Ayurveda + Chinese Medicine Post Abortion and Miscarriage Self Care + Herbal Practices
By Dr. Nadia Ramo and Jenny Griffith
Health & Wellness | Posted By Jenny Griffith | Posted on August 2nd, 2022
A few years ago, I had to go through the emotional process of having an abortion. It was clear that I wasn’t having this baby, and all I could think about was how to not be pregnant.
The emotions of the likeliness of motherhood were almost non-existent because I just wanted the relief of not being pregnant or even dealing with the strange hormonal influx that goes along with it.
I felt so in shock that I didn’t know how to care for myself correctly. All I wanted was to not be pregnant anymore.
Not only was I pregnant, but I had planned for months my first Ayahuasca experience. I chose to drink medicine anyway and try to have closure with the soul inside of me. She- “Grandmother Aya” sure did help me come to peace with the life transitioning inside of me. That is my personal share of part of my process around it but I also added the practices I’m sharing in this article with you as well and they worked.
The reason I’m writing this article though is because I want to share some herbal allies, protocols, and self-care practices that can be really beneficial after going through an abortion. Sadly, I could not find much or any information on holistic after care.
I think herbalism needs to be addressed to these deeper problems and challenges that leave scars and emotional despair. I pray that you enjoy this article and share it with friends in need. I teamed up with Nadia Ramo, Chinese Medicine Doctor, so we could cultivate some beautiful Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic practices for you to feel supported.
Ayurvedic Herbs and Food Support by Jenny Griffith
Shatavari- Asparagus racemosus- A Tonic and rejuvinative action on the female reproductive organs. It is thirst relieving and has fluid protecting powers, an effective demulcent for inflamed membranes of the sexual organs. It nourishes and cleanses the blood in the female organs and balances hormones.
3 grams of powder can be taken in one cup of warm plant milk sweetened with honey after miscarriage or abortion every day for one week after.
Yarrow- Achillea millefolium- Reduces inflammation and stops bleeding both internally and externally. It especially reduces menstrual bleeding and cramps. It has a calm, nervine action and promotes clarity and perception.
4-8 ounces 3 times daily of an infusion of flowers and leaves for 2 weeks after miscarriage. Tastes better with equal parts peppermint. Do not take while pregnant.
Schizandra- Schisandra chinensis- Stimulating adaptogen and general tonic. She harmonizes the body and helps retain energy. Balances the nervous system.
Take 10 berries once daily or a 500-1,500 mg capsule 1-2 times daily. It can be taken daily after abortion or miscarriage as preventative uterine care. Do not take while pregnant.
Maca- Lepidium meyenii- Rejuvenating tonic, adaptogen for reproductive health, and promotes hormonal balance after disregulated hormones from abortion/miscarriage.
Take 500-3000 mg per day in powder, capsules, add to smoothies,. It can be taken daily as a supplement.
Nettle- Urtica dioica- rich in iron, calcium, magnesium, protein, vitamin K, which is essential to reduce any kind of excess bleeding. Nettle also brings hormones back to balance.
Add 1 – 3 teaspoons of dried nettle leaves to 1 cup of water. Bring water to a boil beforehand, pour over dried leaves, steep for 10-15 minutes. Drink 3 times a day or throughout the day to nourish yourself after a few weeks.
Ashwagandha- Withania somnifera- One of the best rejuvenative herbs, regenerates the hormonal system, rich in iron, and tones the uterus after miscarriage.
5 grams of powder can be taken twice a day in warm plant milk or water. Take daily with adaptogens for the next month and continue working!
Food- Iron rich foods like dark leafy greens will help with heavy bleeding after abortion. Spinach, dandelion greens, bone broth, oysters, and sardines are great options.
Protein- Incorporating this macronutrient helps repair damaged body cells with amino acids. Eggs and lean meats are great for hormone balancing and healing the body.
Avoid- Stay away from caffeine, alcohol, drugs, and processed sugars. It’s very important to eat as healthy as possible during this time so your mind can stay clear and calm. Consuming unhealthy substances will cloud and slow the integration and healing of the experience.
Rest- One of the best things you can do to heal quickly is rest. You might not feel like the procedure was intense because you are quick on your feet, but resting helps integrate the experience and quicken the healing. Your body has just had a major hormone fluctuation, so be easy. Take it slow for at least a week.
