Best Herbs for Female Fertility

B*tch’s Brew

My very best-selling herbal tea blend, B*tch’s Brew, is such a huge hit because it works with women of all ages, from young girls just figuring out what it means to be a woman with a period, to all of my fertility patients trying to conceive, to women starting to experience the symptoms of menopause. 

Why is it so awesome? And why do I personally drink a cup or two every day of the 2nd half of my cycle?

Here are just *some* of the amazing benefits of the ALL ORGANIC ingredients contained within.

Ginger: Warms the reproductive organs to help invigorate blood and improve menstrual cramps.

Raspberry Leaf: Rich in vitamins B & C and minerals including potassium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and iron. It strengthens the uterine wall, which improves fertility and help to reduce cramping.

Nettle Leaf: Contains vitamins A, C, D & K. Helps support fertility. It's highly anti-inflammatory and a natural anti-histamine. Great for liver detoxification.

Lemon Balm: Possibly my all-time favorite plant. So soothing ... can help with stress, anxiety and insomnia associated with PMS.

Milk Thistle: Mildly estrogenic herb that supports aromatization of hormones in the liver. Helps balance hormones.

Lady's Mantle: Often referred to as a "miracle" in treating gynecological issues. Invigorates the blood to prevent blockage and stagnation. Benefits endometriosis.

Red Clover Flowers: Purifies the blood and has a mildly estrogenic effect that assists in fertility and creates a more regular menstrual cycle.

Skullcap: Powerful herb that was often used ceremonially to introduce a girl into womanhood. Anti-anxiety, promotes restful sleep and contains large amounts of flavonoids, which contribute to its antispasmodic (anti-cramping) activity.

Yellow Dock: Helps reduce stress, cramping and headaches associated with the menstrual cycle.

Borage Leaf: Can support the mood swings and emotional distress triggered by hormonal fluctuations.

Passion Flower: Deeply calming, can reduce the stress, anxiety and insomnia often associated with PMS. I believe this one can help to connect a woman to her own passion and power, contained within her womb.

Yarrow Flower: Relieves inflammation and congestion of the uterus, which aids in pain reduction, as well as proper circulation to the reproductive organs.

Black Cohosh: Has an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect on the body. Benefits reproductive health of women with PCOS ages 35+.

Dang Gui: Invigorates and tonifies the blood, regulating menstrual cycles. Has been shown to help thicken the uterine lining.

Wild Yam Root:  Contains the steroidal saponin aglycone diosin is converted in the body to act on estrogen receptor sites in the hypothalamus, which in turn may aid in estrogen balance.

Chaste Tree Berry: Influences hormone levels. May promote the release of luteinizing hormone and, in turn, increase levels of progesterone. Can help with fibrocystic breasts, infertility and menstrual syndromes.

Plant medicine is key, Sisters. Whether you're trying to conceive, have difficult periods, terrible PMS or are the mom/ dad to a teenage daughter, B*tch's Brew WILL help. It's seriously so beautiful that I consider it magic... I mean, plants and herbs are magical, right?

Admit it... either you need this or know someone who does. There's no harm in *gently* reminding a friend that this might be of benefit.

Get yours here: https://www.wisdomofthewombonline.com/offers/DH632hgU/checkout


7 Supplements You Should be Taking if You’re Trying to Get Pregnant


7 Supplements You Should be Taking if You're Trying to Get Pregnant

While I’m a huge proponent of a healthy lifestyle and diet, I also recognize the reality that most women, when trying to get pregnant, can benefit from some additional supplement support. Especially when conceiving is proving difficult, adding certain vitamins and minerals can absolutely improve fertility and reproductive health.

While of course each woman has an individual constitution, for which there might be more specific herbal formulas and supplement recommendations, these are the Top 7 dietary supplements that are recommended for every woman who wants to get pregnant.

  1. Prenatal: A prenatal supplement is essential, as it provides your body with most of the vitamins and minerals that would be important for your baby’s development when you do conceive. It also can contribute to your own overall and follicular health and provide you with the vitamins and minerals that are often found to be deficient in women struggling with infertility, such as Vitamin D. Make sure to get one that has the more usable forms of essential vitamins, such as Folate instead of folic acid, and Adenosylcobalamin and Methylcobalamin as opposed to Cyanocbalamin.  My rec:  Basic Prenatal VegCaps by Thorne.

  2. Vitamin C, 1000 mg per day : Research shows that Vitamin C plays an important role in the regulation of the menstrual cycle and ovarian function. It is necessary for timely and effective ovulation, as well as follicular health and integrity. It has been shown to increase progesterone levels, which is essential for women with low luteal phase temperatures. It has also been proven effective in treatment of endometriosis and uterine fibroids. My rec:  Ester C Complex by Douglas Laboratories.

