- Herbs to increase fertility in women
- Herbs for fertility in men
- FDA does not regulate herbal supplements. Are they safe to take?
- How long does it take for herbs to work?
- Can herbal medicines treat any infertility problem?
- Do herbal medicines own licenses or registrations?
- Where can you buy herbal medicines?
When you are planning to start a family, you would want to make sure you and your partner are fertile. While certain medical conditions might impact your fertility, you may want to change your lifestyle habits and include foods that could strenghten your fertility.
Across cultures, people have been using whole herbs to support their fertility and sexuality. Here, MomJunction gives you a list of herbs that are believed to improve fertility in men and women.
10 Natural Herbs To Increase Fertility In Women:
The following fertility herbs address a wide range of infertility problems, including hormonal imbalance, female obstructions, body toxicity, ovulation and other fertility-related issues. The herbs, their effect on fertility and recommended dosages have primarily been taken from the book ‘Do You Want To Have A Baby: Natural Fertility Solutions And Pregnancy Care’ by Sarah Abernathy and Linda Page.
[ Read: Fertility Foods For Women ]
1. Red raspberry (Rubus idaeus)
Red Raspberry has natural fertility enhancing properties. It is a highly nutritive astringent herb that supports uterine tissues and is a known uterine tonic. It also has phyto-progesterone qualities, which could improve progesterone levels. Red raspberry is a strong anti-inflammatory and is known to prevent miscarriages.
How to take: Red raspberry leaf is available in the form of capsules and as loose leaf. You can steep one teaspoon of leaves in one cup of boiling water (250ml) for 10-15min and consume.
Dosage: Three cups a day.
Precautions: In some cases, it can lead to loose stools and nausea.
2. Red clover (Trifolium pretense)
It is rich in plant estrogens that help boost fertility in women with estrogen deficiency. It is also helpful in correcting fallopian tube scarring, due to its anti-inflammatory properties, can regulate an irregular menstrual cycle, and is a supportive herb in unexplained infertility.
How to take: Red clover blossoms are available in a dried form. Add fours teaspoons of dried flowers to 1 liter of boiling water (1,000ml). Let the mixture sit overnight or for a minimum of four hours. You can also add a few peppermint leaves for flavor.
Dosage: Four cups a day
Precautions: Red clover is contraindicated in pregnancy and breastfeeding. So if you believe you have conceived you need to stop drinking it. It is also contraindicated in conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids due to its estrogen-like properties.
3. Dong Quai (Angelica Sinensis)
Extensively used in Chinese medicine, this herbal medicine regulates menstruation and ovulation. It clears stagnation of blood (a major cause of infertility) and also assists in toning the uterus (1).
How to take: You can take it as a liquid extract (tincture) added to water.
Dosage: 30 drops, two times a day
- Avoid taking it along with blood-thinning medications.
- Stop once the menstrual flow starts.
- Do not use when you are affected by diarrhea, excessive menstrual flow or hemorrhagic conditions.
[ Read: Fertility Drugs For Men ]
4. False unicorn (Chamalerium luteum)
Although this herb is used for fertility, you should use it only when a qualified herbalist or midwife prescribes it. False unicorn root is used only when the other herbs fail to give the desired results.
It acts as a uterine tonic to reduce pelvic congestion. It prevents miscarriage, regulates menstruation and strengthens uterine lining.
How to take: You can take it in the form of infusion or tincture.
Dosage: One to two grams of the infusion or one to two milliliters of the extract every day.
Precautions: Large dosages could lead to gastrointestinal problems such as nausea and vomiting (2).
5. Wild yam (Dioscorea villosa)
Traditional Chinese herbalists use wild yam to bring warmth to a cold, stagnant uterus and to allow more free-flowing Qi (life force) to the body and female reproductive system.
It is used as aphrodisiac in some medical practices (3).
How to take: It can be taken in capsule, infused and fresh root tincture forms.
Dosage: Capsule – 2-4g; infusion – 1 cup; tincture – 2 to 3 dropperfuls, divided into three doses a day
- Use it only before ovulation, i.e., the first half of the menstrual cycle.
- Wild Yam works best taken over time. This herb is not advised if you have a history of estrogen responsive cancers.
6. Vitex (Chaste tree)
This herb helps in normalizing the ovulation process. It stimulates the luteinizing hormone and minimizes the release of the follicle-stimulating hormone. Moreover, vitex balances the estrogen and progesterone production in the body (4).
Vitex is a slow-acting herb supporting the body’s own hormone cycle rather than providing any hormones itself.
How to take: Available in capsule, loose herb, tincture, tea and powder forms.
Dosage: Capsules – 900 to 1000mg a day, tincture – 60 to 90 drops a day
Precautions: It should not be used along with prescription medications containing hormones.
[ Read: Ayurvedic Treatments For Infertility ]
7. Stinging nettle
Nettle nourishes and tones the uterus while strengthening the kidneys and adrenal glands. It is also loaded with chlorophyll (acts as detoxifier), which assists in preparing your body for conception and pregnancy. Nettle also supports liver health, which in turn supports hormonal balance in the body.
