I love nettles as much as the next herbalist, but I wanted to highlight some herbs that aren’t always at the top of the list for women’s self-care, but are very effective and should not be overlooked.

One of my favorites for birth workers and all women is hibiscus flower, a beautiful deep red flower that is dried and made into tea. Hibiscus is cooling, has tons of vitamin C, and can help lower high blood pressure.

I drink it all the time in summer as an herbal iced tea. It tastes sour, which is inherently cooling in the way lemons are sour and cooling. Think lemonade! Add some honey or maple syrup, or even another sweetened fruit juice, and it becomes a delicious and naturally sweet medicinal drink!

I love recommending hibiscus to birth workers, especially those who work in hospitals. Afterall, the most virulent, hard to kill germs and viruses live in hospitals. Bring on the vitamin C! And if it’s delivered in a delicious tea after hours of a labor and birth? All the better.

Hibiscus is also hydrating, and thirst quenching. I don’t know about you, but I find hospitals to be so drying, and I would be constantly thirsty when I did a lot of birth doula work in that environment.

Drinking a few cups of hibiscus flower tea would pick me up for sure. And with a natural sweetener added I would get some extra energy and calories to burn.

Bonus: It mixes well with Rose Petal, the herb featured in the first article in this series.

To make hibiscus flower tea:

  • Put a tablespoon of dried hibiscus flowers in the bottom of a mason jar, thermos or whatever you use to steep your tea.
  • Pour one quart boiling water over it, let it steep and cool.
  • Add sweetener when it is hot so it dissolves.
  • I let it cool overnight and then strain it out.
  • Drink freely.
  • In summer I make two quarts at a time to make it last!