Animal weed: what is it for and how to make a sitz bath

This content is part of the Alternative Medicine category and may contain information that lacks scientific studies and/or medical consensus.

Critter grass is a common name for some plants in the Polygonum family and that have several medicinal uses.

One of the most common is in the preparation of a sitz bath indicated as a natural and very effective treatment for hemorrhoids , as it is a potent healing and natural anti-inflammatory.

The plant also helps to reduce the appearance of varicose veins and relieve menstrual cramps.

This powerful plant is also known as water pepper or marsh pepper. Do you want to know more about her? Then follow the article below!

What is the use and benefits of animal herb

Treat hemorrhoids

One of the main uses of the animal herb is in the treatment of hemorrhoids , a disease that occurs when the veins that are inside or on the edge of the anus inflame and swell, causing discomfort when evacuating, severe pain and even bleeding in more severe cases.

The curative action occurs because the herb is anti-inflammatory. It inhibits the release of prostaglandins into the blood, substances responsible for causing the veins to dilate. This dilation increases the blood flow in the region.

Inflammation is a natural process, but when it gets out of control, as is the case with hemorrhoids, it causes damage and needs to be stopped. ( 1 )

Parking and reducing the inflammatory process is already halfway to reducing the dilated veins of hemorrhoids.

Another mode of action of the herb is keeping the blood circulating inside the vessels, the so-called hemostatic effect, which alleviates the problem of swelling and also prevents bleeding and other complications. ( 2 )

The herb also compresses the veins, which also helps to prevent the swelling that causes hemorrhoids. ( 3 )

Furthermore, due to the presence of bitter substances known as tannins, the plant extract forms a protective layer around the anus. Thus, it avoids the complications of injuries and stimulates healing . ( 4 )

Relieve menstrual cramps

Critter herb tea reduces the effects of hormones that produce contractions in the uterus , such as oxytocin. The result is a decrease in spasms, which are the cause of menstrual cramps . ( 5 )

Fight urinary and genital infections

The animal herb sitz bath relieves the symptoms of genital infections and the consumption of tea is effective in the treatment of infections in the region.

That’s because the herb has been shown to have antibacterial and antifungal properties, especially against the fungus that causes candidiasis in women. ( 1 )

The plant also promotes increased urine production, which helps to expel the bacteria that cause the disease. ( 5 )

improve diarrhea

Because it is rich in tannins, the infusion of the herb manages to reduce the movements of the gastrointestinal tract that expel feces and cause pain and inhibits the release of a type of mucus that makes the “poop” with a liquid consistency .

It also increases the absorption of water by the intestinal mucosa, which helps to remove some of the excess water from the region, favoring that the stool remains at the ideal consistency and reducing the loss of body fluids, common in diarrheal episodes . ( 5 )

Heal gastric ulcers

Drinking this infusion helps with healing and can prevent the emergence of new gastric ulcers, which are painful and inflamed wounds that appear on the stomach mucosa and can be caused by various factors, from stress, poor nutrition to the action of microorganisms.

Herb tea forms a kind of protective layer, preventing the mucosa from suffering damage from excess stomach acid .

With this, it helps in recovery, as it prevents already open wounds from being affected by the acid and gives time for the tissues to recover, while inhibiting the formation of new ulcers. ( 5 )

Important! Never take any medicine, even if natural, without medical advice. Self-medication can make the disease even worse.

Reduce the appearance of varicose veins

We’ve already talked about the hemostatic and astringent properties of animal weed, haven’t we? Know that, when they work together, they also help to reduce the appearance of varicose veins !

These varicose veins are veins that have lost their strength to pump blood back to the heart and therefore become dilated and visible on the surface of the skin.

That said, homeostasis causes the blood to stay in place. ( 2 )

The astringent action compresses the veins that are weak, which causes an increase in internal pressure, causing the blood to circulate again . ( 3 )

Stimulate skin wound healing

Tea can be used to wash superficial wounds and is considered a natural remedy to improve skin healing .

This occurs because of the aforementioned hemostatic property, which helps to form a kind of natural protective layer in the injured area and serves to normalize blood flow in the region.

Thanks to this, platelets, a type of blood cell, are able to act more effectively to stimulate the growth of new cells to occupy that region of tissue. ( 6 )

In addition, compresses or baths made with animal herb prevent the wounds from becoming infected and inflamed, which also favors faster healing. ( 1 )

How to correctly use animal weed?

Sitz bath: how to do it

To make the sitz bath, just use the tea made with 4 tablespoons of animal herb for every 1 liter of hot water.

Leave the infusion to rest, capped, until it is warm. Then place it in a basin, wide enough for you to sit in. The sitz bath is literally done by sitting on this mixture for a few minutes.

The tea comes into direct contact with the hemorrhoids or the genital area, which are able to absorb all its therapeutic properties . Treatment should be done at least 3 times a day for as long as symptoms last. ( 5 )

For those who do not like sitz baths, there is the option of buying an ointment made with the active compounds of the animal herb, which is suitable for topical use.

How to take the infusion?

Tea can also be drunk. For this purpose, use the measure of 1 teaspoon (of tea) of the animal herb, for every 2 cups of very hot water. Leave everything to infuse for 5 minutes and drink without sweetening, at most 3 times a day. ( 5 )

Care and contraindications

The plant should not be used by pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding , not even externally, as it increases the risk of miscarriage, malformation and can also bring discomfort to the baby. ( 7 )

Features and where to find

The animal herb is a perennial plant , can live for more than two years, and it reaches 50 centimeters in height. It has large, smooth, dark green leaves held together by small reddish branches.

The flowers can be white or pink, depending on the species planted, and very small. This herb grows naturally in very humid places like swamps, hence the reason one of its popular names is marsh pepper or water pepper. ( 8 )

These characteristics are important to identify the correct species, but if you don’t want to “go hunting”, rest assured, as the herb is sold in open markets and natural and herbal products stores.

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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