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Ask the Herbalist--Pregnancy & Nursing

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ANSWERS FROM CARLOS:
QUESTION:
My husband and I are trying to get pregnant.  My mom recommended Shatavari tincture for me, however since I have been taking it for three months, I have had break through bleeding every 3 weeks, and my cycle is off. Will this affect my fertility and ovulation calendar? Am I fertile even with breakthrough bleeding? Any recommendations for me?

ANSWER: I am sure your mom had the best of intentions, but what works for some does not work for others. That is why is always best to have an evaluation done by a professional. Its the only way to develop an individualized treatment plan.  If your cycle is off it will affect your ovulation. Breakthrough bleeding is not a terribly dangerous condition, but it will cause hormonal fluctuations. If you smoke please quit. smoking seems to aggravate this condition. This condition usually resolves on its own and I suggest waiting until this is resolved before continuing your quest.   

First, stop taking the Shatavari. Secondly search at the site for questions similar to yours (TTC), and, thirdly, if you decide you may want an evaluation, view: http://tcmconsultants.org/FAQs%20&%20Evaluation.htm


QUESTION:
What herbal teas would you recommend to shrink a small 2cm outside of uterus fibroid and to help fertility (I am trying to conceive and just had surgically removed a small 2.5 cm inside uterus fibroid).  I am thinking of taking pau d'arco and dandelion teas. I also use frankincense essential oil mixed with lavender and lemon oils (as I can’t stand frankincense smell). I also read that blackstrap molasses can be good together with apple cider vinegar.

ANSWER: The best infusion for that is Green tea and adding 10 drops extract of Agnus castus, 10 drops extract of False unicorn and 10 extract of Chinese angelica. Once you are pregnant or suspect you are, eliminate the Chinese angelica. Sweeten only with a bit of honey and drink 2-3xs day for 30 days.


QUESTION
: I have been taking 9 610 mg fenugreek a day, due to breastfeeding. I just had an episode of dizziness, weakness, shakiness, etc. It had not been long since I'd eaten last, maybe an hour or two. Eating helped alleviate the symptoms somewhat. Is it likely that he two are linked? Should I discontinue use? Thanks for your help.

ANSWER: Fenugreek is quite safe, but I would reduce the dosage. Here's a link with what I think the best info on dosage: http://www.kellymom.com/herbal/milksupply/fenugreek.html You may want to try Blessed Thistle instead.  If it keeps happening stop using it until you consult your practitioner about having the necessary tests done for lower than normal level of blood glucose.


QUESTION:
I'm new to herbs and herbal teas, but recently tried Traditional Medicinals Breathe Easy Tea which includes:
licorice root 300 mg
eucalyptus leaf 285 mg
bitter fennel seed 255 mg
bi yan pian 120 mg
properitary blend 540 mg
peppermint leaf
calendula flower
pluerisy root
ginger rhizome

I took the tea to help with cold symptoms, but found that it also gave me a general feeling of wellness and energy, and also greatly curbed my appetite. I've been experiencing a huge increase in appetite (even when I'm not at all hungry) ever since my baby (now 11 months) was born and experienced the same thing with my last pregnancy. It was even more noticeable this time, since I rarely had an appetite at all during the pregnancy and just responded to hunger cues. I suspect that both the lack and the extreme presence of appetite may be related to adrenal issues, and read some articles that indicate licorice plays a role in both the appetite control and stress management.  I was wondering if you thought it might be one of the other ingredients instead and also wondered what you thought about my use of this tea or these herbs during breastfeeding.

As a side note, my baby also seems to be going through a growth spurt right now and I wondered how the above herbs might affect milk supply. 

ANSWER Medicinal teas are just that, once the symptoms of the illness are eliminated, then you should stop taking them. You should not use it while breastfeeding unless under the care of a practitioner. Licorice does play a role in digestion and absorption of foods.

QUESTION: 7 yrs ago I had trouble getting pregnant, so I tried natural herbs and come across vitex and marigold tea.  Within the first month I was pregnant.  I am not sure if these to herbs played a part in me conceiving my son but a year after I gave birth to my son,  we had a ectopic pregnancy and was told I have scaring on my left tube. We have been trying to conceive for 4 months now I am looking into trying natural herbs again. Can you help to list a few that would help? Both my partner and I are 26

ANSWER: Good to hear from you.  Agnus castus is perhaps the best known and the herb with the most possible good results. Another of the herbs that comes to mind is Dong Quai keep in mind though that it should be taken from ovulation to a day before menstruation, and not at all during pregnancy. False unicorn is another herb that may prove beneficial to your goals.

Extracts and tinctures work better and faster. Most importantly is to follow a healthy diet including plenty of fresh salmon, mackerel and fresh garlic in your diet. Avoid foods that stagnate the system, such as: Heavy red meats, pork, white sugar, dairy and all fried foods. Add to your bath 5 drops of essential oil of Lemon balm, 5 drops of essential oil of Ginger and 5 drops of essential oil of Ylang ylang.  Please remember that in order to survive sperm need cool temperature, so DO NOT take a hot bath before sexual intercourse, and remain lying down for 15=20 after intercourse. Last, but not least you may want to try infusions of Rosemary and German Chamomile in equal parts, adding 20 drops of tincture of Agnus castus, 15 drops of tincture of False Unicorn root and 10 drops of tincture of Chinese angelica. Sweeten only with honey and drink 3xs day.

Do NOT use Chinese angelica once you suspect you are pregnant. You may also find of use reading the book: "Enhancing Fertility Naturally", by Nicky Wesson, IBSN 0-89281-832-8.

QUESTION: I am breastfeeding my six month old baby. She weighs 15 pounds and 11 ounces. When she was six weeks old, I started on nine capsules of Fenugreek and two cups of Mother’s milk tea. Initially, she had no problem but after a few weeks, she did display reflux type behavior and a small amount of blood in her poop. I stopped the fenugreek and the tea but her reflux type behavior did not go away. I also went off dairy, eggs, wheat etc. However, her weight gain was poor but she stayed in the 45th percentile and her reflux type behavior (pulling off the breast, crying when feeding) continued.

So, when she was three months old, I restarted the fenugreek and tea (6 capsules for three weeks and then nine capsules about three weeks. I also started 15 capsules of brewer’s yeast, 9 capsules of Shatavari. She was fine for about six weeks. I restarted dairy. She seemed OK. After a week of dairy, when she was five months old, she started waking up the night and crying. If I fed her, she started pulling off the breast after a few minutes but she continued to gain weight. I went off dairy again.

In the last two weeks, I have been on nine capsules of fenugreek, 15 capsules of brewer’s yeast, 9 capsules of Shatavari, two droppersful of Herblore Nursing tincture three times daily, and Mermaid Nursing tea for Milk Ejection Reflux. However, she is still pulling off the breast and now her weight gain has stalled. She was in the 45th percentile for her weight but is now in the 35th percentile.

Thinking it is a milk supply issue, In the last four days, I increased the fenugreek to 12 capsules per day. After that my baby is having green poop and several loose watery stools. She is also pulling off the right breast after a few minutes. Is fenugreek the problem?

Throughout this time, she has about 24-26 ounces of breast milk (I weighed her on a few days before and after feeding). Is there anything in the supplements or teas that could be causing the problem? How do I wean myself off?

ANSWER: First please stop the Fenugreek and everything else, except the Brewer's yeast. I suggest using soy dairy exclusively and eating plenty of raw or steamed vegetables and fruits.

As to the reflux it may have to do with absorption, so you would need to consult with your physician. You can include Chamomile tea, a few sips with her meal to help digestion. Sweeten with a bit of honey to make it more palatable.  Weight often fluctuates for no apparent reason, but I would certainly consider mal absorption as part of the problem.

QUESTION I’m a 31 year old 5’7’’ 240 lbs women using Chinese herbals Xiao Yao Wan for anxiety and Nuan Gong Yun Zi for infertility. If I succeed in getting pregnant can I continue taking the Xiao Yao Wan for my anxiety? I had been on birth control since I was 9 years old for a chemical imbalance and stopped taking them about three years ago trying to get pregnant. I did get pregnant about a month or two after stopping but miscarried about six weeks along.

ANSWER: Xiao Yao Wan may be better viewed as a coordinated attempt to assure proper circulation: The spleen circulating moisture and the liver circulating blood (both organs aiding the circulation of qi).

In other words, for the person who requires Xiao Yao Wan, both the spleen and the liver are in a weakened state, even if the liver has become heated. Both organs have their functions simultaneously improved by Xiao Yao Wan. In some cases, one may use it during pregnancy or after delivery, but to be certain you meet that criteria, you should consult with your local practitioner before using.   An individualized evaluation would have to be performed to accurately tell you any different.

QUESTION:  I am 42 years old with my first child conceived via IUI ( 4th attempt). I would like to get pregnant again very soon, as time is not in my favor. What can i do to facilitate this? Also,can I drink fertili-tea while breastfeeding? Thank you for your help and the countless advice you provide.

ANSWER: Without an individual evaluation there is little I can help you to "facilitate this".  Generally following a good diet, have a regimen of exercise and taking the correct supplements is what is needed, but to individualize this you would need an evaluation.

Avoid foods such as:
Red meats, white sugar, pork, pasta, all dairy, all processed foods and all fried foods.  Enhance your diet with foods like: Fresh oily fish (salmon, mackerel and sardines), brown rice, yogurt, honey, chicken, turkey, raw or steamed vegetables and fresh fruits.

Follow a low-level regimen of exercise such as Yoga, or Tai Chi. In the alternative walk 2-3 miles every day.

As to "fertili-tea", never heard of it, and it is beyond the scope of this site to devote the time to research this. Since you do not mention what is in it, I cannot help you further with this.

Many people have found that drinking Green tea and adding 10 drops extract of Astragalus, 10 drops extract of Lemon balm, 15 drops extract of Agnus castus and 15 drops extract of False unicorn seem to help in these situations. Drink 2xs day and sweeten only with a bit of honey.


QUESTION: I am currently nursing my 2 month old baby whom I conceived through a 3rd ivf cycle. I would like to have more children but would love to do so naturally as ivf is just too traumatic! I was told one of my tubes is blocked and that I have a very low egg count for my age. Also my husband was diagnosed with low sperm motility and morphology. My question: are there any herbs I can take while breastfeeding my baby to help improve my fertility?  Many thanks

ANSWER: Unfortunately there is not. The only herb that I consider safe while breastfeeding is Fenugreek which can sometimes help increase milk production.

QUESTION: I was taking dong quai and just found out I'm pregnant (5w3d) and just wondering if having taking this herb would have cause some damage or not? I took about 34 capsules during the 5th week?

ANSWER: The indications for this herb are not to take Chinese angelica (Dong Quai) if you even suspect you are pregnant. Folks should never self-medicate, but consult first with a professional. You will more than likely not suffer any adverse effects, but quit taking this immediately! Dong Quai if taken during the first trimester may affect the muscular functioning of the uterus. You should also never use Dong Quai while breastfeeding. Please advise your OB/GYN that you have used this herb. Hope this helps. Good luck to you and your baby.

QUESTION: I would very much appreciate your input in my situation.  I am 29 & have 3 children (from a former marriage).  My current husband and I began trying to conceive his first child.  In a few months (age 26) I began having extreme cycles lasting 4-5 days with only a 7-10 day break in between.  This continued for 4 months before I consulted a doctor.  The doctor ordered blood tests and said that I was pre-menopausal due to very low estrogen.  So I started supplementing with flax seed oil and flax meal and began to have 25-32 day cycles but showed no signs of shedding any uterine lining.  We have been trying to conceive for nearly 4 years now, but I've grown pretty desperate this year.  I found out about FertilAid in the beginning of March this year, ordered some and began taking it (3/day) in Mid-March.  I am very pleased that my 25-32 day cycles have regulated to exactly 27 day cycles, and that I immediately began showing signs of shedding my uterine lining, which was dramatically improved in my most recent cycle.  However, I am very concerned about two symptoms that have surfaced in the last 3 weeks.  The first was a very intense "milk let down" sensation that occurred several times.  A few days later I began having very strong contractions that were intense enough to rouse me out of very deep sleep several times.  The latter began 6 days before I received my most recent cycle.  I am aware that it is recommended to discontinue FertilAid as soon as pregnancy is confirmed, as the vitex in it may cause contractions, but do you think that I should lower my dose during my upcoming two week wait,  discontinue it entirely after ovulation, or just keep doing what I am doing?  Thank you for your help.

ANSWER: To be very honest with you I would never suggest either FertilAid or Fertility Blend. The only ingredient they carry that is worth anything towards your goals is Vitex, other than that they both smell horrible and are definitely not as effective as they claim.  Folks should never self-medicate with alternative remedies until they have consulted with a professional and have done an evaluation. What may work well for others does not necessarily mean that it will work well for you as an individual.

To fall pregnant in many, many cases takes more than just a "magic" pill. I suggest lowering your dosage and monitoring what happens.

QUESTION: I have a question what herbs do you have that help with conceive twins?  Also what herbs help induce labor?

ANSWER: The answer to your first questions is, no. No such herb(s) exists.

The answer to your second question is, consult with your local doctor. We are not in the practice of suggesting "herbs to induce labor", fortunately we are respected practitioners who will not render advice over the Internet on such a grave and serious matter.  No reputable practitioner will tell you otherwise.

QUESTION: hi my question is can I take red clover and chaste tree together to help with trying to get pregnant

ANSWER: Yes, you may use them both.

QUESTION
: Can herbal tampons work for blocked tubes?

ANSWER: Not really. There are however, several traditional Chinese formulas that work very well.

QUESTION: I'm 30 and have been trying to conceive for a year. I have had progesterone tests.  One came back fine, one came back low...but I would say this was wrong because I think I ovulated later.  I've had a hsg and all was fine no blockages. I usually have long painful heavy periods , I tracked my ovulation with a monitor and checked for fertile mucus and so on, I would always pick up my lh sure day 17/18... then I read about Angus castus... I have now been taking it for 2 months my cycle has gone from 32 days to 29 and my periods have gone from lasting 9 days down to 3 and I can now pick up my lh surge on day 15/16... I'm worried that the short period is a bad thing???  I'm also taking 400mg vitamin c 50mg of vitamin B6... And the angus castus is tablet form 400mg twice a day... but I'm getting confused with it all... am I ok to take Angus castus if my cycle is not too bad?  And can I take it for the whole cycle?  Should I be taking the other vitamins?  And is there anything else I should be taking apart from folic acid.  I'm now feeling desperate.  Please help in any way you can.

ANSWER: Although Agnus castus is a great herb and has apparently worked somewhat for you it usually works better in combination with other herbs.

Allow me first to say that I never suggest either capsules or tablets with Western herbals. The shelf-life is always unreliable. Extracts and tinctures work better and faster, here again Agnus castus is not the only extract that I would suggest. You may continue to take Agnus castus until you determine you are pregnant. Remember though Agnus castus it normally used to regulate the periods or for PMS. Take it after your period stops, and not during.

Avoid red meats, pork, white sugar, all dairy and all fried foods. As well avoid pasta and cold drinks. Moderate you alcohol and coffee intake. Enhance your diet with fresh oily fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines, halibut and anchovies), eat plenty of fresh garlic, ginger and onions, chicken, turkey, brown rice, honey, fresh local raw or steamed vegetables and fresh local fruits.   If you must use salt us Diamond Crystal Kosher salt it contains only 12% sodium, versus 20% in sea salt or 25% in regular salt. If you must use sugar use Stevia or a bit of honey instead.

The very best way to go Terri is to have an evaluation. All of us are different so not all remedies work the same way for different people. There are many traditional Chinese herbal formulas that would prove of great benefit to you. With an evaluation in hand I could then set you up for a treatment plan that would be individualized. At this point for me to suggest this or that without an evaluation would be unprofessional and unethical.

QUESTION: I suffered an ectopic pregnancy It has absolutely devastated me as we tried so hard for so long to conceive.  I am due to turn 24 soon.  My partner have been together for over 8 yrs now and our relationship is crumbling due to me not yet conceiving! Please, please, please can you help me with the best herbs or remedy solution or Vitamins I should take to conceive RAPIDLY. I am so desperate I want and need to be a mother.  Please help as I see your advice is so helpful to other woman.  I hope there is an answer for me.

ANSWER: Has your mate been checked to see that the problem is not him? If your relationship is crumbling due to the fact you have not conceived, you both may be better off by seeking professional help with a marriage counselor. There is no way to truly determine if any herb or combination of herbs or formulas may actually have the desired result. What I would suggest is that you allow me to do an evaluation to then be able to prepare an individualized treatment plan for you. Since all of us are different this is the best way to go.
 

QUESTION: I am a 37 year old woman. I have 2 children.  I am married and have this wonderful man and we are trying now for 11 years to have a child.  I have had two ectopic pregnancies, the one was in 2004 and the other 2008. Luckily the doctor saved both tubes and tried to repair them.   Only the one looks fine as I went for the HSG dye and the results showed that the left tube is fine.  My doctor had me on Clomid in January but still no pregnancy.  What can I use that is an herb to help me become pregnant.

ANSWER: Because all of us are different there's really no way of telling which herbs or herbal formulas will absolutely be of use to you. What I suggest is that you allow us to prepare an evaluation and an individualized treatment plan for you. If so interested please click on the banner or contact me directly at: admin@tcmconsultants.org

Having said that you may benefit by drinking Green tea and adding 20 drops extract of Agnus castus, 10 drops extract of False unicorn and 15 drops extract of Chinese angelica. If you get pregnant or suspect you are discontinue the Chinese angelica. Extracts work better and faster. Sweeten with a bit of honey and drink 3xs day.  Since there is a lot at stake such as diet, exercise and supplements I strongly suggest an evaluation which will deal with all these issues.

QUESTION: I am a 28yr old woman and trying to get pregnant and last year discovered that my fallopian tubes were blocked and one was disconnected to the abnormal ovary that produces fluid that might wash away the embryo and IVF was the only option. Can you please suggest herbs that I can take to clear the tube that I’m left with one fallopian tube and maybe I can get pregnant naturally. I’m so desperate, I’m married from 2009 and my husband and I want kids. I’m so emotional drained and stressed.

ANSWER: I will generally suggest to you what herbs may help. To be 100% accurate we would need to do an evaluation. If interested click on the banner.

You may find of use adding to a cup of Green tea 15 drops extract of False unicorn, 15 drops extract of Agnus castus and 15 drops extract of Chinese angelica. Extracts work better and faster. Sweeten with a bit of honey and drink 3xs day. If you fall pregnant or suspect you are discontinue the Chinese angelica.

There's a lot more that an evaluation would tell us and help you with such as diet, exercise and other herbal formulas that may be of use.

QUESTION: I am going through a miscarriage and a friend of mine picked some pennyroyal to help me finish the miscarriage.  I made a tea last night, apparently way too strong and I feel wrong today.  In the middle of the night I was extremely dizzy and felt scared like I was overdosing.  Today my speech is slurred and my focus is off and I'm still dizzy.  Now I've been reading about pennyroyal on the internet and read it can cause permanent nerve damage.  I would like an expert opinion and maybe advice on how I can get this out of my system.

ANSWER: Please go to your local doctor or hospital. They will more than likely give you a purgative, but you need to be seen by them.

Depending on the amount ingested the symptoms vary, with pennyroyal side effects are dose dependent.

Go visit your doctor now.

You may later, begin drinking Green tea and adding 25 drops of extract or tincture of Dandelion. The Dandelion will help continue to expel toxins. Sweeten only with a bit of honey and drink 4-5xs day for 3 days.  Do not self-medicate, consult with a professional always, but for now, please go visit your doctor.


QUESTION
: I am inquiring about herbs for fertility. I'm 35yrs old and have been trying to conceive for the last 5 years. I have regular menstrual cycles, I've been diagnosed with PCOS, uterine fibroids that are outside of my womb, and blocked tubes. I had surgery a couple of years ago to correct my the blockage in my tubes that resulted in the removal of my right tube and I believe scar tissue on the left tube. I've undergone several infertility procedures (IUI's) resulting in an eptopic pregnancy in my left tube. I stopped the infertility treatments a year ago, and recently got pregnant in July 2011 on my own resulting in another eptopic pregnancy in my left tube. During the first eptopic I was given a shot to dissolve the fetus, however for the second, I recently had surgery to remove the fetus.  I've been reading and researching alternative methods to enhance my fertility and ran across this site. I would like to know if there are any herbs that may help my situation, specifically with healing and strengthening my fallopian tube and overall enhancing my fertility? In addition, are herbal tampons effective? If so, what herbs would you suggest? Thanks in advance for your response. I apologize for the long email, but I wanted to give a brief background of my situation.

ANSWER: The first thing I can suggest is that you begin including in your diet plenty of fresh cold water fishes (mackerel, herring, salmon, sardines, anchovies), fresh garlic, onions, honey, rice, leafy green vegetables, raw and steamed vegetables and plenty of fresh fruits. It is very important that you include the foods abovementioned in your diet.

Just as important, avoid foods that stagnate the system, such as: Pork, heavy red meats, white sugar, all dairy and in particular avoid all fried and greasy foods. Avoid also all foods containing additives and/or preservatives.  Moderate your intake of alcohol and caffeine. If you smoke: Quit!

I suggest you begin drinking a decoction Dandelion root (as a base, it will help eliminate toxins) and adding 10 drops of extract of Chinese angelica and 5 drops extract of Bupleurum root in equal parts, adding 15 drops of extract or tincture of Agnus castus and 15 drops of extract or tincture of False unicorn. Sweeten only with honey and drink 3xs day.  In the alternative, take 1/2 teaspoon each of Chaste berry tincture and False unicorn root tincture twice a day. Extracts and/or tincture work better and faster.

You may also find that drink Red Raspberry and Wild Yam infusions may be of help. In Traditional Chinese Medicine depending on the person's constitutional confirmation we sometimes use formulas that may also be of benefit to you. You may write me directly for more info on these.

If you have problems in finding extracts you may want to view: https://www.goldenlotusherbs.com/  Or problems finding herbs, view: http://www.pennherb.com/

Both companies are very reputable.  Once you are pregnant or suspect you are discontinue the Chinese angelica, the Wild Yam and the False Unicorn.

To help supplement and strengthen the immune add a large piece of Astragalus root, a small piece of white Siberian ginseng root and small piece of white Chinese ginseng root to all your broths, soups and stews. In the alternative add 25 drops of each in extract or tincture after the cooking is done.

Supplement daily with a good multi-vitamin multi-mineral, one containing all 21 amino acids. Add 1,000 Mg Vit. C 2xs day. Include also one tablespoon daily of Omega3 fatty acids.

Please remember not have intercourse after hot or warm baths, sperm need cool temperatures in order to survive.  Add to your baths 15 drops of essential oil of Geranium, 15 drops of essential oil of Rosemary and 15 drops of essential oil of Lavender. These will help relax the uterus and help increase your chances.  It’s really important that you include a daily regimen of exercise, such as: jogging, walking,T'ai Chi Ch'uan, Qi Gong or Yoga. Your local library will have books or videos to help get you started. As to herbal tampons are effective for some folks, but I would suggest you discuss them with your physician before using.

QUESTION: I have irregular periods usually only getting one or two a year. I tried taking birth control 4 months to regulate. That didn't work and doc wants to do clomid, but I am trying to avoid hormones. I just bought vitex the 400mg capsules. I was wondering how much I take a day. when to take them and should I take prenatal vitamins also. and when my period comes should I stop or keep taking them? Should I take anything else? my goal is to get pregnant for the 1st time. I am 24 5'4 180lbs no health problems

ANSWER: You may take 2 capsules 2xs day, and yes you should also take your prenatal vitamins. You may continue during your period.

Please remember that extracts and tinctures are way more effective than capsules or pills.

Another great herb for you is False Unicorn and still another is Wild Yam. Others are Bupleurum and Chinese angelica. If you use Chinese angelica stop when you period begins and resume after its over. do not use Chinese angelica once you know you are pregnant.

I suggest avoiding foods that stagnate the system, such as: Red meats, pork, all dairy, white sugar and all fried foods. avoid also food with preservatives, excessive coffee and alcohol.

Enhance your diet with plenty of fresh cold water fishes (mackerel, herring, salmon, sardines, anchovies), brown rice, fresh garlic, onions, honey, rice, leafy green vegetables, raw and steamed vegetables and plenty of fresh fruits.

Include also one tablespoon daily of Omega3 fatty acids. 

Please remember not have intercourse after hot or warm baths, sperm need cool temperatures in order to survive.
Add to your baths 15 drops of essential oil of Geranium, 15 drops of essential oil of Rosemary and 15 drops of essential oil of Lavender.

QUESTION:  I am nursing my 9-month-old and wondering whether I can take this supplement.  The ingredients are as follows:

Vitamin C~35mg
Calcium~162 mg
Magnesium~82 mg
Zinc~7mg
Caprylic Acid~2,160 mg
Pau D'Arco~240mg
Grapefruit seed extract~240mg
Garlic~240mg
Licorice~240mg
Tea Tree Oil~60mg

The "other ingredients" listed are: Vegetable Cellulose Capsule, Whole Rice Concentrate, Cellulose, Dong Quai Root, Fennel Seed, Silica, Glycerin, and Magnesium Stearate

Any information or recommendations would be greatly appreciated:)  It is an anti-yeast supplement, so if you know of any anti-Candida supplements that are safe for nursing mothers, please let me know.


ANSWER: Without knowing your constitutional conformation, present and past health issues and the name of the formula or the manufacturer, it would be too time consuming to investigate each ingredient, and that is beyond the scope of this site; but I can perhaps guide you to the safest and very effective solution of using a plain yogurt douche 2xs day for 3 days, and enhancing that by eating yogurt 3xs daily.

Simply add the yogurt to the bottle and douche. Try and hold it for a few minutes.  This is probably the safest way for you to go.  You may also add 10 drops of extract or tincture of Astragalus once a day to a cup of Green tea, sweeten only with honey. Astragalus will help supplement your immune system and the baby's.  Avoid foods that stagnate the system, such as: Red meats, pork, white sugar, dairy and all fried foods.  Enhance your diet by eating foods that will help improve your health such as: Fresh oily fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines), brown rice, honey, fresh garlic and onions, raw or steamed fresh vegetables and fresh fruits.  Remember that exercise is also very important.


QUESTION:
Would you think it’s safe to take marigold flower extract (5:1 flower) during 5 weeks of being pregnant?  I've been taking this supplement for my IBD that contains Marigold Extract and I'm a bit worried that it may harm my baby. Any information would be greatly appreciated. 

ANSWER: You do not mention what supplement you are taking so it is impossible to know. If the amount contained is very minimal you should be okay. As with many things, in pregnancy it is best to confirm with your physician that it is safe to use Calendula. In some cases Marigold can stimulate uterine contractions.


QUESTION:
I am trying to get pregnant and have been advised to take Omega 369 supplements and Coq10 (100mg) from different sources.  My question is, is it okay to take these two supplements together?  I'm also taking a pre-conception vitamin pill.

ANSWER: Yes, it’s okay to take them together.  I suggest that if your menstrual cycle is normal, to have intercourse on the 13th, 14th and 15th days before your next period. Do not douche after sex nor use lubricants. The best position for conception is the "missionary position". It takes between 15 to 30 minutes for the sperm to reach the uterus, we suggest you remain lying on your back with your knees raised for a half hour after sexual intercourse. Do not take a bath before intercourse, as sperm need cool temps in order to survive.


QUESTION
: I'm taking Master Herbalist Series skin disorder due to the fact I have acne in my face so from taking 2 tablets three a day I take 4 tablets and lately I've found out that I'm pregnant can taking these tablets affect my pregnancy????

ANSWER: I am very sorry, but I have never heard of "Master Herbalist Series" or what it contains, and you do not give enough medical data about you, so I cannot help.

QUESTION: I am breastfeeding my six month old baby. She weighs 15 pounds and 11 ounces. 

When she was six weeks old, I started on nine capsules of Fenugreek and two cups of Mother’s milk tea. Initially, she had no problem but after a few weeks, she did display reflux type behavior and a small amount of blood in her poop. I stopped the fenugreek and the tea but her reflux type behavior did not go away. I also went off dairy, eggs, wheat etc. However, her weight gain was poor but she stayed in the 45th percentile and her reflux type behavior (pulling off the breast, crying when feeding) continued.

So, when she was three months old, I restarted the fenugreek and tea (6 capsules for three weeks and then nine capsules about three weeks. I also started 15 capsules of brewer’s yeast, 9 capsules of Shatavari. She was fine for about six weeks. I restarted dairy. She seemed OK. After a week of dairy, when she was five months old, she started waking up the night and crying. If I fed her, she started pulling off the breast after a few minutes but she continued to gain weight. I went off dairy again.