Abhyanga treatment- Massage warm body oil on the tummy and lower abdomen. Rub the oil in gentle circles clockwise. Depending on the individual, use oil that works with your body type. Kaphas and Pittas can use sesame + Pitta can use coconut.
Support- Gather your tribe or closest loved ones if you feel safe during this time. Sometimes abortions are kept secret and you might not be able to tell anyone. If you do have friends and family who you feel comfortable with, ask them to be there for you.
Compress- Use a heated compress to reduce cramping pain or a heated blanket to rest over the uterus.
Hot bath- Consider this time as a spa week. Treat yourself with the ultimate self-care practices. Draw yourself a bath, light candles, play soothing music, and rest your eyes.
Move- Gracefully move your body through light practices like small walks, light stretching or Qi Gong.
Cord Cutting- Some can feel shame, guilt, and deep sadness after abortion. Performing a cord cutting ceremony with the spirit that once lived inside of you can be very transformational. Use fire, journaling, and create a spiritual moment to set yourself and that life free. You can also work with a spiritual guide to walk you through this process.
Mental + Spiritual Care- Meditation, breathwork, and talk therapy are incredible allies during this time. Place your hands on your womb and breathe.
Connection with Earth- Go outside, walk in nature barefoot if the weather allows and place your hands on a tree. Connecting with a tree will help you ground and bring peace into your soul. Intentional connection with nature can bring resonance for the cycle of death, life, and rebirth.
Chinese Medicine Approach with Dr. Nadia Ramo
Chinese Medicinal Herbs help the recovery process of an abortion by rebuilding blood loss, invigorating blood stagnation, and keeping the meridians and blood vessels open to faciliate the body’s process of letting go. A procedure like an abortion, from a Chinese Medicine perspective, will tax our Jing, Blood, and Qi: also known as the Three Treasures. We can look at Qi as the Prana (life force), or simply the spark that keeps all internal and external processes of our body alive and active. Jing is known as our “essence”- we are born with a certain amount of Jing and as life goes on, the Jing becomes depleted and we see signs of aging. Our plant friends are incredible allies to rebuild our 3 treasures for longevity, vitality, and healing.
Here are some Chinese herbs that can help restore balance after a taxing procedure on the womb like an abortion:
Dang Gui: Root of Angelica Sinensis
This is a great herb used in the world of herbs for women’s health because it has the actions of invigorating and building the blood. Often, blood gets trapped in the uterus, leading to menstrual pain. Meanwhile, women lose blood every month, so Dang Gui is vital in keeping fresh blood moving through the womb smoothly.
You can get powder, raw (roots sliced), or granular. Cook [Decoct] 6g of raw roots by bringing it to a boil with 4 cups of water and simmering for 20 minutes. You can add 3-6g granules to hot water and drink it. Or 3g of powder to boiling water and drink.
(You can add the next herb to this decoction as well)
This is a safe herb to take 3 days prior to the procedure (or pill) and up to 6 weeks after.
Bai Shao: White Peony Root
One of my favorite herbs for menstrual cramps as it directly alleviates any form of muscle cramping. Bai Shao will tonify the blood and help muscle tissue relax, allowing the muscles of the womb to soften, receive fresh blood, and stay relaxed. If someone is taking the abortion pill specifically, I highly recommend strong cups of this tea consistently throughout the process to help soften and relax the painful cramping the uterus goes through in order to expel the fetus. This herb is very safe to take before, during, and after (up to 6-8 weeks) the procedure. You can take 6-9 grams of root slices, 1-3 tablespoons of powder, or 3-6g of granular. Cook root slices the same way with or without the Dang Gui. Dang Gui is also safe to take while going through the purging process after consuming the pill. You can add powder or granular to hot water and drink.
Huang Bai: Phellodendron Bark
I recommend this herb a week after the procedure and if there is a sensation of a dense discomfort in the uterus region. This herb will help continue whatever else needs to be expelled from the uterus and body. Energetically, it is incredibly powerful at purging unwanted energy from, what we say is the Lower Jiao: the womb area, kidneys, and genitals. Cook 3g of bark in water, bring to the boil, simmer 20 minutes and drink. Or you can take a granular 3g: put it in hot water and drink.
