Female - Cervicitis

by Robin Dipasquale, ND

Chair, Botanical Medicine Department, Bastyr University

Medical Herbalism 11(3):1.3-5

The cervix is an extension of the lower end of the uterus into the vagina. Cervicitis is a deeper and more serious pathology than simple vaginitiis. Inflammation of the cervix may be infectious or non- infectious. Differential diagnosis and determination of the cause, through appropriate physical and laboratory analysis, is necessary to determine appropriate treatment. Cervical examination, pap smear and culture and serological tests to determine infectious agent may all be necessary. Causes of the symptoms may vary widely in their seriousness. See table 2 on page 3.

Supportive natural treatments

The following treatments may be useful for primary treatments or supportive for conventional therapy.

Pelvic rest throughout the treatment period or longer, depending on the case

Dietary alterations to acidify the vaginal environment

Fasting or modified fasting, including a detoxification diet

Identification and elimination of food intolerances (serum testing or elimination/rechallenge diet.)

Inverted yoga postures: bridge, shoulder stand, plow, half dolphin or handstand, full dolphin or handstand, or just lying with legs and pelvis up the wall. This will enhance blood flow from the lower extremities and pelvic area and decrease congestion

Constitutional hydrotherapy

Pelvic therapies

Contrast sitz baths, with or without herbs

Castor oil treatments applied to the lower abdomen area, over the uterus and the pubic bone


Vag Pak. Availabl from Eclectic Institut in semi-solid form in a jar or from Wise Woman Herbals in suppository form. It is a relevant treatment for licensed practitioners; however, it can have a strong and potentially intense effect on the body due to the essential oils. The semi-solid form would be 1-2 tsp. on a homemade tampon and inserted with the help of a speculum. The suppositories would be 2 suppositories inserted lying against the cervix, left in place 24 hours.

Anhydrous magnesium sulfate

Golden Seal (Hydrastis canadensis)

Essential oils of thuja, tea tree, bitter orange

Vitamin A

Ferric sulfate and ferrous sulfate

Cabsil. Not sold over the counter, available from Casil directly. This company does not interact much by phone and requires pre-pay on orders. The phone number in Philadelphia is 215 627-6260.

calcium oxide

barium oxide



Lactoein (in a base of vegetable oil)

Vagistatin, from Health Concerns, Oakland, California. One capsule inserted vaginally daily for seven days on, then seven days off.

Isatis (Ban Len Gen and Da Qing Ye)

Pheilodendron (Huang Bai)

Sage (Dan Shen)

Artemesia (Qing Hao)

Houttuynia (Yu Xing Cao)

Cnidium fruit (Shi Chuang Zi)

Agrimony (Xian He Cao)

Lactobacillus species

Herbal Vaginal suppository ( Wise Woman Herbals, Creswell, Oregon)

Achillea millefolium (Yarrow)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Mahonia aquifolium (Mountain Grape)

Usnea spp. (Usnea)

Arctostaphylos uva ursi (Bearberry)

Althea officinalis (Marshmallow)

Calendula officinalis (Marigold)

Symphytum officinale (Comfrey)


Vitamin A

Vitamin E

Cocoa butter

Vitamin A, Vitamin E, or the two combined

Calendula or Vitamin A / Calendula combined

Herbal Vaginal Formula (Bezwecken, Portland, Oregon)

Commiphora myrrha (Myrrh)

Echinacea spp. (Purple Coneflower)

Usnea thalactroides (Usnea)

Hydrastis canadensis (Golden Seal)

Althea officinalis (Marshmallow)

Geranium maculatum (Cranesbill)

Achillea millefolium (Yarrow)


Many herbs and substances can be used in a douche to assist in the healing of the cervix. Here are a few.

Symphytum officinale (Comfrey)

Plantago major/lanceolata (Plantain)

Nymphaea odorata (White pond lily)

Rumex crispus (Yellow dock)

Berberis aquifolium (Oregon grape)

Calendula officinalis (Marigold)

Lavendula officinalis (Lavender)


VM 120 (ferrum and ferrus sulfate)

Cervical painting

There are numerous substances that can be used on the cervix. Here are a few.

