I happened upon this older article from Baraka Birth today. It's beauty was worth sharing.
"Labor begins, and the midwife places a small dry twiggy rosette in a bowl of warm water near the mother. Labor continues, the mother gently perspires, her cervix is softening and opening, and as it does, the ball of twigs begins to soften and expand into a woody flower. She takes a sip of the medicinal water, and, breathing deeply, she watches as the ball fully blossoms. Soon enough, she’s ready to push…
The Flower of Maryam (Anastatica hierochuntica) is a small shrub collected across North Africa, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Pakistan, and among its most popular medicinal uses is its application for childbirth. Whether its medicinal properties encourage dilation, or if it’s a powerful visualization tool for mothers, traditional midwives have used the Flower of Maryam with their laboring mothers for hundreds of years. A quick glance at its names (below) suggests its religious significance: it is referred to as the “leaf of Maryam” (mother of Jesus), the “hand of Fatima” (daughter of the Prophet), as well as simply “daughter of the Prophet,” and “resurrection plant.” It is referenced in the Bible in II Kings 19:34-36 and in Psalms 83:13, “make them like tumbleweed,” here referring to the dried twiggy balls of Anastatica that disperse in the wind, scattering its seeds."
According to birth workers and women in the Middle East, the Flower of Maryam (or Flower of Jericho) is a medicinal plant used during childbirth for women in labor. It is steeped as a tea by the midwife, and then taken as birth becomes imminent.
This powerful image is ingrained into women of every culture regarding birth, every culture but Western culture. This opening, unfolding, spiraling full and wide - unveiling - it's universal. In addition, the tea itself is full of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and alkaloids.
I found it also interesting that the dried plant looks very much like the vessels of a placenta and umbilical cord. Nature is amazing, isn't it?
To purchase one for yourself, see here.