Herbs and oxalates

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Anacarda
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 5:05 am

Herbs and oxalates

Postby Anacarda » Mon Nov 24, 2014 3:42 pm

Greetings all. It's great to see you back. I have a question, or several questions, about herbs and oxalates. I'd appreciate any thoughts, or pointers to good, reliable sources of information.

First, some background:
I am 47, and have some perimenopausal things going on, but I'm still bleeding regularly. In the last several months I've noticed increasing vaginal dryness (eyes and skin, too), and mild but frequent vaginal burning. I've been to the gynecologist and done my own observations, and I'm pretty sure I have no infections.

I've been drinking herbal infusions for about a year (mainly oatstraw, nettles, red clover). Also vit. E (supplement) and kava (as a drink made from powdered dry kava root). Now I've stopped the kava (because it can cause skin dryness), and I've added motherwort tincture, flaxseed, yogurt, probiotics. I prefer to use foods and infusions for health (over supplements and tinctures). But I'm also taking calcium citrate now, because it is specifically recommended to bind with oxalates in foods.

I've also begun a low-oxalate diet, having read about it from the Vulvar Pain Foundation. Oxalates are what cause kidney stones, but another effect for some people is vaginal burning/pain. But many lovely green plants are high oxalate (beets, chard, sorrel, kale; also nuts, beans, whole grains; that is, everything I eat!).

The diet seems to be working for me, but it's hard to trace a reaction to a specific food. I would also prefer to restore some of my juiciness, rather than cutting out foods. The diet addresses the burning symptom, but does not address the underlying issue of dryness. (Also, I want to eat kale and beans again!) And I want to keep doing herbal infusions, and maybe add some new ones. And maybe some tinctures and vinegars.

But there seems to be little information about oxalates in herbs. There's a lot of conflicting information on oxalate levels in food, in any case. The best list seems to be the one provided by the "Trying Low Oxalates" group on Yahoo, and even that is conflicting and incomplete, and has very few herbs on it.

So, finally, my questions:
Has anybody had a similar experience? Has anybody noted reactions to specific herbs while on a low-oxalate diet? Does anybody know of a reliable source on oxalate content of our favorite herbs? How about oxalates in different forms of herbs (e.g., infusion, tincture, vinegar)? Does anybody have ideas for a different way I could think about my main problem (vaginal dryness and burning)?

I'm assuming infusions would retain more oxalates, and tinctures would have less, but this is just my speculation. I'm especially interested in oxalate content of red clover, oatstraw, comfrey, chickweed, raspberry leaf, black cohash. Happily, nettle tea has been tested and found to be low oxalate.

I'd love to hear any thoughts on this!

Singingcrowsings
Posts: 73
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:44 am

Re: Herbs and oxalates

Postby Singingcrowsings » Mon Nov 24, 2014 3:57 pm

I will be the first to say I know nothing about oxalates, however, I can tell you, I have found washing gently with coconut oil relives most, if not all of my dryness and burning. I generally experience the most severe symptoms just before my period, and the coconut oil does the trick!

Anacarda
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 5:05 am

Re: Herbs and oxalates

Postby Anacarda » Fri Nov 28, 2014 4:57 pm

Thanks for your reply! Coconut oil does help, but the problem seems to be deeper. I'm hoping to address the causes – but meanwhile, yes indeed, lovely coconut oil!

Singingcrowsings
Posts: 73
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:44 am

Re: Herbs and oxalates

Postby Singingcrowsings » Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:04 pm

I understand. Something I've been experiencing in the last couple months is a lessening of the intensity and length of duration of it. What have I been doing differently? I have some home made miso every day. Before my miso was ready, I would go absolutely insane, wanting to rip into myself to try and alleviate the severe burning itch. Miso contains estrogens, similar to yam. So, in saying that, if you're wanting to go the herbal route... Vitex.

Since I've been eating miso, my emotions have also stopped being so all over the place.

Please note: if you choose to go the miso route, it needs to be fermented a minimum of one year. Six months didn't have any affect; it was just food.

Anacarda
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 5:05 am

Re: Herbs and oxalates

Postby Anacarda » Sat Dec 06, 2014 3:42 am

Thanks again for thinking about this with me. Vitex sounds like a very good herb for me right now. I should have thought of it before. I'll definitely start vitex next. And miso – I had no idea. Worth knowing. Thank you!


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