Sub-optimal fertility is a common problem for many women and men. In some instances this arises due to a shortened luteal phase, reducing the ability to conceive and increasing the risk of miscarriage. Another common problem is irregularity in menstrual cycles.
There are a range of herbs that can help improve fertility, for both men and women. Many herbal remedies have been handed down through the generations as fertility tonics, some of which are backed by scientific evidence to enhance fertility. Naturopaths and other alternative medical practitioners often advise certain herbal remedies to boost fertility.
Conversely, there are also a variety of herbs that can be used to lower fertility. As with any herbal treatment, it’s important to discuss the suitability with your homeopath or gynecologist. Infertility can arise from a range of causes and it’s important to treat the condition accordingly.
Detoxification of the body
Prior to starting any fertility treatment, it’s important to detoxify the body and remove any heavy metals and other environmental toxins. This will improve overall health and well-being, making fertility treatments more effective. There are several specialty herbs that can be combined and brewed into tea that can be used to cleanse the body:
|Nettle leaves (diuretic effect)||2 parts|
|Ladys Mantle (tannins bind to heavy metals and remove them from the body)||3 parts|
|Goldenrod (invigorates the kidney)||2 parts|
|Ground Ivy (cleanses the blood and stimulates metabolism)||3 parts|
|Yarrow (stimulates metabolism)||2 parts|
|Pansy (a diuretic and blood purifier)||½ part|
|Cranesbill (binds to toxins and removes them)||2 parts|
|Dead Nettle (enhances metabolism and purifies blood)||3 parts|
|Angelica (strengthens the liver and promotes bile production)||1 part|
|Barberry (blood purifier and liver tonic)||1 part|
|Burnet (binds toxins)||1 part|
|Silver Thistle (diuretic)||1 part|
|Goldenrod (strengthens the kidneys)||1 part|
|Ground ivy (metabolism promoting)||1 part|
|Masterwort (purifies blood)||1 part|
|Chicory root (stimulates metabolism)||1 part|
To make a cup of the cleansing tea, add two teaspoons of the mixture and pour over boiling water. Let stand for about ten minutes, then strain before consuming. The tea should be taken three times a week for a period of four weeks to properly cleanse the system.
Important herbs for boosting female fertility
While well-known for seasoning, basil is also an important medicinal herb with far-reaching effects. Basil contains a compound similar to the oestrogen. This can help to stimulate egg maturation. Also, basil is a natural aphrodisiac.
This herb helps to regulate hormone levels, making it very useful for women who experience irregular menstrual cycles. Mugwort stimulates hormone production and supports oocyte maturation.
Traditionally used for centuries, Lady’s Mantle contains compounds similar to progesterone that naturally treat impaired fertility. This herb also improves blood circulation, strengthens the uterine walls, regulates menstruation and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.
These leaves contain substances related to oestrogen and can help to stabilise hormones, optimising oocyte (egg) maturation in the first half of the cycle. The raspberry leaves are individually prepared as a tea or in mixtures.
The strongest herbal remedies for infertility commonly contain berries from the Chaste tree. Chaste berries stimulate the pituitary gland to increase hormones that condition the body for pregnancy. These berries increase the concentration of progesterone during the luteal phase and decrease prolactin levels, enhancing fertility. You can buy them here.
These tubers contain phytoestrogens, that inhibit the body’s oestrogen and stimulate the ovaries to release an egg. For women with inadequate or short luteal phase, yams can be helpful. Compounds in yams can also improve progesterone concentrations to enhance fertility.
Important herbs for boosting male fertility
Nettle seeds increase male potency and stimulate the development of sperm. These seeds are rich in vitamin E, which is important for sperm production. In addition to using the seeds, nettle roots are also believed to have fertility-enhancing effects by regulating hormones.
The root of this plant contains many essential oils and other substances that improve fertility and potency.
The leaves, seeds and roots of this plant offer a wide range of health benefits. Not only is Lovage an aphrodisiac, root extracts also enhance sperm production.
Extracts from these small plants have been used for centuries to treat a wide range of disease. Lobelia stimulates metabolism and is frequently included in herbal teas to increase fertility.
This root vegetable is a diuretic and helps to promote fertility.
This Geranium can help stimulate sperm production. It’s also helpful to regulate menstruation in women.
Maca is a native plant in the South American Andes. It has gained the reputation as the “natural blue pill” although it does not target the erectile mechanism, but the libido system as a whole. Maca is therfore taken by both men and women.
The root powder is most often used and amongst other things it includes a variety of amino acids and glycosides, the primary active ingredient within the Maca root. They are what seem to directly increase the libido in both men and women. Maca is available over-the-counter in high-street, online pharmacies or specialist sites via mail order.
Should you wish to enhance an erection or increase blood flow to the penis, Maca will do little. A combination of Maca with vasodilator such as L-Arginine in combination with Pine Bark Extract is recommended.
Although herbal remedies may assist with improving fertility, ensuring that the body has access to important minerals, vitamins and amino acids is very important. For example, the amino acid L-arginine is an effective remedy for erectile dysfunction. There is wide range of fertility supplements available that can naturally improve the chances of conception.
Improve your fertility with micronutrients
Several micronutrients such as vitamins, vitaminoids, amino acids and trace elements have proven themselves effective in improving sperm quantity, mobility and shape. This directly translates into better overall sperm quality and therefore a higher chance of pregnancy.
- relatively inexpensive
- effective after three to six months
- able to increase sperm motility by up to 23%, ejaculate volume by up to 33% and sperm count by up to 215%1
- without side effects
For those reasons, male fertility food supplements are most definitely recommended as the first step in the treatment of oligospermia and asthenospermia.
Also men who have not yet taken a semen analysis test will benefit from supplementing micronutrients to ensure they are able to deliver high-quality semen.
There are no contraindications or side effects to this form of natural ‘sperm boosting’.
An excellent and detailed overview of many studies can be found in Steven Sinclair’s Male Infertility: Nutritional and Environmental Considerations.
A considerable range of male fertility supplements available on the UK market.
However, the products differ widely in price and composition. Menfertility.org has compared 10 of them in terms of value for money and the nutrients they provide.
The most effective male fertility nutrients
A multitude of studies has shown that highly dosed nutrients have potentially significant impact on overall sperm quality.
Vitamin D has been shown to improve sperm count, motility and morphology6.
Vitamin B9, better known as folic acid has been shown to increase count, motility and morphology7.
Zinc improves the immune system and significantly improves sperm count in combination with folic acid8.
Sperm cells take 11 weeks to mature in the testicles. Only then they are ready for ejaculation.
If you adjust your diet today it will thus take three months for the better sperm to be ready for fertilisation.
You must therefore keep the diet or supplement on an ongoing basis – ideally until your partner is pregnant or you decide for a different treatment.
All of the male fertility supplements in our great test include several of these nutrients at once, albeit at a lower dose. This is a cost-effective and convenient way making this type of fertility therapy affordable and requiring taking only one all-in-one supplement instead of many.
To find out more about the effects of the individual nutrients and how the various supplements compare, please read menfertility.org’s male fertility supplement review.
The top male fertility supplements
- “Imhof, Martin et al., “Improvement of sperm quality after micronutritient supplementation”, e-SPEN, the European e-Journal of Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism, Epub published ahead of print.” ↩
- “http://www.altmedrev.com/publications/5/1/28.pdf” ↩
- “http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7701414” ↩
- “http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12568837” ↩
- “http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8085668” ↩
- “http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21427118” ↩
- “http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20978181” ↩
- “http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11872201” ↩
- “http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21403799” ↩
- “http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12623744” ↩
- “http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8862739” ↩