Wild RosešŸŒ¹: mei gui hua for pain, beauty & pms

Admiring this stunning rose today made me think of the herb mei gui hua or dried rose buds (rosa rugosa) that are used in Chinese medicine often for women’s health, periods and fertility.


The rose is the universal symbol of love has been used for medicine purposes for centuries. It is fragrant, clearing, and mild in nature which makes it ideal for nourishing the liver, moving qi and blood and most importantly clearing stagnation: which in Chinese medicine is a common reason for why we present with pain or illness.

You can make a straight tea or blend the dried rose buds with other herbs such as ginger, peppermint or calendula for men or women.

Benefits of rose tea include it regulating the qi as to calm stress and move tension. When taken regularly it can support good metabolism and weight loss for those with endocrinological disorders: think thyroid. Long-term use of Rose tea clears the complexion and benefits the breasts, you know for that pre-menstrual tension breast pain? Lastly it can ease constipation and help the period flow. Given it performs these functions it would be best taken from 36 weeks onwards in pregnancy.

Drink some special rose tea tonight to your good health!

@Ilana Sowter Acupuncture Melbourne, Ivanhoe, Northern suburbs

Keeping faith & staying positive on the fertility journey with acupuncture

A woman will often reach a point in her life where she knows she wants a baby. Men get this too. For a woman to embrace thisĀ natural maternal urge in this day and age it is rather complicated. Many women I treat in my acupuncture practice have underlying fears and self-doubts on their personal ability to procreate. This is even before finding out if they have any medical issues.

IVF and assisted reproductive techniques are common practice today, and this has projected the belief that everyone is having trouble trying to conceive.

We have to believe there is hope, light and possibility out there in all the darkness that surrounds us.


The main concern women have is that if they don’t conceive asap, their fertility will rapidly decline and their egg quality will be too poor. The truth is there is no scientific test that can accurately determine the quality of a woman’s eggs. There is the assumption that as a woman ages, her egg quality declines which affects the rate of a healthy embryo fertilising and continuing.

This doesn’t explain how some of the women you know are 40+ and seem to be popping out healthy babies without trouble up until 44 years of age.

I bring this to the table because I truly think that what we believe creates our future. If we think we are old at 34, and our fertility is rapidly declining, it will. If we think that it is impossible for our body to physically carry the baby, we may find that we are fearful when we become pregnant and miscarriage.

Of course it is essential to have a good GP, and investigate fertility further if there are troubles along the way, and seeking the expertise of a good gynaecologist or fertility specialist if need be however we need to trust and believe in the miracle that our body is.

Your body is amazing and it will respond to positive change in emotions, thoughts, beliefs and physical care.

If we hurt our body by feeding it junk food and telling it that it is worthless, then we may find it difficult to become pregnant. Sometimes there can be underlying problems that we have not dealt with, such as our mother telling us that children will ruin our lives, or physical ones like PCOS or endometriosis which can be related to not connecting or loving the divine feminine that we are.

When I support my patients on their fertility journey, I try my best to navigate all areas that may be preventing them from conceiving, moving blockages and changing aspects for the better.

Acupuncture is widely used and accepted for fertility support. The Chinese have been using Chinese herbs for hundreds of years for fertility and pregnancy.

There is nothing more satisfying than to travel this arduous journey from pre-conception to post-partum and meet that wonderful baby that is so very worth it all.

@Ilana Sowter Acupuncture Melbourne, Ivanhoe, Northern suburbs


Natural teeth care during IVF, pregnancy, post-partum & menopause: part II

Now on to the fun stuff, so what do we do to prevent gum and tooth problems in these changed hormonal states?

First of all, you need a good dentist and hygienist. Having your teeth cleaned and removed of calculus every six months will prevent tooth decay and gum irritation and recession.

Getting adequate rest is vital, especially if you are sleep deprived your body will create more inflammation and calculus.


Regular exercise is important to keep your Qi flowing and immunity up, because poor immunity creates more inflammation in the body.

Ensure you get enough essential fats such as grass-fed tallow, ghee, butter and coconut oil. Lots of veggies. Stick to grains or carbs which are properly processed and cultured such as basmati rice, light rye sour dough and potatoes. Whole grains are high in phytic acid, yes think weet-bix and oats! Phytic acid blocks absorption of minerals and excess can cause cavities. Aim to obtain fibre from vegetables.

Other foods that are high in physics acid are coffee, chocolate and alcohol. Seafood, grass-fed meats and eggs are all excellent sources of protein and fat.

Drink enough filtered water, especially after meals. Green tea is beneficial for oral health.

In terms of oral hygiene, flossing gently and daily is important. Oil pulling with extra-Virgin coconut oil for twenty minutes is healing too, just ensure to rinse with salty water or gently brush teeth afterwards. Use a natural, fluoride-free toothpaste such as homemade tooth powder or earthpaste. A daily gargle of some water with half a teaspoon of sea salt is great for the gums too.

And of course minimise sugar, one study found that plaque, calculus and tartar still form on teeth even if it doesn’t touch them because of the high sugar levels in the blood.

Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are excellent to support your body naturally through these changes in hormonal states, especially if you are feeling unwell or have noticed some health issues arise. Supplements are also important to ensure your body is getting enough Ā minerals, the body is robbed of them during pregnancy and breastfeeding especially.

From a metaphysical perspective gum and tooth problems relate to being wishy washy and indecisiveĀ about life.

Wishing you healthy and happy gum and teeth health.

@Ilana Sowter Acupuncture Melbourne, Ivanhoe, Northern suburbs