What Are the Different Chinese Herbs for Fertility?

Meshell Powell
Meshell Powell
False unicorn root may be used to treat female reproductive problems.
False unicorn root may be used to treat female reproductive problems.

Chinese herbs for fertility are popular choices for those who are having trouble getting pregnant or maintaining a pregnancy. Some of the most commonly used Chinese herbs for fertility in females include dong quai, wild yam, chasteberry, and false unicorn root. Rubber tree bark and wild lettuce are sometimes used to prevent miscarriage in women who have trouble maintaining a pregnancy. A formulation of several Chinese herbs, known as hochu-ekki-to, is sometimes used to treat male infertility issues. Any questions or concerns about the appropriate combination of Chinese herbs for fertility in an individual situation should be directed to a doctor or herbal medicine specialist.

The Chinese herbs rubber tree bark and wild lettuce may be used to help maintain a pregnancy.
The Chinese herbs rubber tree bark and wild lettuce may be used to help maintain a pregnancy.

Dong quai is perhaps the most popular of all of the Chinese herbs for fertility issues affecting women. This herb is often used in conjunction with other herbs, such as peony and cinnamon, in order to help regulate estrogen levels. Dong quai increases circulation and menstruation, so the use of this herb should be discontinued once pregnancy does occur. Some men who suffer from fertility issues also use this herb to help improve the viability of the sperm, and it is often included in the formulation commonly used to treat male infertility known as hochu-ekki-to.

Women who are prone to miscarriages may consider using Chinese herbs for fertility.
Women who are prone to miscarriages may consider using Chinese herbs for fertility.

Wild yam, chasteberry, and false unicorn root are frequently used Chinese herbs for fertility. When taken after ovulation occurs, wild yam can help to increase the production of progesterone, a female hormone necessary to fertility. Chasteberry can be used to help regulate hormone levels in women, thus increasing the chances of pregnancy. This herb is often taken by women who have recently discontinued the use of birth control pills in order to restore normal hormone functioning in preparation for pregnancy. False unicorn root helps to heal damage to the reproductive system, although this herb should be used in moderation in order to avoid negative side effects such as nausea or hot flashes.

Female fertility issues sometimes involve an inability to maintain a pregnancy after it occurs. Women who are prone to miscarriages may consider using Chinese herbs for fertility, especially the herbs known as rubber tree bark and wild lettuce. Rubber tree bark works to lower blood pressure and may help to protect the developing fetus, reducing the risks of miscarriage. Wild lettuce calms the nervous system and reduces uterine spasms, sometimes helping to prevent a threatened miscarriage. Some herbs may have negative interactions with some prescription medications, so a medical professional should be consulted before beginning any new herbal treatment program.

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Discussion Comments

indigomoth

@pastanaga - Actually there are plenty of herbs which are known to have various medical effects on people but which aren't quite strong enough to justify testing, or which researchers simply haven't had the funding to test yet.

It's possible that Chinese healing herbs might be able to help someone. Whether it is a placebo effect or not, does it really matter to the person who is getting the benefit?

And I personally think that thousands of years would help to stop placebo effect being as much of an issue. I mean, you could just use any herb at all and claim it would help if that was true and I'm sure it's been claimed of every plant at some point, but they aren't all still used.

pastanaga

@irontoenail - The problem with simple observation outside of a scientific setting is that I can imagine the placebo effect working very well, particularly when it comes to fertility.

A lot of the time stress will prevent someone getting pregnant. So, if they are stressed about their "failure" and they are given herbs to increase fertility and they truly believe the herbs will, voila! the stress is gone.

And since the stress is gone, they do get pregnant, leading them to believe it was because of the herbs.

I don't know if this is always true, and sure there might be some chinese herbs which can increase fertility. But, modern medicine is a great exploiter. I think if there was some miracle fertility herb out there, they would have already made it into pill form.

irontoenail

You should ask your doctor about this before trying anything. Try to find a doctor that's not going to dismiss it altogether. There are some out there.

Because it's possible these herbs could help. Chinese knowledge goes back for thousands of years and observation alone could have helped them realize which herbs could help certain conditions.

But, on the other hand, if you are trying to get pregnant you need to make sure you aren't taking anything that could harm your fetus if you succeed. Not only the herbs themselves, but also substances on the herbs. Often they are grown with pesticides or there might have been heavy metals in the soil.

It's also possible you could have an allergy to the herbs. Just be careful and research thoroughly.

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    • False unicorn root may be used to treat female reproductive problems.
      False unicorn root may be used to treat female reproductive problems.
    • The Chinese herbs rubber tree bark and wild lettuce may be used to help maintain a pregnancy.
      The Chinese herbs rubber tree bark and wild lettuce may be used to help maintain a pregnancy.
    • Women who are prone to miscarriages may consider using Chinese herbs for fertility.
      Women who are prone to miscarriages may consider using Chinese herbs for fertility.