VM 120 (ferrum and ferrus sulfate), astringes

Melasol diluted tea tree solution)


Iodine (careful with sensitivities)

Aminocerv from Milex (800) 645-3912

H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide) + chlorophyll + light

Internal Therapies

The condition will call for certain herbs, however, the individual person will also act as your guide in the selection of herbs in a constitutional formula to promote their healing. Constitutional herbal prescribing is a tool used in bringing the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual together. See Table 3 on page four for a list of herbal therapeutic categories to consider. Following are two useful formulas

Dr. Christopher’s Formula, to be taken internally, for conditions of leukorrhea, prolapsus uteri, relaxed vagina, and inflammation of the cervix.

1/2 ounce Nymphaea odorata (White pond lily)

1/2 ounce Symphytum officinale (Comfrey)

1/2 ounce Ulmus rubra, U fulva (Slippery elm)

1/2 ounce Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Bearberry)

1/2 ounce Dioscorea villosa (Wild yam)

1 ounce Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice)

1/4 tsp. Capsicum frutescens, C. minimum (Cayenne)

Simmer all except cayenne for 20 minutes in one quart of water. Strain over the cayenne while hot, cover and allow to cool, sweeten to taste, store in cool place.

Dosage: 2 ounces 3-4 times/day

Tori Hudson’s Formula, from the cervicitis chapter in the book Gynecology and Naturopathic Medicine by Tori Hudson. For chronic cervicitis, she recommends 1/2 tsp., of the tincture. two times per /day for 3-6 months

2 drams Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice)

1 dram Usnea spp (Usnea)

2 drams Echinacea spp (Purple Coneflower)

1 dram Hydrastis canadensis (Golden Seal)

2 drams Ligusticum porterii (Osha)

Tissue Salts

Calcaria fluorica - connective tissue strengthener

Kali muriaticum - anti-inflammatory, especially when tissue is excessively secreting

Kali sulphuricum - anti-inflammatory, especially when tissue is secreting yellow exudate

Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements

Vitamin A 25,000-50,000 lU/day or beta carotene 150,000-300,000 lU/day

Vitamin C 3-5 grams/day

Folic acid 5-10 mg/day (this is very high)

Vitamin E 400 lU/day

Zinc 15 mg/day, may want 1 mg copper with this

Essential fatty acids — 1 tbsp. flax oil/day and/or fish oil 600-1200 mg/day EPA/DHA combined

Probiotics — a good quality Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidus product, 5 billion organisms

Commercial immune enhancing supplement formulas


Avoid multiple sexual partners

Use safer sex practices

Avoid use of cigarettes, recreational drugs and other substances that compromise the immune function

Avoid use of oral contraceptive pills, antibiotics

Enhance the immune function

Avoid use of perfumes, spermicides, lubricants, tampons, or any other substance introduced to vagina that could cause irritation

Wear cotton underwear and loose clothing

Pay attention to genital hygiene

Keep the foundation of wellness in place, which includes:

schedule in and maintain time for self reflection

get adequate sleep

eat whole foods/ healthful diet

minimize stress

exercise regularly

Emotional and psychological considerations

The physical effect of emotional issues merit investigation in cases of cervicitis, if a woman wishes to explore that area, a history of incest and/or sexual may be present.

Materia Medica

Nymphaea odorata : White Pond Lily

by Robin Dipasquale

Synonyms: Nymphaea alba, Nuphar alba, Water-lily, white pond lily, sweet pond lily, water nymph

Asian species: Nymphaea lotus (N. rubra, N. stellata); Nelumbo nucifera (Nymphaea nelumbo, Nelumbium speciosum); Nuphar japonicum, Nuphar pumilum

Part used: rhizome (gather in the fall), seed, flower for EO

Taste: mucilaginous, slightly pungent, slightly bitter

Constituents: Tannic acid and Gallic acid - anti microbial and astringent

Alkaloids - bitter taste, typically the most potent and [potentially] toxic aspect of a plant. May act on the CNS

Mucilage, sterols, flavonoids, glycosides also present.