In the last two weeks, I have been on nine capsules of fenugreek, 15 capsules of brewer’s yeast, 9 capsules of Shatavari, two droppersful of Herblore Nursing tincture three times daily, and Mermaid Nursing tea for Milk Ejection Reflux. However, she is still pulling off the breast and now her weight gain has stalled. She was in the 45th percentile for her weight but is now in the 35th percentile.

Thinking it is a milk supply issue, In the last four days, I increased the fenugreek to 12 capsules per day. After that my baby is having green poop and several loose watery stools. She is also pulling off the right breast after a few minutes. Is fenugreek the problem?

Throughout this time, she has about 24-26 ounces of breast milk (I weighed her on a few days before and after feeding). Is there anything in the supplements or teas that could be causing the problem? How do I wean myself off?

ANSWER: First please stop the Fenugreek and everything else, except the Brewer's yeast. I suggest using soy dairy exclusively and eating plenty of raw or steamed vegetables and fruits.

As to the reflux it may have to do with absorption, so you would need to consult with your physician. You can include Chamomile tea, a few sips with her meal to help digestion.  Sweeten with a bit of honey to make it more palatable. Weight often fluctuates for no apparent reason, but I would certainly consider mal absorption as part of the problem.

QUESTION: 7 yrs ago I had trouble ttc so I tried natural herbs and come across vitex and marigold tea within the first month I was pregnant iam not sure if these to herbs played a part in me conceiving my son but a yr after I gave birth to my son we had a ectopic and was told I have scaring my left tube we have been ttc for 4 months now I am looking into trying natural herbs again can you help to list a few that would help? Both my partner and I are 26

ANSWER: Good to hear from you. Agnus castus is perhaps the best known and the herb with the most possible good results. Another of the herbs that comes to mind is Dong Quai keep in mind though that it should be taken from ovulation to a day before menstruation, and not at all during pregnancy. False unicorn is another herb that may prove beneficial to your goals.

Extracts and tinctures work better and faster. Most importantly is to follow a healthy diet including plenty of fresh salmon, mackerel and fresh garlic in your diet.  Avoid foods that stagnate the system, such as: Heavy red meats, pork, white sugar, dairy and all fried foods. Add to your bath 5 drops of essential oil of Lemon balm, 5 drops of essential oil of Ginger and 5 drops of essential oil of Ylang ylang.  

Please remember that in order to survive sperm need cool temperature, so DO NOT take a hot bath before sexual intercourse, and remain lying down for 15=20 after intercourse.  Last, but not least you may want to try infusions of Rosemary and German Chamomile in equal parts, adding 20 drops of tincture of Agnus castus, 15 drops of tincture of False Unicorn root and 10 drops of tincture of Chinese angelica. Sweeten only with honey and drink 3xs day.  Do NOT use Chinese angelica once you suspect you are pregnant.  You may also find of use reading the book:  "Enhancing Fertility Naturally", by Nicky Wesson, IBSN 0-89281-832-8.


QUESTION
: I have a question what herbs do you have that help with conceive twins?  also what herbs help induce labor? 

ANSWER: The answer to your first questions is, no. No such herb(s) exists.

The answer to your second question is, consult with your local doctor. We are not in the practice of suggesting "herbs to induce labor", fortunately we are respected practitioners who will not render advice over the Internet on such a grave and serious matter.  No reputable practitioner will tell you otherwise.

QUESTION: I'm new to herbs and herbal teas, but recently tried Traditional Medicinals Breathe Easy Tea which includes:

licorice root 300 mg
eucalyptus leaf 285 mg
bitter fennel seed 255 mg
bi yan pian 120 mg
proprietary blend 540 mg
peppermind leaf
calendula flower
pluerisy root
ginger rhizome

I took the tea to help with cold symptoms, but found that it also gave me a general feeling of wellness and energy, and also greatly curbed my appetite. I've been experiencing a huge increase in appetite (even when I'm not at all hungry) ever since my baby (now 11 months) was born and experienced the same thing with my last pregnancy. It was even more noticeable this time, since I rarely had an appetite at all during the pregnancy and just responded to hunger cues. I suspect that both the lack and the extreme presence of appetite may be related to adrenal issues, and read some articles that indicate licorice plays a role in both the appetite control and stress management.

I was wondering if you thought it might be one of the other ingredients instead and also wondered what you thought about my use of this tea or these herbs during breastfeeding.   As a side note, my baby also seems to be going through a growth spurt right now and I wondered how the above herbs might affect milk supply 

ANSWER Medicinal teas are just that, once the symptoms of the illness are eliminated, then you should stop taking them.  You should not use it while breastfeeding unless under the care of a practitioner.

Licorice does play a role in digestion and absorption of foods.

QUESTION: I have been taking 9 610 mg fenugreek a day, due to breastfeeding. I just had an episode of dizziness, weakness, shakiness, etc. It had not been long since I'd eaten last, maybe an hour or two. Eating helped alleviate the symptoms somewhat. Is it likely that he two are linked? Should I discontinue use? Thanks for your help.

ANSWER: Fenugreek is quite safe, but I would reduce the dosage. Here's a link with what I think the best info on dosage: http://www.kellymom.com/herbal/milksupply/fenugreek.html

You may want to try Blessed Thistle instead. If it keeps happening stop using it until you consult your practitioner about having the neccessary tests done for lower than normal level of blood glucose.

QUESTION: Hi my question is can i take red clover and chaste tree together to help with trying to get pregnant

ANSWER: Yes, you may use them both.

QUESTION I’m a 31 year old 5’7’’ 240 lbs women using Chinese herbals Xiao Yao Wan for anxiety and Nuan Gong Yun Zi for infertility. If I succeed in getting pregnant can I continue taking the Xiao Yao Wan for my anxiety? I had been on birth control since I was 9 years old for a chemical imbalance and stopped taking them about three years ago trying to get pregnant. I did get pregnant about a month or two after stopping but miscarried about six weeks along.

ANSWER: Xiao Yao Wan may be better viewed as a coordinated attempt to assure proper circulation: The spleen circulating moisture and the liver circulating blood (both organs aiding the circulation of qi).

In other words, for the person who requires Xiao Yao Wan, both the spleen and the liver are in a weakened state, even if the liver has become heated. Both organs have their functions simultaneously improved by Xiao Yao Wan.

In some cases, one may use it during pregnancy or after delivery, but to be certain you meet that criteria, you should consult with your local practitioner before using.   An individualized evaluation would have to be performed to accurately tell you any different.

QUESTION: I am 4 weeks pregnant and largely credit my pregnancy to the work my acupuncturist has been doing with me. Now that I am pregnant, I am nervous about taking the herbs while all of the baby's organs are being formed. Are Yu Lin Fang (rehmannia and cuscuta combination) and Polygonum 14 safe during the first trimester of pregnancy? Thank you for your help. I really appreciate your work!

ANSWER: Unless it is absolutely necessary for the benefit of the mother or the child I never suggest any formula during the first trimester.

QUESTION: is it ok to take maca 1000mg tablets to help boost infertility in woman who suffer with poly cystic ovary and ovulation who fine it difficult to get pregnant after two operation and also imbalance hormone ,low sex drive and low energy?

ANSWER: Although it is safe for you to do so, Maca is best used for impotence in men, it may help a bit with the low sex drive for you, and with other hormonal problems. There are also claims and some documented proof that it does boost fertility, but much remains to be learned. Remember liquid extracts and tinctures work better and faster than capsules or pills.

QUESTION: I was given pennyroyal tea by a friend and I’m 39 weeks pregnant will this end the pregnancy?

ANSWER: I am afraid only a Higher Power than myself could answer that. Pennyroyal essential oil is extremely concentrated. It should never be taken internally because it is highly toxic; even in small doses, consumption of the oil can result in death. In 1978 a pregnant woman from Colorado died within one week after consuming one ounce of concentrated Pennyroyal oil in an attempt to self-induce abortion. The harm that you will do to your own organs is alone enough reason for you not to want to take this. This late in the pregnancy is the last thing you want to do. I sincerely advise you to speak with a qualified professional, in your area before consuming any pennyroyal.

QUESTION: I believe I was diagnosed with Infertility. I read some of the comments on Herbnet.com and your help has been very amazing.  

Me and my husband have been trying for more than 5 years to get pregnant. In 2009 I started to go to the fertility doctor which they were very helpful. My doctor stated I had hydrosalpinx and scarring all in my fallopian tubes as well as ovaries. I got my first miscarriage in 2009 and had a laparoscopy 6 months later. My adhesions were taken out and I had an HCG done which shows my tubes were not block. Still not pregnant and I was just trying to see if you can help educate me how to take care of my tubes both herbs or eating habits and what do you think about me taking clomid? My doctor recommends me to do IVF.

ANSWER: Many cases of infertility can be helped with alternative remedies. The key is to find how to harmonize the system to facilitate pregnancy. Chinese medicine has always been very helpful to women in this area. 

Let us first address your diet. You need to eliminate all red meats, pork, white sugar, all dairy and all fried foods. Moderate your intake of coffee and alcohol. 

Enhance your diet eating plenty of fresh oily fish (salmon, mackerel and sardines), in the alternative take 2,000mg Omega 3 & Omega 6 1x day. Eat brown rice, honey, yogurt, fresh garlic, onions, ginger root, fresh raw or steamed vegetables and fresh fruits. 

Clomid has too many side effects for my taste. I would prefer seeing you on an individualized treatment plan, safer and effective.

Since all of us are different it is really hard to determine which herbs, extracts or formulas and at what dosage and frequency would be best for you individually. 

There are several which may be of help: False unicorn, Chaste berry, Wild Yam, Bupleurum and Chinese angelica, as well there are various traditional Chinese remedies and formulas that would certainly prove of help. A general course with these is about 3 months, to regulate, nourish, supplement and maintain a healthy and balance system. Some folks have found help by adding 15 drops each of extracts of Chaste berry, False unicorn and Wild Yam to a cup of warm water or tea and drinking 3xs day. Extracts and tinctures work better and faster.

If you would like for us to do an evaluation, and then determine which is the best course to follow you may click on the banner at the site or contact me directly.

QUESTION: I have a question about the use of VITEX, that I am hoping you may be able to answer. I have been taking it for 2 months without incidence. I take it every morning - all month long. I am taking Vitex to lengthen my luetal Phase (which it has already started to help with!). I am actively trying to conceive at the same time.
 
On one of your answers to a question on your site, you indicate that VITEX should not be taken during pregnancy. I am wondering when I should stop taking vitex? Should I stop taking it as soon as I find out I am pregnant (i.e, 18 days post ovulation, while simultaneously taking VITEX), or should I stop taking it when I ovulate, and restart after I get my period presuming conception was not achieved that month?
 
I am so confused, as no one has been able to give me a straight answer on this.
 
Any advice would be warmly welcomed!

ANSWER: Once you are pregnant or suspect you are, you should stop taking all herbal supplements until you consult with a practitioner.

In particular Chinese angelica, Chaste berry and False unicorn should not be taken.

QUESTION: Will vitamin C at 8 weeks make you have a miscarriage?

ANSWER: If taken at the normal dosage and normal frequency vitamin C should not pose any problem for you.

QUESTION: I have 2 questions regarding pregnancy and certain herbs etc. I have been taking Estrosense for 2 months which has been amazing. But then I switched to Her Energy pills by Brad King and started getting terrible pains in my pelvic/stomach region. (I have PCOS) and I heard somewhere that the Citrus Bioflavinoids were probably severely irritating the cystic tissue.. Is that possible?? -I stopped taking it once the pain started and went back on Estrosense, and the pain has diminished.. Also, I apparently have a subseptate uterus.. Can this cause difficulty in getting pregnant??

ANSWER: Your questions poses the same problem that many other questions have. It just impossible to say without an evaluation what can be the causes that are making it difficult for you personally in getting pregnant. A subseptate uterus may play a part in this. If you are interested in an evaluation you may contact me directly at: admin@tcmconsultants.org.

There is little research on Citrus Bioflavinoids. Some of the known side effects are : Hives, difficulty breathing, and facial, mouth and throat swelling. As with most supplements and herbals you should only take for at most 3 months and then stop for 14 days before resuming.

Sorry, it is not within the scope of this site to do research on Estrosense or Energy Pills. I personally have never heard of either.

QUESTION: I am a Swedish woman of 48 years of age trying to get pregnant at this late stage in my life since I have met a new and most wonderful partner, who does not have any children.  Personally, I have three children from a previous marriage – ages 23, 22, and 14.

In my attempt to get pregnant at this age, I have undergone acupuncture (about 2-3 times per month) during the past 6 months, and I have also taken the Chinese herb Nuan Gong Yun Zi Wan.  Despite the fact that my periods have become heavier, and also the fact that I actually “feel” pregnant each month, I have not managed to conceive (my previous pregnancies were very quickly and easily conceived).  My periods tend to be regular, and according to ovulation predictors, I am still ovulating.  However, last month my period was a week late, which at first had got my hopes up, and then dashed...  I also had quite a lot of pain in my ovaries.  I am also hoping to increase my cervical mucus, which seems to have become a bit sparse.  I have now found some alternative fertility aids online, and I wonder if any or all of the following would be safe to use with Nuan Gong Yun Zi Wan? (UK website)

DreamQuest Pro-Creation:  http://www.revital.co.uk/DreamQuest_Pro_Creation_Female_Fertility_Support

(US website)

FertilityAid:  http://www.fertilaid.com/formula.asp
FertilityTea:  http://www.fertilitea.com/herbal-fertility.htm
FertilityCM (to increase cervical mucus and strengthen the uterine lining):  http://www.fairhavenhealth.com/fertilecm.html

I would be so very grateful for any help you can offer in this matter.  I am very conscious of the statistically small chance I have to conceive at the age of 48 – however, I am also a believer in possibilities, no matter how small.  After all, we must never give up our dreams, particularly when we have great love in our lives.

ANSWER:  Your question is one we answer almost weekly, so please feel free to search for our other answers. Sorry to say, but due to the many questions, it’s not within the scope of this site to review and comment on the links you sent, but let's address your concerns. 

Besides your age there are several other matters that must be examined, your diet, your lifestyle, the current meds you are on, etc. 

We encourage everyone to eliminate from their diet: Red meats, pork, white sugar, all dairy (except yogurt, and eat eggs in moderation) and all fried and greasy foods. Avoid also excessive coffee and alcohol, and of course, if you smoke, quit! Avoid also, pastas, chips, sodas and colas, chocolates, foods with additives and/or preservatives and processed foods.

You should enhance your diet with fresh oily fish (salmon, mackerel and sardines), brown rice, yogurt, honey, nuts and seeds, fresh garlic and onions, chicken, turkey, raw or steamed vegetables and fresh fruits.  Add to your warm baths 15 drops essential oil of Geranium and 15 drops essential oil of Lavender.

You should adopt a low-level regimen of exercise: Walking, Tai Chi or Yoga would be great.

As to your concern about the gallbladder, you perhaps are referring to an answer by one of the past herbalists at the site. I will say this it is much better to have either a functioning gallbladder or none at all, than it is to have a bad gallbladder. You should be okay. 

Now then, Nuan Gong Yun Zi Wan is a great medicine to supplement Qi and warm the uterus. It is used for irregular menstruation, vaginal discharge, anemia, and irregular ovulation. It is not per se a "get pregnant" formula. Our advise always is that any and all alternative treatments must only be used for 3 months, wait 14 days, then the person should be re-evaluated.

There are many other great formulas and other alternatives that may be better suited for you, but in order to individualize a treatment plan for you I would need to do an evaluation. If interested please view: http://tcmconsultants.org/FAQs%20&%20Evaluation.htm

Or contact me directly at: admin@tcmconsultants.org

One last word. Have intercourse on the 13th, 14th and 15th days before your next period. Do not douche after sex nor use lubricants. The best position for conception is the "missionary position". It takes between 15 to 30 minutes for the sperm to reach the uterus, I suggest you remain lying on your back with your knees raised for a half hour after sexual intercourse. Do not take a bath before intercourse, as sperm need cool temps in order to survive.

And one final suggestion, we would like to remind you that stress has been found to play a major role in some cases of infertility. Learning relaxation and breathing techniques may be helpful in this area. Your local library will have books or videos on these to help get you started. Hope this helps. Good luck!

QUESTION: I am 36 years old, I have three children, last year I had two miscarriages. The hospital couldn't give any explanation for these, and won't do any form of tests until three miscarriages have occurred.  I read about Agnus Castus helping fertility, and thought it sounded great. But on a few articles it says don't take this if your at high risk of breast cancer.  My mum had breast cancer, so should I not take the Agnus Castus? I really don't want another miscarriage, but I also don't want to encourage cancer, and my doctor is no use as she hasn't much knowledge of herbal ways. Please help I'm confused,

ANSWER: The problem with your question is that the only way to be fair to you is to say you need an individualized evaluation. Yes, Agnus castus, False unicorn, wild Yam, Chinese angelica, White Peony root and other herbs are often used to help harmonize the organs and facilitate conception.
As long as you have had a recent mammogram and all is well, Agnus castus is not going to be a problem.
The problem is finding the correct herbs or herbal formulas that will help you individually. If you desire an evaluation and a personalized treatement plan please view: http://tcmconsultants.org/FAQs%20&%20Evaluation.htm Or contact me directly at: admin@tcmconsultants.org

QUESTION: I am 5 weeks pregnant. I am also nursing my son. I would like to increase my milk production so I can continue to nurse him, however I do not want to have a miscarriage either. I have heard that these herbs stimulate lactation...but which are safe to take while you’re pregnant (especially in the first trimester) Can you recommend anything else?  Shatavari, alfalfa, goats rue, red raspberry leaf, I really appreciate your advice

ANSWER: The only herb that is safe and that might stimulate lactation and increase milk production is Fenugreek. The others you mentioned will not and are not safe during the first trimester.

QUESTION: I'm 30 yr old female, breastfeeding a toddler. I was taking Vitex (for hormone balancing) and was also drinking a dandelion root tea (coffee substitute) prepared very strongly each morning for about 30-40 days.  I stopped about a week and a half ago when I started experiencing weird symptoms -- first heart palpitations, then shakiness and confusion like I had low blood sugar. This has gotten worse over the past week and a half so that if I don't eat a huge meal every 2-3 hours I am basically unable to do anything. I also sometimes feel mildly nauseous after eating. Could these symptoms be from one of both
of these herbs? I have read that dandelion root can be hypoglycemic, but how long would that last?
I really appreciate any information you can offer! (I've already seen 5 doctors ... no real solutions yet).

ANSWER: While its possible that Dandelion may induce hypoglycemia it seldom happens, but from the symptoms you describe this may be the case with you.  Very few herbs are safe during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, including Vitex.  I suggest you stop using both. As to how long will this last, its hard telling, but I don't think it will last very long.  Drink plenty of fresh water daily to flush out the system.

QUESTION: I have a few questions about herbs. I have been trying to conceive for over 2 years now, and am looking for herbal remedies before I look into prescriptions.
1) I have elevated prolactin levels. Is there an herb I can take to lower this naturally?
2) Are there certain herbs to take that can help increase my chances of conception? I have heard Chaste berry helps??
3) I use Origins brand skin care line and they use all plants and herbs in their products. I am worried that something in my face wash/moisturizer may cause issue. Is there a high risk of that if I am not consuming the herbs/plants?
 
Any help you can provide to me would be greatly appreciated! I am running low on hope at this point, and I am only 25.
 
Thank you in advance for your anticipated response,

ANSWER: With elevated prolactin levels Agnus castus (Chaste berry) is perhaps the best herbs to use. Chaste berry will help both  lower elevated prolactin levels and it can help in conception. 

But first, I would also like to mention to you that high levels of toxins in your water, food and your environment affect the organs and are thus related to hormonal imbalance.  Dandelion root is the herb of choice here. I sincerely suggest a 48 hour fast drinking only Green tea and adding 30 drops extract of Dandelion root. Sweeten with a bit of honey and drink 5-6xs day. Drink plenty of fresh water also. If hunger overtakes you during this time, you may eat yogurt.

After your fast, I would suggest drinking infusions of Green tea and adding 25 dops extracts of Agnus castus. Extracts and tinctures work better and faster. Sweeten only with a bit of honey and drink 3xs day. 

Take note that high levels of stress is also related to high prolactin levels. 

Sorry, but it is beyond the scope of the site to examine brands. I would suggest you email Origins with your concerns

QUESTION: Is it okay to take Don quai and vitex and the raspberry tea together when trying to conceive

ANSWER: Generally is okay, but once you become pregnant or suspect that you are please discontinue use.

QUESTION: I started taking vitex to aid in getting pregnant.  I had a period every 30days like clockwork. I started it right before my period had a normal period and ovulated,  But pretty sure missed my window because of my husband’s work schedule. I want to try again this month, but the herb appears to have
stopped my cycle. I’m not pregnant, I took like 12 tests when I was late. It has given me horrible cramping, constipation, and no period. I have seen other women complain of similar reactions, but no one lists a fix. I want to try and conceive, but cant if i am not menstruating. Please let me know something that will start it up again and any fertility enhancers not vitex.

ANSWER: Folks should never self-medicate. Herbs and herbal formulas should only be used for at most 90 days, then they should be stopped for 14 days to re-assess what is going on, before starting again.

Your system may have become toxic, towards that end I suggest a 48 hour fast drinking only Green tea and adding 25 drops extract of Dandelion root. Sweeten only with a bit of honey and drink 4-5xs day for 2 days. If during this time hunger overtakes you, you may eat yogurt.Continue drinking the above 3xs day for 5 more days.

Eliminate from your diet foods 6that stagnate the system, such as: Red meats, pork, white sugar, all dairy and all fried and greasy foods. Consume coffee and alcohol only in moderation, and also avoid processed foods and foods with additives and preservatives. Use only Kosher salt (it contains only 12% sodium versus regular slat 25%), for sugar use Stevia.

Enhance your diet with plenty of fresh oily fish (salmon, mackerel and sardines), honey, brown rice, fresh garlic, onions, yogurt, raw or steamed vegetables and fresh fruits, in particular figs and green apples.

Besides Cascara Sagrada and Senna, the best way to treat constipation is by drinking fresh carrot juice before bedtime. One tall glass should be enough.

As to your period I would suggest infusions of Green tea, and adding 15 drops extract of Chinese angelica, 15 drops extract of Wild Yam and 10 drops extract of Buplerum. Sweeten only with a bit of honey and drink 3xs day after your fast and the other 5 days.

Once you suspect your pregnant or are pregnant please discontinue the infusions above.

I suggest that if your menstrual cycle is normal, to have intercourse on the 13th, 14th and 15th days before your next period. Do not douche after sex nor use lubricants. The best position for conception is the "missionary position". It takes between 15 to 30 minutes for the sperm to reach the uterus, we suggest you remain lying on your back with your knees raised for a half hour after sexual intercourse. Do not take a bath before intercourse, as sperm need cool temps in order to survive.

QUESTION: My husband and I have been trying to conceive for a year. I'm 22 and he is 37. I've been to the Dr. and all of my hormones and everything are fine. My husband however hasn't been. We are assuming that he may have a low sperm count because of the fact that he is overweight and smokes. We've heard that it can be a factor in causing low sperm counts. My question is.. Are there any herbs that could help him naturally increase his sperm count? We have been very good at staying stress free. We just really want to have a child soon, neither of us are getting any younger. My husband tends to lack energy and can't seem to lose weight. Any information you can provide would be much appreciated.

ANSWER: Truly unless your husband is willing to makes some major changes the road to your goal will be longer and harder.  He should have his sperm count and his level of testosterone checked. Smoking and being overweight are big stumbling blocks.

Having said this you both need to avoid foods that stagnate the system, such as Red meats, pork, white sugar, all dairy and all fried foods. Also avoid chocolates, candies, sodas, colas, processed foods, chips and foods containing additives or preservatives. Enhance your diet with: Fresh oily fish (salmon, mackerel and sardines), brown rice, yogurt, chicken turkey, Cornish hen, honey, fresh garlic, fresh onions, ginger, fresh raw or steamed vegetables and eat plenty of fresh fruits. If you must use salt use Kosher salt. It contains only 12% sodium versus 25% in regular salt. For sugar you may use Stevia.

There are several remedies that may help incresase his sperm count. I would suggest starting by taking 4 capsules of L-Arginine and 2 capsules of L-Carnitine daily. Available at most drug stores over the counter.

He may also benefit from drinking infusions of Passionflower and adding 10 drops extract of Sasparilla root and 15 drops of extract of Maca root and 15 drops extract of Tribulus terrestris. Sweeten only with a bit of honey and drink 2-3xs day.

There are many other herbs and formulas that may be appropriate such as Bois Bande, Tzepao Sanpien Wan, Jin Suo Gu Jing Wan to name a few.  What I would suggest to you is that your husband allow us to do an evaluation. With a proper evaluation we can individualize a treatment plan for him. If interested contact me directly at: admin@tcmconsultants.org

Please remember  suggest that if your menstrual cycle is normal, to have intercourse on the 13th, 14th and 15th days before your next period. Do not douche after sex nor use lubricants. The best position for conception is the "missionary position". It takes between 15 to 30 minutes for the sperm to reach the uterus, we suggest you remain lying on your back with your knees raised for a half hour after sexual intercourse. Do not take a bath before intercourse, as sperm need cool temps in order to survive.

QUESTION: I was wondering if you could advise me on herbal treatments for helping conceive.  I have just turned 40 and already have a 16 year old son.  My partner has a 9 year old boy.  We would like to try for another child.  I exercise regularly and eat well.  Although recently I was advised by an alternative health practitioner to go on an anti-fungal diet.  (no fruit, vinegar, fungi etc)

She thought I might have systemic candida (although I didn't have any outward symptoms) and a leaky gut.  I went to her because I had been constipated for ages.  I used to eat LOADS of fruit but have only had a few berries over the past 6 months.  I had a month of detox. My digestion has improved - I take digestive enzymes, mutli-vitamins, vit c, fish oils, ginseng and anti fungal caps.  The only other thing I take is levothyroxine as I have Hashimotos - slow thyroid 

My partner and I were trying for a baby for 6 months with no results; I had been told in the past I am slightly polycystic and went for blood tests to check whether I was ovulating.  I am ovulating some months.  My period has always been irregular..anywhere between 30 days and 42 days; occasionally skipping one altogether.  The next stage was to see whether my tubes are blocked but I would prefer to go the natural route.  I had my son at home with no drugs so I am of the mind that the less interference the better!  I would be grateful to hear your views.


ANSWER: A month of detox seems a bit much, and you don't say what form of detox or if your constipation has stopped, but I am glad to hear your digestion is better.  With Hashimoto's disease I would like to remind you that there may be a link to environmental factors such as toxins that may contribute to this. You may want to have an analysis done that concentrates on this factor. The disease is seldom totally cured, but it can be controlled.

Now then, we suggest following an even healthier diet. Eliminate foods that stagnate the system, such as: Pork, red meats, white sugar, all dairy and all fried and greasy foods.  Add to your diet: Plenty of fresh garlic, onions, cinnamon, ginger and aloe-vera. Add to all your broths, soups and stews a large piece of Astragalus root and small piece of Chinese white ginseng root.  Eat plenty of fresh raw or steamed vegetables.

To help with the Hashimoto e suggest drinking infusions of Green tea adding 15 drops of extract of Dandelion root and 10 drops extract of Milk Thistle. Sweeten only with honey. 

Now for the other part of your question. You must try and regulate your periodds and towards that end I suggest drinking infusions of  Green tea adding 10 drops extract of Chinese angelica, 10 drops extract of Bupleurum root and 10 drops extract of Wild Yam. Drink 3xs day and sweeten only with a bit of honey.  Once your periods return to normal for 2 or 3 months, you may stop.  And then, begin drinking infusions of Lemon balm and adding 15 drops extract of Agnus castus and 15 drops extract of False unicorn. As above drink 3xs day and sweeten only with a bit of honey.  Once you are, or suspect you are pregnant, discontinue the Chinese angelica, the Wild Yam and the False unicorn.  I suggest that once your menstrual cycle becomes normal, to have intercourse on the 13th, 14th and 15th days before your next period.

Do not douche after sex nor use lubricants. The best position for conception is the "missionary position". It takes between 15 to 30 minutes for the sperm to reach the uterus, we suggest you remain lying on your back with your knees raised for a half hour after sexual intercourse. Do not take a bath before intercourse, as sperm need cool temps in order to survive.  Hope this helps. Good luck!

