While we have come to rely on doctors, hormone injections, and ovulation calendars when faced with fertility problems, historically, many cultures and societies turned to herbs to aid or enhance fertility.
If you’re unwilling to head to the doctor quite yet, you could try these ancient remedies.
Herbs for women.
Dong quai can be used to regulate estrogen and improve chances for implantation.
Evening primrose oil can be taken after menstruation, but before ovulation to increase the quality of cervical fluid. It should not bet taken after ovulation, because it can cause uterine contractions that could terminate a new pregnancy.
False unicorn can be taken from menstruation to the beginning of ovulation to increase fertility.
Red raspberry leaf can be taken the entire length of the cycle to promote uterine health. It should be discontinued at conception.
Chaste berry can be taken the entire length of the cycle to improve and promote general fertility.
Herbs for men.
Saw palmetto can be taken as an aphrodisiac to increase male fertility.
Damiana can be taken to combat impotence.
Maca can be taken to increase testosterone levels and seminal volume. It can also be used to treat erectile disfunction.
Yohimbe works similarly to Viagra, dilating blood vessels to increase blood flow to the genital region. This helps combat impotence and erectile dysfunction. Yohimbe can have serious neurological side effects, so it is recommended that you consult your doctor before taking this herb.
Cayenne can naturally stimulate blood flow, which can help with erectile dysfunction.
Pumpkin seed helps regulate male hormone levels and increase the strength of muscular contractions.
Horny goat weed, not surprisingly, is considered a strong male aphrodisiac. It also lowers blood pressure.
Most of the herbs listed can be found at any herbalist, natural food store, or herbal supplement shop.
In addition to individual herbs, many companies manufacture herbal teas or capsules that contain a mixture of herbs considered beneficial to fertility.
There are also many herbs considered beneficial to the health of pregnant women after they conceive. Men can switch from fertility enhancing herbs to stress relieving herbs to help them deal with the stress of a pregnant wife and a baby on the way.
If you are considering taking herbs for fertility, you should be cautioned that because herbal supplements are regulated under US law as dietary supplements instead of drugs, the FDA has no authority to regulate them. This means that manufacturers face no legal penalty if their labels misrepresent their products. One study on St. John’s Wort revealed that the amount of herbs contained in products often varied wildly from what the labels claimed.
Any herb with the ability to interact with your body to increase fertility also has the potential to interact with your body to cause unpleasant or harmful side effects. Always research and read the labels of any herbs you are considering taking.
As always, it’s wise to consult your physician before adding any herbal supplements to your diet. This is especially true when taking herbs close to conception or during pregnancy.