  3. Vitamin E, 600 iu daily. Without Vitamin E, the body cannot reproduce. An essential antioxidant, Vitamin E is essential for cellular health, including the cells of the reproductive organs, eggs and sperm. Vitamin E is necessary for repairing cells from oxidative damage, as well as the toxicity that often contribute to infertility. It has been shown to thicken the uterine lining, as well as support glucose and metabolic action in women with PCOS and diabetes. It has been proven effective in reduction of both PMS symptoms as well as fibrocystic breasts. My rec:  Natural Vitamin E Complex by Douglas Laboratories.

  4. Vitamin D3, 5000 iu daily. Adequate Vitamin D is so important for fertility, and new studies continue to show the many different ways that Vitamin D impacts reproductive health. In fact, low Vitamin D has been linked to low AMH test results (potentially false low AMH readings ). Vitamin D is not technically a vitamin. It’s a fat soluble, pro-hormone. It’s necessary for hormone production (and therefore fertility), cell growth, immune health, healthy bones, mood and much more. Studies show that low vitamin D levels are correlated with uterine fibroid development. Be sure to use Vitamin D3, not D2.  My rec: Vitamin D3, 5000 by Pure Encapsulations.

  5. L-Arginine, 2000 mg daily.  L-Arginine is an amino acid that can be obtained through dietary sources such as nuts, eggs, lentils and kidney beans. It supports adequate blood flow to the uterus which can increase the fertility of cervical mucus and help to create a better environment for implantation of the fertilized egg. It also improves circulation to the ovaries, which can improve follicular development and health. L-Arginine also increases Nitric Oxide levels, reducing inflammation, which can prevent and reduce fibroids, endometriosis and PCOS. (Do not take if you have herpes as it can trigger an flare-up). My rec: L-Arginine 1000 by Protocol for Life Balance

  6. Ubiquinol, 100-300 mg daily. Ubiquinol is the most biologically-active form of coenzyme Q10. This powerful antioxidant been shown through several studies to improve both egg and sperm health, while playing a key role in protecting DNA at a cellular level. It is present in the membrane of almost every cell in the body and is required for mitochondrial ATP synthesis, which is responsible for creating cellular energy. Its antioxidant properties helps to repair cellular damage, thereby improving embryo quality. As it reduces oxidative stress, it can improve reproductive health, supporting fertility in women with endometriosis, unexplained infertility, PCOS, POF, menstrual cycle irregularities, preterm labor, recurrent miscarriage, poor egg health, high FSH and low AMH. My rec: Ubiquinol QH Softgels by Pure Encapsulations.

  7. Complete Probiotic: A healthy microbiome, or intestinal microflora, is essential for overall health, absorption of nutrients from food and can support reproductive health. Low gut flora contributes to inflammatory disease and can contribute to imbalances related to inflammation, including endometriosis, PCOS, uterine fibroids, adenomyosis, dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation), Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and autoimmune related infertility issues. Inadequate levels of gut flora also contribute to the most common female vaginal problem: yeast infection. If you have a history of antibiotic use, or are prescribed antibiotics in your fertility treatment, it is essential to incorporate probiotics into your diet or supplement plant to begin to repair your microbiome. My rec: Ther-Biotic Women’s Formula by Klaire Labs.

Adding the above supplements to your daily routine can significantly improve your reproductive health and support your fertility. With this link, you’ll receive 15% off everything you purchase from my partner site, https://wellevate.me/wisdomofthewomb.

For a personalized supplement and herbal formula plan, complete my online Virtual Herbalist Assessment at https://www.wisdomofothewombonline.com

Which Exercises are Best for Fertility?

My current fertility practice is based in the mountains of Boulder, Colorado. Even though I saw patients for 15 years right outside of NYC, where exercise was a pretty “standard” part of my patients’ daily life, I’ve never seen exercise like I see exercise in Boulder. I have patients who are marathoners; not just 26.2 mile marathons, but 100 mile marathons!! Overnight running! It’s a thing, I guess. Tri-athletes, rock-climbers, ecstatic dancers, Buti Yoginis, Cross-Fitters, extreme skiing, etc. Everyone here seems to exercise to the max

How exercise can impact your reproductive health

While I do encourage all of my patients to exercise, when hard-core working out is such a big component of a woman’s life, it’s important to really understand how it might be impacting her reproductive health, including her fertility.

