the whole above-ground parts of these plants are used for medicinal purposes, but sometimes the roots are used as well.
Lady’s mantle is typically gathered in the summertime when it’s in bloom. The above-ground parts of the plant are then dried so they can be used later as herbal medicine often in the form of a tincture, extract or tea. Lady’s mantle naturally contains tannins, glycoside and salicylic acid.
5 Health Benefits of Lady’s Mantle
- Helps with Menstruation and Blood Pressure Issues
- May Help Treat Menopause Symptoms
- Can Help Relieve Diarrhea
- Protects the Liver
- Holds Antiviral Properties
1. Helps with Menstruation and Blood Pressure Issues
If you’re tired of the monthly struggle, let’s talk about one of the natural ways you can get rid of period cramps: lady’s mantle! Yes, it’s one of the top traditional uses of this herb, and it’s one of the reasons why a tea combining lady’s mantle, lemon balm and red raspberry leaf is referred to as “happy uterus tea.” Many herbalists love lady’s mantle for its ability to soothe the aches and pains of menstruation and even to make menstrual flow lighter.
Research published in 2015 supports the use of lady’s mantle for menstrual cramps. This study using an animal model demonstrates how extracts of Alchemilla vulgaris have vasorelaxant, which means it can help to reduce tension in the blood vessel walls. These vasorelaxant effects explain its use in pain and cramping, and this study also points toward the possibility that lady mantle’s may be helpful to cardiovascular disorders, especially cases of high blood pressure. (2)
2. May Help Treat Menopause Symptoms
There is generally a hormonal shift that occurs in women during menopause that can lead to hot flashes, mood swings, insomnia and other common symptoms. Many expert herbalists include lady’s mantle on their lists of recommended herbs for menopause since it is considered both a uterine astringent as well as a uterine tonic.
When it comes to menopause, lady’s mantle has a reputation among herbalists for being an effective herbal remedy for symptoms like hot flashes and anxiety. (3)
More research is needed to confirm the medicinal benefits of Alchemilla on menopause symptoms, but WebMD and herbal medicine professionals support its use as an herbal remedy for menopausal women.
3. Can Help Relieve Diarrhea
When it hits, most people want to know how to stop diarrhea fast! Herbs that contain chemicals called tannins are traditionally used to dry up the excessive watery secretions that occur in cases of diarrhea. Alchemilla plants contain tannins so lady’s mantle is known to help diarrhea.
As extensive research on tannins shows, tannins and tannic acid exhibits antidiarrheal properties, confirming this herb’s potential to relieve diarrhea. (4)
4. Protects the Liver
An animal model study published in 2017 in the peer-reviewed journal Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy examined the extracts of the aerial and root parts of Alchemilla mollis. The researchers used diabetic mice subjects to evaluate whether or not the lady’s mantle extracts could lower blood sugar while also protecting the livers of these animals.
What did they find? While the extracts did not appear to lower blood sugar levels in the subjects, the liver effects were very positive. Both the aerial part and root extracts exhibited liver protective activity and “significantly lowered” liver enzymes at doses of 100 mg/kg and 200 mg/kg. (5)
5. Holds Antiviral Properties
Another impressive attribute of lady’s mantle is its antiviral ability. An in vitro study published in 2017 examined the antiviral activity of bioactive substances extracted from the roots and aerial parts of Alchemilla vilgaris.
Overall, lady’s mantle was shown to have antiviral effects that were dose-dependent. The extract that showed the greatest antiviral activity in vitro was the extract from the roots, which also had the highest content of catechins in comparison to the other samples. (6)
How to Use Lady’s Mantle
You can find lady’s mantle mantle tea and supplements online or in select health food stores. One of the most popular supplement forms is lady’s mantle tincture.
What is lady’s mantle tea good for? It’s an especially great idea to have it in tea form when digestive issues or sore throats are the problems at hand. In addition to sipping on lady’s mantle tea, it can also be used as a gargling agent for sore throats. Of course, make sure the tea isn’t too hot.
You can purchase lady’s mantle in tea bag form, or you can make your own tea by combining one cup of boiled water with two teaspoons to one tablespoon of the dried herb. Let it steep for at least 10 minutes before straining and drinking the tea. The longer it steeps, the more potent the tea will be.
If you’re interested in adding this herb to your garden, it’s not hard to find lady’s mantle seeds online. Many people plant this herb as a ground cover or edging plant. It’s a perennial that isn’t too hard to grow in areas with cool summers and moist, fertile soil. Just make sure to give the plants plenty of room to grow by spacing them around eight to 12 inches apart from each other. The plants can tolerate full sun but grow better in shade in warmer climates. (7)
Lady’s mantle dosage depends upon several factors, including a person’s health status. To date, there is not clinical evidence to support specific dosage recommendations, but traditional use of the herb for diarrhea is five to 10 grams daily. (8)
History and Interesting Facts
Dating back to at least Medieval Times, lady’s mantle has traditionally been used to treat wounds and female ailments. Other historical ways the herb has been used include as an anti-inflammatory, astringent, diuretic, menstrual cycle regulator, digestive disorder remedy and relaxant for muscle spasms.
If you search the internet, you will pretty easily find some lady’s mantle weight loss claims. Even though you can find websites that associate this herb with weight loss, there have not been many studies to confirm this usage.
One clinical study published in 2011 looked at the effects of an herbal remedy made up of four plants, including the leaves of Alchemilla vulgaris, on human subjects. The 66 human subjects who completed the study kept up their normal diets but took the herbal supplement 30 minutes before each meal for three months.
What did researchers find? It appears that there was a notable reduction in BMI for the subjects, but it was greater in the overweight (BMI of 25–30 kg m−2) group than the obese group (BMI >30 kg m−2). One theory on why lady’s mantle can be helpful to weight loss is its tannins content, which has been reported to increase the metabolic rate of animal subjects in cold environments. Overall, the study concludes that more research is needed. (9)
Possible Lady’s Mantle Side Effects and Caution
Lady’s mantle is generally considered safe for most people when taken in appropriate doses by mouth. Some German researchers have warned of possible damage to the liver, but other experts consider the concern to be exaggerated.
This herbal remedy is typically not recommended for use by pregnant or breastfeeding women. However, some herbalists recommend taking lady’s mantle tea in the last few weeks of pregnancy to prepare the uterus for labor and prevent hemorrhage, but always check with your doctor before using any herbs during pregnancy.
There are no well-documented drug interactions or common lady’s mantle side effects.
- The two types of this herb used medicinally are Alchemilla vulgaris, also known as common lady’s mantle, and Alchemilla mollis.
- It has been used as a traditional herbal remedy for centuries.
- Possible lady’s mantle benefits include its ability to help painful or heavy menstruation, menopause symptoms and gastrointestinal concerns like diarrhea.
- The herb has also been shown in scientific research to have liver protective and antiviral properties.
- You can use it in a variety of forms, including tea or tincture.
- Some herbalists recommend lady’s mantle in tea form to help women prepare and recover from childbirth, but check with your doctor first.
- More research is needed, but lady’s mantle shows some hope as an herbal remedy that can assist with weight loss efforts as well.