Perhaps mid-wives and wise-women, as well as physicians of past centuries did not know exactly what was in each plant and berry, but they learnt to use them effectively.
In today’s society it seems so much simpler to swallow a vitamin or supplement pill for better health. What people don’t realise is that there is more to many plants and herbs than just vitamins: most times the best results come from the whole plant, rather than just the specific vitamin or mineral. Herbal products have been shown to help restore balance to an imbalanced hormonal system. They are important to improve ovulation, conception, and the maintenance of a healthy pregnancy. Though some don’t accept their value, others do, and even claim near-miraculous results with their use before and during pregnancy. Some of these include Chaste Tree Berry, False Unicorn Root, Nettle Leaves and Red Raspberry Leaves. You should not use these if you are taking fertility drugs or other hormone treatments. Also be cautious about the purity of the herbs you choose, as this can sometimes be a problem.
Chaste Tree Berry
Vitex Agnus Castus is the official name of the Chaste Tree Berry. This Mediterranean berry has been used for over 2500 years and is well documented for its qualities when it comes to hormonal imbalances in women. It’s great for regulating your menstruation cycle and can aid in stimulating ovulation, making it one of the best herbs for conception. If you have been having previous pregnancy issues, such as early miscarriages, Agnus Castus can be of help to you.
The recommended amount of the crushed dried berries is about ¼ of a teaspoon, but no need to heap it on. Just sprinkle it over your food, preferably during breakfast, or perhaps drink one cup of a decoction made from boiling the bark, leaves or berries of the shrub. You can buy Agnus Castus in different forms in herbal stores, but be sure to follow the manufacturer’s advice for dosage. The important thing to remember is to not take the Chaste Tree Berry with any kind of progesterone supplements, or other medications that affect a woman’s hormone balance. Give your body some time, perhaps a month, to take advantage of the changes the berries will bring about.
The Chaste Tree Berry unfortunately has an opposite effect on men, and was used by monks in the middle ages to keep their sexual urges to a minimum. That’s where its common name came from. If you are hoping to conceive with the use of your partner’s sperm, it may be best to keep it out of sight!
False Unicorn Root
The False Unicorn Root (Chamaelirium luteum), happens to be an endangered species. Although it has been used by women for centuries as a fertility booster, it has been known to have similar effects on men, since it fixes impotency. It’s been suggested that it will aid in reducing miscarriages, however, it is best to use it if your doctor agrees.
The most common way to digest False Unicorn Root is as a tea, three times a day. The dried root can be taken as a ¼ teaspoon three times a day. Using any form of the root can be harmful during the pregnancy, so discontinue using it as soon as you know that you have conceived. As with all herbal medicines and homeopathic drugs, be sure to read the literature and ask lots of the right questions, so you can get the right answers.
There are many varieties of nettles, Urtica dioica, also known as Stinging Nettles, and they’re usually avoided because of their ability to irritate the skin. The nettle leaf happens to be full of proteins, iron and other minerals, and have been recommended for centuries by herbalists to use for numerous reasons. The health benefits, once you get past the stinging nettles, will aid in cleaning out your body from toxins, help regulate and normalize menstruation for women and increase vitality in men by boosting their testosterone. It’s a great way to prepare your body to become pregnant.
As with most herbs, nettle leaf can be taken as a tea, in a tincture, or even cooked as a leafy green. The boiling and cooking takes out the stinging, and if you do get stung, you can use the nettle leaf juices as an anti-inflammatory. Be careful when using nettle leaf with other medications, but it is considered to be safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Red Raspberry Leaves
Red Raspberry Leaves (Rubus idaeus) are one of the safest herbs to use before and during pregnancy. Its amazing benefits have also been tried and true, throughout history. The leaves are rich in vitamins A, B, C and E and minerals and their alkaloids effectively strengthens a woman’s pelvic and uterine muscles. If you use it regularly it can prevent miscarriages and postpartum haemorrhaging due to an atonic (non-contracting) uterus.
Red Raspberry Leaves, when combined with Red Clover, are great for men too as a fertility aid. It’s acceptable to alternatively drink red raspberry leaf teas and nettle leaf tea, to ensure excellent health before, during and after pregnancy. As always, be aware of how herbs affect you as an individual, and make certain you’re not allergic to any herbs or get too gassy from using them.