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"You have been wet and fertile at the will and whim of your body for most of your years, great- granddaughter," murmurs Grandmother Growth. "But you have Changed. You grow moist with readiness for play now only when you truly desire it, not at reproduction's dictates. Have no fear that your springs have run dry. If you consciously call up your flood of pleasure, it will answer. This is one of my greatest gifts to you, young Crone. No longer will you be accessible to those who do not inspire love and trust in you. The great portals of life, your womb, your vagina, now serve only you, now open only at your bidding."
Step 1: Collect Information
We are given two contradictory pictures of post-menopausal sex. On one hand, we're to look forward to freedom from conception worries, resulting in more spontaneous, relaxed, joyful sex filled with multiple orgasms. On the other hand, we're to expect dried-up, atrophied vaginas and dyspareunia (painful intercourse).
Thinning and drying of the vaginal tissues in the post-menopausal years is often first noticed during sexual activity when the expected lubrication is slight or absent. Is this normal?
Yes; almost all post-menopausal women will experience a lessening of sexual lubrication. No, you don't have to give up your sexual self. Crones know there are many ways to ecstasy besides intercourse, and many ways to be slippery when we want to be.
Step 2: Engage the Energy
Homeopathic remedies include:
Bryonia: root chakra overheated and dry, dry vagina, dry stools/constipation
Lycopodium: lack of root stability, vagina very dry, self-confidence withered, skin dry
Belladonna: vagina painfully dry and too sensitive to tolerate touch
This yoga posture sounds simple, but requires concentration. Squeeze the anal/pelvic floor muscles firmly while inhaling; hold. Breathe out, holding the root lock and add a chin lock. Hold for two seconds. Visualize the nectar of the universe flowing down your spine and between your legs. Relax as you inhale.
Slowly, slowly. Give yourself plenty of time to warm up before inserting anything into your vagina.
Step 3: Nourish and Tonify
Eat more fat, especially foods rich in essential fatty acids, such as flax seeds. Most women find 2–3 tablespoonsful/30–45 mg of freshly ground flax seed daily enough to create a noticeable difference in a few weeks.
Comfrey root sitz bath (two quarts/liters of the infusion) is an old favorite for keeping vaginal tissues flexible, strong, and soft. Sitz for 5–10 minutes several times a week.
Drink more water, not more tea or coffee or juice or soda . . . water. Or boil a small handful of rice in two cups/500 ml of water to make a thin broth regarded as an ideal internal moistener for women with dry vaginal tissues or dry mouths. Drink freely.
As part of your love play, chew on a small piece of dong quai root.
Pause for the soothing cooling touch of chickweed tincture, 25–40 drops in water, several times a day for 2–4 weeks, and see if your hot, dry vaginal tissues don't smile moistly.
Increase lubrication and the thickness of your vaginal walls by starting your day with: 25 drops of motherwort tincture or 1 tablespoon/15 ml freshly ground flax seeds. Look for results within a month.
Acidophilus capsules inserted vaginally help prevent yeast infections and create copious amounts of lubrication. Insert one (or two) about 4–6 hours before lovemaking.
Comfrey ointment is the ally of choice when skin needs flexible strength. Rub in the morning and night and use as a lubricant for love play. The vulva will be noticeably lumper and moister within three weeks.
If you have access to slippery elm, try this soothing vaginal gel. Slowly heat 2 tablespoons/30 ml slippery elm powder in a cup/250 ml of water, stirring until thick. Cool (you can even chill it) before spreading over and inside the vulva and vagina. This gel lubricates, heals, and nourishes.
Exercise, exercise. Every part of your body will age more gracefully if you work it out regularly. That goes for your vagina and vulva, too. Weekly orgasm is the recommended exercise, but daily pelvic floor exercises tonify the vaginal tissues.
Step 4: Stimulate/Sedate
Avoid the problem! Try sex without intercourse.
Ointment made from wild yam is said to restore youthful moistness and elasticity to post- menopausal vaginal tissues.
You are more likely to be troubled by vaginal dryness and the loss of lubrication if your adrenals have been exhausted by overuse of coffee, alcohol, and white sugar; severe stress, or steroid/cortisone drugs.
Herbalist Rina Nissim suggests applying the essential oil of Salvia sclarea to vaginal tissues that have lost their elasticity. Dilute with olive oil; pure essential oils can be fierce on sensitive mucous surfaces.
Step 5a: Use Supplements
Daily doses of 100–600 IU of vitamin E for 4–6 weeks can help you increase vaginal lubrication. You may need to continue with your daily dose for months to maintain your juiciness. Experiment to find the lowest effective dose for you.
Astroglide™ is favored by those who like to have slippery fun.
Step 5b: Use Drugs
Polycarbophil, the active ingredient in Replens™ pulls water into vaginal cells to restore and maintain healthy lubrication. It also increases alkalinity in the vagina, reducing vaginal infections.
Estrogen creams really do revitalize vaginal tissue. But may increase risk of endometrial cancer more than oral estrogen. Occasional, rather than regular, use minimizes risk.
If you liked this excerpt by Susun S. Weed, you will want
New Menopausal Years, the Wise Woman Way
available from www.ashtreepublishing.com.
Legal Disclaimer : This content is not intended to replace conventional medical treatment. Any suggestions made and all herbs listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, condition or symptom. Personal directions and use should be provided by a clinical herbalist or other qualified healthcare practitioner with a specific formula for you. All material contained herein is provided for general information purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or consultation. Contact a reputable healthcare practitioner if you are in need of medical care. Exercise self-empowerment by seeking a second opinion.
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Vibrant, passionate, and involved, Susun Weed has garnered an international reputation for her groundbreaking lectures, teachings, and writings on health and nutrition. She challenges conventional medical approaches with humor, insight, and her vast encyclopedic knowledge of herbal medicine. Unabashedly pro-woman, her animated and enthusiastic lectures are engaging and often profoundly provocative.
Susun is one of America's best-known authorities on herbal medicine and natural approaches to women's health. Her four best-selling books are recommended by expert herbalists and well-known physicians and are used and cherished by millions of women around the world. Learn more at Susan Weed