Herbal Remedies For Infertility
New Trends in Infertility Treatment
Over the past decades, great technological advancements have been made in the treatment of male and female infertility, including improved fertility drugs and reproductive assistance techniques such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in-vitro fertilization (IVF). However at the same time, increasing numbers of people today are looking towards more natural remedies for what ails the human condition and are turning to ancient Eastern treatments such as acupuncture, Bach flowers, vitamin and mineral supplements, and herbs.
Historical Look at Herbal Remedies
Although Eastern medicine has used herbs to treat human ailments for centuries, Western practitioners have remained somewhat skeptical. In recent, years, however, there are a growing number of certified herbalists and naturopaths who are prescribing herbal mixtures and other natural alternatives to treat infertility.
Herbs are comprised of roots, leaves, bark, fruits and flowers. They can be taken in the form of pills, tinctures (drops) teas or granules. They are prescribed individually or in a mixture of 3-20 ingredients.
Herbal Treatment for Infertility
In general, herbal remedies for infertility work to improve sperm quality (i.e. increase sperm count or improve sperm motility), as well as to strengthen the overall reproductive system.
The following are some herbs used to treat male infertility:
- Ginseng (Panax ginseng) - Used to increase sperm count and testosterone levels; improves overall health
- Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) - Used to improve sperm quality and reproductive health
- Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) - For increasing sperm motility (sperm movement)
- Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) - Promotes general reproductive health in men
- Tribulus (Puncture Vine) - Used to increase sex drive, increase sperm count, and to treat male infertility and erectile dysfunction.
Effectiveness of Herbs
The jury is still out regarding the effectiveness of herbs to treat male infertility. While some research study results appear promising, the success of herbs remains inconclusive due to poorly designed clinical trials. Future research and people's personal experiences will be the final judges.
In the meantime, it is important to purchase herbs from a certified herbalist or naturopath and to take them exactly as prescribed. If you are buying an over-the-counter herbal mixture, be sure to do your research and verify that you buying a credible product.
Note also that herbs are potent and may interact with other medications or supplements. Be sure to consult with your healthcare provider or pharmacist before you begin taking any herbal remedies.
Finally, in addition to herbs, those who wish to pursue natural pathways to health and wholeness are advised to eat a nutritional diet, exercise regularly, practice stress-reducing techniques such as yoga and meditation, and avoid smoking, excessive drinking, and taking drugs.