ladysmantle iarge Lady's mantle

Lady's mantle | Alchemilla vulgaris

general characteristics

general characteristics

Common names include lady's mantle, lions foot, bears foot, alchemilla, dew cup, water carrier.


The name Alchemilla derives from the root word for 'alchemy', the metaphysical process of transformation from mundane human to enlightened human being (or 'lead' into 'gold'). As such, Alchemilla was highly regarded as embodying the secrets of the divine feminine principle of wisdom and creativity, the Sophia. From this feminine root principle we get the words 'philosophy' and 'sophisticated'. A lovely article on the nature of Sophia can be found here.

No surprise that lady's mantle has been in use for many centuries as a powerful healing ally to women and their reproductive system.

Lady's mantle is a clump forming perennial plant belonging to the rose family. Its leaves appear in mid Spring and unfold into sometimes hand sized fan shaped leaves with a central depression in the middle of each leaf. Looking at the leaves throughout the summer you will often find a 'dew drop' formed in this depression in the early mornings or after rain or mist. The leaves are soft to the touch and are covered in downy hairs that act as a water repellant with water forming in drops on the upper surface of the leaves.

Sprays of lime green/yellowish flowers arise on stalks around midsummer which produce copious amounts of seed.

Native to Europe, lady's mantle prefers to grow in moist but well drained soil in sun or partial shade. It often grows at high altitudes. Not commonly seen in the wild nowadays but is very happy in most garden situations. She self seeds very freely and can be slightly invasive in left unchecked and in favourable conditions. Snip off the flowers as they begin to turn brown and this will slow her spread.

A fact that blew my mind when researching this article is that Alchemilla is often not pollinated by anything - she mostly reproduces by parthenogenesis.


Lady's mantle organic dried leaf and root are available to buy in our herbal shop.


harvesting and preparation

harvesting and preparation

The leaves are most used in medicine but the root also has virtually identical properties to the leaves. Harvest the fresh younger leaves during the summer months (before or during flowering)  preferably on a dry sunny day when there is little moisture in the air. If drying for storage, lay the leaves out on a tray or paper and dry slowly and carefully, checking regularly. before crumbling them up and storing in an airtight jar in a cool dark place. Check for any mould or spoilage every day for the first week or so after storage, discarding any spoiled leaves as soon as possible.


The roots can be unearthed in early spring just as the first shoots appear on in autumn once the whole plant is dying back. Harvest from plants at least 2 years old. wash, cut into pieces and dry thoroughly for storage or make a fresh root tincture.

Lady's mantle organic dried leaf and root are available to buy in our herbal shop.


therapeutic actions and uses

therapeutic actions and uses

Lady's mantle has a unique affinity for healing the female not just on a physical level but on some subtle yet profound unseen levels. The plant has been associated strongly with the divine feminine for thousands of years.

Lady's mantle is perhaps best known as a protector and revitaliser of the female reproductive system and all its associated organs and functions, a true female reproductive tonic. As a uterine astringent, it can slow excessive menstrual bleeding and provide great relief during the 'flooding' phases of the menopause.  For excessive menstrual bleeding or in endometriosis, and fibroids I like to use lady's mantle combined with raspberry leaf. Paradoxically, it can bring on a delayed or absent period with continued use and help normalise the menstrual cycle and promote regular ovulation.

When used consistently for a few months it can bring relief from menstrual cramps, Its astringent qualities helps shrink the uterus after childbirth, helping the womb regain its original tone and size and help prevent or correct prolapse. It can also help to heal the uterusheal the uterus and vaginal tissues after invasive procedures such as abortion, D & C, cervical smears etc.

It is included in many tea formulas aimed at improving fertility due to its tonic effect on the uterus and reproductive organs and tissues. In Arab medicine, it was suggested to drink the tea from one period to another in order to conceive.

The tea has in the past been taken during early pregnancy in an attempt to prevent miscarriage or to help with spotting and sporadic blood loss or used at the very end of preganacy to help prepare the uterus for childbirth. The late Swiss herbalist father Kunzle stated "every pregnant woman should drink large quantities of lady's mantle tea in the last 8-10 days before giving birth", he goes on " if this gift of providence were more widely known, then there would be fewer widowers and fewer children without mothers". * See cautions page

In women who have miscarried often, it can help to tone and strengthen the uterine tissues in preparation for a successful pregnancy.


