For couples trying to conceive, the journey can often feel frustrating and hopeless.
Yet before turning to invasive fertility treatments, there are natural solutions worth exploring first. Herbal remedies offer a time-tested way to promote reproductive health and enhance fertility without harmful side effects.
Just a few key herbs can regulate hormones, increase ovulation, improve sperm health, and boost libido. Read on to discover 5 of the most effective herbal remedies to boost your chances of conceiving.
Red clover is one of the most often used natural herbal remedies for enhancing fertility health. It comes from the flowering Trifolium pratense plant and has been used in traditional medicine for centuries.
Some historical uses of red clover include treating skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, coughs, and even cancer. However, red clover is most well known for its positive effects on fertility and reproductive health.
It significantly improved hormone levels in women and increased the number of regular menstrual cycles. This is likely due to the isoflavones found naturally in red clover, which may help regulate estrogen levels and hormones.
Several other studies have indicated positive effects of red clover on fertility. One analysis showed improved fertility in animals after being fed red clover. Another study found red clover helped thicken the uterus lining, which could improve the chances of embryo implantation.
The typical dosage recommendation for red clover is around 80-120 mg of standardized extract up to three times per day. It’s best to speak with a doctor before taking red clover supplements regularly, especially if you have any medical conditions or take other medications. While generally safe, red clover may interact with hormone therapies, birth control pills, or blood thinners.
Chasteberry for Fertility
Chasteberry (Vitex agnus-castus) is a popular herbal medicine derived from the berries and leaves of the chaste tree. It has traditionally been used to treat hormone-related gynecological conditions, including menstrual irregularities, PMS symptoms, and infertility. Chasteberry works by helping to regulate ovulation and balance estrogen and progesterone levels.
Research has found that chasteberry can be effective in increasing fertility, especially when combined with other herbs. In one study, women taking chasteberry experienced a significantly higher pregnancy rate compared to the control group. The dose used in the study was one 20mg tablet daily. Another study found chaste berries useful for women with luteal phase defects, improving progesterone levels in the second half of the cycle. The recommended dosage of chasteberry is typically 40-80mg per day, taken once daily in capsule or tablet form.
Chasteberry appears to have an excellent safety profile, with very few side effects reported. It may take 3-6 months for the full benefits to become apparent. So chasteberry is worth considering for any woman struggling with irregular cycles, recurring miscarriages due to luteal phase defects, or unexplained infertility.
Maca to Balance Hormones
Maca is a root vegetable that originated in Peru and has been used traditionally for centuries to enhance fertility. The indigenous people of the Andes mountains prized maca for its ability to boost libido and improve reproductive health in both men and women.
Maca contains beneficial plant compounds called glucosinolates these compounds can help balance female sex hormones like estrogen. Multiple studies have found that maca can alleviate menstrual issues, and menopause symptoms, and improve egg health in women.
For fertility benefits, most recommend taking 1,500-3,000 mg of maca per day. Look for a supplement with the maca Lepidium meyenii species for maximum effects. Start with a lower dose and work up to the higher range if needed.
Maca is generally safe to use but check with your doctor if you have any hormone-sensitive conditions. While maca doesn’t contain hormones itself, it can help regulate them naturally.
Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil (EPO) comes from the seeds of the evening primrose plant. It has a long history of traditional use for women’s health, especially reproductive conditions like PCOS and endometriosis. EPO contains an omega-6 fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) that can help reduce inflammation and improve cervical mucus.
The typical dosage of EPO for fertility is 500-3000mg per day. It’s best to start with a lower dose and work up to the higher end slowly. Look for EPO supplements standardized to contain 8-14% GLA for maximal benefits.
Take EPO supplements with food to minimize stomach upset. You can also apply EPO oil topically to help hydrate and “thin” cervical mucus. It usually takes 2-3 months of consistent EPO supplementation to see benefits for reproductive health.
Dong quai, also known as Chinese Angelica, is an herbal medicine that has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to treat gynecological conditions and aid fertility. The root of the Dong Quai plant is believed to help regulate the menstrual cycle, improve blood flow to the uterus, and relax the muscles of the uterus.
Moreover, Dong quai root extract helped stimulate uterine muscle contractions and increased blood flow to reproductive organs. The traditional recommended dosage is 300–500 mg capsule taken 1–3 times per day. Since Dong quai can have side effects and interact with medications, it’s important to consult your healthcare provider before taking it, especially if trying to conceive.
When to See a Doctor?
While herbal remedies can provide relief for some fertility issues, they should not be used as a substitute for medical evaluation and care. Some certain signs and symptoms indicate it is time to seek professional medical help:
- Missing periods for 3 months or more
- Irregular menstrual cycles over 35 days or less than 21 days apart
- Painful periods
- Bleeding between periods
- Pelvic pain
- Repeated miscarriages
- Infertility lasting longer than 12 months if under 35 or 6 months if over 35
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- Premature ovarian failure
- Uterine fibroids
- Hormonal disorders like thyroid problems
If you experience any of the above symptoms, it is important to book an appointment with your doctor for proper evaluation. While herbal remedies can complement medical treatment, they should not be used as a substitute without professional guidance.
Taking a holistic approach to fertility can be very beneficial for trying to conceive naturally. Certain herbs have been used traditionally for centuries to support reproductive health.
When paired with healthy lifestyle changes like eating a nutrient-dense diet, reducing stress, and optimizing sleep, these herbs can be powerful allies on your fertility journey. Always consult your healthcare provider before trying new supplements, especially if you have any medical conditions.
While herbal remedies show promise for enhancing fertility, they should not replace medical treatment if that is required. Wishing you the very best as you welcome new life into the world.