As we move through our herbal series we arrive at our last phase: the Luteal Phase. This phase actually consists of two periods and is the longest phase in our cycle. The first is the descent after ovulation and the second is the premenstrual phase.
The first period marks the hormone switch where progesterones start to rise and estrogen drops. While the second phase marks the time when progesterone peaks and decreases until meeting estrogen which commences the first day of bleeding.
The luteal phase shows us the importance of closing up, endings, and quieting. Like Autumn, the luteal phase, our inner autumn, prepares us for our inner winter, a time when we want to be resting and turning inwards.
The luteal phase is a time when many women struggle with fluctuating hormones and a subsequent roller coaster of emotions (as well as a tendency to be more reactive). If we have been avoiding certain situations or relationships that have not been nourishing for us, that will show up more intensely during this time. As the emotions rise up and down, trust the body’s wisdom that something does need to change. This phase is inviting us to let go.
As we prepare our bodies for our monthly shedding and the great release, stress and emotions might come to the surface. One practice that we mentioned in our follicular phase post is the practice of yoni steaming. Yoni steaming is a great way to relax pelvic muscles and prepare the womb for its monthly release. You can learn about yoni steaming here.
Our herbal allies are also here to support us at this time.
Here are some wonderful plants that are helpful during the last phase of our cycle.
Ginger is a warming herb, it helps release tension as well as clear bloating and gas. Ginger is a great plant to use as a dark tea during the luteal phase, to help blood circulation around the body. ginger is a great detoxifying herb and is also helpful in releasing stagnation.
Rosemary is a strengthening herb, which is why it is so supportive during our luteal phase. Rosemary is very grounding in its nature and is a herb that will stabilize us. Rosemary can also help with our digestive system and can help with mood swings. In the practice of yoni steaming, Rosemary helps with clearing menstrual stagnation and balancing the blood flow, whether it’s scant or heavy.
Burdock root is a liver-assisting herb. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory that helps bring ease to the body, especially the joints. Burdock also brings fluidity to the lymphatic system, by helping the body’s draining system let go and release.
Lavender is well-known all over the world for its relaxation and calming properties. It is helpful in stress reduction, as well as muscle relaxation. During the luteal phase, Lavender can bring a soft calming sensation through the body and bring deep calm to the self to move through these days with less anxiety and tension in the body.
As the mood fluctuates during this time, sweet tulsi is here to soften the emotional ride. Tulsi is well known as a stress-relieving herb, that helps support a balanced mood. You can take Tulsi throughout your cycle to help keep the emotional body balanced as you move through the ebb and flow of hormones.
If you are just getting started with herbs, or herbalism in general, it is important to remember that herbs work on a long-term basis, meaning it’s important to keep using them regularly so that your body gets used to the medicine from that plant. Building it up in your body over weeks, or even months is when you will start to feel the effects and benefits.
May this wisdom help you navigate your cycle with more ease and flow.
*Important The Feminine Code and its authors are not certified medicinal herbalists or doctors, so be sure to check in with your own healthcare practitioner before taking any recommendations here. That being said, it is equally as important to listen to your own body and how it receives each herb or plant - they can respond differently depending on your own chemistry.