Other ailments that cab benefit include fibroids and endometriosis, ovarian cysts and also conditions such as vaginitis, candida, thrush and even pelvic inflammatory disease, salpingitis, gonnorrhea and other infections of the genitourinary system in both females and males.


Lady's mantle is a prime wound herb and can be used to safely heal any type of bleeding or haemmorrhage both internal and external and likewise for any kind of wound. It will stop bleeding, kill and/or prevent infection and speed up resolution and repair of any wounded or damaged tissue, bruising, grazes, even ruptured membranes such as perforated eardrums, hernias (for which an external poultice can also be used), fistulas and to heal an episiotomy.

So powerful are its wound healing abilities that t was once a favoured herb of the battlefield for treating gangrenous wounds.


The tea, taken internally or the leaves (soaked in water to soften) have been used to keep the breasts pert. After breast feeding has finished, the breast tissue can sag, lady's mantle can restore some fullness and bounciness to the breasts.


The tea can have a good all round tonic effect on digestion too, helping to alleviate diarrhoea, colitis, intestinal bleeding, gastric and duodenal ulcers and duodenal ulcers etc. Its salicylic acid  content can be helpful for stomach cramps, spasms and indigestion.


It's ability to give tone and increase tissue strength makes it a valuable herb to help correct organ prolapse, whether it is prolapse of the uterus, pelvic floor, rectal, bowel etc


A tea made from the leaves lowers blood pressure tincture better for this. It also gives tone to the veins and venous circulation so can be used in varicose veins and phlebitis.


Scandinavian folk healers used it to alleviate spasms and convulsions and to promote a good nights sleep.


Lady's mantle has a peculiar relationship with water, it seems to draw moisture from waterlogged tissues and effectively dries them out. It is particularly good when tissues are soggy, moist and weakened with a lack of tone .In Arabic medicine it is used to help with weight loss.

This works not just for water but for mucous and infectious pus for example so can be used when any nasty discharge exudes.  It can help tone the bladder and alleviate urinary incontinence.. It works well against water retention and oedema in the body by some unknown mechanism. The kidneys are not overtly stimulated by lady\s mantle as t is not a diuretic and doesn't stimulate the kidneys to produce more urine.

Due to its affinity for dredging watery tissues it can be helpful in cases of rheumatism.


Use the tea as a mouthwash for bleeding and inflamed gums and also to help speed healing after tooth extractions.


The collected 'dew' that forms on the leaves can be used as a face wash to tone and brighten the skin. The tea can be used as a drink or as a wash to improve and lift sagging skin and enhance collagen production and extracts of it are contained in many beauty products aimed at combatting ageing. Collect the dew drops with a pipette if possible and use in the making of beauty potions or as a base for flower remedies and the like. I have read that this dew drop is a secretion of the leaf itself, not merely collected dew from the air. I can believe this as from my own observations the drop is often present in the leaves even on the warmest and driest of summer mornings when dew is nowhere to be found.






dosage and cautions

dosage and cautions

* Avoid use during pregnancy unless under supervision of an experienced herbalist or similar. Some sources however claim it to be safe during all stages of pregnancy, caution is always advised unless under the guidance of expert knowledge and first hand experience.

* Lady's mantle is generally a safe herb and can be taken for long periods if needed



Tincture (herb)  : 10-30 drops or up to 4ml up to 3 times daily.

Dried leaf in tea form: 1-2 teaspoons per cup, up to 3 cups daily. For epic bleeding use 2 teaspoons of herb and stand for 10 minutes.


For excessive menstrual bleeding it will combines very well with herbs such as raspberry leaf, shepherds purse, agrimony and yarrow.

Use a strong tea as a vaginal or rectal douche/enema to get directly to unhealthy or prolapsed tissues.




Add 12 to the child’s age. Divide the child’s age by the total.
E.g. dosage for a 4 year old...... 4 {age} divided by 16 {age + 12} = . 25  or 1/4 of the adult dosage.
* Many medical references suggest not to use comfrey in younger children. Marshmallow root or slippery elm powders would make a good substitute.






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