Supporting the body with herbs and nutraceuticals
Our first blog in this series on fertility focused on how women and couples can establish when they are the most fertile and whether or not they are ovulating.
Once a woman is aware of her cycle, she and her partner are well equipped to begin the timed process of baby making.
Often times however, just “trying” for a baby, is insufficient and few things can be more frustrating than being unable to conceive once you feel that you are ready. During this time a woman’s body may require additional natural interventions to support ovulation, ensure implantation, and to secure the pregnancy. Supporting the reproductive system can help to increase the chances of conceiving and carrying a healthy baby to term. There are numerous scientifically validated natural remedies (both herbs and nutraceuticals) that help to restore balance to the female system and promote reproductive wellness.
Chaste-tree (Vitex agnus-castus)
This berry helps to improve the likelihood of ovulation and helps to support progesterone levels, while decreasing estrogen in the body. Chaste-tree works by regulating and supporting the pituitary gland, which is the master gland for hormone productions. It is an excellent remedy for women suffering from Polycystic Ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and for those who are ovulating too late in their menstrual cycle and can be used to prevent miscarriages in the first trimester. Chaste-tree is considered to be a slow acting herb, and since it supports the body’s own production of hormones. It is recommended that it be used for a minimum of three to six months to see the full benefit.
Red Raspberry Leaf
Used as a tea, raspberry leaf is widely used as a pregnancy tonic and to help tonify the muscles of the uterus, helping to prevent miscarriage, postpartum hemorrhage, and to assist in a speedy delivery during labour. Red raspberry leaf is high in nourishing vitamins such as vitamin A, C, and E, and minerals like calcium, iron, phosphorous, and potassium.
High in polyphenols, green tea is able to scavenge free radicals, which cause damage to the DNA in your cells and contribute to the development of various diseases. Green tea can help to reduce inflammation in the body, increase egg viability and decrease cellular damage to the reproductive organs
Traditionally used for various female disorders, Ladies Mantle is rich in natural estrogenic flavonoids that help to impart female hormonal balance and regulate the menstrual cycle. In addition to being used to treat impaired fertility, this herb can be used to naturally address uterine fibroids, irregular menses, to help facilitate the labour process and to prevent miscarriage by strengthening the tone of the uterus.
Also high in minerals such as calcium and magnesium, red clover can help relax the nervous system and restore balance to the hormonal system. The high mineral content, makes it alkalinizing, and may support fertile mucous, thereby enhancing the likelihood that sperm can move safely towards the uterus.
Used for centuries as a nutritive, nettle leaf is high in vitamins such as calcium and iron and anti-oxidants. It is a uterine tonic and strengthens the adrenal glands and kidneys to help assist with energy production in the body and improve waste elimination via the urine.
These herbs can be purchased pre-mixed or combined into a great tasting tea that can be sipped throughout the day and present a convenient alternative to conventional treatments. As always, be mindful of using organic ingredients where possible to reduce the overall burden of toxins on the body.
By Suzanna Ivanovics BSc, ND. Naturopathic Doctor
Click here for Part 1 - Understanding Fertility and Increasing your Chances