Dawn Combs

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since Dec 04, 2014
Dawn Combs is a homestead herbalist and ethnobotanist with over 20 years experience. She began her career with a B.A. in Botany and Humanities/Classics, and later apprenticed with herbalist Rosemary Gladstar. As well as training others in herbal home health care, she treats her family's common illnesses and minor injuries with natural therapies, herbal remedies and appropriate foods. Dawn is a beekeeper, educator and co-owner of the medicinal honey and herb farm Mockingbird Meadows, which is nationally recognized for her signature line of therapeutic herbal honey spreads. She is the director of the Mockingbird Meadows Eclectic Herbal Institute.. Dawn is a frequent contributor for Mother Earth Living and Hobby Farms magazines and blogs under her name for Mother Earth News and as “The Prescription Gardener” for Hobby Farms. She is also the author of Conceiving Healthy Babies (New Society, 2014) and Heal Local (New Society, 2015).
Central Ohio
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Recent posts by Dawn Combs

Hi Jorge,
No I don't know anyone personally. I generally get my spirulina from MountainRose Herbs.
4 years ago
Hi Emilie,
That should be a good supportive diet, but you may just have a deficiency that was generated while building that last baby. Do you chart your cycles? Any idea if you are imbalanced at all? Any brown in your cycle? If you can get a handle on what your hormones are doing you can more accurately address the problem. You can never go wrong ensuring you're getting a good calcium/magnesium supplement through food (spirulina, bone broth or bee pollen) and using uterine tonic teas (raspberry leaf, nettles, rose hips, etc.). There are a wide variety of herbs that can support a return to balance if you are indeed out of whack, but it is important to know exactly what hormone you need help with first. The other thought is that after a birth your uterus can be out of place. You might check with an abdominal massage and uterine care professional such as an Arvigo practitioner (www.arvigotherapy.com) or someone trained in the Mercier method. Most women have an issue here and it can lead to difficulties with conception. If you would ever like a consult to figure out what's going on, I do long distance consults and I go over a lot of my recommendations in my book. Good luck!!
4 years ago
That was actually my problem. Along with diet and lifestyle I formulated two teas. One to use in the ovulatory phase that was nutritive in nature and one to use in the luteal phase that targeted progesterone levels. I have the recipes for them in my book and I sell them at my website (My Tonic is the first and Barky Rooty is the latter). I like Wild Yam (Dioscorea villosa) and Vitex (Vitex agnus-castus) specifically. I think they are most appropriate just in the luteal phase.

Thanks for your work! We need more folks out there supporting natural fertility balancing!
4 years ago
Absolutely! In some traditions the herbs are left in for decades! Strain it and keep your tincture in a cool, dark place.
4 years ago
Hi Bethany,
My book contains a notation on all the herbs listed for preconception as well, so you can easily find things that may work against you. One thing I can think of off the top of my head is agave. The plant they make all the sugary syrups from is a really effective birth control. The key to healthy reproductive cells with longevity is to ensure that your overall health is optimal (both you and your partner). All of that "expiration date" theory talk makes me crazy. The population they study to come up with those numbers is generally filled with the typical degenerative diseases and heavy inflammation. Inflammation is the enemy of fertility. If you want to extend your fertility into your later years don't leave health issues unattended, reduce inflammatory foods and lifestyle choices and focus on optimal nutrition. You ALWAYS have a chance to have chromosomal abnormalities... this is not a predetermined state simply because of age, but the chances improve with the accumulated degeneration and inflammation typical to our current lifestyle.
4 years ago
There are a couple herbs that can be used but only by an experienced herbalist (black cohosh and blue cohosh) to prepare the uterus for birth. It was traditionally only used in the last week of pregnancy. In your case I would bet that you ovulate later than the charts expect so you are actually giving birth at precisely the right time. I would take that into account with anything you might do to encourage labor. If I were you, I would wait until I was one week past the date the medical professionals assess. If you aren't an herbal professional, I wouldn't recommend trying to do anything beyond taking your typical raspberry leaf and nettle nutritives. Of course, if you are facing a forced c-section.... I might try a safe herb that can tend to bring on uterine contractions such as pennyroyal in a tea three times a day. I wouldn't recommend ginger for this as it can thin the blood and wouldn't be a good idea just before birth.
4 years ago
Fresh herbs are almost always best (just a couple are better and sometimes safer when dried). Yes, it is possible to overdo anything, even things that are healthy. It is important to listen to the body and change up your herbal routine if you notice any negative effects. I agree though, it is can be really hard to over consume in food!
4 years ago
Wow! Best wishes on a safe and beautiful birth!
4 years ago
There are some who prescribe to the food combining set of wisdom. I say if it works for you, keep going. There isn't anything in the history of herbal use that suggests there is any inherent issue with combining. However, each herb has a different energy to it and not all are universally appropriate for every person. There are considerations of which herb may not be right for each constitution.... take cayenne for example- not appropriate in chronic dosage for someone who runs hot, is fiery in nature, has active ulcers or eruptive skin conditions. One of the natural health systems where you can find some of this information is ayurveda.

I like lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) for focus and calm.
4 years ago
Nettle builds the blood. It is a powerful nutritive that supports the health of the cardiovascular system. It doesn't have anything really for muscle tissue, so it doesn't have anything in common with red raspberry beyond their similar vitamins and minerals.
4 years ago