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Lady's Mantle - Some Benefits on Usage of Lady's Mantle

Taxonomic class

Rosaceae.

Common Trade Names

Lady's Mantle.

Common Forms

Available as compounded extracts, gelatin capsules, teas, and tinctures.

Source

The drug is extracted from the roots, leaves, and flowers of Alchemilla mollis, Alchemilla vulgaris, and others. The plant is native to Europe but naturalized to the northeastern United States and to Canada.

Chemical components

The major active ingredients are elligitannins and quercetin, a flavonoid. A glycoside and salicylic acid have also been isolated.

Actions

A water extract of Alchemilla xantochlora showed antioxidative activity, whereas an ethanol extract did not . Flavonoid extracts of A. vulgaris inhibited the action of several proteolytic enzymes (elastase, trypsin, and alpha-chymotrypsin), suggesting that they may protect conjunctive and elastic tissues that are detrimentally affected by proteolytic enzymes . A. vulgaris did not affect the blood glucose and serum insulin levels in normal and streptozotocin diabetic mice.

Reported Uses

Lady's mantle is claimed to be useful as an astringent and an aid to blood clotting. It has been applied topically to wounds to stop bleeding and to promote healing. Lady's mantle is used in women to reduce menstrual bleeding, alleviate menstrual cramps, and regulate menses. It has also been suggested to be effective in treating diarrhea because of its tannin content. No controlled trials in humans verifY these claims.

Dosage

Various doses are used for the reported indications. An infusion or tea can be prepared from steeping 2 tsp of the dried herb in 1 cup of boiling water. The tea and tincture (2 to 4 ml) are taken P.O. t.i.d.

Adverse Reactions

Hepatic: hepatic dysfunction (related to tannin component).

Interactions

None reported.

Contraindications and Precautions with Lady's Mantle

Lady's mantle is contraindicated during pregnancy because it may stimulate uterine muscle. Also avoid use in breast-feeding patients because effects are unknown.

Special Considerations

  1. Periodically monitor liver function test results.
  2. Advise women to avoid using lady's mantle during pregnancy or when breast-feeding.
  3. Inform the patient that little is known about this herb.
  4. Urge the patient to report fatigue, jaundice, and weakness.

Points of Interest

The genus name, Alchemilla, is derived from the word alchemy because this herb was believed to bring about miraculous cures. The plant has also been associated with the Virgin Mary because the lobes of the leaves resemble the scalloped edges of a mantle.

Lady's mantle is used as an ingredient in cleansing creams and other cosmetics.

Commentary

No clinical data support therapeutic claims for lady's mantle. Data from one animal study suggest that lady's mantle does not affect blood glucose or serum insulin levels, but it may have antioxidative properties and inhibit some proteolytic enzymes. Human clinical trials are needed to determine the safety and efficacy profiles of this herb.

   

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