Actions: Antiseptic, astringent to mucus membranes, removes toxins from the tissue, not overly drying, styptic, demulcent, vulnerary - healing to skin wounds and ulcerative conditions, tonifying - improving tone and function, anodyne, anti-inflammatory - internally and externally

Culpepper says this plant is under the influence of the moon, indicating cooling, moistening, and yin promoting properties.

Preparations and their dosages according to Dr. Christopher

decoction - 1-2 tbsp. or more

fluid extract - 1/2-1 fluid tsp. (30-60 drops) infusion - 2-4 tbsp. 3-4 times/day between meals powder - 2 grams (1/2 tsp.)

tincture - 1/2-1 fluid tsp. (30-60 drops)

Both Michael Moore and Professor John King suggest larger doses of the decoction - 2-8 cups/day - plus douche

In addition to application with a douche, White pond lily can be used internally, as a gargle, or poultice.

Juliette de Bairacli Levy states that the preparation of the root is to slice it, place in cold water, heat gently for 5 minutes (in order to preserve the mucilage properties, do not bring to a boil ).


Keep in mind the cooling and moistening actions.

inflammation of the uterus, prolapse of uterus, relaxed vagina - internal po dosage plus vaginal injection

leukorrhea - decoction or infusion as vaginal injection

catarrh of the bladder, lingering congestion (decoction)

kidney disorders (decoction)

prostate irritation, chronic with gummy discharge (decoction)

mouth and throat subacute and chronic inflammation periodontal disease, thrush, canker sores, tonsillitis, pharyngitis

poultice of roots and leaves topically, powder of root with flax seed ground and slippery elm, or decoction or infusion as a gargle.

ulcerations including venereal ulcers (powdered root dusted on the surface)

stagnation and swelling in lymphatic structures

sore eyes, opthalmia ( infusion as a wash)

wounds, cuts - leaves bruised and applied directly

sunburn - leaves or flowers wll decrease heat and swelling

menstrual cycle complaints, can clear pelvic congestion, alleviate PMS and ease menstrual flow

used to pacify the pita dosha in ayurveda

in TCM, aids the liver, lung, and stomach meridian and in controlling bleeding

Homeopathic proving showed the following results: Mentals: excessive moral sensibility, pain on witnessing the suffering of animals, great impatience at slightest contradiction.

Physical weakness, restlessness, diminution of strength, headache, weariness in stomach, slow digestion, wind colic, diarrhea in early a.m., impotence or excessive sexual desire, sexual exhaustion, aggravated from sex, especially in males, nocturnal emissions.

Matthew Wood speaks of Nymphaea odorata and its actions being related to the TCM diagnosis of Kidney Yin Deficiency. Fluid is Yin and a deficiency of fluid would result in the inability of the body to cool and moisten itself. This excess heat condition can bring about irritation, over excitement, night sweats, diarrhea, and loss of sexual fluids. Weakness and debility of the isolated area or of the whole being would result.

The Menomini Indians believed the Nymphaea odorata and other pond lilies belong to the spirit of the underneath, the underworld. The underwater horned serpent is the symbol for the primal waters of the world. The Menomini Indians believed the water lily generated the fog hovering over lakes. This is representative of the water lily bringing the forces from below and the forces from above together to make visions of importance.

The water lily is able to bring together the earth energy where it has its roots, the air element where the leaves and flowers reside, and the water element, the pathway of the stems. In our bodies, the integration of the earth element from our root chakra with the air and ether element from the higher chakras may be assisted by the water lily through balancing the water element. The heart, which resides along the pathway, must be open.
  Copyright 2001 Paul Bergner    91

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