Fertility Herbs: Holistic Herbs and Fertility Foods
From Vitex to Fertility Blend
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Pregnancy is a time of increased self-awareness - and caring for your self is the first step in caring for your baby. Pregnancy health - both emotional and physical - brings increased fertility for the mother, the healthy development and growth of the baby, and a happier pregnancy for both mother and child.
Planning for a healthy pregnancy, of course, begins with common sense: avoid nicotine, alcohol, and other drugs. A balanced and healthy diet is also important, as is regular, moderate exercise and reduced levels of stress.
If you are not eating organic, now might be a good time to switch to organic foods - especially when it comes to meat and dairy products. You are what you eat - and cows, poultry and fish are what they eat, too - so by implication, organic and "free-range" foods will not have the added hormones and additives.
Herbs for Fertility
Many women are also turning to herbs for fertility and pregnancy support. Below you will find a list of herbs to use - or avoid - to enhance fertility and increase pregnancy health.
Chaste Tree Berry (Vitex)
Chasteberry has the effect of stimulating and normalizing pituitary gland functions, especially its progesterone function. The greatest use of Vitex Agnus Castus - or Chasteberry - lies in normalizing the activity of female sex hormones and it is thus indicated for dysmenorrhoea, premenstrual stress and other disorders related to hormone function. It is especially beneficial during menopausal changes. In a similar way it may be used to aid the body to regain a natural balance after the use of the birth control pill. Because it can increase progesterone and extend the luteal phase, some women begin taking it when they ovulate, though regular daily use is indicated in the promotion of fertility.
Vitex agnus castus (chasteberry, vitex) is a traditional herb that has been used for centuries for hormonal imbalances in women. More recently, numerous clinical research studies have provided compelling evidence for vitex as a treatment for infertility, female hormonal imbalance, dysmenorrhoea, premenstrual stress, ovulatory irregularity, annovulation, amenorrhea, and other disorders related to female hormone function..
In research studies, vitex may relieve symptoms caused by hormonal imbalances and vitex may be helpful for women who do not have regular or normal menstrual cycles. Because vitex impacts key hormones that regulate and balance the menstrual cycle, vitex can help balance the levels and ratios of hormones required for normal menstrual function, ovulation, and fertility. As vitex is safe, it may be used by women seeking to become pregnant to increase chances of conception. More specifically, it can be used by women with irregular ovulatory function and by women with shorter luteal phases. Vitex may also be used after discontinuing use of birth control pills to restore normal ovulation.
As vitex has the effect of stimulating and normalizing pituitary gland functions, especially its progesterone function, vitex may be particularly useful in cases of low levels of progesterone (corpus luteum insufficiency) during the luteal phase (the period between ovulation and the end of the menstrual cycle). As the studies below indicate, vitex may be very effective in promoting normal hormal function, regular and fequent ovulation, and support fertility and conception.
Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis root) is the noted Chinese herb that is used as a blood tonic. It contains micronutrients known for their blood building properties (iron, vitamin B12, and vitamin E). Dong Quai balances estrogen in the body, and is traditionally used in China to regulate the menstrual cycle. Dong Quai is also a blood thinner, and for this reason it should not be taken during menstruation. It may be helpful in improving the chances of implantation for women who have auto-immune problems, but should not be taken if you are already taking "baby" aspirin to reduce blood clotting.
False Unicorn Root
Used for amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, endometriosis, hormonal imbalance (balancing effect), infertility, morning sickness, ovarian cysts, spermatorrhea, threatened miscarraige, uterine prolapse. It is a tonic for the reproductive organs, expecially beneficial as an aid to getting pregnant and staying pregnant, has a normalizing effect upon the ovaries. Used in infertility caused by dysfunction in follicular formation in the ovary. Eases ovarian pain and vaginal dryness. Follow directions: Taking too much may cause hot flashes, kidney and stomach irritation, blurred vision or vomiting.
Wild Yam can increase progesterone production. This can increase progesterone production for those with short luteal phases but should only be taken after ovulation. If taken before it can actually prevent ovulation.
FertilAid and Fertility Blend
If you are considering using a herbal supplement, FertilAid and Fertility Blend contain a number of key fertility herbs, as well as central vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. FertilAid is particularly rich in vitamins and minerals, and both blends containt vitex agnus castus or chasteberry.
Herbs to Avoid During Pregnancy
Various sources have recommended avoiding the following herbs during pregnancy. These herbs should also be avoided after ovulation, in case you may be pregnant.
Barberry Bloodroot, Calamus Cascara, Sagrada Fennel Flaxseed,
Goldenseal Juniper, Lavender Licorice Root, Male Fem Mayapple,
Mistletoe Passion Flower, Pennyroyal (a strong uterine stimulant!!!),Periwinkle Poke Root, Rhubarb, Sage, St. John's Wort,
Tansy Thyme, Wild Cherry Wormwood, Yarrow