QUESTION: I recently purchased a solaray brand of the super rhodiola extract 500mg veggie tablets for energy online but I think I may be pregnant. So I was wondering if it was safe for me to take them? Thanks for your time!

ANSWER: Very few herbs are reAlly safe when you are pregnant, and rhodiola is not one of them. Please discontinue use.  Good luck to you and your baby!

 

QUESTION: Would you think it’s safe to take marigold flower extract (5:1 flower) during 5 weeks of being pregnant?  I've been taking this supplement for my IBD that contains Marigold Extract and I'm a bit worried that it may harm my baby. Any information would be greatly appreciated. 

ANSWER: You do not mention what supplement you are taking so it is impossible to know. If the amount contained is very minimal you should be okay. As with many things, in pregnancy it is best to confirm with your physician that it is safe to use Calendula. In some cases Marigold can stimulate uterine contractions.

QUESTION: Would you think it’s safe to take marigold flower extract (5:1 flower) during 5 weeks of being pregnant?  I've been taking this supplement for my IBD that contains Marigold Extract and I'm a bit worried that it may harm my baby. Any information would be greatly appreciated. 

ANSWER: You do not mention what supplement you are taking so it is impossible to know. If the amount contained is very minimal you should be okay. As with many things, in pregnancy it is best to confirm with your physician that it is safe to use Calendula. In some cases Marigold can stimulate uterine contractions.

QUESTION: My best friend is pregnant. When she was around 9-10 weeks she ingested an herbal mix to try to trigger a miscarriage. The mix was Pennyroyal, Black Cohosh Root, Blue Cohosh Root, Motherwort, Red Raspberry Leaf , Catnip, Wild Yam, Wild Carrot, St. John's Wort, Distilled Water and 12% Alcohol. Only about an ounce of it was taken over a span of 4 to 5 days. She has decided to keep the baby now. Do you think the baby should be ok?

ANSWER: The mixture you mention can over a period of time depending on form used, dosage and frequency can either cause a miscarriage or harm the fetus. In this particular case since it was done for a few short days I would venture to say the baby should be okay, but she should  monitor her progress often and be totally honest with her physician.

I do suggest that your friend begins drinking Dandelion root tea 3xs day for 5 days to help detoxify the system. Sweeten only with a bit of honey.  I would also encourage her to eat healthy, and buy only organic or local vegetables and fruits and eat plenty of them!  Fruits and vegetables grown in the same area of residence prove to be far healthier for the folks living there.

She should avoid foods that stagnate the system, such as: Heavy red meats, pork, white sugar, and all fried foods. Eat and drink dairy in moderation.  Avoid excessive coffee and alcohol. If she smokes she should, quit immediately.

She can enhance her diet by eating fresh fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines) often (Omega-3), fresh garlic and onions (immune system), brown rice, fresh raw or steamed vegetables, fresh fruits, yogurt, pineapple (to help the digestive), honey and, if you must use salt, use only Kosher salt. Kosher salt contains only 12% sodium, versus regular salt 25%, or sea salt 20%.  By the way, Stevia is the best substitute for sugar.

She should add a piece of Astragalus root to all her broths, soups and stews. In the alternative she can drink Astragalus root tea often. Astragalus will help supplement and tonify her immune system and the baby's.

She should also begin a low-level exercise regimen, such as: Qi Gong, Tai Chi or Yoga. Fifteen minutes a day will do wonders. Her local library will have books and videos on these to help get her started.  I hope this helps.

QUESTION: Hello, I came across HerbNET by chance and have found it to be a wonderful and informative site. Though there are many questions and answers concerning fertility not one completely answers my question. I am 41 and have undergone to rounds of mild IVF. The first one resulted in a  miscarriage at 5-6 weeks, the second a negative pregnancy test after two embryo’s were transferred.

My hormone levels seem fine apart from my AMH which measures ovarian reserve – mine is low, which leads one to think that my remaining eggs are poor quality. That said myself and my partner seem to produce good embryo’s.  I am not overweight and eat a very healthy and varied diet. I do not eat red meat or diary. I undertake regular exercise and yoga. 

I am going to undertake a cleanse for a month and then would like to reintroduce some herbal formulas. I have previously taken  Maca, Royal jelly,Omega 3’s and a multi vitamin blend, along with B vitamins, selenium and D3.  I would like to add red raspberry leaf tea and red clover. Along with this Pregnancy Preparation blend http://www.babyhopes.com/pregnancy-prep-fertility-supplement.html which contains: 

Tribulus terrestris (750mg)
Rhodiola rosea root extract (100mg)
Vitex aka Chaste tree berry extract (215mg)
Vitex aka Chaste tree berry (25mg)
Raspberry leaf (45mg)
Aalfalfa leaf (45mg)
Dong quai root (45mg)
Motherwort ~ Leonurus cardiaca (45mg)
True unicorn root ~ Aletris farinosa (45mg)
Amylase 2000 SKB
Protease 7500 HUT
Lipase 25 FIP
Cellulase 25 CU
Lactase 250 ALU  

Along with Women’s Jing from Dragon Herbs; http://www.dragonherbs.com/prodinfo.asp?number=127 which contains: 

Epimedium leaf, Lycium fruit, Schisandra fruit, Achyranthes root, Prepared Rehmannia root, Glochidion fruit, Curculigo rhizome, Dong quai root, Cuscuta chinensis seed, Asian plantain seed, Chinese White Peony root, Ligusticum chuanxiong rhizome 

I was also considering further adding He Shou Wu/Fo Ti. I appreciate this is a lot to take but I am wanting to maximise my chances. In your view are there any contradictions in taking all these herbs together as well as the raspberry, red clover and Maca?  I am desperate for some clarity and would so appreciate your knowledge and time in coming back to me on this at your earliest opportunity.

ANSWER: Most of what you ask is not within the scope of this site and to obtain the answer we would have do to an evaluation and develop an individualized treatment plan for you.  Nevertheless, I can answer a few of your questions. Maca is not the appropriate herb here. This is a great herb used primarily for men dealing with impotence issues. You may add Shou Wu to your other herbs, and as well take the Raspberry and Red clover together. The two preparations may or may not be the indicated ones for you.  Frankly I would suggest a 72 hour fast drinking only decoctions of Dandelion root tea. Sweeten with honey and drink 4-5xs day. If hunger overtakes you, you may eat plain yogurt, fruits or unsalted crackers.  After that time, I would encourage you to begin drinking infusions of Wild Yam and adding 15 drops extract of agnus castus and 10 drops extract of False unicorn. Sweeten only with a bit of honey and drink 3xs day. A varied diet is not what you need. You need to eliminate foods that stagnate the system, such as: Red meats, pork, white sugar, all dairy and all fried foods.  Enhance your diet with fresh oily fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines), eat fresh garlic and onions daily, brown rice, yogurt, grain breads, honey, fresh raw or steamed vegetables and fresh fruits.

QUESTION: Is it safe to drink pineapple tea while breast feeding? Will it have any negative affect on my milk supply? I am wondering because I have heard that pineapple tea is a good natural way to loses a couple pounds. As I am trying to lose my pregnancy weight I was curious to try but I want to be safe and find out everything I can before trying the pineapple tea while I am still breast feeding.

ANSWER: Good question.  Foods that are high on Vit. C like grapefruit, lemons, limes, oranges and pineapple should be best avoided until after breastfeeding is completely over and the baby is on baby food. 

I would suggest to you that you begin drink Bojenmi tea and add 10 drops of extract of Dandelion and 15 drops of extract of Astragalus.  The Bojenmi tea will help you and the baby with digestion; the Dandelion will help clear our toxins and the Astragalus will help tonify the immune system. Sweeten with honey and drink 2xs day. You may also want to drink Anise tea 1x day to help increase milk production.

QUESTION: Please help!!!  I have just recently lost twins.  I was 10.5 pregnant weeks and one baby was only 7 weeks and the other was 8 weeks. At 4 weeks pregnant I went to a Chinese herbalist for Anxiety and he gave the two formulas listed below. I asked him directly if they were safe for pregnancy and he said yes.  I continued taking the pills for two and half more weeks and then he stopped me.  He said I was really pregnant now.   The one  babies died a few days later.  Now since my missed miscarriage I have now heard from two very reliable sources that the second combination could have caused the miscarriage. Can you please advise.  This is my third pregnancy.  I have had two full term babies and I am very healthy. Any honest advise would be appreciated!!

1. Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan (Ginseng & Zizyphus Combination)
codonopsis pilosula root             51mg
scrophularia ningpoensis root      68mg
salvia mitiorrhiza root                  85mg
asparagus lucidus tuber              68mg
ophiopogon japonicus tuber         68mg
poria cocos root                         85mg
platycodon grandiflorum root       68mg
angelica polymorpha root           51mg
schizandra chinensis fruit           51mg
polygala sibirica root                 51mg
rehmannia glutinosa root            85mg
ziziphus spinosa seed                102mg
glycyrrhiza uralensis root           17mg 

2. Xiao Yao San (Bupleurum & Danggui Formula)
bupleurum falcatum root                127.5mg
angelica polymorpha root               127.5mg
paeonia lactiflora root and rhizome  170mg
atractylodes macrocephala root wood 127.5mg
poria cocos root                           144.5mg
glycyrrhiza uralensis root                51mg
mentha haplocalyx leaf                   51mg
zingiber officinale root                    51mg 

ANSWER: Thanks for writing.  Your sources are incorrect. These formulas have been used for hundreds of years.  Both formulas are very safe, but once you are pregnant then you should discontinue them both since they contain Chinese angelica, which is not indicated during a pregnancy; and that is what your practitioner did.  I wish you and your baby the very best.

QUESTION: My naturopath has told me to take dong quai but I am ten weeks pregnant. Apparently new research shows it's ok to take but I am concerned so would appreciate your advice. I have taken it for the past three days and now I'm questioning it. You should know I miscarried at 16 weeks for my last baby-
no heartbeat. Hope you can advise

ANSWER: I totally disagree with your naturopath. I stand by ancient knowledge and common practice. Chinese angelica should never be taken if you are pregnant.


QUESTION
: I have found conflicting info on the safety of taking Ganoderma lucidum while pregnant or breastfeeding.  The main concern I have found is with the fact that it has a detox effect... I can understand how this may be a problem in the first trimester as the uterus is an eliminative channel, but what about the rest of the pregnancy...and is ganoderma really that strong of a detoxifier?  And what if one has already been using the ganoderma for a period of time before becoming pregnant?  And as for nursing...baby wouldn't be receiving the toxins from the breast as I understand it... is the concern that baby's system may undergo a cleanse and this isn't considered safe?

It seems to me that the health benefits of ganoderma are so high that perhaps that outweighs some of these other concerns?  The opposing opinions I've found have said exactly that... in fact have encouraged the use of this herb while pregnant. It can get so confusing researching on the internet! What's your opinion?

ANSWER: While Ganoderma may increase antiplatelet activity in your body, meaning it blocks formation of blood clots, and drugs that slow blood clotting are contradicted during pregnancy but, Ganoderma is not a drug.   

Reishi, has been used for hundreds of years in China without problems significant enough to warrant worry.  You do not mention the form or dosage, but considering that you are taking pills, they lose much of their potency due to storage, regardless of what the manufacturer may say. If using the extract or tincture (much better), I would suggest no more than 10 drops daily.

Reishi is not a strong detoxifier. If you have taken Reishi before getting pregnant it should not present you with a problem now. If breastfeeding and the baby shows signs of diarrhea, discontinue. You are correct in my view, that the benefits outweigh the concerns.

QUESTION: I am confirmed approx 5 weeks pregnant I was unsure about the pregnancy and seriously considered trying a herbal abortion. I for 3 days have taken approx 6000mg of Vitamin C and for the last day have taken 3000mg of Dong Quai.  I have had some mild cramping but nothing else. I am however now wanting to continue with the pregnancy, will the amount of herbs I have taken have affected the embryo? Will my baby be born with any defects or disabilities?

ANSWER Unfortunately not even the best doctors in the land can accurately predict the outcome of your pregnancy.  In particular since you do not specify what or drugs, herbs or herbal formulations you have taken. 

Our first recommendation is that you stop taking Angelica (Dong quai) immediately and do not take again during your pregnancy.  You may continue with the vitamin C, but reduce it to 1,000mg day.

I would suggest a 2 day fast to rid your body of any toxins. Eat only yogurt and unsalted crackers if hunger overtakes you. Drink during this time Green tea adding 30 drops of Dandelion root extract. Drink 4-5xs day for the 48 hours and make sure you drink plenty of fresh water. (Extracts and tinctures work better and faster) 

After that time follow a healthy diet avoiding foods with preservatives, white sugar and all fried foods. Moderate your intake of red meats, coffee, candies and dairy. Eat plenty of raw or steamed locally grown veggies, fresh garlic and onion, fresh fish, in particular salmon and mackerel and plenty of fresh fruits. Follow a low-level regimen of exercise such as walking, Yoga or Tai Chi.  It is very important that you listen to your doctor's advice and follow his directions.   Here's wishing you and your baby all the best!  

QUESTION: I am currently nursing my five week old. Is it is safe to take Super Green consisting of: Organic barley grass, wheat grass powder, organic spirulina, organic alfalfa leaf powder, organic dulse, organic dandelion, organic ginkgo leaf powder, organic spinach.  100 Vegi Caps (?)   Also is it okay to drink Ginkgo Seed plus Herbal Tea (brand Pretty Lotus) twice a day?   Your help is appreciated. Thank you.

ANSWER: While nursing I suggest avoiding most things. While your tea and Super Green may help the babies auto-immune, unless it was needed by him I would avoid everything until he is weaned. Many of these items can give the baby diarrhea or loose stools. 

A healthy diet is what really counts here. Eat plenty of fresh fish (salmon, mackerel), fresh garlic and onions, yogurt, brown rice and plenty of raw or steamed vegetables and fresh fruits.

Drink plenty of fresh water. You may drink Dandelion tea it is useful to detoxify the body.  Avoid white sugar,. heavy red meats and all fried foods.  Also avoid excessive coffee, alcohol and tobacco. Include 25 drops of extract of Astragalus in your teas 2xs day.   

Remember exercise is very important. I suggest you adopt a low-level regimen of exercise such as: Yoga, Tai Chi or Qi Gong. Your local library will have books on these.  Once the baby is weaned continue with your regimen

QUESTION: My husband and I made some homemade ice cream with pennyroyal, didn't know it was toxic at the time. I ate a bowl full and I am breast feeding a 10 month old, should I be concerned about possible poisoning?  

ANSWER: You should, to be safe, detox your body by a 36 hour fast drinking only Dandelion tea. If hunger overtakes you may drinks broths or eat yogurt.  You should be okay depending on the amount used of course. Please wait to experiment after your child is no longer breast feeding.

QUESTION: Can kava tea decrease the effectiveness of the Depo-Provera contraceptive injection?

ANSWER: As with most herbals not enough studies have been done to give you a definite answer on your specific question. We do know this: Patients with a history of liver problems, pregnancy or nursing issues should avoid Kava. I suggest that you may want to consider other herbs such as Linden flower, Lemon balm or Passionflower.

QUESTION: I have a question about aloe vera. I have been reading all over the net that it is toxic if you are pregnant, and that not only can it cause miscarriage but birth defects as well. However, when I try to find scientific studies that back up these claims, I find none.  I am not currently pregnant, however we are trying. And I want to take aloe vera to boost my immune system.

ANSWER: Aloe vera is not indicated during pregnancy, it is not toxic, but acts as a laxative. Using aloe vera over extended periods of time could result in side effects such as loss of potassium and lack of potassium can lead to muscular weakness; so extra caution must be used during pregnancy.

But besides that R., Aloe vera is really not the correct plant to supplement the immune system.

I would suggest you add Astragalus root 1 or 2 to all your broths, soups and stews. Eat fresh garlic and onions daily. Drink Green tea often, you may also boil a small piece of the Astragalus root, and add it to these.  Have an herbal shop prepare you an ounce or two of: 1/3 white Chinese ginseng root, 1/3 Codonopsis and 1/3 Ligustrum. Brew a teaspoon of this combination into an infusion, sweeten only with a bit of honey and drink 2xs day. 

Eat healthy, avoid fried foods, heavy red meats and white sugar. Include in your diet Reishi and Shiitake mushrooms, these are great to build-up the immune.

QUESTION: I am having my 4th child in April and have had a problem nursing in the past. With my first 3, I was told I was starving my baby and told to start supplementing. I would nurse, supplement and pump with each feeding. I also took fenugreek, more milk plus by mother love and with my last child added the galatagogue  malunguay. The lactation consultants believe it is most likely a storage issue in my breasts and have low glandular tissue. A few more bits of information for you-i nurse usually 22 hours of the day before supplementing, I had little to no change in breasts during pregnancy (this pregnancy I have noticed changes-slight growth, pain, tender, sometimes tingly) and I am dedicated to exclusively nursing my children. My question for you is this-will goat's rue help? is there anything else i should try? could this be a dietary issue? or possibly a hormone issue (I have had a tsh done). Thank you for all your help! I am desperate to get to the bottom of this issue and realize that it may just be me. No one has been able to really help me.

ANSWER: Wow! So many questions...lol.

First, no, goat's rue will not help, and fenugreek is not the appropriate remedy here.  Okay let's see, your diet is what first comes to mind. We truly are what we eat.  I would suggest that you eliminate from your diet foods that stagnate the system, such as: heavy red meats, pork and white sugar. Eat dairy in moderation and avoid all fried foods. Avoid alcohol and drink coffee only in moderation. If you smoke, quit.  

There are certain foods that will help improve lactation, so I would suggest that you enhance your diet with plenty of fresh garlic, onions, fennel, turmeric, ginger, fresh and local dark green leafy vegetables, fresh carrots, yams, cashews, almonds, honey, oats and brown rice. Eat plenty of fresh salmon and mackerel, the Omega-3 these provide is very important. As well use Olive oil in your cooking. You may also want to add a spoonful or two of Brewer's Yeast to your morning cereal. 

In Traditional Chinese Medicine an obstructed flow of energy or Qi could be blamed for causing this. It is sometimes caused in and of itself by the anxiety and stress the mother may feel.  Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches that the functioning of the liver as an effect on the health of the breasts.  We suggest that you begin a 48 hour detox, eating only yogurt, and drinking plenty of fresh water and infusions of Dandelion root 5 xs day   You can also add Dandelion leaves to your salads, they are quite tasty and beneficial.  After your fast begin drinking infusions of Fennel, Blessed Thistle and Marshmallow. Sweeten only with honey and drink 2xs day. Any herbal shop can properly mix these for you in equal amounts. Fennel and Blessed Thistle will help incrase milk production, Marshmallow may improve the taste. While there also buy an ounce of Astragalus roots, include one or two in all your broths, soups and stews, discard after the cooking is done. This will help supplement the immune system.  You may also want to start massaging your breasts. Fennel, clary sage, and lemongrass can all help to promote lactation.  An old-fashioned remedy was chewing fennel seeds.

Drink fennel tea daily and massage the breasts three times a day after your child is born, but avoid the nipples. Massage almond oil or wheatgerm oil into the nipples to prevent cracking. Remember to wash the breasts before feeding.  

Here's a good formula that may help increase lactation:
5 drops essential oil of Fennel
1 drops essential oil of Lemongrass
1 drop essential oil of Clary sage

Diluted in 2 teaspoons of Almond oil, Hemp oil or vegetable oil. Massage in circular motion 2xs day.

Having said all that, please avoid stress. Go for long walks, it is healthful for you and the baby, and keep a positive attitude. You have had problems with this issue in the past, and have arisen above it, you can do it again.

QUESTION: I am wondering if you can tell me if Chasteberry, Dong Quai, False Unicorn, and a Prenatal Vitamin can be taken together at the same time to promoted fertility and stimulate and cleanse the reproductive system?

ANSWER: Your question is really hard to answer since you give very little information, such as: form of treatment (pills, teas, extracts), frequency and dosage. Avoid Dong Quai if you get pregnant or suspect you are pregnant. Also do not use 1 week before your next period, and start using again 1 week after the period.  Other than that you should be okay, but always consult with your local practitioner before beginning any form of treatment.

QUESTION: I was wondering if you can mix chaste berry with false unicorn?  I have PCOS and am trying to get pregnant.  I went to the herb store in town and she recommended the false unicorn but I heard the chaste berry was better. I was wondering if I was able to mix them if that would help my chances of conceiving or if one was better than the other. Please help...

ANSWER: Yes, it is perfectly okay to do so. I suggest you obtain the extracts or tinctures they work better and faster. 

As a base use an infusion (tea) of Dandelion (to help clear out toxins), add to that 10 drops extract or tincture of Chasteberry and 10 drops of extract of False Unicorn. You may also add 5 drops extract of Dong Quai (Angelica root).  Sweeten with honey and drink 3xs day.

If you get pregnant or suspect you are pregnant eliminate the Dong Quai. Also eliminate the Dong Quai 1 week before your period and start again 1 week after.

Follow a healthy diet. eliminate foods that stagnate the system, such as: Read meats, pork, white sugar, all dairy and all fried foods. also eliminate all processed foods, drink coffee moderately, eliminate alcohol and if you smoke: quit.  Maintain some form of exercise daily.  Also remember not to take hot or warm showers or baths before intercourse, sperm need colder temperatures to survive. Most of all maintain a smile and a positive attitude, it works wonders!

QUESTION: I would like to know whether I should be taking Vitex, Maca together. I have been trying to get pregnant for 4 years, I am 38 years old and would like to know what other herbs I should take to increase my chances. besides Maca and Vitex Dong Quai comes to mind along with Raspberry Leaf tea.

ANSWER: Maca is not the appropriate remedy for this. 

First, we suggest that you that you do not douche after sex nor use lubricants. The best position for conception is the "missionary position". It takes between 15 to 30 minutes for the sperm to reach the uterus, we suggest you remain lying on your back with your knees raised for a half hour after sexual intercourse. 

Follow a healthy diet eliminating all foods that stagnate the system such as: Pork, red meats, white sugar, all dairy products and all fried and greasy foods.  Avoid alcohol and if you smoke, quit! 

Enhance your diet with multi-grain foods, fresh fish, fresh garlic and onions, honey, brown rice, fresh local raw or steamed vegetables and fresh fruits. 

I would encourage you to begin drinkining infusions of Rosemary and German Chamomile in equal parts, adding 20 drops of tincture of Agnus castus, 15 drops of tincture of False Unicorn root and 10 drops of tincture of Chinese angelica. Sweeten only with honey and drink 3xs day.   Do NOT use Chinese angelica (Dong Quai) if you suspect you are pregnant.  These infusions will help regulate your cycle and aid in your project.  Extracts or tinctures work better and faster. 

Supplement with a good multi vitamin multi mineral containing all the amino acids. Add 1,000mg Vit. C 2xs day. 

Please remember: Do not take a bath before intercourse, as sperm need cool temps in order to survive. 

Last, but certainly not least, please begin a low-level regimen of exercise, such as walking, Yoga or Tai Chi.

QUESTION: I want to know is it safe to take Lutein and/or Bilberry while pregnant. I have an eye infection and the last time I took Lutein along with what the doctor gave me and it healed much quicker than this time; however this time I am pregnant??  Please help!

ANSWER: Lutein appears to be safe during pregnancy at no more than than 5 to 7 mg per day. 

My suggestion is to avoid any issue and instead of taking Lutein, for you to increase your intake with foods high in Lutein, such as: Carrots, corn, kale, spinach, Swiss chard, collard, mustard greens, red peppers, dill, parsley, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes and red, blue and purple fruits; and I would also suggest that you buy these from vendors that sell local vegetables and not cook them, but steam them. 

As to Biberry it is quite safe to take while pregnant or breastfeeding.  I hope this helps to answer your questions

QUESTION: I would like to know if taking Vitex (chaste tree berry) twice a day (I started about a week and a half ago) will interfere with my oral contraceptives. I take Ocella (generic for yasmine) daily. This is really important as I don't wish to be pregnant. The brand of Vitex is Nature's Way and each capsule is 400 mg.

ANSWER: Please get back to me with the reason(s) you want to take Vitex. In this manner we can concentrate on helping you individually in case we need to choose other alternatives to Vitex. Including a bit of medical history would also be of help.

By the way extracts and tinctures work better and faster, more on that we I hear from you again.

QUESTION: I am 28 years old and trying to conceive my 1st baby. I am overweight and have a mild case of PCOS. I started taking MACA and drinking Red Raspberry Leaf tea. My Dr just put me on metformin 750mg. I just wanted to know if there are any interactions between these. I'm also on 100mg of Zoloft. I went off of all meds aside from that one when we decided to try and conceive. I was taking Topamax, Effexor, Zoloft, bontril and birth control. I just want to make sure I'm getting my body on the right track.

ANSWER: I truly wish I could answer your questions, but since you are or have been on several medications the person to ask is your doctor. I can though point you in the correct direction. Here is a link on the Raspberry, on the whole the Raspberry is seldom a problem, but you may fit the profile of folks who should avoid it  http://www.emedicinehealth.com/drug-raspberry/article_em.htm

The Maca I personally would not suggest because of the several meds you are on and its many side effects. Here's a helpful link: http://herbs.lovetoknow.com/Maca_Root_Side_Effects 

I sincerely suggest that since you were taking so many meds, you cleanse the system with a 48 hour fast, drinking only Dandelion infusions, sweeten only with a bit of honey. If hunger overtakes you, eat plain yogurt. This will help clean the system and elevate the spirit.

After your fast, start eating for that baby! Avoid red meats, pork white sugar, processed foods, all dairy (it stagnates the system) eat eggs in moderation, and avoid all fried foods. Enhance your diet with plenty of fresh salmon and mackerel (they contain the most Omega-3), eat fresh garlic and onions often, eat plenty of fresh, local steamed vegetables and fresh local fruits. Avoid colas and sodas and drink plenty of fresh water. 

A low-level regimen of exercise would probably do a world of good for you. You can try T'ai Chi Ch'uan, Yoga or even long walks. Warm baths adding 15 drops of essential oil of Eucalyptus and 10 drops of essential oil of Lavender are also indicated. Continue drinking the Dandelion tea 2xs day and add to these 10 drops of extract of Lemon balm and 5 drops extract of Passionflower. In as much as possible avoid alcohol, cigarettes and stress. 

I hope this helps.   Again, thanks for contacting us, and we wish you all the best!

QUESTION: I am currently TTC.  I currently take 1000 mg of Vitex (pill form), 100 mg B6, Prenatal vitamin, a mucus  relief tablet daily. I have been diagnosed with PCOS and just got tired of taking all the prescriptions the doctor ordered.  I was wondering if I should add or remove anything from my daily intake to produce great results. I have only been taking the above for about two weeks. I want to increase my chances of getting pregnant. I also started a False Unicorn tea. Please advise.

ANSWER: Good to hear from you. I will try and help as much as I can. 
        First, we definitely suggest that you maintain a low carb diet. If you smoke, you should quit immediately!  Avoid foods that stagnate the system, such as: Pork, red meats, white sugar, all dairy and all fried and greasy foods. Avoid caffeine and avoid alcohol.
        Enhance your diet with plenty of: Fresh oily fishes (mackerel, salmon, sardines), eat fresh garlic, fresh onions and fresh ginger root daily, peas, honey, soy products, bean sprouts, raw and steamed vegetables and plenty of fresh fruits. Try to eat only foods grown locally and if possible organically.
Add to all your broths, soups and stews: a large piece of Astragalus root, a small piece of white Chinese ginseng root and a handful of Chinese angelica.
         Although you are already taking Vitex in pill form because the shelf life of pills is often unpredictable, we suggest the following:
         Drink infusions of Chinese angelica daily and Wild Yam in equal parts adding a pinch of Fenugreek, and 10 drops of extract of Agnus Castus and 5 drops of extract of False Unicorn. Extracts and tinctures work much better and faster. Sweeten these only with honey and drink 2-3xs daily. When you begin ovulating or become pregnant discontinue the Chinese angelica.  Also take one tablespoon of Omega3 fatty oils daily.
         Avoid sexual intercourse after a hot bath as sperm need cool temperatures in order to survive. You may want to help stimulate circulation by splashing hot and cold water alternatively on the genital area prior to having sex.
         Avoid stress. A low-level form of exercise daily is also advised, such as: Yoga or T'ai Chi Ch'uan. Your local library will have books or videos on these to help get you started.
         Aromatherapy is also something we suggest may be of help. Massage the abdomen daily with essential oils of: Geranium 20 drops, Fennel 15 drops and Lavender 10 drops, diluted in 2 tablespoons of almond oil or vegetable oil.
         There are also several TCM formulas that may be of some aid. If interested in these you may contact us at: clinician@doctor.com  I hope this helps. We wish you the very best!

