ChatterTip of the Month July 2012
Tips for Healthy Breasts
© Koren Reyes
As some of you may recall, anatomically the sign of Cancer rules over the stomach, and a couple of years ago we gave you some natural remedies for stomach ailments. Last year our theme for July was food and we gave you some cooking tips, in particular concerning dairy products, milk & cheese. So it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that besides the stomach, the sign of Cancer also rules over the breasts, because Cancer is the archetypical mother and she not only carries the baby inside of her for nine months, she also provides her child the necessary nourishment with her breast milk. If you look at the glyph for the sign of Cancer, you can see that it too resembles her two breasts so here are some Tips for Healthy Breasts.
Cut down on Caffeine, which can encourage the formation of cysts and lumps in the breasts. One important regimen is to Self-Examineyour own breasts for any lumps or cysts in between your visits to see the OB/Gyn. They’re your breasts, so if anyone knows how they should feel, it’s you! Doctors generally recommend that you don’t do it while you have your period as your breasts may be more swollen than usual. Once you’re in your 40’s, you should go for regular Mammograms, and if you don’t have health insurance, there are some free clinics available. No one wants to deal with the big “C” and far too many women are continuing to be diagnosed with breast cancer, so early detection is vital!
Tenderness (usually associated with PMS and/or Pregnancy)
Increase your intake of Vitamins A & B6, and consider taking the supplement Evening Primrose Oil. Most women suffer from a number of symptoms associated with PMS, including sore breasts, bloating, mood swings, and more. Over the years I used a plethora of different remedies in the hopes of reducing my own monthly misery, but those hormonal swings can be crazy! And by the time you reach Menopause (notice the name here: Men-o-pause!) one of the recommended remedies to help balance the hormones is a natural progesterone cream that you rub over your breasts made from Wild Yams. You can also put a little Geranium Oil in the bath to help relieve breast tenderness, while Juniper,Rosemary, Lavender and Fennel Oils all help to regulate hormone imbalance and relieve the symptoms of breast disease.
Cut down on your intake of Salt and salty foods. Of course when you have PMS, you crave all of the things they tell you to avoid, namely Alcohol, Caffeine, Salt and Sugar. I do remember one nice lady doctor telling me not to be too hard on myself though, so if you want some of that ice cream, have some. She did also recommend funnily enough, not necessarily Yams, but Sweet Potatoes as a good source of “sweet” and satisfying nutrition that could possibly take away some of those cravings – notice I did say “possibly” – so every now and then I would bake a sweet potato in the oven, and then cover it in Butter, of course! Celery Seed is a diuretic and can be useful when breast problems are related to swelling.
Here’s an unusual old home remedy that suggests applying a bruised White Cabbage Leaf to the breast when there is an abscess or infection (and I’ve heard about this more than once, so I’m not making it up, and no, don’t use red cabbage). Take Echinacea for any infection. There have been many arguments back and forth about breast-feeding, but the truth of it is that the fat in mother’s milk is more digestible for infants than cow’s milk, which can cause allergic reactions in newborns. And, breast-fed babies have a much lower risk of developing meningitis, middle-ear infections or other severe blood infections. Give your baby a little drink of Dill Tea to help prevent colic or wind, which in turn makes it easier for them to suckle.
Aniseed, Caraway, Dill and Fennel (notice the similarity in the flavors) all promote the best flow of milk and can be drunk as teas or infusions. Caraway and Verbena Oils can also be massaged in to the breasts to promote the production of milk. If you need to stop the flow of milk (for some reason) Red Sage will apparently dry it up almost instantly. Engorgement, or over-production of milk, can be relieved by using a compress of Marshmallow and Slippery Elm, or alternatively a cold compress of Peppermint Oil can help reduce the flow of milk.
Calendula Cream will soothe and encourage the healing of sore and cracked nipples, the cream is generally safe for the baby to swallow, but if you use Calendula Oil to ease the pain and inflammation, be sure to wash that off before breast-feeding. Vitamin E Oil can also help to heal sore and cracked nipples. Breast-feeding mothers need plenty of Protein, Vitamins and especially Iron. They should also make sure they are drinking plenty of Fluids.