I should start by saying that I believe that exercise needs to be part of a healthy lifestyle. We need to feel and move our body, not only for cardiovascular health, bone density and muscular strength, but also to feel embodied, to connect with ourselves as human bodies on the earth. This might sound obvious or even weird to some, but it’s important to mention, especially since so many of the women with whom I work are extremely spiritually-focused, or heavy into meditation. These women often view their body as a nuisance, something they just have to deal with that might be preventing them from being fully spiritual beings. They often speak of a desire to bypass their body. Menstrual cramping or physical pain feels like a burden they wish to ignore, a reminder of the limitation of their physical body.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are the avid runners, the marathoners, the high-intensity workout enthusiasts who strive to push their body as far as it will go. I often see these women because of injuries they have sustained as a result of this intense exercise -- rotator cuff issues, knee pain, back injury, foot pain and often total-body depletion and exhaustion. For these women, their body is also a reminder of their limitation, not in that it prevents them from totally experiencing the spiritual, but in that it can’t always sustain the pushing, the striving for more.

Few of the women with whom I’ve worked are able to fully experience and feel their body as it is... NOW, in the moment. For this reason, I recommend exercise forms that encourage not strenuous pushing, but rather being and feeling into the body. This is not to say that it shouldn’t be challenging or hard, but there should always be a focus on breath, on awareness of the body, in terms of both its mechanics as well as the energy moving within. Yoga, pilates, barre, NIA and intuitive dancing are excellent choices. 

Know your "cortisol" level

It’s also important to note that while cardiovascular exercise is important, our bodies have not necessarily caught up, in terms of evolution, with how we exercise. Running, for instance, stimulates your body’s fight or flight response. Your body can’t necessarily tell the difference between, say, running away from a mountain lion and trying to work off last night’s piece of chocolate cake. Either way, your body will release cortisol, a stress hormone that, when out of balance, can shut down your body’s less critical functions like reproduction and immunity.

While this blast of cortisol was necessary for cavemen, who needed their body to release energy to focus on immediate physical threats (ie. that mountain lion), our stress levels today are far more constant and psychological. Many of us feel stressed All. The. Time. Our cortisol levels are already elevated and out of sync with our natural rhythms. When cortisol is too high for too long, it can have serious negative effects, including suppression of the sex hormones that are necessary for fertility and reproductive health.

It is my strong belief that so many women’s hormones are so completely out of balance because of this over-release of cortisol. Our body simply cannot focus on “unnecessary” functions like reproduction when we are constantly trying to keep up with functioning amidst the inundating stressors of daily life.

Cardiovascular exercise

I encourage all of my fertility patients to choose cardiovascular exercises like brisk walks and hiking instead of running or kick-boxing. This is often met with huge resistance. I know that runners love running. I get that it feels like it’s a form of therapy. I get the oxytocin release. I get that it feels good. I get that distance running is a way to shut off your mind. I get that it can feel like the only way to reduce your stress level.

But I’m not doing my job if I don’t tell you that running can negatively impact your fertility. If you absolutely cannot stop running, it’s imperative to add practices that can reduce stress as well as the release of cortisol. This includes meditation, yin and restorative yoga, embodied, intuitive dance, etc.

Exercise can be a big part of our identity

My teachers back in acupuncture school would remind me of a common belief of many Chinese traditions, that we are born with a certain number of breaths. There’s a strong focus on living life in a way that helps to conserve these breaths, to lengthen our breaths. This is why practices such as Qi Gong and Tai Qi are such a big part of those cultures. They focus on moving the body in a way that is in sync with intentional breathing.

I understand that for many women, the way we exercise can feel like a big part of our identity. It can be tied up with so much more than just how we move our body. It is often wrapped up with our sense of our strength, our power, how we feel in our own skin. I completely understand my patients’ attachments to particular forms of exercise. But my request to you, if you’re trying to get pregnant, is to begin to bring an awareness to your womb as you exercise. Ask your womb what it needs to feel nurtured, nourished, supported. This is the energy your womb needs to conceive, to be able to nurture, nourish and support a life within. Begin by asking… and then do your best to trust and honor the answer.

 

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9 Ways You Can Detox And Prepare Your Body For Pregnancy

9 Things You Should Do Before Trying To Conceive

For almost twenty years, I’ve been working with women to help them become pregnant.  While I’m grateful for the busy practice, I can’t help but notice that the number of young women (under age 35) with fertility issues is increasing.  Often, these women seem relatively healthy; they tell me that their inability to become pregnant is the only thing “wrong” with them.   My background in Chinese Medicine encourages me to always look at the body as a whole, so I recognize that infertility is just a symptom of a larger, more holistic imbalance.

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