Author Archive: Aviva Romm


Lesson 34: Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Heartburn During Pregnancy

This is a very brief overview lesson on two common, and very different, digestive problems that can occur in pregnancy. Heartburn is a common problem that may have been chronic for the client, but more likely arises as a common pregnancy complaint that worsens as the pregnancy progresses and occurs due to hormonal changes on […]


Lesson 35: Premature Labor and Uterine Irritability

Preterm labor is defined as labor occurring prior to the end of the 37th pregnancy week. It is one of the leading causes of infant mortality and also long-term disability in the United States. Factors that contribute to premature labor include age, socioeconomic status (SES), stress, infection, hemorrhage, and amount of stretch tension on the […]


Lesson 36: Skin Changes and Varicosities in Pregnancy

As if the monumental change of becoming a mother isn’t enough to adjust to, many pregnant women find themselves facing or trying to prevent some of the natural consequences pregnancy can have on the female body – stretch marks, varicosities, itching, etc. Some of these changes are simply a function of the enormous work the […]


Lesson 37: Insomnia, Depression, and Anxiety During Pregnancy

Insomnia and depression in pregnancy are discussed here only briefly in terms of which herbs are safe to use during pregnancy. Nonetheless, they are common enough problems to merit their own short discussion in this unit. These topics are addressed more extensively elsewhere in the course, for example, postpartum depression is covered later in Unit […]


Lesson 38: Breech Presentation

As the art of delivering breech babies vaginally is lost from conventional obstetric practice, replaced by cesarean section because of fear of breech delivery and its risks, and as midwives are legally prohibited from assisting in breech births at home, women are seeking alternatives to cesarean section for breech birth. The use of moxabustion, a […]


Lesson 39: Post Datism, Partus preparators, and Prolonged Labor

Labor and birth occur with enormous individual variation. Each woman’s birth will be as unique as she is, as her body is, as her baby is, and as her own life and sexual history. Women’s bodies are designed for the birthing process and only rarely do medical or anatomical problems truly prevent normal birth. However, […]


Lesson 40: Pain and Exhaustion in Labor

Pain in labor is a naturally expected part of the process for most women though a rare few do report a painless or even orgasmic experience of childbirth. Preparing for labor the way one might prepare for an Olympic event or a vision quest, gathering a medicine basket of tools and skills to move through […]


Lesson 41: Postpartum Care, Breastfeeding Problems, and Postnatal Depression

The postpartum is defined as the time extending from immediately after the birth through the subsequent 6 weeks. It is a somewhat arbitrary designation of weeks roughly corresponding with the time it takes the uterus to return to its pre-pregnant state — a process called involution. During this time a woman goes through a remarkable […]


Lesson 42: Materia Medica for Women 3

The materia medica section of each unit provides an overview of a selection of the herbs relevant to understanding the botanical treatment of conditions found in that unit and throughout the course. This is in no way an exhaustive materia medica of the herbs with which you will want to become familiar or need to […]


Lesson 14: The Healthy Menstrual Cycle and Body Care During the Moontime

Overview of this Lesson Mystery magic…. and some misunderstanding. What is the menstrual cycle? How does it work? And how does our interaction with the world affect our menstrual well-being, ease, and challenges? Numerous factors influence the menstrual cycle, including a woman’s nutritional status, stress levels, body weight, exercise patterns, attitudes and beliefs about menstruation, […]


Lesson 15: Adolescent Menstrual Health + Hormonal Acne

Overview This lesson covers two important topics: menstrual health for teens, and hormonal acne which many women struggle with from their teens thru their 40s. The herbal educator can play an important role in helping teenage girls to develop a positive self-image, and can provide valuable guidance in helping young women learn natural gynecologic self […]


Lesson 16: Painful Menstruation (Dysmenorrhea)

Dysmenorrhea and chronic pelvic pain (CPP) are frequent reasons for which women seek gynecologic care – and also end up on a variety of pharmaceuticals from the Pill to antidepressants to opioid pain relief. They’re also common symptoms that many women assume are ‘just normal’  – especially when it comes to period pain (hint: it’s […]


Lesson 17: Menstrual Irregularity

Introduction Most of us have experienced some irregularity in our lifetime – a late or skipped period, and early period, an unusually heavy period, etc. Most often we can attribute these to something specific – pregnancy (expected or unexpectedly leading to a missed period) stress (leading to a late period) etc, For many women, menstrual […]


Lesson 18: Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Approximately 85% of all women experience at least one PMS symptom with each menstrual cycle, and as many as 40% of women of reproductive age report significant  PMS symptoms associated with their cycles. PMS leads to missed school/work days, decreased ability to concentrate/ function at school/work, and relationship stresses. The symptoms can range from mild […]


Lesson 19: Fibrocyctic Breasts and Breast Pain

Fibrocystic breast changes and fibroadenomas are so common that many practitioners consider some amount of fibrocystic breast tissue a variation of normal and reject the term “benign breast disease,” preferring simply “fibrocystic breasts” or “fibrocystic breast changes.” While these changes are nearly always benign, with only a very small percentage of women who report such […]


Lesson 20: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Previously considered primarily a gynecologic condition because of the common finding of polycystic ovaries and clinical reproductive problems, it is now recognized that PCOS, which affects approximately 5-10% of women of reproductive age, is a complex endocrine disorder with an uncertain, and likely multifactorial, etiology. It is a hyperandrogenic state characterized by hirsutism, menstrual irregularities, […]


Lesson 21: Endometriosis and Chronic Pelvic Pain

Endometriosis is an inflammatory and hormonal condition in which the tissue that normally lines the uterus, called the endometrium, can be found growing in other locations on the body where it’s not supposed to be. The most common place is inside the abdominal cavity, where it can land on the thin layer of tissue, called […]


Lesson 22: Vaginal Infections

Vaginal infections and sexually transmitted infections represent a tremendous health concern for women. They cause physical discomfort, personal embarrassment, are a primary reason for visits to the medical doctor and use of prescriptions and over-the-counter (OTC) medications, and predispose women to serious health consequences, for example, infertility, pregnancy loss, fetal and neonatal death, and HIV/AIDS […]


Lesson 23: Urinary Tract Infections and Interstitial Cystitis

How To Do Lesson 23 Read the Introduction/Overview Review the learning objectives, terms and botanicals to know Read/Listen to Required Reading Do E-Quiz Download, complete, save, and complete Self-Study Assignment Hands on Herbal Medicine (Optional): Make a cold Uva ursi-Marshmallow Root Infusion Introduction/Overview Liz, a 26-year old sexually active, recently married elementary school teacher has […]


Lesson 24: Uterine Fibroids

Introduction/Overview Casey is a 46-year old landscape gardener who was diagnosed with uterine fibroids eight months ago after intermittent bouts of irregular, heavy vaginal bleeding, and menorrhagia. She feels chronic abdominal bloating and pelvic heaviness, with occasional constipation and urinary frequency. Her gynecologist has suggested embolization or possibly even hysterectomy, but Casey is reluctant to […]