How to take: It can be taken in the form of tea (infusion). Take one ounce of dried nettle leaves in a quart jar. Add boiling water and close the lid. Allow the infusion to steep overnight or for four to 10 hours. You can add honey to taste.
Dosage: Two to four cups of nettle tea daily
Precautions: It should not be used along with blood thinners (such as aspirin and warfarin) as it interferes with their mechanism (5).
8. Black cohosh (Cimicifuga spp)
The toning herb is helpful for prolapsed uterus and fibroids. It increases the estrogen levels in the body, which can minimize the chances of miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy (6).
How to take: Tincture or capsule is best.
Dosage: Tincture: 15 drops a day; or dried root in a capsule: 100mg a day.
Precautions: Over dosage can lead to upset stomach and vomiting.
9. Motherwort (Leonurus cardiac)
This herb is very useful in stimulating the uterus and improving the uterine tone. It works efficiently in bringing on the menstrual cycle, delayed due to stress or anxiety (7).
How to take: Mix one teaspoon of dried herb in one cup (250ml) of boiling water. Let it steep for 10 to 15 minutes, and drink. Motherwort is a bitter herb, so you may want to add another herb such as peppermint or chamomile to make it more palatable.
Dosage: Infusion: Three cups a day; tincture: 15 drops, three times a day.
Precautions: Do not take it during a heavy menstrual period or during pregnancy
10. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Also referred to as ayurvedic rasayana or rejuvenator, ashwagandha significantly aids fertility. It enhances the endocrine system, thus regulating the adrenal and thyroid glands, which are helpful in balancing the reproductive organs. Ashwagandha also strengthens the ovaries, uterus, and the immune system (8).
[ Read: Yoga Asanas To Boost Fertility ]
How to take: You need Ashwagandha root powder, water, milk, and ghee to prepare the remedy. You can take it for two to three months to enhance fertility.
Take about 25g of root powder and put in 400ml water. Boil so that the proportion is reduced to one-fourth of the original quantity. Now, add 100ml milk and continue to boil until it reduces to 100ml. Filter and consume it while it is hot.
Dosage: Take about 30ml before food in the morning, along with half a teaspoon of ghee.
Precautions: Reduce the amount of ghee if you have high cholesterol levels.
10 Natural Herbs For Boosting Fertility In Men:
Fertility herbs help men overcome low sperm count, normalize sperm quality and quantity, libido and other fertility problems.
11. Damiana (Turnera diffusa)
This is an effective herb with libido-promoting properties, helpful for both men and women. It helps restore reproductive health, and also treats premature ejaculation or impotence.
How to take: Add 2 teaspoons of dried damiana leaves in two cups (500ml) of boiling water and let it steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain it, add honey and drink while it is fresh. The herb is also available in capsule form.
Dosage: Infusion: three cups a day, capsules: 400mg a day
12. American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)
This herb helps tone and nourish the male reproductive system, and treats impotence. It is known to improve sperm count, motility, and testosterone concentration (9).
How to take: Available both in tincture and capsule form
Dosage: Tincture: 5ml, three times a day; capsule: Two 500mg capsules 2 times a day
Precautions: Avoid combining with blood thinning medications.
13. Peruvian Maca (Lepidium meyenii)
Known as “the herbal Viagra” Peruvian Maca helps improve libido, sperm count, and motility. It is an active endurance enhancer and rectifies erectile dysfunction (10).
How to take: Available in powder, capsule and tincture forms. The powder can be added to juice, smoothies, and yogurt.
Dosage: 1,000mg daily; you can take in one dosage or multiple doses
Precautions: Maca stimulates energy and should not be taken before bedtime.
14. Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens)
It has been traditionally used for improving prostate health, low libido, and impotence. It also builds and tones the male reproductive system (11).
How to take: Available in liquid extract and capsule forms
Dosage: One teaspoon of the extract (tincture), or one 400mg capsule every day
Precautions: Do not take it in combination with any other fertility or PCOS medications.
15. Tribulus (Tribulus terretris)
It is known to help strengthen the reproductive system in both men and women. It helps improve sperm count, motility and erectile dysfunction (12).
How to take: Available in the form of capsules.
Dosage: 500mg, one to three capsules every day, for two to three months.
Precautions: Tribulus can interfere with heart and blood pressure medications
16. Horny goat weed (Epimedium grandiflorum)
The herb has been traditionally used for treating impotence. It is believed to improve testosterone levels, stimulate sensory nerves and boost healthy sperm production (13).
How to take: Available in capsule form
Dosage: 500mg, one capsule every day
Precautions: Long-term use can lead to vomiting, nausea, headaches, thirst and dry mouth, breathing difficulties and episodic spasms.
17. Schisandra berry (Schisandra chinensis)
This herb significantly helps in enhancing the sperm production. It is also known to increase enzyme production and the levels of glycogen, which is essential for gonad and kidney health.
How to take: Can be taken raw, dried, cooked or in tincture or capsule forms.
