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Mothering › Pregnancy Articles › Herbal Medicine for Fertility

Herbal Medicine for Fertility

Many cultures use the leaves, berries, roots, bark, and flowers of various plants for medicinal purposes. Last Saturday, I joined a group of hikers in Colorado for an herb identification walk. It wasn’t fertility-specific, but we came across a number of plants that herbalists use to balance female hormones. Come hike with me…

Colorado Summer 2010 013

Above is wild raspberry. The berries had been picked over by bears, but there were a few small ones left. They burst with flavor in my mouth. The leaves of a raspberry plant can be used in tea to ease menstrual cramps.

By the way, the herbalist who led the hike was named Lake. Isn’t that a perfect name for her job? I don’t have a picture of the next plant, but Lake pointed out a specific type of sage (not the kind to cook with). She said, “This will help induce menstruation.” All the women in the group over age 50 backed away.  “Been there, done that!” one woman joked.

Colorado Summer 2010 009

Here, I’m kneeling by a fun little purple-flowered plant called self-heal. It’s more popular in Europe than in the States, and it’s not used to boost fertility. Instead, it’s used for skin irritation (among other ailments). Still, Lake sang it high praises, so I thought I’d mention it.

Another plant we studied was red clover. It’s in the same family as soy. And like soy, it has properties that mimic estrogen. Although known to “normalize” female hormones for menstruation, I am extremely cautious of such herbs. Americans consume too much soy in their diets. I’m not an expert by any means (I’m simply a 37-year-old writer trying to get pregnant), but some causes of infertility (like endometriosis) are estrogen-dependant. Breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and uterine fibroids are also estrogen-dependent diseases. So, if you are taking herbs for fertility, this is one topic you’ll definitely want to discuss with your practitioner.

Further Reading: Chill Out and Get Healthy by Aimee Raupp

Find an Herbalist: American Herbalists Guild

Have you ever taken herbal medicines? What for? Did you notice a difference?

About Jenny Rough

Jenny Rough is a lawyer-turned-writer. Visit her on the web at www.jennyrough.com

Comments (2)

I've taken a lot of herbal supplements over the years. Mostly because I'm korean, and its something my mother always did. Ginseng is a cure-all and seaweed is supposedly really good for new mothers:). When you mentioned americans perhaps eating too much soy, I figured I probably consume more than the average american (we eat tofu with almost everything.) hmmm... Its cool to think though how accessible some of these things are. Thanks for sharing the hike.
Thanks, Kristina. I agree - it is so cool to realize there are healing plants right before our very eyes. Food always tastes better to me when I see it come straight from the ground.
Mothering › Pregnancy Articles › Herbal Medicine for Fertility