Caring for Your Healthy Breasts: Natural Strategies to Support and Deepen Self-connection
May 05, 2015 11:28PM
● By Lupo Passero
It is time to talk about healthy breasts. You have them, will develop them or had them at some point, but not enough time is spent discussing how to naturally care for and maintain healthy breasts. It is imperative that you work toward maintaining healthy breasts as well as healthy self-image.
Physical and Emotional Self-Care
Your risk of developing breast cancer increases as you get older so prevention and self-care should begin as soon as you begin developing. Daily self-care for your breasts can be quickly incorporated into your morning or evening routine. Partner examinations can also be a beautiful ritual as well. The most common things to pay attention to during self care exams are changes in the color, look or feel of the breast and nipples. Find out what normal is for your body. If your breasts are sensitive or lumpy, figure out if this coincides with your reproductive cycle, which can be quite normal. If you experience unusual swelling, warmth and pain that do not change with your cycles or do not go away, it is a good idea to be checked by a professional. Changes in your breast can be a normal part of your ever-changing body and lumps do not mean you have to be alarmed because most are benign and cyclical. Always consult a qualified practitioner at the first onset of any signs that feel abnormal to you.
How you talk to yourself about your breasts can be crucial to your overall health. It is important to operate from a place of trust, not fear. With so much to do while juggling multiple roles, it may be rare for you to take time for self-care, but it is necessary. In addition, the daily media and fashion pressure define a standard of beauty nearly impossible to meet for most women. It is critical to be aware of and this type of thinking and work to cultivate self-love and acceptance. Remember, the energy you put into your self-care will most certainly be returned to you.
Natural Remedies for Healthy Breasts
Nutrition is a good place to start with self-care for healthy breasts. Living in a toxin-plagued world, it is important to incorporate a plethora of antioxidant-rich foods into daily meals. Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. Include a rainbow of colors in meals every day with food such as berries, dark leafy greens and beans. Seaweeds, including hijiki, kelp and arame, are a woman’s best (breast) friend. They provide one of the richest sources of calcium, as do iodine, selenium, zinc, iron, copper and dozens of additional vital nutrients. They can be found in dehydrated form at your local health food store. It is best to store leftovers in glass containers, as foods stored in plastic containers may contain xenoestrogens, believed to mimic estrogen in the body and potentially alter breast cells.
Flower essences can be another addition to your regime for healthy breasts. They are prepared using only fresh flowers combined with pure water and a small amount of brandy as a natural preservative. Crab apple is an excellent essence to work with for helping to overcome body image issues and heal. Rescue Remedy or Five Flower formulas are allies in helping to reduce everyday stress and tension. Essences can be taken as is or incorporated into lotions to be applied topically.
There are a variety of herbs that can be beneficial to maintaining healthy breasts. Dandelion, burdock and milk thistle are liver-supporting herbs that support healthy hormone production. Herbs that work well with the lymphatic system include red root, cleavers, calendula and violet. They can be added to daily teas or as a breast care oil (see below). Chamomile, passionflower, oats and skullcap work on nourishing the nervous system and help maintain healthy stress levels. Consult with your local herbalist or wellness specialist and add a daily tea into your self-care regime with some of the herbs mentioned above.
Lupo Passero is a community herbalist and director of Twin Star Herbal Education in New Milford. She will be hosting an aromatherapy series with many more recipes each Tuesday evening in May. See ad, page 76.
The following breast care oil recipe, which incorporates healing herbs and essential oils, can be used topically during your self-care exams. If you have questions on how to perform a self-care exam, consult your wellness provider.
Breast Care Oil Recipe
• Almond (or avacado) oil
• Dried calendula flowers
• Frankincense and helichrysum essential oil
• Using a clean jar, steep ½ cup calendula flower in 1 cup oil of choice and set aside for 2 weeks, shaking daily. When ready, take a second jar and strain the herb-infused oil into a clean jar, separating out and discarding the herb matter. Mix 10 drops of each essential oil in an 8 oz glass bottle and gently shake.
• Calendula flower is anti-inflammatory and quite soothing and healing to the skin. Frankincense essential oil supports the lymphatic system and promotes healthy breasts while the anti-inflammatory helichrysum promotes circulation. The breast care oil can be used daily.