QUESTION: Is there an herb that can grow back your tubes, so I can get pregnant again. My tubes were cut about 15 years ago and I got married again and want to get pregnant again.

ANSWER: Thanks for writing. No, I am sorry to say there is no herb nor an herbal formulation that can do this. 

QUESTION: I took vitex and maca to help me conceive ad have just gotten a positive pregnancy test. It took me a long time 
and I am afraid of having a miscarriage. I have read contradictory info about vitex. Some say discontinue right waya and some 
say wean off of it over the first trimester because stopping suddenly may cause a miscarriage. Maca seems to be ok to take 
throughout pregnancy is that correct? Also could false unicorn be helpful to take in the first trimester?

ANSWER: Actually neither Vitex nor Maca are safe during pregnancy. As to False Unicorn safety has not been established 
during pregnancy. I would advise you against all of them if already pregnant. These are herbs that will help the mother and baby 
in the early development
stages.
 
Black Haw - used in the early stages of pregnancy to help prevent miscarriage
Blessed Thistle - used in the latter stages of pregnancy as a liver tonic and builder, as well as a stimulant 
        of blood flow, also used to increase milk production; it also reduces hemorrhaging during childbirth
Dandelion - greens and root - a high source of vitamins and minerals, helps with digestion, nourishes and
        tones the system, diuretic, useful for fatigue and exhaustion, liver booster. Removes toxins from the  
        body.
Ginger Root - used for morning sickness and digestive problems, safe during pregnancy for treating colds, 
         sore throats, and congestion.
Kelp - high in vitamins and minerals, aids the thyroid.
Nettle Leaf - rich in many vitamins and minerals, especially iron, so it is very useful for those suffering 
        from chronic fatigue and exhaustion due to low iron, aids in enriching and stimulating flow of milk; 
        good for use throughout all stages of the pregnancy.
Red Raspberry Leaf - tones and nourishes the uterine muscles, rich in vitamins and minerals, enriches
        and increases milk flow, restores the system after childbirth; good for the entire pregnancy.  I would
        certainly suggest Red Raspberry Leaf infusions, adding 10 drops of extract of Dandelion and 5 drops 
        of extract of Nettle Leaf. Sweeten with a bit of honey and drink 3xs day.
 
Remember to eat a well balanced diet and get plenty of exercise and plenty of rest.  I hope this helps. 
Good luck to you and your baby!



ANSWERS FROM AMANDA
QUESTION:
Thank you for your wonderful website on herbs! I have been nutritionally cleansing and eating as "clean" as possible for over a year. I have been using Isagenix products, three which contain herbs that have not been tested extensively on pregnant women. I want a "clean" pregnancy and need to find out which herbs pose a risk, and which are safe. Here's my questions.
Question: Is there a general list online that provides credible recommendations on herbs used during pregnancy?
Question: I'm trying to find a reputable herbalist to help me during my pregnancy. What's the best way to find someone?
Question: Are adaptogenic herbs safe during pregnancy?

ANSWER: I applaud your intent to have a clean pregnancy! Check americanherbalistguild.com, or herbnet.com, for an herbalist in your area. Naturopathic and Acupuncture professional organizations by state and region also list qualified practitioners. My book, Herbal Remedies for Women, Prima Publishing, has a list of common herbs to avoid in pregnancy, and some with specific, limited uses. Online, check Herbs to avoid during pregnancy from babycentre.co.uk.

When in doubt, leave it out. That goes for adaptogens during pregnancy. If you are stressed, take Eleuthero, Nettle leaf, or similar safe herbs prior to conception. What if you conceive while on it? A few days to weeks of pregnancy while on these is not expected to be a problem. But herbalists do not tend to recommend adaptogens, many with complex effects on the endocrine system, during pregnancy unless there is a patient-specific need and a choice of herb that is absolutely safe AND needed for that individual.

I'm familiar with Isagenix; which three products and which herbs are you referring to? I'll look at their website again, but I must look to you to tell me which of their products are under consideration.



QUESTION
: I had a tubal ligation and I wish I hadn't. Are there any herbs that will grow the tubes back together so they will connect back and I can get pregnant?

ANSWER: No, there is no herb that will make your tubes grow back together.

QUESTION:  44 y.o. and ttc, last 3 months.  know that its kinda late, but am hopeful.  no medical problems that are known; have consulted with ob/gyn and will be following up shortly; for blood tests, etc.   i still menstruate faithfully, and have a textbook 28 day cycle...recently began drinking Fertili-Tea (which tastes wonderful!). Did not drink recommended 2-3 cups per day, but rather one cup an evening for about 5  or 7 days, possible had 2 cups one day in there. I've read that Fertility is great for those with ovulation/cycle problems, but thought that it might be helpful to me as sort of a "boost".  I read that for women who ovulated irregularly it has helped them regulate, and so on...Also I realized that i began drinking the tea in the week prior to my expected cycle.  Now, I've missed the start of my cycle  (by one day only, admittedly) and am wondering if drinking the tea so close to my expected period has something to do with it?  It is just that I am so amazingly regular...so it has me wondering.  Haven't taken a hpt yet, am waiting at least one week; and then will consult with physician if my period still hasn't begun.  My body is exhibiting all of my 'normal' period symptoms: slight back ache, bloating, i was unusually tired last week, and I was MOODY enough that my husband practically ran to the bedroom to get away from me!  llol..(though normally, I'm not that moody).  Did not drink any tea for last several days.  Should I  continue to drink it? Since my ovulation/cycle is regular, will I get any benefit from drinking the tea at all?  Thanks so much for your help!

ANSWER: I wish you well in your quest for a healthy pregnancy. Your body is changing its "normal" rhythm at this age and with all the attention on hormone levels and conception. It is possible the herb tea lengthens your post-ovulation half of the menstrual cycle by improving the function of the corpus luteum, the ovarian structure that secretes progesterone after ovulation.  Since you were drinking only one cup a day and discontinued it for some days, it is possible but not probable the tea is interfering with the changes your body needs to make in order to, first, be healthy, and secondly, to optimize conditions for conception. You may wait for more information from your body and from your doctor, but drinking a simple organic red clover herb tea daily is another way women have traditionally increased fertility.

QUESTION: I was wondering if you could recommend herbs that would advance the stages of a miscarriage. I was estimated at about 9 1/2 weeks but I'm having a miscarriage and I don't want to go for a D&C. Do you have any recommendations?

ANSWER: I am sorry to hear of your miscarriage. You can drink a tea of basil, one teaspoon dried leaves steeped 5 minutes per cup, every 1-2 hours, and take 30 drops of blue cohosh tincture, diluted in a little water, every 3 hours up to four doses.
            It is important even if you choose not to have a D & C that afterwards, you see a nurse practitioner, midwife, or ob.gyn. to make sure there is no retained material. I wish you a speedy recovery and complete healing from this event. My thoughts are with you today.


QUESTION:
I had a tubal ligation and I wish I hadn't. Are there any herb that will grow the tubes back together so they will connect back and I can get pregnant

ANSWER: No, there is no herb that will make your tubes grow back together.

QUESTION: I am writing to ask a simple question. I have researched on the internet and keep getting conflicting articles. Is Xiao Yao San safe to take during pregnancy?  I am writing for my wife; she has been told by her acupuncturist that it is safe and he is the one that guided her to it. From a husband standpoint it is amazing at how it makes her feel when dealing with some panic.  I believe the conflicting information that I am getting is because of FDA

ANSWER: Yes, according to my colleagues, this combination is considered safe in pregnancy, especially if the woman is diagnosed as having liver qi stagnation, or is working through depression, moodiness, and has digestive symptoms. There is no herb or herbs that are particularly emmenagogic or abortive. Dong Quai is "blood moving" which is perhaps one reason why "experts" in the FDA get nervous but it's given during pregnancy in formulas to prevent miscarriage. Still, it is best to use this herb combination conservatively. After taking it regularly for 5 days, your wife's acupuncturist may lower Xiao Yao San to no more than two or three non-consecutive days each week.

QUESTION: My doctor wants me to take Flagyl after I had a miscarriage and D&C even though I am still breastfeeding my 15 month old little boy.  I did some research on it and it said it causes cancer in rodents and to avoid it while breastfeeding if possible.  I have heard that oil of oregano works as a natural antibiotic and I was wondering if I could take that while breastfeeding?  If not do you know what else I could do to avoid an infection?  We want to try to conceive again as soon as possible and I don't want to mess anything up! 

ANSWER: It isn't usually recommended to take Flagyl or Oil of Oregano while breastfeeding, as both will affect your milk. Flagyl is an antifungal. Do you have an infection or are you trying to avoid getting one after the miscarriage and D&C? I am sorry for your loss and hope you can conceive when your body and your family find perfect timing for this. Meanwhile, garlic, though it will affect the flavor of your milk, is safe and effective against a a wide variety of microorganisms, in the form of odorless gel caps or two cloves fresh and raw per day. Try it minced with spreads on toast or in cooking.
             Oil of Oregano is a fine antifungal but has not been studied for safety in breastfeeding. What we know about its strength suggests it is best avoided by lactating or pregnant women. If my suggestion of garlic just won't work for you (for instance, your son hates the flavor and quits breastfeeding, though the garlic in your milk would be good for him), an alternative to prevent infection is Echinacea, which is safe in breastfeeding and pregnant women, in the dose range of 3-6 grams a day, or the equivalent of that -- given on labels of liquid or tablets, or about four cups of tea a day for ten days. 

ANSWERS FROM LORYHL:
QUESTION: I found your site and I had some questions about herbs that I was wondering if you had the answer to.  I have been trying to conceive for 11 years.  I am now 37 years old.  I've tried the medical treatments and they didn't work for me, so now I'm trying the natural route.  I have unexplained infertility though my doctor found very mild endometriosis, some fibroids and I had a burst ovarian cyst over 12 years ago, which might or might not have to do with my trouble conceiving.  I am doing research and I see some many herbs that can help, vitex, maca, red clover, false unicorn root and many more.  For unexplained infertility, which are the best herbs to try?  How many can I take at once?  Are there any that will interact with each other?

ANSWER:  I seriously understand your predicament.  MDs told me, many years ago, I would never conceive. I went to a Naturopath, who even said it was not likely I would carry a baby past 4 months. However , the naturopath put me on cleansing, and gave me herbs to strengthen my body. Then I went to a Herbalist, who did even more to help me both herbally and with cleansing. I have 5 very healthy children, who are producing children, and are even the "winners" genetically in my family gene pool, we have the most going on, in that department!
       I am sending you a download, combining what the Naturopath, told me to do, and what the Herbalist told me to do, read it and begin to live it, even if you don't do all the cleansing right away, start to use the real foods, and the raw juices, and take the herbs. We can send you the formulas you need from here.  If you don't, do the diet changes and get the herbs you can where you are.  Remember, live foods, and building foods are what you need to rebuild healthy cells, and let your body know, it can conceive and carry a child, you can do it!!   
        These are the herbs you should take along with your husband, except, he should not take the dong quai pills, but he can do everything else with you, and if he will do the diet sheets, and raw juices ( they taste great) his penis, and the rest of his body will stop being acid. Dead, processed, fried, over cooked foods are not helping him work with you.  Perhaps stress is interfering as well:

For you- dong quai, take 3 pills at 6 PM daily for three months
- slippery elm bark, 3 pills at 6 PM daily, for three months
-Green Mix ( see download) 1 tspn, two times daily
- Life Force Fiber Food, 1 tspn, 3-6 times daily, for at least 6 months ( this will not hurt the fetus if you get pregnant, you can continue to take it pregnant, and is good for you both)
- Life Force Tea, 3 cups daily, until pregnant
- bilberry fruit pills, 3 on arising
- siberian ginseng pills, 3 at Noon
- our blend Free Flowin, 1 tspn at Noon, 1 tspn at bedtime ( adaptogenic, anti oxidant, joints, bones, blood sugar, health, vitality, heart, digestion, support, wonderful blend, easy to take)
- castor oil packs on abdomen, and ovaries ( penis), 5 nights per week, use the oil, as a lubricant during sex, it will help the vagina, and other parts of the reproductive, to soften, and heal
- at bedtime, use the essential oil, Clary Sage, a few drops on your pillows, before sleep,
- at bedtime, use 2 valerian pills
-lots of calcium once you're pregnant.  Get a calcium blend containing magnesium, zinc and other minerals.  You could also use calcium lactate as it assimilates easily.  You can take 5 or 6 times the recommended dose as the child will use most of it. 


QUESTION
:  my question is I having be trying to conceive and take herbal supplements but cannot find one specially for my needs, I am in my early forty's and have high estrogen and low progesterone high fsh any suggestions on what may help and if there is one formula that may help me. 

ANSWER:  It is likely you need a lifestyle change and not one herb to assist your body in getting pregnant.  In order for the environment to be friendly and conducive to the egg, we suggest a full cleanse, using the herbs listed, and the raw juices, and mild cleansing added.  We can supply you with the herbs needed, and our specific blends, like Life Force Fiber Food, this detoxes the bowel, and also allows the body to soften the lining of the uterus, so that you can conceive and grow a healthy baby. We also suggest that to normalize your hormones, and put the body in sync, dong quai for a period of time as listed below. 
            I am sending you a download, combining what a Naturopath told me to do, and what an Herbalist told me to do 30 years ago, read it and begin to live it, even if you don’t do all the cleansing right away, start to use the real foods, and the raw juices, and take the herbs. We can send you the formulas you need from here.  If you don't, do the diet changes and get the herbs you can where you are.  Remember, live foods, and building foods are what you need to rebuild healthy cells, and let your body know, it can conceive and carry a child, you can do it!!
             These are the herbs you should take along with your husband. Dead, processed, fried, over cooked foods are making it hard to have what you need to conceive :

For you- dong quai, take 3 pills at 6 PM daily for three months
- slippery elm bark, 3 pills at 6 PM daily, for three months
-Green Mix ( see download) 1 tspn, two times daily
- Life Force Fiber Food, 1 tspn, 3-6 times daily, for at least 6 months ( this will not hurt the fetus if you get pregnant, you can continue to take it pregnant, and is good for you both)
- Life Force Tea, 3 cups daily, until pregnant
- bilberry fruit pills, 3 on arising
- siberian ginseng pills, 3 at Noon
- our blend Free Flowin, 1 tspn at Noon, 1 tspn at bedtime ( adaptogenic, anti oxidant, joints, bones, blood sugar, health, vitality, heart, digestion, support, wonderful blend, easy to take)
- castor oil packs on abdomen, and ovaries ( penis), 5 nights per week, use the oil, as a lubricant during sex, it will help the vagina, and other parts of the reproductive, to soften, and heal
- at bedtime, use the essential oil, Clary Sage, a few drops on your pillows, before sleep,
- at bedtime, use 2 valerian pills
-lots of calcium once you're pregnant.  Get a calcium blend containing magnesium, zinc and other minerals.  You could also use calcium lactate as it assimilates easily.  You can take 5 or 6 times the recommended dose as the child will use most of it. 

 

QUESTION Is it safe to take wheat grass pills and chlorophyll while breast feeding?

ANSWER In my experience, you can take them, as long as you start out very slowly, see how the baby reacts, as you increase the amount you take.  Make sure you drink lost of water while doing this. If you are taking wheat grass, then you may not need, to take the chlorophyll, as it could be over kill for that much, green, and detox on the baby.  Just keep a close eye, on her reactions

QUESTION:   I  am in the early stages of pregnancy and would like to know if it is safe for me to be taking dandelion, alfalfa, kelp, spirulina, inositol, msm, vitamin c, gaba,  glucosamine, and lysine powders?   And is it ok for me to be taking vitamin b-12 in liquid form, melatonin in liquid form, and oregano oil?  and is it ok for me to be drinking apple cider vinegar and elderberry syrup?   All this stuff i take as dietary supplements. 

ANSWER: In pregnancy, the following are recommended: kelp, vitamin C, in lower doses only, alfalfa, and possibly the B-12, but I would ask a midwife to be sure.  The rest of the list, has been considered questionable. You could get some advanced kinesiology, muscle testing done on yourself, to see what other type of glucosamines you could use, if it is vegetarian based it may be OK, I know some of the bovine ones, are suspect , due to high blood pressure, conductivity, in many people, especially pregnancy, so look into that, and ask at your local, good, health store to see what is out there. Oregano oil, is something to be avoided, especially in early pregnancy.


QUESTION
: A very quick question for you. My wife and I have a healthy baby girl who is 8 months old. She is exclusively breastfed at this point and she goes for long bouts (2 weeks or a little more) between #2’s J We have given catnip tea for her teething and also fennel tea for some other digestive gas issues etc. My wife was brewing the tea for 5mins..and administering it in a dropper in 1 teaspoon doses. From what I have read it seems right, but can we give her more?? Say 2-3 teaspoons spaced out throughout the day? We are trying to encourage a  bowel movement but didn’t want to give too much.

ANSWER: You can give her more, as you suggest. Also make sure your wife is eating properly, and drinking enough liquids. IF the baby has had antibiotics at birth or otherwise, then the baby may need some probiotics for  couple of weeks.

To help with the constipation, do the following:
-- get one cup of organic figs,
- put them in one quart of boiling distilled water
- turn it down, then slow boil, until the liquid is reduced to a thick juice.
- strain it, put in a covered glass jar in the fridge, or freeze half of it, it will be good for a couple of weeks, if kept in the fridge, but recommend you freeze some of it too.
- give two to three teaspoons of this per day to the baby, you can also give the catnip as well, 2-3 tspns, she is big enough now to handle it
- do this 6 days a week, for about 3 weeks, or less if she normalizes

- also put castor oil packs on the baby's tummy and spine, 4 days a week, right away

QUESTION: I am the nursing mom of a preemie baby who is in the ICU.  I must pump every 2 hours for him and I don't pump a lot at a time.  No one can seem to tell me if I can take Shatavari and/or Goat's Rue to increase my milk supply, since I am on coumadin.  Any suggestions AT ALL would be helpful.

ANSWER: I suggest you use fenugreek and milk thistle seed, drink the tea, about 4 cups per day, use half and half of the mixture, they are non toxic, and do work on making more milk. I feel confident, these are less likely to have a side effect with the coumadin, you are on. I also recommend you take the Bach flower Essence, called Rescue Remedy. I have seen information on the Shatavari, and the Goats Rue, but have not used them, so feel more confident suggesting the milk thistle and fenugreek

QUESTION: I am 12 weeks pregnant and recently finished antibiotics for a UTI since natural remedies were not working.  Now I have candida.  My chiropractor said caprylic acid is safe to take but I find conflicting evidence online (unsure what it accurate and not).  Do you know if this is safe to take?  My midwife is not a "natural" so I have no one else in my area to ask besides my chiropractor.  Also, he said to take marshmallow tea and corn silk tea to get rid of the rest of my UTI since it seems to still be hanging on.  Are these safe herbs?  I would appreciate any advice or information on where to find reliable information.  Thanks so much for taking the time to answer.  I don't know where else to ask and I'm scared to take something unsafe.

ANSWER: Some suggestions:
- eat a really high quality live yogurt, as often as  you can
- limit carbs, breads, sugars, use proteins, veggies more for alkinalizing, the candida, does not like the alkiline foods, and will not grow, and will start to leave your body
- drink diluted, pure cranberry juice, no sugar or dye.
- drink diluted black cherry juice, it will help you also, and build good blood for the baby and keep the urinary system strong and healthy
- I have heard the caprylic acid is safe to use in the low doses . Contact Susun Weed, Wise Woman Herbals, google her,, and call her if you need more info, she will know for sure, if it is safe ( I believe it is safe, as you are passing first trimester, however, it is your body, and you must follow what feels best for you).  I have used the caprylic acid, and found it very mild. Let us know if we can help you further

QUESTION:  Hi my name is Lisa I am 25 years old I had one baby who will be 10 and been trying to have another baby I’ve been to doctors and they told me that my tubes are block or club shut at the ends near the ovaries is there anything that will open them without IVF or surgery .

ANSWER: I suggest you do the following cleansing program. It has helped many women have a successful conception and pregnancy, even when they were told, they could not.

I suggest you start by doing the following programs in the downloads, and also take the herbs:
- Life Force Fiber Food as suggested
- slippery elm bark 3 pills 3 times daily ( softens uterus, and allows mucous membranes involved in
    conception to be more receptive)
- maca, 2 pills AM and PM
- Ester C, 3000 mg daily
- complete seaweed blend, 3 pills AM and PM
-Pau D Arco tea, 3 cups daily

          After looking at the downloads (CASTOR OIL, CLEANSING, GALL BLADDER, LIFE FORCE. OIL PULLING), let us know if you have questions

QUESTION: I was referred from a friend to the herb web site. I had a Tubal Reversal 2 years ago and since have had 2 miscarriages/ectopic pregnancies. None the less when they did a Ultrasound they seen scar tissue and from research I have done it says that the scar tissue can help cause miscarriages and after tubal reversals women can get slight blockage in the tubes.  I would like to know what protocol you would recommend and what herbs you would recommend. While taking these herbs would it be best to not try to get pregnant? Or can you still try while taking them? How long does it take the herbs to come out of the system? I don't do well with pills so what forms do these herbs come in?                                                 
           Thanks so much and sorry for all of the questions. I had a lady tell me that Don Quai was used to cause abortions and I personally have not found much research on it. Do you know anything about Don Quai? I do know that Cinnamon is very good for blockage, but not sure of any other herbs. Thanks so much.

ANSWER: To soften the lining of the uterus, the tubes, and provide the emollients, and natural environment, conducive to becoming pregnant, especially after a tubaligation, it is recommended you follow the cleansing program, take some Chinese herbs ( to move chi, in the abdomen, and the reproductive organs) , our blends, Life Force Fiber Food, Giver to My Liver, and Borage Oil. Let me know if you have questions or need to order any of the items, we have.

QUESTION:  I am 39 years old and am in my first trimester of my third pregnancy. With my last two  pregnancies I developed high blood pressure and HELP syndrome in my last trimester. I blow up like a balloon! I also get severe migraines. I believe that natural herbs may be the help I need. Is there any suggestions you could guide me to? The doctors currently have me taking folic acid, a baby aspirin and prenatal vitamins. I just want to have a healthy pregnancy. Can you please help?

ANSWER One of the most important things you can do, is look very closely at your diet.  If you are eating pre-packaged foods, and chemical laden , high sugar foods, or preservative based, hybrid, wheat or grain products ( you may have a gluten intolerance to the hybrids). I suggest you write down, in a journal on the computer, what you are eating for 5 days, then send it to me, along with what your blood type is, then we can discuss that.  In the meantime, start drinking, raspberry leaf tea, one to three cups daily, walk daily, get a full body massage weekly, and make sure your bowels are moving well daily, and 8 glasses of water.  Do water aerobics if you can, this will help without causing you strain. You are already pregnant, so not too many changes for you and the baby.

QUESTION: I am overdue with my second child, how much Black Cohosh are you to take to help induce labor?

ANSWER: I suggest you look up the book, Spiritual Midwifery, and see what they recommend, or contact Susun Weed. I , myself, took it as a tincture, to get my overdue pregnancy going, at one dropperful, three times daily. I also drank, 2 oz of castor oil!! It worked for me. Do consult  your midwife, and look up the info in the book as well.

QUESTION: Are Hawthorn Berries, Ginkgo Leaves, and Butcher's Broom safe to take during pregnancy and/or breastfeeding? Any harm to the baby? Any concerns?

ANSWER: All of the herbs you mentioned are not recommended to be taken during pregnancy. There is some indication, on lowering blood pressure, and other areas of the circulation, that may not be good for the Mom or fetus. To my knowledge, there has never been an extensive study done on this, however, I have always been told, taught and read, when pregnant , caution is best. When I took my prenatals for natural birth, 20 odd years ago, there was not any raspberry leaf in them, now there is with many other herbs, and I am not sure this is a good idea. I have found drinking the herbal tea of one or two cups of raspberry leaf tea daily in latter pregnancy, but not early first and second trimester,  to be beneficial to the blood, and uterus. Using organic berry teas, and eating berries is also very good, plus extra tasty. Anti oxidant, rich in bio flavonoids, and many other nutrients.  I was told by a renowned Naturopath, Dr. Humbart Santillo, that any cleansing, health building or changes should be left until after pregnancy, in order to be sure the baby is not compromised in any way. Eat well, live well, and surround yourself with goodness, but no major changes.  So I adopted the rule that if it is at all questionable during pregnancy, intuitively, or by suggestion of a Dr. or Naturopath, or Herbalist, it isnt worth the risk. Also adding seaweed to soups, breads, stews and salads, has proven very good for the baby, Mom and over all vitality. Seaweed is an amazing health food, without any known side effects that are adverse, especially  if used like the  Japanese use it, in everyday foods. Your side effect will be health, great teeth, eyes, skin, and hair for you and baby.

QUESTION: I have a question regarding early miscarriages and raspberry leaf. I was pregnant and miscarried at 5 weeks.  I started taking a prenatal vitamin as soon as I missed my period.  This vitamin contains raspberry leaf.  My miscarriage started with some light spotting and I was also very upset about it.  My husband thinks that the raspberry leaf caused the spotting and my emotional stress might have continued it.  I am obviously aware that mc is common and could have just been a not meant to be pregnancy for me.  I am 29 and healthy.  I am focusing on getting more in shape with yoga and a really good diet.  My main concern is what is the deal with red raspberry leaf?  I have read that it is best to not have in the first trimester.  If this is the case why is it in so many prenatal vitamins?  Do you know of any good prenatal vitamins without this?  I was taking one which was an organic whole food kind-so I want to know if I need to change this.  Can you clear up this controversy?

ANSWER: After consulting with a midwife, ( myself being trained as a very junior midwife) I have come up with the following.  When I was child bearing, having natural births, and home births, my prenatal, did not contain red raspberry leaf,  I did drink the tea, in my latter pregnancy. I did not drink it in early pregnancy. I know there is some controversy about it, in early pregnancy. I have not seen any data, I have just heard it.
I suggest that you find a whole foods vitamin, that does not have any herbs in it, just the required vitamins. If not take the folic acid, calcium and other ones, separately, and get a good multi, if you cant find one. It was probably a MC, and not the fault of the raspberry, however, it is best to be cautious, and make sure you are doing what is comfortable to you, and best for baby, in your instinctual, gift as the mother to be. I hope this helps you, and if we can serve you further, please let us know

QUESTION: I have read to  take Horse Chestnut for my varicose veins. Is Horse Chestnut have any precautions for using in pregnancy? I have not found much of a solid answer on that.

ANSWER: I personally have not heard about Horse Chestnut and pregnancy. Once when I was pregnant, I wanted to take herbs, for some things in my body, and was told, by a very good Naturopath, that once we are pregnant, we should not take any herbs, that are even the slightest question, on the health of the fetus.
     I suggest using, calcium, vitamin C, raspberry leaf, and high nutrition, such as seaweeds, fresh fruits and berries, high in citrus bio flavonoids. This will help the veins, and also, making sure you keep the bowel open and clean, with high fiber, will keep the pressure off the femoral artery, and alleviate pressure on the veins.  Please let us know if we can help further.

QUESTION: Hi- I read your recipe for fertility tea and I’m wondering how to make it and whether there should be any adjustment for a Dx of ovarian failure. I’ve been drinking a feminine blend over the past 3 months and have started to ovulate. I’m running out of the blend, and the herbalist is no longer in business, so I’m trying to find something comparable. Is the fertility blend a good one for ovary functioning?

Fertility Tea
3 parts wild yam root                1/2 part dong quai                                    1/2 part false unicorn root
2 parts licorice root                    a pinch of stevia for sweetness                   1/4 part orange peel
4 parts sassafras bark or root      1 part ginger root
1 part chaste tree or vitex          1 part cinnamon bark

Many thanks for your time and information,

ANSWER: What you have there looks pretty good, for the tea. One of the best things you can do, is to do a bowel and gall bladder flush, this softens the lining of the uterus, and makes the tissue very healthy. We have a formula, called Green Mix, Life Force Fiber Food, and Giver to my Liver, that would be beneficial to the health of your reproductives, and your search for health.  Please see the information on gall bladder flush.


QUESTION:
Hi I just ran across your website. I have a question for you. I had a tubal reversal done a couple of months ago. I have heard that cinnamon root will remove any scar tissue that is there from having the tubal ligation and the tubal reversal. Is there any herbs that I can take if i have scar tissue in my fallopian tubes? Also I have been trying to explain to my husband that the marijuana he smokes makes his sperm weak. He feels that since it is considered an herb it's not bad for his sperm. What type of damage do the marijuana do to sperm?     

