The European origin of the genus name "cinnamomum" comes from the Greek words "kinéin" (move) and "a-momos" (without reproach). Translated, the name means "rolled spice beyond reproach". Another explanation is based on an Indonesian-Malaysian source, which derives "cinnamomum" from the root "kayu manis", or "sweet wood" in English.
Lady's mantle is the epitome of affirming the existence of women's unique bodily rhythms and what it means to be female. According to the doctrine of signatures, which was formulated by Paracelsus, it is attributed to the planet Venus. Venus is a symbol of femininity which reflects the age-old mystery of fertility and birth. Long before the alchemists, who gave lady's mantle its botanical name "Alchemilla", female herbalists were aware of the special powers of lady's mantle. They called it "sinau", the plant that is always wet (sin = always; au = water). This comes from the droplets of water which form on the leaf nodes of lady's mantle and are reminiscent of the womb. These droplets are made up of more than just morning dew: Alchemilla even retains the droplets once the dew has evaporated. Those who carefully observe the plant will see that there are small glands on the leaf margin's tiny teeth. These work like pressure-relief valves, which depending on humidity levels transform excess water into droplets – the term used in botanic physiology is "guttation droplets". Herbalists therefore also consider lady's mantle to be the "alchemist" of herbs beneficial to women who captures everything and transforms it with positive effects.
The droplets which form in the Alchemilla's leaf cupule have captured the imagination of people for a long time. According to a German myth, they symbolise Frigga's tears, the queen of heaven who bemoaned the loss of her husband, Odin, who made too many trips to faraway places for her liking. On the other hand, the alchemists are said to have collected water droplets early each morning to make the legendary philosopher's stone.
Female herbalists consider lady's mantle itself to be the philosopher's stone, because it has been used to successfully alleviate numerous gynaecological ailments. It strengthens the uterine muscles, is antispasmodic in case of menstrual pain, alleviates breast tenderness, stops menstrual periods and facilitates the birthing process. Since lady's mantle has a similar effect to gestagens, an important class of female sex hormones, it alleviates premenstrual syndrome, reduces irritability and binge eating and makes the womb more fertile. When applied externally in a hip bath, it is effective in treating discharge and itching. Lady's mantle also makes breasts less sensitive to touch, softens indurations and speeds up the healing process in case of breast cancer. It prevents nutritional deficiencies by curing inflammation of the intestinal mucosa and stopping diarrhoea. It is also said to surround women with a protective "coating". That is why every woman should drink it as a tea for a period of six weeks after giving birth.
A three-month course of treatment with tea is recommended if the aim is to increase women's sense of personal well-being. A cup of tea should be drunk every morning and evening. In acute cases, the mother tincture – taken three times a day – usually produces quicker results. If psychological transformation is the primary objective, a spagyric essence is the first choice of dosage form.
Lady's mantle flowers from May to July. The flowering herb is ideally collected in the Venus month of May. The plant is a hardy perennial. In spring, it covers the ground with a leaf rosette and its stem grows up to 30 cm as summer approaches. Lady's mantle has tiny, yellowish-green, ball-shaped flowers. On the other hand, its leaves are large, palmate and divided into seven to eleven lobes. Droplets form every morning on the teeth of the leaves, thus giving the meadows a magical appearance.
Ivy – the evergreen lung cure
Ivy leaves are highly effective for bronchitis and coughs: the contents are conducive to expectoration and dissolving mucus, thus making breathing easier.