Dosage: Can be taken raw, dried, cooked or in tincture or capsule forms.
- Avoid if you have high blood pressure or peptic ulcers.
- High doses can cause gastrointestinal problems.
18. Astragalus (Astragalus propinquus)
It is helpful in boosting immunity and improving the sperm quality and motility (14).
How to take: Available in powder and capsule form
Dosage: 5g three times a day
Precautions: The most common side effect is diarrhea. It may also influence the blood sugar levels and blood pressure.
[ Read: FertilAid For Women & Men ]
19. Yohimbe (Pausinystalia yohimbe)
The bark supports healthy circulation in the reproductive organs. It, therefore, treats erectile dysfunction and improves libido (15).
How to take: Available in the form of dry powder and liquid extract
Dosage: Powder: 135 to 540mg per day; Extract: 30 to 40 drops per day
Precautions: Avoid using in case of low blood pressure; toxic in high dosages.
20. Goji berry (Lycium barbarum)
The dried Goji fruit is known to protect sperm from overheating (hyperthermia), thus helping preserve sperm quality and quantity. It also supports hormonal balance by supporting liver functioning (16).
How to take: Available in the form of tincture and powder. For the decoction, use two teaspoons of dried fruit powder in 12 ounces (500ml) of water. Simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes with a lid on and then allow it to steep for 40 to 50 minutes keeping it covered.
Dosage: Decoction: 3 cups a day; tincture: 70 drops divided into four times a day.
Precautions: Avoid goji berries if your blood sugar and blood pressure levels are low, as they can further drop them (17).
You may also take a combination of the herbs mentioned above. Consult a naturopath or herbalist or midwife for guidance before trying any of these fertility herbs. Most medical doctors, however, do not suggest herbs as treatments.
Note: The dosages mentioned above are generic and should not be considered final. Dosages may vary from person to person, and also according to the severity of the condition.
Now that you know about the various herbs you can try for fertility, in the next section we address the queries you might have on fertility herbs.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. FDA does not regulate herbal supplements. Are they safe to take?
Herbs are usually safe to use, and they have been used in medicines since ancient times. However, there is little regulation of herbal remedies in the US. But an independent public health organization called the US Pharmacopeia (USP) enforces its standards for the herbs (18).
Note that some of the herbs are not safe for pregnant women. So, always check with an experienced herbalist or naturopath before trying any of the herbs discussed in this article.
Note: If the USDA has labeled a herb “contraindicated” for pregnant or nursing mothers, it may be noted that it has been labeled so because the herb has not undergone any testing. Most herbalists will have knowledge about the safety of herbs for pregnancy and breastfeeding.
2. How long does it take for herbs to work?
Each fertility herb has distinct properties and comes with guidelines for the duration of use. Some may give you quick results while some take time. It is always best to continue the herbs for the suggested period. Also, you should stop taking all fertility herbs once you get pregnant.
3. Can herbal medicines treat any infertility problem?
Herbal medicines can treat a variation of infertility issues, such as hormonal imbalance, sperm factors and sometimes even unexplained fertility.
There have also been reports of positive results when herbs are combined with gonadotropins during in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI). Use of herbs resulted in improved gonadotropin effect with no potential risks.
For best results, consider using supplements that are a combination of herbs, vitamins, and minerals.
4. Do herbal medicine practitioners own licenses or registrations?
Herbal medicine practice is not usually a licensed profession. But, some providers take up a regional or national board certification. To stay safe, consult a practitioner who has a certification.
5. Where can you buy herbal medicines?
You can purchase herbal supplements online and also in certain health food and vitamin stores.
If you want to use fertility herbs, start by understanding why you need them and what your goal is. Consult a reliable herbalist or naturopath to understand how these herbs work. Then plan your budget, and analyze how long you can commit to the treatment. You should also consider your diet, lifestyle and emotional state, as they can impact your fertility levels.
Did you use any of these herbs for fertility? If yes, then how did they help you? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below.
- Can Durian Fruit Cure Infertility?
- Causes Of Male Infertility And Treatment Options
- Baba Ramdev Yoga Postures For Infertility
Latest posts by Rebecca Malachi (see all)
- Diastasis Recti: Causes Of Ab Seperation During And After Pregnancy - October 11, 2019
- 100 Scandinavian Last Names Or Surnames With Meanings - October 4, 2019
- 100 Cool Pirate Names For Baby Boys And Girls - October 1, 2019
- What Causes Fetal Distress? What Are Its Signs And Treatment? - October 1, 2019
- Postpartum Massage: Benefits, Techniques And Right Time To Start - October 1, 2019
- Prenatal Massage: Benefits, Safe Techniques And When To Avoid - September 30, 2019
- 100 Common Welsh Surnames Or Last Names With Meanings - September 26, 2019
- Postpartum Hemorrhoids (Piles): Causes, Treatment And Homecare - September 20, 2019
- List Of Safe Fish To Eat During Pregnancy And Fish To Avoid - August 2, 2019
- Can You Have Your Period When Pregnant? - July 3, 2019