ANSWER:  I took this from a web site, called Alcoholanddrugs.com. ( see below) You can show this to him.  I suggest you take a blend with cinnamon, dong quai, and slippery elm, passion flower, and a small amount of blood root or Osha root tincture also. I can mix you the blend, and send you the tinctures if you can find them. These will help, soften the lining of the uterus, reduce scar tissue in the tubes, and promote the tonification and over all health of the reproductive system.  I wish you the best, on your journey to Motherhood.

 Men who smoke marijuana frequently have significantly less seminal fluid, a lower total sperm count and their sperm behave abnormally, all of which may affect fertility adversely, a new study in reproductive physiology at the University at Buffalo has shown.   This study is the first to assess marijuana's effects on specific swimming behavior of sperm from marijuana smokers and to compare the results with sperm from men with confirmed fertility. Marijuana contains the cannabinoid drug THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is its primary psychoactive chemical, as well as other cannabinoids.

Marijuana Affects Male Sperm
Results of the study were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine in San Antonio.

"The bottom line is, the active ingredients in marijuana are doing something to sperm, and the numbers are in the direction toward infertility," said Lani J. Burkman, Ph.D., lead author on the study. Burkman is assistant professor of gynecology/obstetrics and urology and head of the Section on Andrology in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. UB's andrology laboratory also carries out sophisticated diagnosis for infertile couples.


QUESTION:
I am over 40 and want to get pregnant. Do you have any suggestions for me?

ANSWER: First off, read the cleansing programs, and castor oil packs, and do that. Take herbs to soften the lining of the uterus, like slippery elm, and dong quai ( we have these if you want to order them). Drink raspberry leaf tea, 1-3 cups daily.  Clean the gall bladder, very important. You cannot pass on genetic fault or weakness if your gall bladder is clean. You will likely get pregnant if you do the gall bladder flush. Have sex, doggie style as well, or pillows under the butt. Do it lots and often. Follow the cleanse, and the healing diet, as close as you can.  Put castor oil packs on your abdomen, ovaries.  Visualize the baby in white, blue , pink or green light.  Walk barefoot, in grass, sand or dirt, 15 minutes, daily to ground your energies to the earth, and revitalize your body.  Do massage, at least once a week.

QUESTION: Nearly 2 years ago I had my tubes tied, and I was looking into having a tubal reversal.  I was surfing the internet and came across a tampon called Felopio.  It was said that this tampon is to be inserted once every 24 hours for 24 days straight or until your next menustrul cycle. Is this a way of unblocking my tubes or is it best to surgically have my tubes reversed, or is this basically the same thing. Please help me understand.

ANSWER: I am not a medical Dr. and am not familiar with this, new tampon.  I do know some people have a tube reversal, as far as I know it can only be done with surgery.  If you would like some herbs to help you, and build your health, we can help you there.

QUESTION: Do you know of an herb that will help increase breast milk production?

ANSWER: I have always used with great success the herb, milk thistle seed, and milk thistle herb. 
Drink, 2-3 cups two times per day and this will promote the production of milk. Make sure you eat well, avoid caffeine, soda, and processed foods, drink lots of pure water, and drink the herb tea, as suggested.  Eat nuts, fruits, fish and some red meats, if not vegetarian.

QUESTION
: I was very excited when I saw your website, extremely helpful and I will make sure and keep it close to me.  I have a question that I hope you can answer. I have been trying to get pregnant for 4 years now, tried everything under the sun except IVF, tried acupuncture, homeopathic drops and more. Right now I am using some herbal remedies for infertility that I got at
Whole Foods as well as a colon cleanser, I just got fed up with doctors and doctors so I am now doing something for myself. I am all about getting pregnant naturally and don't think 43 is too old to get pregnant naturally. Please help me if you can.

ANSWER: Pregnancy for most people is attainable, if the uterus lining is receptive, the gall bladder clean, cigarette, drug and alcohol addiction is not part of the scene. Also what is the MD's diagnosis of your infertility?  I will need to know a little more about you, like the diet you are eating, and your blood type if possible.  Please look at the downloads in this email, for cleanse to follow. We have the herbs, and will make some special blends for you if needed.  What you are doing from Whole Foods is fantastic, and along the right road.  Looking forward to assisting you, in this most important adventure.

QUESTION
: Hi, I'm a 24 year old female. I found out when I was 18 that my fallopian tubes were blocked. Since then I have had an IVF and two laposcopies. I'm still worried that my fallopian tubes may have blocked again and was wondering if there were any herbs that could help unblock them without me going back into surgery or paying for another IVF.

ANSWER: Thank you for the inquiry.
            Please read the download, on diet suggestions with some of the herbs you could take, and also remember to add as many fish meals as you can like wild caught Salmon, Halibut etc, with the 3-6-9 omega oils in them, this is important for your reproductive health, and to open the tubes.
           Do a gall bladder flush, this will help to soften the tubes also see a very skilled chinese acupuncturist, this will help shed some light on the existing condition and pre disposition to the tubes being blocked.
            There are several supplements that are recommended:
- Life Force Fiber Food, mild detox and softening of mucous membranes
- Vitamin E , 800 IU daily for 3 months, full range tocopherols
- Borage oil, 6 capsules daily
-raspberry leaf tea blend with other herbs for you specifically, we will mix this if desired
-after finding out a little more about you, age, what your personality is like, and your blood type, then I can further suggest , herbs and essences as well, the above suggestions can get you started, and read the downloads

QUESTION: I am a big proponent of natural healing and herbal remedies.  I am not certified in any way but take all my information from books, especially those of Susun Weed and debaracli Levy.  My daughter has recently become pregnant while in the midst of battling with severe Crohn's disease.  She is presently weeding off narcotics and high doses of steroids.  We are trying to keep her as medication free as possible since she is already compromised.  I am trying to anticipate what she may need to keep her and baby safe thru the next 7 months.  I read a lot about stinging nettle tea being beneficial during pregnancy and just thought I'd get your opinion on that before I actually start.  I wasn't sure if it was contraindicated with steroids or dilaudid that you might be aware of.
       Also, I would like to make some marigold cream for sore nipples and wondered if you could direct me to a recipe that you felt was safe. 
      If there is anything else that you feel would be beneficial for her, books included, I would be most interested in hearing about it.

ANSWER: Two very excellent books that you refer too. I personally do not have a formula for Marigold salve. However , there are plenty of formulas for salves on the internet and in books ( I thought Susun Weed had some as well?).
               One book I have used a lot is, "Encyclopedia of Herbs and Herbalism". It has many different types of recipes contained there in. We produce a wonderful fresh Comfrey Compound Salve, that is soothing to the nipples, and other tender areas. It contains, marigold, as well as comfrey, neem, olive oil, shea butter, essential oils, and others ( the Africans use shea butter extensively on Mom and Newborn).
          We have extensive experience with Crohns and other bowel conditions, providing , support that is non invasive, and in most cases completely compatible with this type of situation. (please see attached download).
A very important factor is her diet, it needs to be clean, healthful, and vibrant for her and the baby, yet mild.
I suggest you get a really good pro biotic and make sure she stays on it, about 2-3 weeks per month. Longer than that will not be of benefit at one time.
        The drugs she is on, seem excessive. Have you checked again with your Doctor on the safety while pregnant?
      I do know raspberry and blackberry tea, berries of all kind, that grow locally, over the summer, would be wonderful for her and Noni, Acai, are all safe for pregnancy. As a tea or a food, these are anti oxidant, and healing to damaged tissue.
           Also turmeric, would be excellent, it is anti inflammatory, anti oxidant, and will help fight free radicals, and restore normal bacteria activity in the gut, as well as sugar and starch assimilation, and it is not harmful to Mom or baby. About 1-2 tspns per day, or more, and also on food.
        Some other suggestions:
- read our cleansing diet sheet, however, she can follow most of it, but will need to have more steamed veggies, and mild foods, you will have to find what her body agrees with for food, find her blood type, this will help in identifying problem areas for her, there are plenty of books on compatibility according to blood type and diet
- Louise Hays book, You Can Heal Your Life, ( do affirmations)
- google EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique, learn and do, powerful and effective
- castor oil packs on abdomen, 4 nites per week
- garlic packs with castor oil, on bottoms of feet, 4 nites per week
- Life Force Fiber Food, our blend for Crohns and irritable bowel
- digestive enzymes that agree with her, you will have to search it out ( try Jarrow, Bile Acid) we have many of these items in stock in our Natural Farm Store, you can call for information, or email us
- mild and raw, steamed foods, nuts, seeds as part of diet, easy on the grains and red meat
- contact a really good Chinese Acupuncture Dr./herbalist as well, I would find the best one you can, and listen closely to them
       Bless  you on the Journey for Health with Mom and Baby

QUESTION:  Hi, I'm a 24 year old female. I found out when I was 18 that my fallopian tubes were blocked. Since then I have had an IVF and two laproscopies. I'm still worried that my fallopian tubes may have blocked again and was wondering if there were any herbs that could help unblock them without me going back into surgery or paying for another IVF.

ANSWER:  Thank you for the inquiry.
Please read the download, on diet suggestions with some of the herbs you could take, and also remember to add as many fish meals as you can like wild caught Salmon, Halibut etc, with the 3-6-9 omega oils in them, this is important for your reproductive health, and to open the tubes.
     Do a gall bladder flush, this will help to soften the tubes ( see other download) also see a very skilled
Chinese acupuncturist, this will help shed some light on the existing condition and pre disposition to the tubes being blocked.
     There are several supplements that are recommended:
- Life Force Fiber Food, mild detox and softening of mucous membranes
- Vitamin E , 800 IU daily for 3 months, full range tocopherols
- Borage oil, 6 capsules daily
-raspberry leaf tea blend with other herbs for you specifially, we will mix this if desired
-after finding out a little more about you, age, what your personality is like, and your blood type, then I can further suggest , herbs and essences as well, the above suggestions can get you started, and read the downloads

QUESTION:  I have been given some tablets from a Chinese Practitioner.  Can you please advise if any of the ingredients could be harmful if I am trying to conceive or perhaps already am pregnant.  The pills include:
Rehmannia chinensis
Cornus officinalis
Dioscorea opposita
Poria cocus
Paeonis suffruticosa
Alisma plantago-aquatica
Glycyrrhizae uralensis

ANSWER: Although I do study Chinese herbal tradition, I am not yet an expert. I suspect the practitioner who gave you the blend, would be best to consult, as to the action of the herbs, your condition, and why he gave them to you in the first place.  It has been my philosophy, when it comes to conception, and/or birth, it is best to err on the side of caution.  If you are uncomfortable, then your body is telling you something. You could also call the manufacturer.  I wish you the very best on your journey of pregnancy and getting pregnant.

FROM KAREN MALLINGER

BLOCKED FALLOPIAN TUBES
QUESTION: I went on your website and was very interested in the information that you provided.  I am a 28-yrs. old female who has been married for 5 years and has been trying to conceive for over 2 years.  I was on the pill for 1 year.  I've seen a specialist and had a Hysteroscopy done last year.  The result, as I was told, was that my fallopian tubes are blocked where they meet the uterus.  My only option, as they told me, is IVF. My husband and I are not very comfortable with that option.  Through research, I found your site and want to know what herbs are appropriate for my case.  I would truly appreciate your response, for I like that you are personal and truthful in your answers.

ANSWER:  Do we know why the tubes are blocked and are they blocked 100%? If endometriosis is why they think your tubes are blocked, I may have something to help you. It's called Endo Tea and is specifically formulated for women with endometriosis. Of course there are never any guarantees, since each person is unique as are their health issues. But, if you follow a regimented diet and work with the tea, it may be a healthy alternative to IVF which not only involves, the invasive procedure, but lots of chemicals you don't want in your body. 
           If you're interested in the product, you can find it on my website at www.allgoodegifts.com in the Apothecary section of the Shopping. It's under medicinal teas and is called Endo Tea. In addition to the tea, you need to take vitamin E supplements as vitamin E helps break down excess estrogen which is responsible in part for the formation of endometriosis. Evening Primrose oil or flaxseed oil will supply GLA which is also essential. At least 500 mg per day. Now here's the hard part. The diet. You need to avoid the following completely: refines processed foods, sugar in all forms, alcohol and caffeine. Avoid foods that tend to raise the estrogen levels like wheat, citrus, and yams. Take a quality vitamin B complex. www.trivita.com has a very good one that I like. Also, lots of green leafy veggies as they contain vitamin B. Shitake mushrooms are said to inhibit abnormal tissue growth, so if you can eat these several times a week, that would also be helpful.

TAKING HERBS WHILE NURSING
QUESTION:
I was wanting to know if it is safe to drink and eat items with Ganoderma Lucidum in them while nursing my 4 week old baby?

ANSWER: Depends. Ganoderma Lucidum is reishi mushrooms and they are very good for you. If you are taking something "with" reishi in it, my question would be, what else is in there that could be harmful to  your baby? The best possible course when nursing is to stay simple. Eat all the reishi mushrooms you want, but don't start taking a bunch of formulas or compounds that may have other things like fillers, preservatives etc. that you certainly don't want going to your baby.


PREVENTING MISCARRIAGE
QUESTION:
Hello, I was wondering if you ever recommended black haw to prevent recurrent first trimester miscarriage.  I am 28 and have had consecutive 3 miscarriages in the past 18 months, all at about 6 wks. King’s  states:  "The condition for which black haw is most valued is that of threatened abortion. It is the most prompt drug in the materia medica to check abortion, provided the membranes have not ruptured. In all cases of habitual abortion it should be given in small doses for a considerable length of time. The abundant testimony as to its value in this condition alone gives it a high place among drugs. By its quieting effects upon the irritable womb, women who have previously been unable to go to full term have been aided by this drug to pass through the pregnancy without mishaps which would otherwise have proven disastrous to both child and mother. Small doses of the specific black haw should be administered throughout the dangerous period, and may be continued with good results until parturition. Dr. Phares, who introduced it as all antiabortive, states that it will prevent abortion, whether habitual or otherwise-whether threatened from accidental cause or criminal drugging." (The information that I have found on it is here: http://www.henriettesherbal.com/eclectic/kings/viburnum-prun.html).  I have also read that black haw can be combined with false unicorn root which can have a similar calming effect on the uterus.   To your knowledge is there any information that might indicate that black haw is not safe for early pregnancy?

ANSWER: Black haw is very effective as an anti-abortive herb. So is cramp bark. You might also increase your intake of Vitamin E to 600 I.U. per day. Both black haw and false unicorn root are safe for use during your pregnancy, but please use the false unicorn root sparingly as it is endangered

DRYING UP MILK
QUESTION: I know that you can take sage for drying up breast milk.  I pump and feed her with a bottle due to the fact that I produce so much milk, over 100 ounces a day.  I have sage leaf capsules and my question is how many can I take per day to help reduce this enormous amount of milk?  Thanks so much!

ANSWER: Wow! Too bad you can't bottle it! I have so many customers who just can't get enough milk to come in. another herb you can try is Parsley. But you know you cannot express the milk at all if you want it to dry up. If you pump it, it will continue to come in.  Don't know where you got the sage caps, but  if it was tea, I'd say 3-4 cups a day would be fine. You might want to add the parsley. It's very good for you and nutritious. Aren't there instructions on the sage caps? I can't estimate since I don't know what's in them, how much, is it organic etc etc etc. If there's no instructions on the bottle, I'd just start with 2 caps 3 times a day and gradually increase until you start to see some results. I'm not aware of any contraindications with sage, as long as it's pure and organic. If not, then all bets are off.

GETTING PREGNANT
QUESTION: Thank you so much for taking questions!!  I am 26 years old and in good health.  I became pregnant 18 mos. ago but miscarried.  I have always had slightly longer cycles ever since I can remember, so after miscarrying, I went to see my doctor about getting pregnant again since it had not happened in five mos.  She did a laparoscopy and found cysts which she took care of. I then began to take Vitex (500mg/day) because I heard it helped to regulate the cycle for pregnancy.  I have been taking it for nine mos., but I stop
for four or five days during my period.  I added Dong Quai (1.5 g/day) about four mos. ago for only the first part of the cycle up to the LH surge.  I then stop until day five or six of my period.  I have recently consulted a
fertility specialist because I have not yet become pregnant, although I have noted an increase in my menstrual regularity and ovulation regularity, I believe because of the herbs.  However, I have also noted that sometimes my period is shorter than usual, but sometimes it is a regular five days.  I am wondering about the side effects of the herbs and for how long I should take them to try for a pregnancy.  The fertility specialist said my hormone levels are fine, but it appears I have a lower amount of eggs than I should for my age, and he wants me to stop with herbs.  Could the herbs have reduced my egg numbers at all?  The doctor also wants me to take fertility drugs, but I really don't want to do this.  Any ideas on how long it would be safe for me to take the herbs for achieving pregnancy before I consider fertility drugs?

ANSWER: This letter made me laugh. Your "doctor" says that the herbs are decreasing the number of eggs your ovaries produce? Frightening. And he/she wants you to get off the herbs and start taking "fertility drugs". Hmmmmm. What could that be about?  Money comes to mind. Sheesh.
               My opinions are not going to be the same as the doctor's. Why? I don't make big money off the pharmaceutical companies for the drugs I sell. Also, I don't want to see you taking them for longer than you should so I can make even more money, while you get depressed that you aren't getting pregnant. I'm not saying those drugs don't work. In some cases, I'm sure they do. But to tell you to stop taking something natural with virtually no side effects so they can put you on something that will possibly screw up your hormones and system while costing you thousands of dollars is just beyond me.
             OK. I'll climb off my soap box now.  Vitex is very good for women and many women use it and never have a bit of a problem with it. Come to think of it, most of them have several little ones running around now! You only need to produce 1 egg per month. Anything more than that, with the possible exception of twins, isn't the norm. Fertility drugs are going to have you producing multiple eggs. Sure, it increases your chances of conception. It also stresses your hormones, your ovaries and your pituitary and adrenals.
               The following herbs are recommended to increase fertility. Most of them the man in the family can take as well. (Are we sure the problem isn't with Dad?)
wild yam root, licorice root, vitex, dong quai - substitute ginseng for men, ginger root, false unicorn root.  I have a tea on my website called Fertili-Tea which contains all of these plus some others. If you're interested, you can find it at http://www.allgoodegifts.com/  in the Apothecary.
                One last note, if it were me, I'd find a doctor who is a little more sympathetic to your health. Just a suggestion.

TAKING HERBS AND BECOMING PREGNANT
QUESTION: I have a question in which I am hoping you can answer. I have been taking herbal liquid from my naturopath for sometime. In it there is a specific herb which makes me ovulate but she said that if I
take it I can’t fall pregnant as it might harm the baby. I don’t know the name of the herb as she is on holidays I can’t get an answer. I stopped taking the liquid for 2 months during this I have fallen pregnant. I think
I am 4 weeks pregnant.  I wanted to know what the possibility was for a deformed baby.

ANSWER: I have no way of knowing what's in the formula. Doesn't it have a label on it? For future use, even if you trust your herbalist, NEVER buy or use something that isn't labeled with what's inside.
           There are several herbs that are tonic to the reproductive system, but I can't think of any that would cause a deformed baby. Usually, we don't want women taking anything, especially in the first trimester as some herbs can cause the lining of the uterus to pass, thereby possibly aborting the baby.
            As long as you've stopped taking it now, hopefully you should be fine. And find out what it is you were taking. Always be an informed consumer. Just because something is natural, you still need to be educated and aware.

LACTATING AND NOT PREGNANT?
QUESTION: Hi, my name is Nalaya Robinson and I'm a 20 year old college student from
Florida. I've noticed lately that I'm lactating in my left breast. I'm extremely worried and I'm wondering if I might be pregnant. Does lactating necessarily mean that someone is pregnant? I am sexually active and I do use protection, but this is kinda freakin' me out. Do you have any answers or suggestions?

ANSWER: Take a pregnancy test right away. If it's true lactation, you very well could be pregnant. It could also be that the birth control has your hormones screwed up. If the pregnancy test comes back negative, see your GYN and make sure it's not an infection or something more serious.

MALE FERTILITY
QUESTION: I wrote to your earlier but I have just started my husband on Usana Essentials vitamins (one Mega Antioxidant 3x daily and one Chelated Mineral 3x daily) so I wanted to get your opinion on these to help increase his sperm motility (currently 40% but could be better right?) and improve overall health.

We live in the Cayman Islands so access to herbs and natural remedies are hard to come by. What else should we be doing? We have experienced three pregnancy losses (one ectopic and two after successful IVFs) but want to give it a try naturally for one year before we consider IVF again.

Supplement Facts - Mega Antioxidant
Serving Size: 3 tablets

Amount per serving*
VITAMIN A (AS BETA CAROTENE)15000.0 IU300%
VITAMIN C (AS CALCIUM, POTASSIUM, MAGNESIUM, & ZINC ASCORBATES)1300.0
mg2170%
VITAMIN D450.0 IU110%
VITAMIN E (AS D-ALPHA TOCOPHERYL SUCCINATE)450.0 IU1500%
VITAMIN K (AS PHYLLOQUINONE)60.0 mcg75%
VITAMIN B1 (AS THIAMINE HCL)27.0 mg1800%
RIBOFLAVIN27.0 mg1590%
NIACIN (AS NIACIN AND NIACINAMIDE)40.0 mg200%
VITAMIN B6 (AS PYRIDOXINE HCL)27.0 mg1350%
FOLATE (AS FOLIC ACID)1000.0 mcg250%
VITAMIN B12 (AS CYANOCOBALAMIN)60.0 mcg1000%
BIOTIN300.0 mcg100%
PANTOTHENIC ACID (AS D-CALCIUM PANTOTHENATE)90.0 mg900%
Olivol (Olive Extract, Olea Europaea L., Fruit)30.0 mg†
BIOFLAVONOID COMPLEX (RUTIN, QUERCETIN, HESPERIDIN [CITRUS SPP. L.,FRUIT],
GREEN TEA EXTRACT-DECAFFEINATED [CAMILLIA SINENSIS HUNT, LEAVES],BILLBERRY
EXTRACT [VACCINIUM MYRTILLUS L., FRUIT])193.0 mg†
INOSITOL150.0 mg†
CHOLINE BITARTRATE100.0 mg†
N-ACETYL-L-CYSTEINE65.0 mg†
BROMELAIN50.0 mg†
ALPHA LIPOIC ACID15.0 mg†
COENZYME Q1012.0 mg†
GLUTATHIONE10.0 mg†
CURCUMIN EXTRACT (CURCUMA LONGA L., ROOT)15.0 mg†
LUTEIN (TAGETES ERECTA L., FLOWER)600.0 mcg†
LYCOPENE1.0 mg†
BROCCOLI CONCENTRATE (BRASSICA OLERACEA V. BOTRYTIS L., FLOWER)15.0 mg†
† Daily value not established.
OTHER INGREDIENTS: MICROCRYSTALLINE CELLULOSE, PREGELATINIZED STARCH,
CROSCARMELLOSE SODIUM, ASCORBYL PALMITATE, DEXTRIN, COLLOIDAL SILICON
DIOXIDE, DEXTROSE.
Supplement Facts - Chelated Mineral
Serving Size: 3 tablets
Amount per serving%DV*
CALCIUM (AS CALCIUM CITRATE)270.0 mg30%
MAGNESIUM (AS MAGNESIUM CITRATE, AMINO ACID CHELATE, AND OXIDE)300.0 mg75%
IODINE (AS POTASSIUM IODIDE)225.0 mcg160%
ZINC (AS ZINC CITRATE)20.0 mg135%
SELENIUM (AS L-SELENOMETHIONINE AND AMINO ACID COMPLEX)200.0 mcg285%
COPPER (AS COPPER GLUCONATE)3.0 mg150%
MANGANESE (AS MANGANESE GLUCONATE)5.1 mg255%
CHROMIUM (AS CHROMIUM PICOLINATE** AND POLYNICOTINATE)300.0 µG250%
MOLYBDENUM (AS MOLYBDENUM CITRATE)50.0 mcg65%
BORON (AS BORON CITRATE)3.0 mg†
SILICON (AS AMINO ACID COMPLEX)3.0 mg†
VANADIUM (AS VANADYL SULFATE)30.0 mcg†
ULTRA TRACE MINERALS3.0 mg†
† Daily value not established.
OTHER INGREDIENTS: MICROCRYSTALLINE CELLULOSE, PREGELATINIZED STARCH,
CROSCARMELLOSE SODIUM, COLLOIDAL SILICON DIOXIDE, ASCORBYL PALMITATE, DEXTRIN, DEXTROSE.


ANSWER: I can't speak to some of the ingredients, as they are not herbal, so I'm not familiar with them. One of the best tonics you can give your husband is ginseng. It's wonderful for the male reproductive systems. I'm sure you can get it in the Caymans, so either fresh or powdered, but try that.

TWINS
QUESTION: Is there any "natural" way to help my chances of conceiving twins? My husband and I both desperately want to conceive twins.  Is there an herbal aid for increased ovulation to help multiple eggs drop during ovulation? Does Chasteberry or False Unicorn Root have this effect? Thanks

ANSWER: Twins are genetic and run in families. If they are not present in either you or your husband's family lines, then the chances of this happening naturally are pretty null. As for trying to "force" it, I wouldn't recommend it. As with fertility drugs, any time one tries to interfere with that delicate balance, there can be problems. Personally, I don't think the risk outweighs the benefit.

NURSING
QUESTION:
I am wondering if it is safe/counterproductive to take fenugreek while also taking chasteberry.  I take chasteberry three times a day to help alleviate PMS and want to take fenugreek to increase milk production for my 2.5 y.o daughter who is telling me "no more milk" (please don't tell me that a child that old shouldn't nurse )-: ).  I was wondering if taking the fenugreek would compromise the efficacy of the chasteberry or just terribly confuse my hormones!  If you don't recommend taking fenugreek to increase
milk production while simultaneously taking chasteberry, are there any other supplements I could take that would help the PMS yet also bring in more milk?  Thank you so much for such a wonderful resource!

ANSWER:
I won't tell you that a toddler is too old to be nursing, but your body may be. We are fearfully and wonderfully made and in spite of what's in vogue, our bodies know exactly the right time to "shut things down" or regulate things, so that may be what's happening whether your toddler likes it or not. Milk production is tied to your hormones and they don't answer to 2 year olds! (Or any other age for that matter!)
 
That said, as far as interactions, I find no evidence for it in my reading. As a matter of fact, vitex is sometimes given to nursing mothers to help ensure a healthy supply of milk due to its stimulation of the production of prolactin. Note I said "help ensure a healthy supply" and not extend it past what the hormones are telling the body. I don't know that there is a way to just prolong your milk production indefinitely. But the vitex (or chaste berry) and fenugreek are not contraindicated, so shouldn't cause any problems when used together.

OVULATING
QUESTION:
I just had a question about Black Cohosh. My friend told me it helps with ovulating and makes it so you do. I just want to know if that is true

ANSWER: Black Cohosh is often used for it's estrogen effects. If you aren't ovulating, then it's probably an issue with your hormones. Are you menstruating? How do you know you aren't ovulating? Have you been diagnosed, and if so, what did your medical professional tell you? Hormones are pretty complex things and I don't think just one herb by itself is going to "make you start ovulating" Usually a combination of herbs to address the underlying issue, which can be an imbalance in your hormone levels, is the best approach.

HEMORRHOIDS DURING PREGNANCY
QUESTION: Hi, I am 7 weeks pregnant, I’ve been suffering from hemorrhoids for a long time. I have a calendula cream that helps me. Can I use it now when I am so early in pregnancy? I’ve read many different facts about this herb...i am confused! I don’t want to harm the fetus or have a miscarriage

ANSWER: There is a lot of stuff out there on calendula and we were just discussing it on the herb net this morning. Personally, I use it in lots of topical applications and have NEVER had any adverse reactions in me, my family or any of my customers.  I think the big fear is ingestion of the herb. If it is a topical application and has worked for you up to now, I would say, go for it.

