Whether you're trying to get pregnant now or want to maintain your natural fertility for later, the use of herbal medicinal therapies is an alternative to taking conventional fertility medication. While teas provide a relatively easy way to ingest herbs, you should consult a doctor before using them.
Herbal Tea Background
Herbal medicinal teas have been used for more than 2500 years, says Mike Berkley, L.Ac., director of The Berkley Center for Reproductive Wellness and Women's Health. Herbal "teas" are actually infusions containing no tea leaves. The components are generally water infused with an herb's dried fruits, roots, bark, flowers and leaves.
Herbal teas can be an attractive fertility-enhancing agent because they can be purchased without a prescription. Mike Berkley says that herbal medicinal teas can help women with elevated levels of follicle-stimulating hormone, or FSH, endometriosis, PCOS and other non-structural causes of infertility. He also recommends herbal teas to treat male factor infertility.
Using Herbal Teas
Liz Roseman, L.Ac., of The Fertile Soul, remarks on the use of mindfulness when taking herbal teas. The flavors of various herbs can be unpleasant. Also, a typical approach to medicine-taking is to do so hurriedly. Roseman recommends instead savoring teas while reflecting on the healing powers contained within your cup.
Which Herbs to Use
Some of the commonly used herbs for enhancing fertility are red raspberry leaf, nettle leaf, and chasteberry, or vitex. If you have been trying to get pregnant without success, you should consult licensed herbalists, traditional Chinese medicine physicians, and similar prescribing professionals to determine which herbs are best suited to your particular fertility problem. There are numerous possible causes for infertility, and medicinal herbs -- like non-herbal medicines -- can be highly specific in their actions.
Some herbal teas that are used for promoting fertility may actually be harmful during pregnancy. This is another reason to use herbal teas under the supervision of a professional who can advise you on the safest times to ingest specific herbs. The drinking of herbal teas may cause adverse reactions which can include dizziness, headache, dry mouth, nausea, or irritable gastrointestinal symptoms. Mild to moderate reactions will usually resolve once the herbal tea is discontinued, but a physician should be seen in any case of adverse effect.
- Mike Berkley, L.Ac., director of The Berkley Center for Reproductive Wellness and Women's Health, NYC
- The Fertile Soul: Enjoying Your Herbs
- Institute for Traditional Medicine Online: Chinese Herbs And Fertility