When you’re going through infertility treatments and trying to start a family, it can be frustrating if you feel like you’re not seeing the results that you want. Even if you follow all of the recommended medical advice and guidelines, there can still be setbacks, and starting your family can still take time.
While facing challenges in treatment can be frustrating, sometimes all you need are some slight adjustments to your treatment, and a little herbal medicine can go a long way. By adding certain herbs to your daily diet, you can receive fertility benefits and boost your fertility.
For much of human history, plants have been regarded as healing and restorative substances. As time has progressed, humans have expanded the catalogue of nutritional and medicinal plants that we use, and these plants have been increasingly incorporated into many areas of modern medicine.
Because the techniques and records of herbal medicine have been historically passed down through oral traditions instead of through written documentation, Western science has been somewhat reluctant to fully embrace herbal medicine. Despite the setbacks that herbal and holistic medical approaches have faced throughout the twentieth century, today, botanical medicines are increasingly accepted and used in modern medicine.
In fact, the use of botanical medicines in the United states between 1990 and 1997 increased by 380 percent, compared to use in prior decades. According to the World Health Organization, botanical medicines are also widely used outside of the United States: approximately 75 to 85 percent of the world’s population relies on the dispensation of botanical medicines.
If you are a prospective parent who is looking to start your family, experiencing fertility issues can be physically and mentally challenging. Your first instinct is probably to seek professional fertility consultations and treatments — and rightfully so. But in the midst of standard fertility treatment, it can be easy to overlook smaller lifestyle alterations you can make that will help you on your fertility journey. This is where herbs come in.
While many herbs have been known to bring positive fertility developments to their users, it’s important to remember that each person has unique health needs and will respond differently to different foods and substances.
If you are unsure about adding herbs to your diet during your fertility treatments or unsure about the types and quantities of herbs that will be most beneficial to you, be sure to consult an herbal therapist or a doctor prior to consumption.
Often referred to as “The King of All Herbs,” Ginseng has been found to be a promising agent that improves general well-being in addition to positively impacting male fertility. Traditionally used in Chinese medical practices to enhance sexual behavior and to treat sexual dysfunction, ginseng has been positively correlated with libido and copulatory performances.
Also, Ginseng has been found to improve the sperm quality and count of both healthy individuals and individuals experiencing treatment-related infertility. Along with these benefits, Ginseng is also linked with
Belonging to the ginger family, Turmeric contains curcumin — one of the three curcuminoids present in turmeric. Curcumin is particularly known for its anti-inflammatory effects. Because certain inflammation conditions can negatively affect fertility, turmeric can be a helpful substance in aiding fertility.
Curcumin is also a powerful antioxidant and can support antioxidant enzymes in reducing cell damage. As a result, turmeric also benefits fertility by supporting egg and sperm quality.
Since the compounds in turmeric are poorly absorbed when eaten on their own, it can be important to eat other foods alongside turmeric in order to receive its full benefits.
Unsure of ways to incorporate turmeric into your diet? Consider trying turmeric oil, turmeric dressing, or turmeric milk lattes.
Even though it’s typically used to add flavor to foods, cinnamon can also be used to help jump-start irregular menstrual cycles in women who are affected by infertility disorders.
In a study by researchers from Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, researchers found that women with polycystic ovary syndrome who took daily cinnamon supplements had almost twice the number of menstrual cycles over the course of a six-month period as women who were given a placebo.
While it is not yet clear why cinnamon is effective at regulating menstrual cycles in women with polycystic ovary syndrome, researchers do know that cinnamon has a role in improving the body’s ability to process glucose and insulin. This is significant, because polycystic ovary syndrome is thought to be caused by insensitivity to insulin.
A natural source of Omega 6 fatty acids, Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) can help women relieve period symptoms and produce fertile cervical mucus. These cervical fluids are important for successful fertilization. However, it is recommended that women should only take EPO up until ovulation and not through pregnancy.
Understood to stimulate luteinizing hormone (LH) production, chasteberry helps regulate the menstrual cycle by balancing progesterone and estrogen levels.
By consuming chasteberry or chasteberry extract, women can improve their fertility by lengthening their cycles and raising their progesterone levels to combat luteal phase deficiency.
Humans have been using herbs and herbal remedies to address health issues for thousands of years, but it’s still important to do research before incorporating new foods and substances into your diet. If you are considering trying new herbs or herbal supplements, consult with your doctor and see what research has already been conducted.
For couples who are experiencing difficulties getting pregnant for both apparent and unapparent reasons, trying herbal remedies in tandem with in vitro fertilization or intrauterine insemination might be an effective way to boost your fertility.
When facing fertility challenges, it can be easy to only focus on drastic, broad courses of treatment. But there can be other, smaller changes you can make to your lifestyle to increase your chances of a successful pregnancy. If you are experiencing fertility setbacks and are not sure what to do next, looking into herbal remedies could be a helpful strategy for dealing with infertility.