If you feel cold and empty in your womb area, DO NOT take Huang Bai and drink this next herb instead.
Ai Ye: Mugwort
This herb directly brings warmth to the uterus. It is because of the pattern of a cold uterus, and after an invasive procedure like an abortion it can be quite helpful to bring nurturing warmth to this part of your body. Both energetically and physically. Mugwort is quite common in most herb shops and you can prepare it like any other tea because it is leafy. Just add hot water, steep, and drink. For mugwort, I highly recommend working with the whole leaf teas. This herb is also known to enliven our dreams. We can do some of our deepest healing while we sleep, and connecting to the dream world through a process like this can be quite profound. We can perhaps converse, find closure, or a deeper sense of trust by tapping into our subconscious process in the dream space, processes Mugwort tends to be a portal for. Dreamwork can be a great way to release any form of psychosomatic and energetic density that may want to linger after going through a procedure like this.
Suan Zao Ren: Seed of Chinese Red Jujube Date
This seed is great to rebuild blood and calm the spirit. Leading up to the procedure, and following it, I highly recommend this herb to keep the spirit anchored in the heart. In Chinese Medicine we call the spirit SHEN, and Shen lives in the Palace of the Heart. Trauma, pain, highly emotional processes, will sometimes kick the Shen out of the Palace. Sometimes we need it to go out to gain some perspective, but eventually, the Shen needs to come home. This herb is great at making a cozy bed of love, peace, and tranquility for the Spirit to come home to. Even though we may be confident in our choice to get an abortion, the collective tension of doing something like this, and the intensity of a procedure like this on our body, as well as another person (the one who impregnated you), are all entangled realities that can impact our nervous system, psyche, and spirit. Even though we are strong, it is important to take the time to drink a hot cup of tea, and let ourselves feel our feelings to eventually find peace. This herb will help facilitate that process in such a nourishing and divinely feminine way. Drink 9-12g of seeds: place in pot of water, bring to boil, simmer 30 minutes. Great tea to take at night as well as to get good sleep. You can add the Mugwort leaves at the end to steep and drink together.
Yoga Poses and Yoni Steams
There are many meridians (Chinese Medicine Anatomy) that are affected by the procedures of abortions and miscarriages.
Liver, Spleen, Kidney
Yin Yoga Poses: <build to 6-9 min holds, be super gentle, use all the props and pillows> Wait at least 3 days after procedure.
Light some candles, incense, and play calm music. Take this time to recover mentally, physically, and emotionally.
-Butterfly legs, lay back over holster/pillow. Deep breaths. Hands over womb. Place blocks under the knees if it feels intense on the groin.
-Wide leg forward fold. Put a bolster or pillow in front of you to relax on.
-Floor frog. Start with ½ floor frog. Lay on your belly, bend elbows to bring your chest up. Bend one knee to the side, in line with the hip, the inner leg rests against the ground. Notice your inside heel, try to press it on the ground. Hold 6-9 minutes. Repeat on the other side. (Eventually, it can build into a full floor frog).
Steaming can be a great way to purge, let go, release any tension/trauma/pain in our womb/vaginal region. Steam chairs are available to purchase on the internet, and you can easily make a steam station at home. Decoct (or cook) herbs in a pot, then find a way you can sit over the pot pantless and allow the steamed herbs to disperse into and around the yoni. Put a blanket over your legs to create a tent in order to capture the steam and focus it on the pelvic floor region.
Wait at least 4-6 days after the procedure before steaming.
What to steam:
-All the herbs mentioned in this article are GREAT herbs to steam with.
Other herbs to steam with:
The preparation and consumption of these herbs, the yoga, and steaming make it a ritual, a prayer, a special moment. Even if it is 30 minutes out of the day to partake in ANY of these things, that is enough. You are enough. It is so important to take this time to be gentle with yourself, feel what needs to be felt, and utilize all the time you need to recover, heal, let go, and eventually gain wisdom from this experience. These plant medicines are here to show compassion: we have all the remedies for us to connect deeper into our connection with our body, and the continuous abundance of this planet. The wombyn will always recover and, collectively, we will always procreate. We have the freedom to individually choose motherhood, and this is something to be celebrated. Find gratitude and give thanks. We got each other. <3
Nadia Ramo- www.drnadiaramo.com