QUESTION:
My husband and I have been trying to conceive for about 1 1/2 years.  We were thrilled in January when we finally got pregnant, but unfortunately I miscarried at 11.5 weeks.  This was our first month trying again after the loss, and our timing was perfect, so I'm now anxiously awaiting the time when I can take a pregnancy test.  I just ordered the Fertili-TEA so I plan on using that if we aren't blessed this month.  Additionally, I plan on getting some raspberry leaf and taking that ASAP.  I do have one concern
though:  last night I drank some tea that was recommended to me on a recent cruise to help detoxify the body.  I have never used anything like this, but thought I'd give it a try since my digestive system isn't the greatest (I don't have a gall bladder), and I have a lot of water retention following the miscarriage.  I used Yogi Tea- Detox, and here is a list of the ingredients:
Cinnamon Bark, Sarsaparilla Root, Licorice Root, Dandelion Root, Burdock Root, Ginger Root, Juniper Berry, Black Pepper, Cardamom Seed, Clove Bud, Natural Sarsaparilla Flavor, Philodendron Bark, Honeysuckle Flower, Forsythia Fruit, Gardenia Flower, Scullcap Root, Black Cohosh Rhizome, Coptis Rhizome, Rhubarb Root, Winter Melon and Plantago Seed. I was surprised at how drowsy I felt after taking it.  I woke up several
times during the night to use the restroom and could barely open my eyes, which is not like me.  I am usually pretty alert when I get out of bed, even if it is in the middle of the night.  Anyway, I went online to research each of the ingredients, and was horrified when I saw on http://www.doctorphyto.com/Library/safety_guidelines.htm  that one of the ingredients (cinnamon leaf, which I'm assuming is very similar to cinnamon bark) could be abortifacient.  So, now I have two concerns:  1.  Should I be feeling this drowsy?  If not, should I discontinue the tea even though I feel great today after the detox?  And 2.  Is there a chance that I've just ruined my chances of conceiving this month by drinking this tea?  If I am pregnant, I ovulated on 3 days ago (2 nights before drinking the tea). Thanks for your help!

ANSWER: I went to the site and you've misread what is there. Here is the excerpt -
"Essential Oil: Cinnamon Leaf essential oil is often preferred over Cinnamon Bark or Bud as the latter two may in some cases cause a  severe skin reaction, having a large proportion of Cinnamic Aldehyde often the cause of skin sensitization. Nevertheless, Cinnamon Leaf is a very powerful oil and should be used  with care. Best avoided in pregnancy as it could be abortifacient. High dosage could cause convulsions."

Essential oils are a different thing all together and when they are talking about high dosage, they mean like a tablespoon or something. If you are taking the herb, it's fine. Cinnamon is used all over the world by many on a daily basis. There are many essential oils that can be toxic if taken improperly. I can't attest as to which herb caused you to be so drowsy, but I would caution you to read very carefully anything you are taking. It's easily taken out of context and can cause confusion as this did.

TAKING HERBS WHILE NURSING
QUESTION: I have a question. If you could answer it I would really appreciate it. I am nursing my son who is 2 days short of 4 months. I would like to begin taking St. John's Wort and  cordyceps.  I have genital  herpes and I know that St. Johns Wort is good for this I also wouldn’t mind the positive mood.  I also want to take cordyceps for energy with exercise because I am trying to loose weight. My baby weighs 20 pounds. Would there be any side effects from these herbs that will be negative for my breast milk supply and or my almost 4
month old. I nurse him on demand. Right now he is exclusively breastfeeding. I currently take garlic pills and an iron and multivitamin.  If you need more information feel free to email me.  Thank you for your time.

ANSWER: Cordyceps is a tonic that helps the body build strength, improve the organic functioning, strengthen the immune system and bring longevity. I'm not sure why you are using it to give you energy. It is also used for impotence in men, so no, I would not recommend you take this while nursing. The St. John's Wort either.
        Anything you ingest will go straight to your baby, so unless you would give your 4 month old St. John's wort, you shouldn't be taking it yourself while you are nursing in my opinion.


DEVIL'S CLAW WHILE NURSING
QUESTION: My question is whether a nursing Mom can use devils claw to treat arthritis
or could it be harmful to the infant? 

ANSWER: I certainly wouldn't use devil's claw while nursing. It can cause diarrhea and in an infant that can be quite serious. Also it reduces blood pressure which can reduce the force of heartbeats and slow the pulse.
          
I don't usually recommend new mothers take anything while nursing unless absolutely necessary as everything goes straight to the baby and their little systems can't handle even mild herbs sometimes.

QUESTION: My partner and I have been trying to conceive for 4 years now, unexplained infertility. I’ve seen so many recommendations on what herbs are best etc., wondered if you could help?

ANSWER: That's not much info to go on. Unexplained infertility? What does that mean? You've been checked by a fertility specialist and everything is normal/fine? What's your age? Any surgeries? Use of birth control? any STDs on either side, ever? etc etc etc. It's pretty complex, so hard to answer with so little info. Sorry.

MORNING SICKNESS
QUESTION: I want to be very honest with you.  Every time I have been pregnant, like clock work, by week 5 I experience extreme morning sickness.  It gets really, really bad that I am usually hospitalized (w/an IV in my arm). The last time I was pregnant, I was in the hospital for 3 months and it was torture. I am never, ever able to keep anything in my stomach (not even water, chicken broth, crackers) I literally mean nothing. I weigh 112lbs and always dwindle down to 90-95. It never fails. Karen, I start to see things (i.e. little people running underneath my bed, birds flying in my room) and this last time around it was really really scary! I am a very spiritual person Karen.  I prayed and prayed and prayed. I kept my bible by my side. The medications given to me by doctors either a) gives me severe headaches b) causes my tongue to go numb c) gives me a horrible case of "dry mouth"  or it JUST DOESN'T WORK. As a result of this,  I have always terminate the pregnancy or loose the pregnancy. I am pregnant again and I am at wits end. I cant continue to hurt my body (both from terminations and the effects of morning sickness). Can you help me Karen, if not, can you point me in the right direction. I'm scared.  I can't take the nausea (it's not normal) I really get sick. Do you know what it's like not to be able to eat or drink anything for months at a time? It's not healthy for me or the baby...and the really horrible part is when the dr.'s tell me "It's all in your mind".  Can you imagine? So between that, not eating and seeing things anyone is liable to lose their minds.

ANSWER: I have a tea for pregnant mommies. Peppermint and ginger seem to be very effective for many of my customers going through morning sickness. Of course the things you are experiencing could be attributable to the medications they have you on, I can't say for sure, but I certainly wouldn't be taking anything while I'm in the first trimester.
         Yes, I can certainly relate. I too, like clockwork at week 6 got terrible nausea and it lasted until my 4'th month. Of course, terminating the pregnancy just because of nausea is probably not a good idea. Those things in themselves can wreak havoc on your system. I don't know how many times you've chosen to do that, but it can't be good for your reproductive system or the endocrine system.
          If you decide to purchase the tea, it is called upset tummy tea and can be found on the website at www.allgoodegifts.com in the Apothecary under medicinal tea blends.


SPERM COUNT
QUESTION:
Hello, I am a healthy 46 year old male, but I would like to know if there is a way to increase the amount of semen ejaculated.  All I ever get is about one or two teaspoons.  Thanks for your suggestions.  .

ANSWER: Exactly what are you trying to accomplish here? If you are indeed healthy, you have enough sperm in 1 drop of semen to produce a child. And 2 tsp is a normal amount.

CONCEPTION
QUESTION:
I am 37 years old.  My husband (44 yr old) is an identical twin.  I have been pregnant 4 times.  My height is 5'5" and my weight is 145 lbs.  I am currently on a 24-25 day cycle and definitely ovulate between days 12 -14. I currently have an IUD and expect to conceive fairly quickly after having it removed.  I wonder if the IUD will reduce my chances of conceiving.  Also, even though I know that my husband being an identical twin doesn't increase our chances of conceiving twins, I am wondering if my chances are increased due to my age and that this would be pregnancy number 5. Thanks for your answer.]

ANSWER: I'm a little confused by your question. Perhaps I don't understand what you're asking. "I wonder if the IUD will reduce my chances of conceiving." Well, yea, isn't that why people use IUDs? Or do you mean since you were wearing one will it decrease your chances after removal? IUDs set up a constant irritation in the uterus so the environment is not conducive to pregnancy. I would guess that after being in that state for awhile, it will take your system a little while to get "back to normal". What makes you think your husband being an identical twin doesn't affect your chances of conceiving twins? Of course it does! Twins are genetic! That means if the two cells coming together have that programming in them, the chances are better than if they don't.

QUESTION:  I live in Jamaica.  I have recently done a HSG test along with blood test and an ultra-sound.  The result of the HSG test shows that one of the tubes is blocked because the fluid inserted wasn't going straight up.  Blood test is OK.  Ultrasound shows that there are tiny fibroids outside of my womb and those are not a problem to my fertility.  I am trying to get pregnant for 9 months now.  A friend introduced me to herbal drink aloe and I am now drinking it for the past 3 weeks now.  Please send me some good advice.  I am planning on going to a specialist shortly. 

ANSWER: I have a special tea that I make that is helpful in bringing the reproductive and endocrine systems back to a state of health, wellness and balance. It is called Fertili-TEA and can be found on my website at www.allgoodegifts.com  in the Apothecary under medicinal teas.

BLOCKED TUBE
QUESTION:
I am 25 years old and was diagnosed with infertility due to a blocked fallopian tube. According to the doctor it is blocked with scar tissue and adhesions. I had a cyst removed from the ovary about 10 years ago, and about 13 years ago had my right ovary and tube removed due to a cyst that ruptured and damaged both. SO I now have one tube and ovary remaining. The infertility specialist  has said that the only my husband and I can become pregnant is through IVF. I have had 2 HSG's done, and was told that I have a
hydrosalpinx in the one tube. I would like to try a herbal remedy to clear the scar tissue, adhesions, etc., before trying IVF. I saw one person ask a question regarding Felopio, and I've tried that before. Of course it didn't work, so I would like to try an internal approach. Thank you for any assistance/information.

ANSWER: I've answered every question possible on infertility in this column. My suggestions to you would
be the same. There are several herbs that can help the system back to a state of health and wellness. Please go to the archives and read everything there.

B VITAMINS
QUESTION: I have just recently starting taking extra vitamin B to help with mood swings (about 1 1/2 weeks)I am a person who has regular cycles.  This month I had my cycle on the 7th and end on the 10th.  For the last 3 days I have been spotting and having cramps.  I called my gynecologist to ask if I could be pregnant (because I missed carried earlier in the year).  She advised me to take a pregnancy test which was negative.  I am a person who is 37 years old, I have always had cycles that you could set your clock to.  I am just wondering if the extra vitamin B could be giving me to much vitamin B and throwing off my cycle.  I am two weeks early for my cycle.  Any advice you can give me would be great.  I am just worried that I could becoming pregnant and miscarrying?  Could these be symptoms or reactions to too much vitamin B?
 
ANSWER: The body does not store Vitamin B. If you don't use it, your body will pass it. I've never heard of vitamin B causing such things nor can I find any incidence of it in my research. Are you taking anything for fertility or trying to get pregnant? Over the counter pregnancy tests are not 200% accurate, so I would get a firm test from a doctor. Are you taking any other herbs or medications that could be causing this? I'm almost certain it's not the Vitamin B unless of course, it is some sort of "Blend" with other things in it. Pure vitamin B shouldn't.


LEMON JUICE AND FERTILITY
QUESTION: I would like to know, drinking two glasses a day of lemon juice, does it effect fertility in any way?

ANSWER: Drinking lemon juice is not going to affect your fertility. Douching with it might change the acidity, but I wouldn't recommend it. 

FERTILITY
QUESTION:
 
I've been diagnosed with secondary infertility and we have been trying for our second child for over a year.  I've been reading you postings and would like to ask if there's something I can take to increase the amount of my cervical mucous.  I have not found a posting regarding that.  I am planning to buy your Fertili tea, but would like to know how often I should be using it.  Does it come with instructions?  Also, when you answer this question, will it be via a posting or will you answer me directly?

ANSWER: I think I've already sent out your order, but the reason  your cervical mucous is out of balance is hormonal. The progesterone in your body is what affects it. When the progesterone levels are off, the mucous isn't quite right. The Fertili-Tea will help balance your hormones, so this should take care of the problem.

BLOCKED TUBES
QUESTION:
I recently took an HSG (dye test) and was diagnosed with Hydrosalpinx in both fallopian tubes.  My uterus was fine.  I'm 39 years old and my husband and I have been trying for the past 4 months to have a baby.  Is there anything that can unblock my tubes?  I'm hoping there is an herbal medicine or tea you can recommend to open my tubes so I won't have to consider either surgery or IVF.  This would be my first child and I really would like to make sure I have a healthy pregnancy.  I've been trying to eat right and I've been taking prenatal vitamins for the past 6 months.  I'm also taking calcium pills because my calcium level is a little low.  I hope you are able to help me as I find myself crying almost every night thinking the worse. I hope you will be able to recommend something that will help me with this problem.

ANSWER: Do you have a diagnosis? What is blocking the tubes specifically? Has the doctor said? I need a little more information before I can make any suggestion.

FERTILITY
QUESTION: The only way my wife and I can conceive is through IVF (her tubes are gone).  We tried it and during the procedure, she was told by the doctor that she has high follicle stimulant hormones that prevented her from producing healthy eggs thus halting the continuation of the entire procedure.  Are there any herbs that you know of that controls these hormones?  Anything you can provide us will be greatly appreciated.

ANSWER: I have an herb tea called Fertili-TEA that helps to normalize the reproductive and endocrine systems to aid in fertility. You can find it on my website at www.allgoodegifts.com under TEAS.


FERTILITY
QUESTION:
I'm age 38, had a reversal 12 month ago, have had 1 miss @ 5 weeks, 1 miss @ 12 weeks and trying again.  I have had 3 other miscarriages with a previous partner @ 8 weeks, 10weeks and 14 weeks with 3 living children in between. I'm not sure if you ship to the UK and have you any advice, I am currently
taking a prenatal multi vitamin.

ANSWER: I just returned from the UK. You have some wonderful herbalists there. I don't currently ship internationally, but if you have a local herbalist, I would suggest you go and spend some time with them and see what they recommend. The Fertili-Tea I offer is made up of herbs that tone the endocrine and reproductive organs and systems.


FERTILITY
QUESTION:
I need some advice.  I am a breastfeeding mother of an 8 month old son.  He has never taken a bottle and is eating solids now.  I got my cycle back at 10 weeks pp.  I got pregnant when he was 61/2 months old and lost the pg early.  I went through 2 1/2 years of infertility to get our son.  I had PCOS and did acupuncture and herbs and it worked.  My husband and I would like to have another baby now and weaning is not an option.  I think I might have LPD (luteal phase defect) which would explain the early miscarriage.  I
would like to do this naturally as I do everything that way.  Please advise.

ANSWER:  I have a tea called Fertili-TEA which works on toning the reproductive and endocrine systems and organs. You can find it on my website at www.allgoodegifts.com in the Apothecary.

MALE INFERTILITY
QUESTION:
 
I wrote to your earlier but I have just started my husband on Usana Essentials vitamins (one Mega Antioxidant 3x daily and one Chelated Mineral 3x daily) so I wanted to get your opinion on these to help increase his sperm motility (currently 40% but could be better right?) and improve overall health. We live in the Cayman Islands so access to herbs and natural remedies are hard to come by. What else should we be doing? We have experienced three pregnancy losses (one ectopic and two after successful IVFs) but want to give it a try naturally for one year before we consider IVF again.

ANSWER: The best male tonic for fertility is ginseng. It is readily available most places and you can also order it over the web. that would be my suggestion. The supplement you have him taking seems fine, though there are several things in there that I'm not familiar with, so I can't say for certain. I would work on toning the system. Make sure he's eating a healthy diet, and try abstaining from sex for a month and see what happens. It's working wonders for the men coming home from the Gulf! Sometimes, we try too hard and all we need to do is relax and de-stress a little.


INFERTILITY
QUESTION:
 
I am 25 years old and my hubby is 28. we have been together for 3 years and have been trying to get pregnant for 2 and a half unsuccessful years. I think that we have conceived but I have had early miscarriages. A friend recently told us that we should take false unicorn and cramp bark. Will this work? Oh
I also have ovarian cysts and have half of one of my ovaries removed. Almost every other month I don't ovulate. I have been taking my temp and checking my vaginal fluids regularly so I know that I am ovulating. I really want a baby. Any information would be helpful.

ANSWER:
I have a tea that I can't keep on the shelves called Fertili-Tea. You can also now get it in tincture form. It is designed to tone the reproductive organs and system as well as the endocrine system. You can find it at www.allgoodegifts.com in the apothecary. False Unicorn root is certainly helpful and is contained in the Fertili-tea, but cramp bark is a nerve sedative. It will reduce tension and encourage sleep, which may help the problem, but it isn't something I usually recommend for infertility issues.

FERTILITY ISSUES
QUESTION:
 I
have several issues going on. first, my husband has a problem ejaculating. the sensation is there but that's about it. usually with coaxing a little will come out. when he had a sperm count done it came back normal, though (with what he could give). Is there anything that can help with this issue? if so what can
be done. I have a lot of different issues, my tubes are blocked from scarring, but when they put the dye in
there was enough open for the dye to come through slowly on the x ray (very painful procedure by the
way). my tubes are also attached to the ovaries. my eggs weren't producing as they should and my periods
have always been irregular. lately I have only spotted, then I started taking birth control (ortho lo) to regulate my periods and it worked but now my period won't stop (it's been 26 days today) but I noticed that it looked like old blood and I think I've started my regular period yesterday (new blood). I've thought the old blood was my system cleaning itself out from not having a regular cycle for so long. my plan was to regulate then stop taking the pill to jump start fertility ( it worked with my sister in law twice and about 5 other people i know) also start taking herbal supplements to help with the fertility. I figured I must be ovulating because i do have a period and my cervical mucus is like it's supposed to be at the time of month it's supposed to be. Also I am obese, but I am currently working on that. i just wanted to know what can help me and my husband in my struggle for pregnancy? What can help me produce the eggs and get them fertilized? what can help my husbands problem? I want to start taking your Fertili-TEA but since this is the first time I'm going herbal I'm kind of cautious. Please help me, it's been 7 years and I'm desperate for a family.

ANSWER: Fertility is such a complex issue. It doesn't matter how much your husband ejaculates, it only takes one cell to fertilize the egg and if there's room in your tubes for the cell to get through, then that wouldn't be the problem. If you are obese, that is a problem. You need to deal with that issue first It can affect fertility as well as your periods and the entire system. It's as though the body "knows" that getting pregnant in that condition isn't good for you or the baby. Trying to get pregnant while obese is very dangerous. My suggestion would be to work on that first and then think about having that family. The herbs in the Fertili-tea are not a magic pill. They are to tone and rejuvenate your systems and organs. If you are not eating healthy and exercising, it's like putting rocket fuel in a jalopy - it's not going to do much. Good health is an all-around approach, not just one thing we do. It needs to be a combination of things to keep us in balance. Herbs are just the helpers.

INDUCING LABOR
QUESTION:
I had a question regarding herbs to induce labor.  I am almost 2 weeks overdue and I was scheduled for an induction.  Due to a previous c-section 13 years ago, my doctor said he didn't want me to deliver vaginally and wants me to consent to another c-section.  I have seen an OB doc who said there was no reason why I cannot have a vaginal birth.  I was wondering if there was any herbs I can take to start my labor?

ANSWER: I don't ever recommend inducing labor unless the mother or child is at risk. There are just too many things that can go wrong. If you saw another OB who said there's no reason you can't deliver vaginally, then my suggestion would be to stick with him and let him see you through the delivery.

INDUCING LABOR
QUESTION:
 
I am 38 weeks into my pregnancy and My family practitioner has told me that I'm ready to go. She will not induce chemically is there something natural that you can suggest?

ANSWER: I would never suggest inducing delivery in a healthy woman. The baby will come when it's ready, and not until. Inducing can be extremely dangerous for both of you and if your medical practitioner has refused to do it, then I must assume there is no immediate threat to either of you. Just try to relax and be patient.

GREEN TEA WHILE PREGNANT
QUESTION:
Hello. I am 13 weeks pregnant and I would like to know if it is safe to drink decaffeinated green tea. I have been drinking the tea for a few weeks but I recently read in the book "What to Expect When You're Expecting" that it may be unsafe to drink and should be avoided. It specifically says that it "may interfere with cell development and growth" (pg. 65). Now I'm concerned that it may have harmed my baby. Any information on this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

ANSWER: I'm not aware of anything in Green Tea that may be harmful. As long as it's caffeine free, you should be fine. Be sure it is a good quality tea, though and hopefully organic.

NURSING AN ADOPTED CHILD
QUESTION:  I’m going to adopt a baby in 2 months and I want to breastfeed him. What herbs can I take to start milk flow in my breast? I have 4 children but my youngest one is 14 now. I breastfed all of them. Please help me out.  Thanks.

ANSWER: Breast milk is produced by the hormones in  your body. This is controlled by the endocrine system and try as we may, we cannot duplicate it. Producing breast milk when you aren't pregnant or nursing is probably not a good idea. Anything that's going to alter the natural function of your hormones will not be in your best interests.  Might I suggest goat's milk if you don't want to go the formula route.


QUESTION:
 
I am 38 years old and my husband is 43.  My husband suffers from low sperm motility and we have undergone two IVF/ICSI procedures.  Two fertilised embryos were place back but no pregnancy was forthcoming.  We are seeing a herbalist who has prescribed the following to me:
Marigold
Ladies Mantel
Nettle
Oats
Milk Thistle
Liquorice

Can you advise me if these are suitable.  We cannot afford another IVF procedure so our only hope is to conceive naturally - is there anything my husband or I should be taking that may increase our chances naturally?

ANSWER:
Increase your vitamin B complex to start. Get your husband on some ginseng. Add wild yam, vitex or chaste tree berry, dong quai and false unicorn root to the mixture you described and you will be on your way to toning and strengthening your reproductive and endocrine systems.

QUESTION: Hi there I am taking a fertility aid with Chaste Berry, Dong Quai red clover, licorice, Sub ginsing, chinese red ginseng root, and some other things In it.. and this is my problem.    I started taking this product on about June 20th.. then I started my menstrual cycle on about July 13th.. and I was bleeding continuously since. (menstrual cycle started way early) started with spotting and so forth. Then got heavier and seemed to get light like it was over and then started again. I put it off taking the herbs as I  was regulating my cycle and I have not taken any for 3 days now..   However I guess what my question is, is should I take 3 a day to slow the bleeding or take 1 a day to slow/stop the bleeding.. ( I was taking 2 as instructions said).. I have been as regular as clockwork my whole life. No problems with menstrual cycle
at all. Someone told me chaste berry is 3 weeks on and 1 week off.. I am really confused!!!

ANSWER: First of all, what "other things" are in this blend you're taking? If it's for fertility, I don't know why all the ginseng. I don't give that to women. I do give it to men to increase their fertility. If your periods have been normal up until the time you started taking this mixture, I would stop it immediately. It is obviously screwing up your system. I can't explain what's going on. My Fertili-Tea has some of the herbs you mentioned in it, but I haven't had anyone report the kinds of problems you are experiencing. To curb the excessive menstruation, I would suggest the following: shepherd's purse, yarrow flowers, nettle and whit oak bark. Avoid Dong Quai at all costs, as that can increase menstruation.

QUESTION: I´m 34 yrs. old and my husband is 44, we have been unsuccessfully trying to have a baby for 5 years now. I´ve been diagnosed with hostile cervical mucus (I have plenty of it every month), it´s too thick and won´t let sperm swim through (there´s no problem with sperm antibodies). Everything else seems just fine, I have great ovarian reserve, my hormone levels are always right, no blocked tubes and just a mild endometriosis which they removed in a laparoscopic procedure. My husband is also fine. We´ve already had 4 intrauterine inseminations and 1 IVF with no success. What would you recommend to increase the quality of my mucus and of my fertility in general? Traditional medicine apparently has no remedy regarding cervical mucus and the IVF and the IUI are really invasive and very stressful methods and I´m really through with them. Thanks

ANSWER: The cervical  mucous issue is becoming more and more common, though hostile cervical mucous only makes up between 1-2% of infertile women. It is believed to be an imbalance in the hormones as the levels of estrogen and progesterone control the consistency and thickness of the mucous. My Fertili-Tea is designed to bring your endocrine (hormonal) system as well as your reproductive system back into balance. Also, stress is a major contributor to infertility in young women. Judging from what you've told me, you've had enough stress in your live to affect you adversely. Not to worry. Get yourself on a quality vitamin B complex right away. You can purchase them locally at the health store, or online, but make sure it's a good one. You get what you pay for, so don't scrimp at this point. You can purchase my Fertili-Tea on the website at www.allgoodegifts.com under Teas in the Herb Shoppe. Expect to be on this for anywhere from 1-3 months to give your body time to heal from all the invasive procedures.

INDUCING LABOR
QUESTION:
Do you have any suggestions on what to take to induce labor?

ANSWER:  I don't advocate inducing labor ever. It's extremely dangerous, not only for you, but for your baby as well. Are you under the care of a medical practitioner or midwife? Why exactly are you trying to induce? Trust me, when those babies are ready, they'll come. If it is an emergency situation, my advice is to get to a doctor or hospital immediately. There are some instances when medical care and attention are crucial, and this would be one of those.

QUESTION: I'm a day overdue my estimated delivery date and just wondered how long do
you think raspberry leaf tea will take before i go into labour?

ANSWER: One day is not that long, and I don't think I'd recommend you drinking raspberry leaf tea to force the labor. Raspberry leaf tea is normally used to stop heavy bleeding. If anything, I think it would prolong it. Do not use teas or anything else to hasten labor simply because you are impatient. It can be dangerous not only for you, but for your baby. Each child has its own birthing rhythm and it should not be disturbed. Many times that rhythm doesn't correspond to  the calendar, the doctor's predictions or our own impatience and desire! Those babies will come when they're ready, trust me. If you are in an emergency situation, your doctor or midwife can induce labor, but I strongly recommend against trying to do it yourself.

QUESTION: I read w/ interest your Q&A on Herbnet.com.  I am 42 1/2 and trying to conceive baby #3.  We have tried for 5 months now.  I have two children already w/ no problems getting pregnant or w/ pregnancy.  I don't know if there is a problem, but am concerned because of my age.  I have also discovered I have poor
quality cervical mucus.  I have been drinking a locally produced fertility tea as well as lots of water, no caffeine (other than green tea), no sugar and carrot juice daily.  In June I had great CM but didn't conceive.  In my last cycle I had non-existent CM.  (I had started eating a little sugar and stopped the fertility tea because I thought I would have conceived in June w/ my great CM).  I think your tea may be better b/c it has many herbs in it that the current tea I'm using does not.  Would you recommend anything other than your fertility tea?  Thank you.

ANSWER: First, I wouldn't start eating sugar again. One month will not fix the issue. Several things could be going on. You could be pre-menopausal in which case things are starting to change with you. Just because the CM was good one month doesn't mean your system is totally functional. The herbs in my tea are to tone and build up the reproductive and endocrine systems. It usually takes from one to 3 months, depending on how depleted your system is. Again, if you are pre menopausal, that could be the issue. But there are plenty of women who have children in their 40's with no problems. Your diet is extremely important, as is your stress level. Make sure you are taking a quality B complex supplement every day. Stress is the number one issue of infertility in young women. Also, no preservatives, white flour, white sugar or artificial sweeteners of any kind, especially aspartame! Use honey or molasses or pure maple sugar and syrup if you have a sweet tooth.

FATIGUE DURING PREGNANCY
QUESTION: I think this is the third time I have emailed you with a question.
The answers you send are very informative and easy to understand.  This is for my daughter. She is going to have a baby in mid to late November and she asked me what she could do about being tired all the time. She said she even falls asleep at work sometimes. What can she take to help give her more energy? Again thank you for your time.

ANSWER: I'm assuming she is under the care of a medical practitioner and is taking a pre-natal vitamin with iron. If not, that would be my first recommendation. Pregnancy takes a lot out of you, as you well know, and iron deficiency is one of the biggies. Make sure she's getting plenty of iron and B complex. Natural remedies that are good for her and the baby include Spirulina, 1-2 Tblspns daily, Bee pollen, 1-2 tspns daily, however, make sure she is not allergic to it. Take just a few grains the first couple of times to ensure she doesn't have a reaction to it. Seaweeds and kelp are wonderful and have lots of iron in them. She also needs to ensure she's getting extra sleep. 8 hours a day may not do it in her condition. And of course, I have a tea and a tincture that are very helpful for uplifting and providing a high level or iron.  If you are interested, e-mail me with the word ORDER in your subject line for more information.

FERTILITY
QUESTION: I has pcos syndrome where I don't ovulate but I have a cycle every month. I only have one tube due to an ectopic pregnancy last year. My husband and I have been try to get pregnant but no success. I was taking Clomid for the ovulation but it cause cyst. So I decided to stop taking it and I wanted to try something natural that will help me conceive. Can you help? 

