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Jessica Joseph, RN, BSN, MHA
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Harnessing the Power of Herbs for Conception

Jessica Joseph, RN, BSN, MHA
September 9, 2023
Herbs for Fertility
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Herbs have been harnessed for their healing powers since ancient times. Eastern medicine uses specific herbs to restore balance and promote healing by extracting its natural properties.   According to Complementary Therapies in Medicine, controlled studies based on randomized trials indicate improved pregnancy success rates with herbal medicine.  For those who prefer a holistic approach to fertility, herbs can be a path to reproductive wellness.  Hormonal imbalances, such as irregular menstrual cycles or low progesterone levels, can affect fertility. Herbs contain phytochemicals that can help regulate hormone levels by stimulating or calming hormone production as needed. This balance can promote regular ovulation and a healthy menstrual cycle, increasing the chances of conception.  Herbs also assist the liver in eliminating toxins from the body, which can improve overall reproductive health. Certain herbs, including Chasteberry, Black Cohosh, Red Clover, and Maca Root, have had proven benefits to help achieve pregnancy by resetting hormones and optimizing sperm parameters.


Chasteberry (Chastetree)

Chasteberry plant typically flourishes in warm, moist environments in the Mediterranean and Asia.  The floral part of the plant is purple and looks similar to the lavender plant.  The fruit part is dried and consumed in liquid, capsule, or tablet form.


Chasteberry is known to handle hormonal imbalances by acting on the pituitary level, and it elevates luteinizing hormone and progesterone.  Studies suggest it increases the chance of pregnancy by 30-50% after 3-6 months of usage. It has been known to treat fibroids, endometriosis, PMS, high prolactin levels, and estrogen dominance.


Black Cohosh

Black cohosh is native to North America and was used by Native Americans for various ailments.  Contrary to popular belief, the actual plant is not dark but cream-colored.  It is used in tablets, capsules, or as an extract (liquid).


Black cohosh promotes ovulation and may thicken the endometrial lining.  It can also increase progesterone.  Non-fertility indications suggest it can treat menopause.  The success of black cohosh is dose-dependent; therefore, consult a herbalist.


Red Clover

Red Clover is commonly found in meadows in Europe and Asia and is often grazed on by animals such as cows. It is an edible dark pink flower sometimes used as a garnish in gourmet cuisine or tossed in salads.  Even though the flower and leaves are both edible, the flower part is dried and used for medicinal purposes.


Red clover Increases blood flow to the uterus, which helps regulate ovulation and cervical fluid.

It can increase estrogen and promote egg production.  It may thicken the uterine lining, which can help with embryo implantation. It is also high in magnesium, which can increase sperm count and motility.


Maca Root

Maca, also known as Peruvian Ginseng, originates in the Andes region of Peru.  Maca is part of the cruciferous vegetable family, including broccoli, kale, and cauliflower.  Maca has many culinary uses and is often used in Peruvian cuisine.


Maca is an excellent herb for older women trying to conceive since it Increases estrogen and decreases FSH.  It also helps increase libido.  It can treat PCOS.  If considering Maca, work with an herbalist since there are many forms of Maca, and you must know the correct one to treat infertility.



Adaptogenic Herbs to Manage Fertility Stress

Stress can have a significant impact on fertility by disrupting hormonal balance and interfering with ovulation and sperm production. Adaptogenic herbs such as Ashwagandha and Rhodiola Rosea support the body's stress response and promote overall well-being. Incorporating these herbs into your routine may help reduce stress levels and increase your chances of conception. 


Herbs like Red Raspberry Leaf and Nettle Leaf are known for their rich nutrient content, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These herbs can help strengthen the reproductive system, support a healthy menstrual cycle, and prepare the body for conception.

Herb’s For Men’s Fertility

Men can also benefit from incorporating herbs into their fertility journey. Tribulus Terrestris and Saw Palmetto are two herbs traditionally used to support male reproductive health. These herbs may improve sperm count, motility, and overall sperm quality, thereby increasing the chances of successful conception.


Herbal Guidelines to Treat Fertility

Although most herbs are safe and non-toxic, always check with your healthcare provider before starting herbal therapy since certain herbs can interfere with prescription medications. It is also recommended to work with an herbalist or fertility nutritionist when selecting herbs since their effectiveness is dose-dependent, and there are many variations of the same herbs.  Some herbs might be fertility-promoting, but they are not advisable to take during pregnancy. It is better to consult a professional experienced in herbal therapy before starting and stopping herbs. 


While herbs can be a valuable tool in boosting fertility, it's essential to approach fertility holistically. Herbal therapy works better when used with other interventions than in isolation. This includes adopting a healthy lifestyle, maintaining a balanced diet, regular exercise, acupuncture, supplementation, yoga, meditation, and managing stress. Combining these holistic practices with the power of herbs can create a well-rounded approach to fertility enhancement.



Ried, K. Chinese herbal medicine for female infertility: An updated meta-analysis. Complementary Therapies in Medicine. Volume 23, Issue 1, February 2015, Pages 116-128.


Shahid MN, Afzal HS, Farooq B, Yousaf MR, Ijaz MR, Shafqat TA, Khan TM, Neoh CF, Lean QY, Bukhsh A, Karuppannan M. A systematic review on the effectiveness of herbal interventions for the treatment of male infertility. Front Physiol. 2022 Nov 4;13:930676. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2022.930676. PMID: 36406986; PMCID: PMC9672875.

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