Infertility has been treated with herbs since 200 A.D. in China. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is generally used all over the world but in US it isn’t so accepted. The reason lies in a fact that efficiency of herbs isn’t scientifically verified. Additionally, studies that were carried out focused more on effect than safety. It was found out in one study that high doses of St. John’s wort, Echinacea and Ginko Biloba could affect reproductive cells and lead to genetic mutations in sperm. Some experts declared that these results aren’t valid since the test was made only once and quantity of these herbs in studied supplements was unknown. Apart from that, some of the supplements didn’t include herbal extract as it was written on the label. Due to all this, many physicians don’t believe in herbs power to treat infertility and don’t advise their patients to use them.
However, many couples confirmed effectiveness of herbs. For example, Kelly Sletten, 26, was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and was prescribed Clomid and dexamethasone. All she got from this treatment was side effects. After year and the half, her husband David suggested Kelly to try herbs. They did some research and discovered that black cohosh, Siberian ginseng, false unicorn, chastetree berry, dong quai, saw palmetto and some other herbs are helpful for irregular menstrual cycles. Results were astonishing, after only 36 days Kelly got her period. Two months later, when her cycle missed, they bought pregnancy test and discovered that Kelly was finally pregnant. Pregnancy went without any problems and the baby was healthy. Even though, there are no scientific evidences, this couple like many others swears by herbs.
Causes of Infertility
In US, there are 6.1 million women from 15 to 44 unable to conceive. Herbs are the most efficient in treating infertility caused by hormonal imbalance or irregular and infrequent menstrual cycle. In case of vitamin deficiency and improper shape of women uterus herbs can’t help. National Infertility Association states there are 150 different herbs for treating infertility. Herbal formulas usually contain eight to twenty herbs. Fresh roots, leaves, barks, fruits and flowers are used in herbal therapies and they can be prepared as tea, tincture, pills, tablets, and granules.
According to Dr. Jill Stansbury, for supporting infertility following herbs are used:
1) For women: Chastetree berry (Vitex agnus-castus) – stimulates the pituitary gland to produce luteinizing hormone (LH) that boosts ovulation. It regulates cycle in women with amenorrhea. Dong quai (Angelica sinesis) – it promotes uterus metabolism and restores regular periods as well as hormonal balance. Red clover blossom (Trifolium prataense) – it is rich source of isoflavens, compounds similar to estrogen. Licorice (Glycyrrhyza glabra) – it is beneficial for polycystic ovaries since it lowers testosterone level and increases estrogen level. Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) – has similar influence as chastetree berry but it contains isoflavone. It helps to bind estrogen receptors. Wild yam (Dioscorea villosa) – prevents miscarriage caused by disturbed hormonal balance. This herb is also used in pharmacy for production of steroids, progesterone and cortisone. False unicorn root (Chamalerium luteum) – beneficial for pelvic congestion and inhibits miscarriage. 2 ) For men: Tribulus (tribulus terestris) – it is utilized for sexual dysfunction and hormonal imbalance. Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) – enhances reproductive system function and promotes libido.