ANSWER: You said you have a cycle, but don't ovulate? How do you know you're having a cycle? You shouldn't be menstruating without ovulating. Please give me more information so I can try to help you. Have you seen a medical professional? Have you had blood tests? What did they reveal? How long were you taking the clomid? Has your husband been checked? Everything OK there?  Let me know and we will go from there.

FOLLOW-UP ON THE ABOVE QUESTION:
I'm 27 years old Well yes I have been to the doctor. And had blood test done and when the test came back he told me that I have pcos. because at the time my cycle was irregular at the time and I had to take provera to make it come down. I was put on in 2002 clomid because I was not ovulating and I take the clomid for six months and I stop taking it because get was a little expensive every month. 2003 I became pregnant but I miscarriage at six weeks then five month later became pregnant again and it was an ectpoic pregnancy and I lost my left tube and the doctor told me that yes I can conceive again but it may take me longer to conceive. Starting the second month if this year my cycle are regular but I just I don't know what day it comes but I do have one every month. And it not a 28 day cycle maybe like a 32 and 33 day cycle. My husband has been tested everything is. Do you have herbs the can help me conceive. Because I do not want to take the clomid again because every women I talk to said that they miscarriage and causes tumors on the ovary but after you stop taking it goes away.

ANSWER: I have an herb tea that I sell to women who are trying to conceive, called Fertili-TEA. I don't recommend taking it with any medications. You can find it on my website at www.allgoodegifts.com under teas in the Herb Shoppe. The herbs are tonics for the reproductive and endocrine systems to help build up and strengthen. The tea is safe to take until you confirm you are pregnant. At that point, I would stop taking it. Let me know if you have any other questions.

HERBS TO GET A GIRL
QUESTION: I have two boys and really want a girl.  My husband is in the Army and he said that one more baby and that's it!  So what herbal medicine can I take to enhance my chances for a girl.  As of now I just take prenatals and Skin, Hair & Nails.

ANSWER: There's lots of things out there on affecting the sex of your baby, but I'm not aware of any herb that will do it. Supposedly, there are special diets etc that will help, but again, nothing substantiated with any type of reliable research.  I'd opt for healthy!

SUPPLEMENTS DURING PREGNANCY
QUESTION: I am 22 years old and was diagnosed with Chrohn’s Disease two years ago, was taking prednisone for quite some time and just
about 4 months ago I changed my diet and started eating a lot of vegetables & fruit and started taking 4 super enzymes caps a day.  This has controlled my disease. It has betaine hci -200 mg, pancreatin 4x- 200 mg, ox bile extract(45% cholic acid) -100 mg, bromelain 2,400 gdu/g - 50 mg, papain 2m usp units/g powder- 50 mg, pepsin nf 1:10m units powder -50 mg, papaya fruit powder & pineapple fruit powder -45 mg, cellulase 1m fcc/g powder-10mg. I want to know if I would get pregnant will these ingredients have any side affects on my child?

ANSWER: The hardest thing for you will be to eat a healthy diet so your baby is strong and healthy. I don't advocate anything except vitamin supplements for pregnant women, but speak with your medical professional and see what they think. Can any of the things you're taking hurt the fetus? It's hard to say. They aren't exactly natural (ox bile extract?) There's also a risk of anemia, which can happen to women who are pregnant anyhow, but in your case the risk is higher due to the problems with your intestinal tract. Ensure you are taking enough iron. Vitamin B complex, Vitamin C and Omega 3 oils are critically important for you. Herbs that may be beneficial are burdock root, echinacea, fenugreek, marshmallow root, pau d'arco, red clover, rose hops, slippery elm and yerba mate. For best results use them on an alternating basis.

ECHINACEA DURING PREGNANCY
QUESTION: Are there any contraindications for taking echinacea during pregnancy?

ANSWER: I wouldn't advise it. Echinacea  contains a substance that can interfere with the release of unfertilized eggs into the fallopian tube, so they may decrease a woman's fertility. If you are already pregnant, any herb should be taken with extreme caution as effects to the unborn fetus have not been properly documented. But in my list of "safe" herbs for pregnancy, Echinacea is not included.

PROGESTERONE DURING PREGNANCY
QUESTION: I was wondering if you can receive too many progesterone shots during pregnancy.  I started receiving the progesterone on January 19, 2004, which would have made me 22 weeks pregnant at the time and got them every week until April 12, at 34 weeks and 5 days.  I then went into pre-term labor and she tried to induce me on May 11.  My cervix would not open up because it is so thick.  They had me pumped with the induction stuff for 28 hours and during that time I went from a tight one to a tight two.  Then she just sent me home.  So I was wondering if you could let me know if you think that maybe all of the progesterone she gave me is keeping my cervix from opening up.

ANSWER: The way progesterone works in the body when you get pregnant is to strengthen and thicken the uterine wall so the egg can attach and get nourishment. So if you were receiving excessive amounts, it's very possible that it helped to thicken your uterine wall. However, it wouldn't close completely, so when the baby's ready, he/she should still be able to have a normal birth. Hope everything turns out OK.

TWINS
QUESTION: My husband and I will be trying to conceive within the next year.  I am doing everything I know of to help prepare my body (this will be number 3) My husband would love twins, but they don't run in our family at all.  Is there any herb that can enable the production of multiple eggs or increase the chance for twins at all?  Thank you !!!

ANSWER: The ability to conceive twins is normally genetic. There are cases where the egg splits in people with no predisposition to twins, but that's not as common. I'm not aware of any herbs that would increase your chance for twins, especially if you aren't predisposed to them. My suggestion would be to make sure you are eating carefully and taking supplements to ensure a good environment should you become pregnant.

FERTILITY
QUESTION: I needed some advice regarding fertility and miscarriage prevention. I have had two miscarriages in the last year and a half. My Doctor seems to think that I have a luteal phase defect. Both miscarriages occurred at ten weeks. The last one, my HGC levels weren't doubling at seven weeks, but an ultrasound found a strong heartbeat. Unfortunately I miscarried three weeks later. Three years ago I had one ovary removed due to a tumor. I was wondering if that could of messed with my hormones. I wanted to try Chaste Tree Berry, but I am a little nervous. I also wanted to know if any other herbs would help without interacting (such as wild yam.)

ANSWER: Anytime we mess with our reproductive organs it has an effect on us. I have a special tea I developed called Fertili-TEA. It contains wild Yam and Chaste Berry as well as other herbs known to be helpful endocrine and reproductive systems tonics. You will find it at my web site, www.allgoodegifts.com in the Herb Shoppe under TEAS.  Make sure you are taking a quality B complex to relieve stress. It has been linked to infertility in young women. Also, a healthy diet with no processed foods and no artificial sweeteners, especially aspartame.

FERTILITY

QUESTION:
Hello there, I am so glad I found this website as I have done a lot of research on herbs but would love someone to help me get on the right track!
             I am dealing with unexplained infertility and have been trying to become pregnant now for a year.  My blood work is normal with the exception of a testosterone level that is very slightly elevated at 55. Normal range can go to 86 I believe but the docs say they like it under 50. My FSH is 6.1, LH 3.1.  I did a progesterone tests last December 7 days after ovulation that came back at 16.8, however my last progesterone test at 7 days after my IUI was 9.92, they said they like it over 10 and gave me some progesterone supplements. My estrogen level this month they said was "good" before ovulation but I didnt get the number. I know on day 13 it was 176 but they did another test on day 14 and said the level had risen and was good enough for me to give myself the trigger shot for my insemination.  I always ovulate about day 16 which to me seems kinda late. My luteul phase is 13 days like clockwork.
              Whew, that was a lot of info. SO, my question is this - would vitex be a good thing for me to take? IF so how much and how long would I take it? I have read that vitex could lower my testosterone and increase progesterone. Not sure how it would effect my estrogen if that is in the good range. Also I have heard about false unicorn root but seem to think that wouldn’t be as good in my situation. I am not sure...
            Lastly, I am interested to know more about your fertility tea, how much of each herb is in it? Do you drink it the whole cycle and how much does it cost and if it would be effective for me or if vitex alone might do the trick.

ANSWER: Unexplained infertility is a very frustrating diagnosis but sometimes I am inclined to believe that it could be a slight hormonal imbalance. There is no one herb cure for any particular condition. I like to use combinations to deal with the multiplicity of things going on. For example, my Fertili-TEA contains herbs that not only deal with the reproductive organs and tonics for those, but also the endocrine system and the liver to ensure health and vitality of the immune system and hormonal output. Our bodies are so incredibly complex that when things manifest themselves, there's usually more than one thing going on.  That said, my recommendations for those dealing with infertility issues
center around the diet, supplements and beneficial herbs.  Make sure you are avoiding all processed foods like white flour, white sugar
and all artificial sweeteners, especially aspartame. Lots of good green leafy vegetables and fruit every day. Only pure, distilled water. And take a quality B complex for the stress that has been shown in several studies to be a major player in infertility of otherwise normal healthy young women.
             Best herbs for fertility? They are all in my Fertili-TEA blend! But if you'd rather go it alone, Vitex or chaste tree berry, wild yam, false unicorn root are all excellent. You can purchase the Fertili-TEA on my website at www.allgoodegifts.com  in the Herb Shoppe under TEAS. It's safe to take continuously through the cycle and for as long as you like. As a matter of fact, I was making some for a client the other night and it smelled so good I just had to steal a little and make myself a cup! (And I am in no way looking to increase my fertility!)

NURSING
QUESTION:
I have been exclusively breastfeeding my dd she is now 5 months old.  I have been feeding her the same amount since she was born 20 minutes on each side every three hours she does get rice cereal about 3 or 4 times a week with formula in it I make a bottle and pour the formula into the rice and if there is left over formula and she is still acting kinda hungry I will just give her the last ounce.  Well the past week I have noticed that I have less milk I have enough to feed her all of her feedings except her last one of the night (she sleeps through the night) She does get some I just don't think enough she starts acting kind of cranky while eating and arching her back but when I squeeze my nipple I can get a little bit so I know there is some in there I just don't know if there is enough or maybe she is just not sucking hard enough.  So is there anything I can do to up my milk production?  Do you think that I am not producing enough milk or that she is to sucking hard enough?  If she is not sucking hard enough is there a way to get her to suck harder?  Sorry for all the questions but I would be absolutely devastated if I had to stop nursing her.

ANSWER: First, make sure you are getting plenty of water, and I'm talking in excess of 100 oz per day. You need good clean water to produce plenty of milk.  Blessed Thistle, fennel seed and Raspberry leaf all contribute to increasing and enriching milk flow in lactating women. If your daughter gets hungry enough, she'll suck harder. Make her work for it. Sometimes these babies get lazy and bottles are so much easier, so if you are giving a bottle every night, that may be what's causing her not to work so hard. I'll leave it to you to decide how to deal with that one. I know in La Lecher League, they discourage bottles and pacifiers because the baby can get away with not having to work for the nourishment. That may be the issue. If the baby doesn't continue to nurse in a healthy manner, your milk will dry up. Are you using a breast pump?  I would suggest that so you can keep the milk supply strong. It's better for you to give your baby that with the rice cereal rather than formula, so it won't go to waste and your breast milk production will stay strong.
           I have a custom blend that I make for my clients who are nursing and just recently made for my young niece who is nursing her first baby. Go to the website at www.allgoodegifts.com  and look in the Herb Shoppe under TEAS. Select Custom under blends and in the comments portion of the check out, just write Milk production Tea.

FERTILI-TEA
QUESTION:
I am interested in getting information on you fertili-TEA.  I have been diagnosed with PCOS my cycles are very irregular.  I was going to buy some false unicorn root and begin taking that.  I ran across your site and wonder would the tea mixture be better than taking the false unicorn alone and also about how long would I see results as far as having a regular cycle and conceiving.  Also, is it effective even if I don't have a regimented diet and exercise plan?

ANSWER: The false unicorn, while good and also in my tea blend, will not take care of everything on its own. The tea is designed to help fortify and bring health to the endocrine and reproductive systems and organs. I make no guarantee about getting your period or conception, but it usually takes anywhere from 2-3 months to see results. Teas work slowly with your body. They are not a quick fix.

If you are not having a regular period, my suggestion would be to take care of that first. Then concentrate on conception. Although the herbs will work without a proper diet, many problems have been related to processed foods and chemicals in food. If you are a junk food junkie, you won't see results. You body is too stressed out trying to get the poison out of it.

I have another tea that I recommend to young girls and women to regulate their periods. I would suggest you start with that. Avoid processed foods, white flour, white sugar and artificial sweeteners and see what happens. If you're interested, go to my website at www.allgoodegifts.com  and go to the Herb Shoppe. There you will find a section on Teas. Under personal blends, select custom from the drop down and in the checkout comments, put "Bringing on the Moon Tea". You can pay safely online.


SPERM COUNT
QUESTION:
I read an article on natural herbs that increase the amount of testosterone released in the body. Having effects such as increased sperm count. I can not for the life of me remember the name, can you help?

ANSWER:
It could be one of several herbs used to increase fertility in men. Saw Palmetto, Ho Show Wu, Goldenseal, Sarsparilla, Wild Yam and Licorice are all helpful in this area. I'd be happy to make a custom tea for you. Go to my website at www.allgoodegifts.com and in the Herb Shoppe, under Teas, select CUSTOM. Then in the checkout comments, put male fertili-TEA. 

INFERTILITY
QUESTION:
Hello, I am wondering what you would recommend for me and my husband's situation.  I am a 28 year woman with PCOS with the following symptoms:
-low progesterone
-normal LH/FSH ratio
-high androgens (specifically testosterone)
-incompetent cervix
-white blood cells in my cervical mucus (they are killing the sperm)
-one ectopic pregnancy
-three chemical pregnancies
-one premature birth (32 weeks)
-overweight (5'7" / 240lbs)
-absent menstrual periods

My husband has marginally low sperm count (20,000,000).  We want to have a baby the natural way. We are tired of the shots, and the embarrassing procedures. I have been told to start by using natural progesterone creme 80mg daily for three months, then start backing it down by 20mg every three months, and 1vitex daily, does this sound right, or not? Also, what can I do about the white blood cells in my cervical mucus? I was told a baby aspirin a day, but that is not a natural product at all.

ANSWER: There are several things you can do. First, I would start a diet and exercise program. Even if you could get pregnant, at your present weight, it would not be healthy for you or the baby. Avoid all processed foods (that goes for Dad too!) and white flour and white sugar. All of it. Get it out of your house so you won't be tempted. If you have a raging sweet tooth like I do, you can have honey, pure maple syrup (Not Mrs.. Butterworth's!) or pure molasses. Many of the infertility problems we are seeing are related to stress and poor diet. Your body is so busy trying to stay alive from all the garbage that's being put into it, it doesn't have time to function correctly.  Up your vitamin B complex, both of you. This will help with the stress factor.  For you, I would say getting your periods regular is the first order of business. The weight may have a bit to do with this as it can affect it. I have a tea that I recommend to help you with regulating your period, but if you won't commit to a healthy diet, I don't know how much good it will do. Your diet is the single most important thing you can concentrate on. Birth control pills can contribute to amenorrhea (lack of menstruation), so if you're taking those, stop. I would hesitate to recommend you add yet another hormone to the mix. Your body knows exactly how much of each hormone you need and if maintained properly, will produce them for you. The tea is called Bringing on the Moon tea and you can find it at my website at www.allgoodegifts.com in the Herb Shoppe under Teas. You will need 3-4 cups  a day during the time you should be menstruating.  During that time, surround yourself with menstruating women. I know that sounds strange, but it is a proven fact that menstruating women secrete a  chemical called pheromone. This enzyme triggers a hormonal reaction in other women which can stimulate the menstrual cycle. Go to lunch, the movies, walks, whatever. Several days before you are scheduled to begin your period, start taking Pennyroyal Baths each evening. Pennyroyal is a strong uterine contractor. It can be used as a tea or a bath. If you're interested in some Bath Tea Bags, I have those as well. Just go to the personal care section and choose the pennyroyal blend.

INFERTILITY
QUESTION:
Hi, I am 36 years old and have secondary infertility. I became pregnant easily a year and a half ago but had a miscarriage at 11 weeks. My husband's tests all came back great. My tests show a slightly high FSH and very low progesterone. My tubes and uterus looked clear on the x-ray. I took clomid for 6 months and still take progesterone from day 14-28. The only problem I know I have is my cervical fluid is not fertile. It's wet but not stretchy. What is the best herb I can take to treat this? Is there a combination of herbs that might work better? I am very active, I bike and run but not to excess and I have a low stress level. Thank you for your help!

ANSWER: Infertility in young women is my most common question. Although you may not feel stressed, your body may be internally. Make sure you are taking a quality B complex to be sure. Also, no processed foods. I read articles every day linking white sugar to infertility and PMS. I have an excellent tea that is full of tonic herbs for the reproductive and endocrine systems. It will help to strengthen and bring your body back into balance. It's called Fertili-TEA and can be found on my website at www.allgoodegifts.com under TEAS in the Herb Shoppe.

RASH DURING PREGNANCY
QUESTION:
I am 34 weeks pregnant. Last week I developed a rash which started on my abdomen and consequently spread over my upper legs, buttocks, breast and around my wrists. It is very itchy and red. I saw a dermatologist and was prescribed topical Elocon cream and orally Zyrtec. Also I tried over the counter itch/antihistamine medications and lotions but non of them work. Is there a herb or herbal product that will make a quick response to the itching since at times is unbearable?

ANSWER: I can't believe they prescribed Zyrtec for you this far along in your pregnancy. My favorite herbs for skin are comfrey and calendula. I have some available on my website. Go to www.allgoodegifts.com  under personal care and select comfrey/calendula salve.  This is also great for your belly to reduce stretch marks and for baby's bottom when he/she finally arrives!

FERTILITY
QUESTION:
My husband and I are trying to have a second baby . We have been trying for one year. My blood work came back good and the next step is probably fertility drug like clomid. My husband and I want the gentlest method possible. As far as a fertility drug, clomid is the gentlest. I was also looking at herbal remedies but I am a little leery because many like evening primose must be stopped at ovulation due to possible uterine contraction and miscarriage. I am looking at the combination of black cohosh and agnus castrus. Do either of these have the same risk? How much would I take and how often. Would I need to stop at ovulation or can I stop when I am confirmed pregnant? Do you think that 2 weeks of taking them would have an effect?

ANSWER:
If your blood work came back fine, why are you considering taking a medication? I tend not to advise people to take herbs in conjunction with pharmaceuticals. One, because I don't know all the possible interactions with chemicals and drugs and Two, herbs are for building up the body and the systems and medications mostly tear them down. If you are looking for a natural alternative to increase your fertility, and everything is fine, I have a wonderful tea that I cannot keep on the shelves called fertili-TEA. It combines herbs known for their tonic value to the endocrine system, to get your hormones in shape and the reproductive system to set up the best environment.  Has your husband been checked to make sure all is well on that end of things? The next thing is to ensure you are eating a healthy diet with no sugar, processed foods, white flour, or artificial sweeteners, especially aspartame. That chemical has been linked to more health issues that you would believe. Also, because stress is the leading cause of infertility in young women, you need to take a quality B complex. You can find my Fertili-TEA on my website at www.allgoodegifts.com  under Teas in the Herb Shoppe. Let me know if you have any further questions.

TUBAL SCARRING
QUESTION:
 
First, thank you for such a wonderful site!  I have many questions regarding what is available/effective etc for tubal scarring.  I had an ectopic pregnancy (gest age was 7 wks) and had surgery this past Tues (6/8/04).  The doctorr was able to slice the tube and remove the embryo w/o removal of anything else.  Other than vaginal bleeding that began prior Sun a.m.--no signs of ectopic.  I had prior tubal ligation 8/84 and had a tubal reversal 1/8/04 followed by hsg 3/5/04 resulting in both tubes clear.  From what I have read on ectopis--tubal scarring is a big issue.  Are there herbs to help w/this issue?  Also--anything to help body levels for a successful pregnancy (HCG/Progesterone)?  Otherwise, I am extremely healthy.  One more ? plus:  I smoked 1/2 to 1 pack a day--this is also cause for ectopic---any herbs to help w/that?

ANSWER:
It's hard to say about tubal scarring. I have a tea I recommend for Ovarian Cysts and Uterine Fibroids. I'm not sure how it would work on scar tissue in the tubes, but it certainly couldn't hurt and it contains several herbs that are uterine tonics. If you're interested, go to www.allgoodegifts.com and in the Herb Shoppe, go to Teas. Under personal blends, you'll find a drop down. Select custom and in the comments in the checkout portion, put Liver Cleanse Tea. You will also find the Fertili-TEA listed in the drop down if you are interested in that. It has tonic herbs for both the reproductive and the endocrine systems.  Make sure your diet is healthy. No preservatives or processed foods. As long as you have stopped smoking, your body will being to heal itself. If you are still smoking at all, I would recommend you stop.

NURSING ISSUES
QUESTION:
I am a first-time mother with a 6 week old very healthy and large appetite baby. The only thing I was absolutely sure about in this whole motherhood gig, was to breastfeed. The first couple of days couldn't
have gone more perfect. An easily annoyed nurse decided to go on a rampage with a pacifier one evening and things went downhill from there. Next two days I was combating nipple confusion. Day 6, 8 , 10, 12 and
14, I was wondering why my milk still hadn't come in and had already been forced to give my daughter a supplement of formula (in an eye dropper). I did a little research and asking around, but it seemed like
I was the only one who never experienced any enlargement of the breasts, engorgement, or that initial entrance of mature milk. By the end of week one, we also discovered my daughter was tongue-tied. By week two, she had a bad case of thrush (which we are still combating even now. I have  been taking acidophillus tabs, nystatin oral suspension for first 2 weeks, now on a diflucan/nystatin ointment combo, more yogurt than I can stand and the whole house is starting to wreak of vinegar from me boiling everything).

Also by the 2nd week, I had bought a hospital-grade pump (medela in style) in order to help speed things up in the milk supply area. For the next week or two, I was lucky to pump an ounce & a half in a 24 hour period. Granted that was using the method of: nurse the baby, give the baby a bottle, go pump (every 1 to two hours, so if she wasn't hungry, I was pumping instead and on top of nursing) More research, and discovered fenugreek. Moved from 2 tabs 3 times daily to 3 tabs 3 times daily. I've been taking them 3 weeks now and finally managed 2-3 ounces in a 24 hours period a couple weeks ago. But I'm stagnated. I bought  prolactation tea with alfalfa, fenugreek, fennel, etc and attempted  religiously to drink it the recommended 3 times daily, but it didn't help to further things along even after a week and a half.

On a sidenote, I had the tongue clipped and for a while I had to solely pump for a couple days as she started relating the breast to mouth pain and no milk. I've had her latch checked and was given a thumbs up as well. So before any suggestions of positioning and latch even begin, I'm quashing them now. She easily switches between bottle and breast now with no complaints (and yes, I was very picky about what type of nipples, so that may play some part). I also obtained a Medela SNS as well in the hopes of my baby's stimulation fixing our woes. Unfortunately, I couldn't use it more than a couple days at a time before I had to rest. Because of the shape of my breasts I had to tape at the very base of the nipple in order to hold the tube on properly and
ripping that evil stuff off is what caused my sore nipples. OUCH! and no, even with sore and cracked nipples, I have not stopped nursing.

After my hormonal breakdown of inadequacies as a mother was over and her pediatrician even told me to stop being such a type A personality, I calmed down. I accepted I might never be my child's sole source of food but just couldn't accept being barely a between the meal snack. So more research, and I finally saw material that seem to summarize what I'd been experiencing. I read about hypoplastic breasts. That because of a potential hormone imbalance, the milk producing tissue never develop fully, that usually there is a remarkable difference in size, widely set apart, tubular shape, etc. That persons with this condition never have engorgement, never feel their milk come in and have a low production of milk. Basically... yep, that's me.

Ok, now that you have the background. What sort of herbal combination would be best for my situation if any? I have not tried Domperidone yet. I have a slew of notes to take to my own doctor on the gland issue, but if its anything like the last visit, I will most likely get blown off yet again from fear that I'm either hormonal or their own ignorance in breastfeeding. Is there herbal supplements that will help build milk producing tissue as well those that increase milk production? How long before they would normally start showing an effect? How long can you take various galactagogues since my situation is more of a long term deal? Which would be the best combination since I seem semi-resistant to them? Since we both seem resistant to the treatment for the thrush as well, is there anything we can do there? Is gentian violet a sure-thing or is there something we can do in addition to make sure we are not just treating the result, but the cause too? I thank you for any advice in advance and apologize for any headache this may have caused ;)

ANSWER:  I can make a great tea to increase your milk flow. It contains blessed thistle, fennel, fenugreek, hops and Raspberry leaf. Go to my website at www.allgoodegifts.com and in the Herb Shoppe under Teas, Select Custom from the drop down blends.  In the comments section of the checkout, put Milk Production Tea. I'll know what you need. Also, make sure you are drinking plenty of pure clean water. At least 100 oz per day. (Yep, 100 ounces!)

The Thrush is probably a result of a yeast infection. You and your baby are probably passing it back and forth between each other so both need to be treated. Tea tree is a natural antifungal for external use. Make sure you are eating NO sugar - at all! It will increase the yeast in your system quicker than you can deal with it, believe me. Also no refined carbs. You can make a tea out of Pau d'arco or Clove. Use 2 Tbls per quart of water. Boil for 5 minutes. Put in the fridge to cool with the herbs still in. Sift and drink 3 to 4 cups per day. The acidophilus is good. Also garlic. 2 caps 3 times a day oughta do it.



QUESTION:
 
I had a question about herbal fertility pills. I've read that if you take fertility pills it can cause a pregnancy test to come out positive even if you are not pregnant, is that true? And if so, how long after you stop taking the herbal pill, will it get out of your system. I was taking fertility blend for about 2 weeks, when i stopped taking them, (about 1.5 wks ago). I just took a pregnancy test (about 5 days before my expected
period), and it came out with a very faint 2nd pink line. is it possible to still be the herbal pill that is making the line come, or is it more likely that i am pregnant. please help, I really hope I am pregnant. thanks for
your time.

ANSWER: I'm not familiar with herbal pregnancy pills. I tend to recommend and make teas for my clients.  I don't know if it could cause a false positive. I suppose if the estrogen readings were high enough, it might, but without knowing exactly what's in it I can't say for certain. I would suggest you get another test. If your period doesn't show up and you get another positive reading, go get a blood test from your doctor. That's one sure way to tell. Good Luck!

QUESTION
: I need some holistic remedy advice about achieving pregnancy with one fallopian tube.  I am 41 years old, 5’3”, 165 pounds, basically healthy, with two birth children, now 5 ˝ and 3 ˝.  They were achieved with IVF as a result of blocked fallopian tubes from 1983.  I had my right fallopian tube removed in October 2002 after a hydrosalpinx.  After my damaged right tube (tube only – ovary still there) was removed, my infertility doctor said the remaining left tube “works pretty good.”  Let me stress, the left fallopian tube is intact and working, after the doctor ‘straightened it out’.  Dr. gave a 3% chance of achieving pregnancy again.  She said this estimate was due to previous infertility history, possible re-kinking of my left tube, inability to assess the internal tubal damage to the scilia, and my upcoming age.

I am also seeing a natural family planning registered nurse who is teaching the Creighton Model FertilityCare System, which tracks and monitors cervical mucus, menstrual cycles, ovulation, etc.  So far everything seems right on track to her, and possibly I am pre-menopausal – of course – I’m 41! !!

Okay, so I have a few questions,
1. Have you heard of or read information on-line about FELOPIO?  It’s supposedly a $600 tampon-like herbal cleanser for fallopian tubes.   Is this for real?  Is this any good?  Do you have anything that’s cheaper, that works just as good that doesn’t involved ramming something next to my cervix, and inviting a host of other possible germs into my body?
2. What is known for re-healing the scilia or the inside of fallopian tubes, OR increasing fertility factors, OR increasing mucus, ovulation or
increasing production of MORE eggs?
3. Where is the best place to purchase ingredients or teas?  I have ONE place that has been recommended locally with a good reputation and firm knowledge of holistic / natural remedy.

What else SHOULD I ask you?  You get the general picture.  I am praying for another healthy baby.  And, I’ve had to fight and research everything in my life, so why should baby #3 be any different?

Thank you so much for your attention,

ANSWER: I've never heard of Felopio, but $600 seems pretty expensive to me. With only one fallopian tube, your chances of conceiving are pretty much cut in half. Add to that your age, and the fact that you very well could be pre-menopausal, and the chances go down even more. Still, nothing is impossible.
 
My first approach to anyone who is suffering from infertility is to check their diet and stress levels. Did you know that stress is the number one reason cited in multiple studies on infertility? And judging from my increase of mail on this subject, I don't doubt it.
 
