Are you one in eight? Statistics show that one in eight couples is infertile.
Some types of infertility may be permanent, but some may be reversible.
Sometimes the cause is physical, sometimes psychological or emotional.
Herbal remedies can play an important part in assisting fertility as well as emotional healing. In particular where there is no pathological reason for infertility. Your GP might tell you that there is nothing wrong with either of you and advises you to 'just give it time'. Diet plays a vital role. Foods containing vitamin E, Selenium and Zinc significantly improve fertility.
Avoid coffee and alcohol which can cause vitamin B6 deficiency. Eat plenty of food containing essential fatty acids like unrefined vegetable and seed oils, nuts and seed, beans and pulses. Evening primrose and hempseed oil are very beneficial. But most of all relax and enjoy life. If several months go by, and you are still not expecting, then it might be useful to see a practitioner for herbal treatment. The herbs prescribed by a registered herbalist can help to balance the hormones and create favourable conditions in the uterus. No 'standard recipe' exists because each individual's case is different. A herbal treatment should be taylor-made for you depending on your case.
Professor Kathy Sykes (Professor for Public Engagement in Science and Engineering at the University of Bristol who presented the BBC2 Open University programme Alternative Medicine: The Evidence) described it: "One herb is like a musical instrument but several herbs mixed together are like an orchestra, they work together synergistically. Below is a selection of herbs: Chaste Berry (Vitex agnus castus) stimulates the pituitary gland thus normalising the female sex hormones. This herb may also be used after discontinuing the use of the 'pill' to restore normal ovulation. It is a safe plant, which has been used for centuries to rebalance hormones in women but it is not fast acting.
It will take several months but its effects will be powerful. It not only helps to improve fertility but also minimises symptoms of PMS. It regulates heavy, frequent or lack of periods. Problems around the menopause can also be treated with Agnus castus.
False Unicorn root (Chamaelirium luteum) is a North American plant used as a tonic for the reproductive organs. It improves fertility and it helps to prevent miscarriage where this is due to an over relaxed uterus. In men it can be used to treat impotence. As a bitter herb it has a tonic effect on the liver and digestive system improving appetite and reducing nausea and morning sickness during pregnancy.
Ginseng (Panax ginseng). This herb stimulates the immune system and increases fertility in men and women. It can increase sexual desire, increase sperm count and sperm motility. It has a stimulating effect on sexual energy, particularly when low libido is associated with stress or a general feeling of exhaustion. Like Vitex it acts on the pituitary gland and the adrenal gland. Taken during childbirth it supports the second stage of pushing and gives the flagging energy a boost.
Always consult your doctor or a registered medical herbalist if you are unsure about taking any kind of medication.
By Luzia Barclay Registered UK Medical Herbalist, DBTh MIRCH
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Biography: Luzia Barclay, DBTh MIRCH, practices from her clinic, Turnworth Herbal Practice, near Blandford Forum in Dorset, UK.
Luzia Barclay is an experienced teacher and regularly leads courses at Kingston Maurward and Dorset Adult Education, as well as at her own clinic.
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