- Herbs to increase fertility in women
- Herbs for fertility in men
- FDA does not regulate herbal supplements. Are they safe to take?
- Are herbs good to take any time?
- 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?
You could be doing everything you can to get pregnant, only to get disappointed month after month. It hurts that you cannot conceive.
But don’t give up yet. A few changes in your diet, lifestyle and natural supplements can help improve your fertility rate and thus your chances of conception. Among the supplements, whole herbs are known to have a profound effect on fertility and sexuality.
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 muscles in healthy conception. It also has phyto-progesterone qualities, which could improve progesterone levels. Red raspberry is known to prevent miscarriages and pregnancy complications.
How to take: Red raspberry leaf is available in the form of capsules and as loose leaf. You can steep two teaspoons of leaves in one cup of boiling water for 10-15min and consume.
Dosage: Three to six cups every day depending on your condition.
- In some cases, it can lead to loose stools and nausea.
- Use completely dried leaves for making the tea to keep away the Cyclospora parasite found in raspberries.
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, irregular menstrual cycle, and unexplained infertility.
How to take: Red clover blossoms are available in a dried form. Add one ounce of dried flowers to a cup of boiling water. Let the mixture sit overnight or for about four hours. You can also add a few peppermint leaves for flavor.
Dosage: One to four cups a day
Precautions: There is no contraindication of red clover usage in any form (team extract or capsule).
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 a weak 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)
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 (decoction) 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)
Wild yam contains diosgenin, a saponin that promotes mild progesterone balancing properties. It, therefore, helps in enhancing fertility (3).
How to take: It can be taken in capsule, infused and fresh root tincture forms.
Dosage: Capsule – 2-4gm; infusion – 1 cup; tincture – 2 to 3 dropperfuls, thrice a day
- Use it only before ovulation, i.e., the first half of the menstrual cycle.
- In high dosages, it shows anti-fertility properties.
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).
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.
How to take: It can be taken in the form of tea. 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 abortion in the early stages of pregnancy (6).
How to take: It is available in tablet, capsule and tincture forms.
Dosage: 40 to 80mg a day
Precautions: Overdosage 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 to two teaspoons of dried herb in one cup of boiling water. Let it steep for 10 to 15 minutes, and serve.
Dosage: Three cups a day; in the case of liquid extract, take 5 to 25 drops, three times a day.
Precautions: Do not take it during a heavy menstrual period.
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 get pregnant.
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 one ounce of dried damiana leaves in two cups 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: Three times a day or 300 to 600mg a day
Precautions: High doses could cause cyanide toxicity (9).
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 (10).
How to take: Available both in tincture and capsule form
Dosage: Tincture: 3 to 5ml, three times a day; capsule: 500mg, 1 to 3 capsules every 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 (11).
How to take: Available in powder, capsule and tincture forms. The powder can be added to juice, smoothies, and yogurt.
Dosage: 500 to 3000mg 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 (12).
How to take: Available in liquid extract and capsule forms
Dosage: One teaspoon of the extract, 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 (13).
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 (14).
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: Follow the suggested dosage mentioned by the manufacturer.
- It can cause allergic reactions in some people.
- 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 (15).
How to take: Available in powder and capsule form
Dosage: 500mg to 1.5g thrice a day
Precautions: Do not take if you are affected with viral conditions as this herb can aid the virus.
[ 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 (16).
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 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 (17).
How to take: Available in the form of tincture and powder. For the decoction, use two teaspoons of dried fruit powder in 12 ounces of water. Boil for about 15 to 20 minutes and allow it to steep for 40 to 50 minutes.
Dosage: Decoction: 3 cups a day; tincture: 60 to 90 drops four times a day.
Precautions: Avoid goji berries if your blood sugar and blood pressure levels are low, as they can further drop them (18).
You may also take a combination of the herbs mentioned above. Consult a naturopath or herbalist for guidance before trying any of these fertility herbs. 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 (19).
Note that some of the herbs are not safe for pregnant women. So, always check with an experienced naturopath before trying any of the herbs discussed in this article.
2. Are herbs good to take any time?
Do not take herbs when you are on birth control pills such as Lupron, Cetrotide or Antagon. Herbal medicines for fertility aim to improve ovarian function whereas birth control pills do the opposite. Taking them together can cause powerful negative interactions within the body (20).
[ Read: Fertility Drugs For Women ]
3. 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.
4. Can herbal medicines treat any infertility problem?
Herbal medicines can treat infertility issues, such as hormonal imbalance, short luteal phase, male factor or any other unexplained problem.
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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
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