Chinese Herbs for Fertility

Submitted by Jenifer on December 19, 2012

Chinese forms of medicine dates back to an ancient time in history for healing and treatment purposes. One of the things, that Chinese herbs have been known to help with is infertility. There has been evidence of herbal formulas being used in treating infertility since 200 AD, and is still being used widely in China. A lot of research and clinical trials have been conducted to prove the success of Chinese herbs for infertility in Chinese medicine. It is right to say though that an outcome cannot be predicted, although studies show that 70% of infertility cases (male and female) resulted in restored fertility or pregnancy in China...

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The success rate has not been as high in the US as it is in China, as they have more experience in using herbs, the integration of traditional and complementary medicine is far more progressed, and people are more open to taking herbal formulas as treatment.

How Chinese herbs work?

There isn’t any one individual herb that can cure infertility.


It is rather a combination of herbs, that are created with complex formulas of 15 or more herbs. This combination and formula differs depending on the health conditions or reasons due to which infertility occurs. Over the years, these formulas have evolved and changed based on ongoing studies. The herbal concoction makes use of barks, roots, leaves, fruits and flowers of different herbs. They come in form of pills, teas, tablets or granules, with specific instructions on how and when they should be ingested. Sometimes different formulas may be prescribes to be had at different times of the menstrual cycle for effective results. Although the exact mechanism of how the herbs work is still not clear, traditional Chinese herbs used to cure infertility look at treating some main causes, these are:

  • Stagnancy syndrome – The belief here is that stagnancy of Qi and blood prevents the reproductive and sexual organs from functioning even though hormone levels and response to hormones may be normal. Some herbs that help to treat this form of stagnancy are lindera, cyperus, bupleurum, red peony, persica, and carthamus
  • Deficiency syndrome – Weakness of the liver and kidney is said to prevent the hormonal system from functioning normally in conjunction with the reproductive and sexual organ. Some common symptoms faced with this problem are impotence, irregular menstruation, frequent urination, back and leg aches, and regulating body temperature. Chinese herbs used to treat these symptoms are ginseng, astragalus, codnopsis, atractylodes, peony, tang-kuei, gelatin, ho-shou-wu, ligustrum, eclipta, lyceum fruit, ophiopogon, cuscutta, cistanche, epimedium and/or eucommia.
  • Heat syndrome – This is caused mainly due to an inflammation or infection, and causes the affected organs to abnormal functioning. Heat syndrome is known to have a role in the creation of abnormal sperm quality creation in men, and gynecologic infections in women, which leads to infertility. Herbs that help stop infections and decrease inflammation are lonicera, gardenia, phellodendron, and patrinia.

Time taken to cure

If the herbal course is taken as prescribed, either daily or periodically, fertility is known to be restored in three to six months. Most Chinese doctors believe that if fertility is not cured within eight to nine months of the herbal medicine, chances of the treatment being successful is unlikely. The time taken to cure infertility using Chinese herbs in the US is much longer as the dosage prescribed is much lower, with all other factors in play, pregnancy is estimated within six to twelve months of beginning the treatment.

Side effects of Chinese herbs

Although most Chinese herbs have medicinal properties, some are also known to have potential side-effects. Some herbs have blood-pressure lowering qualities, while some promote internal and external bleeding if mixed with certain over-the-counter prescription drugs. Some herbs that have side effects are:

  • Dong Quai – may stimulate breast cancer, and is also said to cause skin inflammations as it increases one’s sensitivity to light. It should not be taken by pregnant women.
  • Red peony – may slow blood clotting, and cause skin rash in people with sensitive skin.
  • Panax Ginseng – may induce insomnia, upset stomach, diarrhea, headaches, appetite loss, and vertigo.

It is important to consult your doctor before you ingest any Chinese herbs. If the herbs have been prescribed by a naturologist, be sure to inform him of any medications you are on or that you frequently take for certain ailments.

Reference

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/1000.html
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