Make sure you are eating well and taking a quality supplement of B complex. Also, no processed foods or impure water. Making those changes alone will help you become healthier.
 
If you have a local source for holistic natural remedies, I would check with them first to see what they can offer you.
 
Of course, I have a special tea I formulated because of the large number of women suffering from this problem. It is called Fertili-TEA and it is a combination of herbs known as endocrine, uterine and liver tonics.  Getting your hormonal system in good health is important, as is a healthy reproductive system. (As healthy as it can be with only one fallopian tube). If you're interested, you can purchase the tea at my website at www.allgoodegifts.com in the Herb Shoppe.


INFERTILITY:
QUESTION: I am 31 years old and have secondary infertility.  My son is 6 years old and about a year after he was born I was diagnosed with Graves Disease.  I had radioactive iodine treatment to kill off my thyroid and now take Levoxyl each morning.   About two and a half years ago my husband and I started trying to get pregnant.  Nine months ago we started fertility treatments and found out that I wasn't ovulating, and had stage 3 endometriosis.  Since then we have done 3 rounds of 100 mg of Clomid with IUI and 2 cycles with
injectable gonadotropins and IUI and have had no success.  The cycle we just finished was the worst.  Typically what has happened is we would do a treatment cycle, it would fail, then we would be getting ready for the next cycle and find out that I had an ovarian cyst so they would put me on birth control pills and then kick up my treatment for the next cycle.  For the last cycle, I was on the maximum amount of injectables and my ovaries barely responded.  We are taking a few months off before our final treatment cycle and I wanted to go ahead and start taking herbal treatments but I'm not sure what combinations to take or what doses.  Also, I have had hostile cervical mucous and low progesterone but this could be due to the fertility drugs I was on.  Here are the things that I was considering starting.  Can you tell me if it's ok to take all of them, when I should take them and what doses??

Damiana
Dong Quai
Royal Jelly
False Unicorn Root
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
Wild Yam
Chasteberry Tea or Vitex
Black Cohosh
Red Clover
Licorice Root
Evening Primrose

Thank you!!!

ANSWER: All of the herbs you listed are in my Fertili-TEA and will help build up your endocrine and reproductive systems. I wouldn't suggest taking any hormones or birth control pill if you truly want to take the natural route. It will just confuse your body and take longer for your system to repair itself.
        The best way to take these would be in a tea. Make sure they are organic. Use 3 times as much wild yam as other ingredients, and take 3-4 cups per day, 1 tsp of tea mix per cup.
         Or, you can order Fertili-TEA at my website at http://www.allgoodegifts.com/ .  In the Herb Shoppe, go to Teas.

FERTILITY
QUESTION:
My husband and I have been trying to conceive for over a year with no luck.   I was pregnant once when we were young and had a miscarriage.  Last June I stopped having my period, after 2.5 months without a period and 5 different home pregnancy tests all showing negative I went to a midwife. Doctors kept trying to give me birth control pills, and a friend suggested I try her out.  She ran tests and discovered I don't produce progesterone and prescribed Provera.  After a month I began getting my period back and continued taking the Provera for 3 months but still didn't conceive.  She has now put me on progesterone cream that I bought at our local health food store, prenatal vitamins, women's one a day vitamin and zinc.  She is a
holistic midwife and suggested that we try herbal fertility pills. When I asked the man at the health food store, he told me that the FDA will not allow pill makers to put herbal fertility pill labels on any bottle due to it being illegal and gave me the reason why but I don't remember.  He also said that with the hormone cream that taking a "Herbal fertility pill" would not be the best route to take and suggested Dong Quai, which after
researching on the internet I didn't see where this would help with infertility issues.  I did however find herbal fertility pills with the labeling of "HERBAL FERTILITY PILL SUPPLEMENT" listed right on the label.  My question is will this dong quai help with infertility issues, was this man blowing smoke rings up my butt or does the FDA not allow such labeling on herbal pills, will the mixture of hormone cream and herbal fertility pills counter-act the goal I am trying to reach and is there another kind of herbal fertility pill that you would suggest trying?

ANSWER:
The man at the Health Food Store was not blowing smoke. The FDA is very
strict with herbalists and anything that doesn't have the FDA seal of approval on it, cannot claim any healing properties, whether there is evidence to the contrary or not! Dong Quai is reportedly helpful in
increasing fertility as are several other herbs: Wild Yam, licorice root, sassafras bark, vitex, and false unicorn root.  I make a wonderful "Fertili-TEA if you're interested. Just e-mail me with the word ORDER in your subject. Not knowing what is in the fertility pills, I can't answer whether there would be interactions with the cream you are using. I would need a complete list of the ingredients in both. I don't like pills especially, although that's becoming the norm these days. I prefer teas because they are gentler to the system. Also, the warmth of the tea is very good for the female reproductive system.


CONTINUATION OF ABOVE CONSULT
QUESTION:
What is in your fertilit-tea.  what can I take besides herbs to help me become pregnant?

ANSWER:
My Fertili-tea contains wild yam root, licorice root, sassafras bark, vitex, stevia, ginger root, cinnamon bark, and false unicorn root.  Besides the above mentioned herbs, there are many things you can do to increase your fertility.  The biggest factor in women being infertile today, believe it or not, is stress.  Anything you can do to de-stress your life will go far in relaxing your system so you can function properly. Exercise regularly, but not to excessively, as that can affect fertility as well. Eat a well-balanced diet avoiding animal fats, fried foods, all processed foods, sugar, caffeine, alcohol and smoking.  Selenium, vitamin C and E and Zinc are the supplements that are helpful to maintain fertility.

INDUCING LABOR: CUMIN
QUESTION:
Does cumin tea help induce labor?  Also, I boiled a cup of hot water and one teaspoon of cumin and 1 cinnamon stick and drank it, was that right?

ANSWER:
I've had several questions relating to this. Why are you trying to induce your labor? Babies come in their own sweet time unfortunately, and though it can be frustrating, they will arrive when it's time. If, however, you are having problems, you should seek professional medical assistance immediately. Inducing labor is very dangerous and could be fatal to you and your child, so please seek medical help.

INDUCING LABOR: BLUE COHOSH
QUESTION:
I
started taking blue cohosh today (2 capsules every 2 hours) when or if is this stuff gonna start labor?

ANSWER:
Why are you trying to induce labor? If you are pregnant and having difficulties, you need to get to a doctor immediately or to a holistic midwife. They will best be able to advise you. Inducing labor is very dangerous and should only be done under the care and supervision of a medical professional.

QUESTION: I am 32 y/o.  I have had two previous successful pregnancies.  The last one was 11 years ago.  After that pregnancy, I had the Norplant placed and removed 5 years later.  During the first 24 months or so after removal, I had no periods.  Then for the next 2-3 years, I had severe, heavy bleeding with heavy
clotting.  At one point, it was so bad that I became severely anemic and was hospitalized and almost
received a blood transfusion. (Hemoglobin was 5.0) I have tried several different hormone therapies.  Some
worked for a short time and others only made the flow heavier.  I have had a D&C every summer for the past 3
years.  They have removed uterine polyps that were benign.  Then last fall, I saw an infertility specialist who diagnosed me with PCOD and Endometriosis.  I was placed on Glucophage (my lab result for this was 6.0) I was also scheduled for a laprascopy for the Endometriosis.  (I have wanted to become pregnant for several years)  After taking the Glucophage for 3 weeks, I became pregnant.  So, the Lap procedure was cancelled.  Every thing was fine/normal in the pregnancy until January the 7th of this year.  At 20 1/2 weeks, my water broke and I delivered my son prematurely.  He was stillborn.  The only abnormality shown in the lab work was my protein S and protein C panels.  They showed that a blood clot was formed in the placenta.  I bled after the delivery for about a week and a half, (not terribly heavy) then nothing until 3 weeks ago.  I started by spotting and now it is heavy with large dark clots and isn't seeming to slow at all.  I am taking my iron to
hopefully prevent anemia again.  My clots at times are the size of apples.  I have this overwhelming heavy
feeling in my abdomen when passing the clots.  What can I try that is homeopathic before giving up
and having a complete hysterectomy at the age of 32? I would love to have at least one more child as my
husband has no biological children and this is a desire of both of hearts but the experience recently
has me scared to try again.

ANSWER: First let me say how sorry I am for your loss. My first recommendation for you is to get your periods normalized. Keep taking the iron supplements as well as Vitamin E. 400-800 I.U. every day, along with B complex.  I have a tea that is especially helpful for endometriosis and the normalization of menses. If you're interested, please e-mail me with the word ORDER in the subject line for more information.  Avoid dong quai and angelica during menstruation as they can promote bleeding. Vitex, wild yam, sassafras and ginger root will make a nice tea and help to ease the clotting and discomfort.

QUESTION:
my husband and I are currently seeking treatment for infertility, as we have been for the past 5 years.  The doctor we are currently seeing is suggesting alternative therapies, in addition to the usual process.  Part of what he suggested is to research herbs that may assist in this.  My ovarian response is poor; many in vitro cycles have been cancelled for us because of this.  Are there any herbs that might help, that you can suggest?  I have no ongoing illness, and my only known allergy is to Penicillin.  I would
appreciate any suggestions you have.

ANSWER:  There are   many herbs for fertility. Vitex, wild yam, dong quai and false unicorn root   are just a few.   I make a   wonderful "Fertili - TEA" if you're interested. E-mail me with the word ORDER   in your subject line for more info.  Also, reduce any stress or tension in   your life as this is often linked to infertility.

QUESTION: I have PCOS my doctor gave me Clomid and Provea to help me cycle every month and Clomid to help me ovulate. My question is I want to know what kind of herb show I take for my body.  I don't have a period at all without medication. I just started taking these pills and I 'm not pregnant yet. Do you think I should exercise my body to help me get pregnant. It is hard for me. I'm only 25yrs.old and I don't know what to do with myself feeling like this because every time I go to the doctor and they give me pills to help me get my period back to normal nothing works for me. Please tell me what should I do

ANSWER: I wouldn't suggest taking herbs with prescription medications without a medical professional's OK. The drug interactions can be severe. My suggestion would be to get your periods normalized before considering getting pregnant.  I have an excellent tea to help normalize menstruation in normal, healthy women. If you're interested, e-mail me with the word ORDER in the subject line for more info.


QUESTION:
 
I am 33 and have been off the birth control pill for 6 months. Recently I had blood work done to determine why I was unable to conceive.  My results are below:

Cycle 6 Day 3:
* LH 4.0 (normal)
* FSH 11.4 (told they like less than 10)
* Estradiol 83 (told they like less than 50)

Cycle 5 Day 22:
* Progesterone 23.3 (ovulation happened)
* Prolactin 11.0 (normal)
* TSH 1.95 (normal)

I use OPK test and charting to determine ovulation and it normally happens around cycle day 14. I normally have my period every 28 days. The period is normal.  I'm wondering if there is anything I can take to decrease my FSH and Estradiol levels?

ANSWER: 
Looking at your labs, it appears there is an imbalance in the liver. The potentially detrimental estrogen components known as estradiol and estrone are normally converted by the liver into estriol. Estriol's function is to decrease the activity of the detrimental effects of estradiol and estrone. This process is dependent on the health of the liver and the endocrine glands. Before trying to conceive, I would get my system in check. Try the following:  Increase your intake of complex carbs which are found in veggies, whole grains, beans and fruit. Increase your intake of eggs, garlic, onions and beans for sulfur containing amino acids. Increase your intake of antioxidants and take vitamins C, E and Selenium to increase the detoxification of the estrogen. Decrease your intake of saturated animal fats, milk and dairy products, with the exception of natural plain yogurt, members of the cabbage family, (cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli) I know these are considered great for general health, but they wreak havoc on your thyroid and may contribute to the excess estrogen in your system.  Eliminate ALL sugar, white flour, and refined foods, caffeine, and red meat from your diet. The following herbs are helpful to build up the liver and the endocrine system: yellow dock, dandelion, burdock, wild yam, astragalus, licorice, ginger, pau d'arco, fo-ti, vitex and dong quai.

QUESTION: I am 26 years old  and have been a fertility patient for about 2 years. So far, our physician has found nothing wrong with either my husband or myself, but all procedures have failed. Last month, my
chiropractor recommended several herbs for fertility and blood stagnation.  When I went in this month to do another fertility round, they said that my Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) was too high to attempt a treatment. Since I have never had this problem before and have only recently started the herbs, do you think the herbs could be negatively influencing this hormone? Any information would be helpful. thanks! I am
currently taking Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang (dong-quai root, cattail pollen, red peoney root, sichuan lovage rhizome, myrrh, ginger rhizome, cordalis rhizome, cinnamon bark fennel fruit), Resolve Xiao Yao (Thoroughwax root, dong quai rood, red peony root, attactylodes rhizome, poria, tree peony bark, gardenia fruit, safflower, peach seed) and ease menses, (fig fruit, finger citron fruit, tribulus fruit, thoroghwax root, jujube seed, rugosse rose flower, licorice root)

ANSWER:   
Wow! That's quite a combination! It's hard to tell which if any of the herbs you're currently taking could be affecting the hormones. But herbs tend to work very slowly, with the body. Although certainly not impossible, it seems odd that it would change in just a month. It sounds like you're taking compounds instead of the plain herbs in a tea. There could be other ingredients in there that are causing the problems. What does your Chiropractor say? Have you discussed it with him and asked his opinion? Since he is the one who prescribed them for you, that would be my first step. I find the following herbs useful in increase fertility and balance in women: Wild yam, licorice root, sassafras, vitex, dong quai, ginger, unicorn root, and cinnamon.. Rehmania and Astragalus root can also be helpful in some situations. Speak with your Chiropractor and see what he advises.  If you are interested, I can make a fertili TEA for you, but I wouldn't recommend it with all the other herbs you're currently taking.

QUESTION:   My husband and I have been dealing with infertility for 3 years now.  We have both been tested and results have been good.  We achieved pregnancy 2 years ago after I used herbs for about 8 mos.  Unfortunately, we lost that baby and started synthetic treatments, which were unsuccessful.  After a more
relaxed approach over the last year, I intend on starting to take my herbs again.  I plan on a detox program first and then adding my herbs to my daily routine in a few months.  My question is this, initially, I took vitex from mensus to mensus and dong quai after confirmed ovulation to mensus with the advise of my herbalist.  I am now finding more contradictory information about the use of dong quai.  I have found information that says dong quai should be taken continuously for 2 months and then only after ovulation subsequent months.  I've also seen that it should be taken continuously and not stopped. (Understanding it should be stopped once pregnancy is confirmed).  What is your advise?

ANSWER:  Dong Quai should not be used during menstruation or pregnancy at all. So I'm confused as to why you were told to take it for 2 months continuously. I wouldn't advise that. If you are trying to conceive, I have a wonderful Fertili-TEA that I make. If you're interested, please e-mail me with the word ORDER in the subject line. The Vitex is safe for you to take.

MALE FERTILITY:
QUESTION:
 
I have a male sterility problem. My wife and me are trying to conceive  our first baby since 5 years I'm 35 and my wife is 34 years old. I had a left side varicocele problem, I did an chirurgical operation to remove it since two years, but there no result until now. I have an oligo/asthenospermia (low quantity and motility of sperms). Our doctor suggest us the IVF with ICSI but it's too expensive for us. That's we are looking for alternative herbal medicine. Do you have any suggestion for us.

Yesterday I went to an Chinese herbal store, the suggest us this fertility pills which contains this composition:
- Epimedium Macranthum  10.2 %
- Radix angelicae sinensis  7.7%
- ligusticum wallichii           2.5%
- achyranthes bidentata      10.2%
- cuscuta chinensis            7.7%
- Semen plantaginis            7.7%
- curculigo orchioides          7.7%
- Radix paeoniae alba          7.7%
- Rehmannia glutinosa         10.2%
- glochidion  puberum           7.7%
- fructus schizandrae            7.7%
- lycium shinense                 13.0%
I have to take this 10 pills twice a day for one month

According to you are these herbs safe for consumption, and is it helpful to solve our problem. I appreciate your help and look forward to your response

ANSWER:  
Unfortunately, I am not a Chinese herbalist, so I have no experience with Chinese herbs. Your best bet there is someone at the Chinese Herb store. I have found most Chinese proprietors of these establishments to be very knowledgeable.  You didn't say if your wife has any fertility problems or has been tested. There are several herbs that are reputed to have very good success with increasing fertility in both men and women. I have several custom formulations that I make for this purpose and would be happy to make some for you if you are interested. I would caution you, however, not to take my preparations in conjunction with the Chinese medicines you are taken and there could be interactions that are unfavorable.

INDUCING LACTATION:
QUESTION: 
 
My sister-in-law is adopting a newborn in June and is going to try to induce lactation naturally, so that she can breastfeed.  Fenugreek and blessed thistle have been recommended as herbs to promote lactation.  Are there others which might help? How should they be used and at what amounts?

ANSWER: 
Vitex, Hops, Nettle and Raspberry leaf are also good for stimulating milk production. Also, make sure she is drinking plenty of good water. I would make them into a tea and take them 3 to 4 times a day. Equal parts is fine. I have two excellent teas to encourage and enrich milk flow.  If you are interested, please e-mail me with the word ORDER in your subject line.

MASTITIS
QUESTION:
I am breastfeeding my 6 month old baby and have been having reocurring mastitis.  I have been treated with antibiotics 5 or 6 times and it keeps coming back.  I am currently on garlic and lecitin.  I need something to stop the bacteria, not necessarily to build the milk flow, if anything I have too much milk. Any ideas?

ANSWERS: Mastitis can be caused by either a staph infection, or by an infectious yeast called Candida.  The recommended treatments for each are different, so confirm with your doctor the exact cause before attempting to treat.  If you are nursing, Aloe gel and Calendula crčme will help relieve pain and inflammation. Marshmallow Root, infused in water and allowed to steep overnight, added to a sink of warm water makes an excellent bath to immerse and massage the breasts. This will help relieve the pain and excess milk.  Make sure the breasts are completely emptied. Nurse or pump at least once a day to reduce mil build up as this can contribute to ongoing mastitis.

QUESTION: I am  12 weeks pregnant. Just going into my second trimester. I have been having some swollen glands and cold like symptoms. I was wondering what you thought about medicinal mushrooms during pregnancy. I would like to take Host Defense. I have been told it is safe, but wanted to ask. Also what
about Astragalus root extract and Echinacea?

ANSWER:
Congratulations on your pregnancy! I don't have any knowledge of "medicinal mushrooms", so can't help you with that one, but I don't even recommend aspirin to pregnant women. Have you spoken to your doctor? I am not familiar with "Host Defense" either. I tend to stick with the natural herbs taken in a tea or in a tincture. Some of the compounds that folks are making up these days might cause more harm than good, so please be careful.

All that said, there are several herbs that are considered "safe" during pregnancy. As always, consult your doctor before taking any medication, herbal or otherwise while you are pregnant. The following herbs may be helpful.  

Blessed Thistle Leaf - a liver tonic and simulates blood flow to the mammary glands and increases and enriches the flow of mother's milk.
Burdock Root  - full of vitamins and minerals. Also a very mild diuretic.

Chamomile - this one is a must for pregnant women. It is calming, can help with morning sickness if mixed with Ginger and is high in calcium.
Dandelion - Vitamin a, Calcium and iron. High in potassium and may help lower blood pressure
Red Raspberry leaf - Considered "the" herb for pregnancy. It tones and nourishes the uterine muscles, is rich in vitamins and minerals and is high in iron. It enriches and increased the flow of milk, helps restore the system following childbirth and can be safely taken all 9 months long.

REMOVING BIRTH CONTROL PILLS FROM SYSTEM
QUESTION:
  I want to clean birth control out of my system can you tell me what to use? I have been told everything form goldenseal to green tea, I am not sure what to use?

ANSWER:  Chaste Tree Berry, Latin Named: Vitex agnus-castus has been effectively used to help women go off birth control pills and normalize their hormones.  I would also suggest Raspberry, Latin Named: Rubus idaeus leaf to strengthen the uterus.  Additionally, Helonious Root also called False Unicorn, Latin Name Chamaelirium luteum has also been used for women coming of birth control pills.
Other methods for detoxification would include alterative herbs which help increase elimination, sweating, fasting and juicing. I would seek a qualified holistic practitioner in your area for help.


BLUE COHOSH TO INDUCE LABOR
QUESTION:
I am going to induce labor next week and I was trying to do it at home first. I got some blue and black cohosh but I am unsure of how much to take. Can you please help me? I have the pills not the tea.

ANSWER:  Congratulations on your blessed event...  

First I will say that there is not enough information in your question for me to give a good answer.  Are you late, are you under the care of a MD or midwife, do you want to deliver at home...many more?  Do not self medicate...seek professional advice.

I am not sure why you are inducing labor yourself most mothers for thousands of years have entered the delivery phase of their pregnancy without the use of pharmaceuticals or herbal medicines, Inducing labor should be managed by a professional healthcare practitioner normally post 41st week.  If this is the case you should see your, ob-gyn or midwife immediately.

To simply answer your question on the herbs mentioned:

Although, Blue Cohosh Latin Name: Caulophyllum thalictroides has been used for millenniums by Native Americans for the delivery of late babies; there has been some concern about the use of Blue Cohosh recently in the medical community, with two cases of post delivery distress of the baby's heart.  Although a direct and clear connection to Blue Cohosh has not been made and 2 cases out of the millions of babies delivered is not a large sample size; any concern should be your concern for your unborn child.  The FDA has listed one of the constituents in Blue Cohosh, called anagyrine as tetragenic to humans especially for fetuses or unborn children.  Many questions have to be asked about this constituent, how much is in the Blue Cohosh pills you bought, how much is assimilated into the mother's blood stream when the pills, tea or tincture is consumed, how much can pass the placental barrier to the unborn child?  My suggestion as stated above that you should be able to proceed into the delivery phase of your pregnancy normally, I restate here, if you are in your 41st week seek professional advice on how to induce.  

Black Cohosh, Latin Name: Cimicifuga racemosa is not related to the plant Blue Cohosh at all, although Blue and Black Cohosh have some similar actions on the female body.  It can be used as a partus preparator in the last weeks of pregnancy where previous deliveries have been late.  It is best used as a fresh extract of the root when preparing an alcohol extract.  

My normal suggestion on dosing is to follow manufacturer's recommendations they know their product.   

If none are given, the following can be used as a suggested starting point, but I will state again seek professional healthcare advice do not self medicate at this phase in your pregnancy.

Tea:  1/2 teaspoon of dried root to 8 oz water boil for 15 minutes then let Steep 45 minutes drink 4 oz Three Times a Day

Tincture / Alcohol Extract: A fresh extract of root is best take 20 - 30 drops 3 or 4 times a day.

My most vehement advice is to seek professional advice and help immediately!! I cannot say it any plainer or stronger.  The most important phase of this 9 months of work is about to begin, make sure the child is the most important thought in your mind.  Be damned with natural or modern or anything else, deliver a happy healthy child.

ANSWERS FROM DAVID BRILL:
TAKING HERBS WHILE PREGNANT
QUESTION:
   I hope you  can help. I had been drinking some juice that I did not know
contained ginko biloba and american and siberian ginseng. I am 24 weeks
pregnant. What is the potential risk to  my baby? Or side effects ?

ANSWER:  Most food and drink products on the market do not put much of any actual herbs in their products, it is usually put on the label for the advertising and marketing appeal, not medicinal value.  I would suggest if you have not been consuming this product like it was water that the risks are low and side effects negligible or non existent.

The other thing I would note is you are out of the first trimester which is the most critical period during pregnancy.

Ginkgo is used to increase circulation to peripheral and cerebral areas.  For some this extra blood to the head can cause headaches.  For most it helps with circulation problems associated with old age, diabetes, Raynauds syndrome and drug induced impotence and lack of libido.

Of the Ginseng's; American and Siberian are less strong than the true Chinese Ginseng.  The Ginsengs are considered tonics and are used for the weak and depleted, elderly and to increase sports performance.  In most cases they help to balance body functions such as blood sugar and blood pressure.  They are considered adaptogens which are used to counteract stress.  In extremis Chinese Ginseng can increase blood pressure, especially for Type A personalities, but for most people if you do not have a problem these herbs usually don't do anything.  In China they are eaten in foods added to soups and stews or eaten by themselves.

Side effects are minimal for both Ginkgo and Ginseng.

The general precaution you will see with these herbs and many others is that safe levels have not been established for pregnancy, children and the elderly.  But again this is a general note.


RASPBERRY LEAF
QUESTION:
  I am 38 weeks pregnant with my second child. My first child was born 4 years ago by emergency caesarean section due to an undiagnosed breech presentation. My midwife originally sanctioned the use of raspberry leaf capsules to prepare my cervix for labour, as medical induction would increase my chances of having a repeat caesarean. However, she is now less enthusiastic in case the raspberry leaf extract brings on rapid and strong contractions, which could put undue pressure on my uterine scar. Do you think it is safe to take raspberry leaf extract in the circumstances and, if so, at what dosage please? Many thanks in anticipation.

ANSWER:  I am sorry it is not my place to question your midwifes decision on her therapy for you, only you and she can make those decisions.  My consul to you would be to investigate Raspberry leaf yourself at a local library or online and talk to your midwife about your and her concerns.  In all pregnancies, the goal is to deliver a happy healthy baby, your midwife is on your and the unborn childs side most of the cure of therapy is faith in the practitioners judgement, don't lose your faith in her now..


Here are two excellent books on pregnancy and child bearing herbs.  We also carry these books in our store, if you  cannot find them locally.

Herbalist and author, Susun Weed (Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year  ISBN:09614620-0-0, $9.95) http://www.susunweed.com 

Herbalist and author, Aviva Romm (Natural Healing for Babies and Children, $16.95; The Natural Pregnancy Book, $19.95; The Pocket Guide to Midwifery Care, , $6.95)

You can also read my other answers on pregnancy


ALFALFA
QUESTION:
  I have been trying to conceive for three months now with no luck. I have two children already and have gotten pregnant the first or second month for both. I was recently told to take alfalfa in order to increase my cervical mucus. I have not been having the most fertile cervical mucus since coming off of the bcp and was told to try this. Could this help? Have you ever heard of it having any effect on a womans' hormones?

ANSWER:  Alfalfa is also called the King of Herbs in the Middle East, Latin Name:   Medicago sativa It is a very nutrient rich herb containing caritonoids, B Complex, Vit D,E,K , flavanoids, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, trace elements, Iron & folic acid among others.  It is considered a herb with substantial amounts of phytosterols, phytoestrogens or isofavones, its actions is somewhat amphoteric (balancing) to the female reproductive system, it helps to regulates estrogen levels, by acting like estrogen when natural estrogen is deficient in the body and mimicing estrogen by taking up receptor sites when your body is over producing estrogen.  Alfalfa also contains 8 different digestive enzymes.  Helps lower cholesterol levels.  Useful nutritionally in anorexia, bulimia.  useful in allergies. And the seeds of the plant are folk remedy for arthritis.  One of the actions of your natural estrogen is the increase in mucus lining so theoretically alfalfa would do the same.

Susun Weed suggests that Red Clover works better than Alfalfa, but it is the "King of Herbs".

Other herbs that can be helpful include red clover blossums, nettles leaf and raspberry leafs.

Read my other answers online about this subject.


SAFE HERBS
QUESTION:
  I have been feeling unwell (feverish, sore throat, mouth ulcer) in the past
1˝ weeks. As I've always done in the past when I feel sick, I took a
herbal preparation over this period to quell the discomfort (took 5 sachets
in all). Each sachet contains the following herbs:

Radix Puerariae 4.8g
Herba Ephedrae 3.6g
Frutus Jujubae 2.4g
Ramulus Cinnamomi 2.4g
Radix Paeoniae Alba 2.4g
Radix Glycyrrhizae 2.4g
Rhizoma Zingiberis Recens 3.6g


Well, the question is, are these herbs safe for consumption by pregnant
ladies? You see, I've been taking it up to yesterday & am now about 4+
weeks pregnant. Since most pregnancy websites would advise pregnant mums
against taking herbs, I'm now very worried. Do you think there was any
harm done?

ANSWER:  Radix Puerariae 4.8g I am assuming this is the root of the Kudzu plant, Latin Named: Pueraria lobata, Radix means root,  this is used for fevers and pain in the muscles during flu or colds and supports heart function by dilating vessels.  Based on the fact that this is used as a food crop in some parts of the world, kudzu is believed to be reasonably safe. However the general warning given out to many herbs/supplements/drugs which have not been totally tested is that safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe kidney or liver disease has not been established.

Herba Ephedrae 3.6g  I am assuming this is the herb Ephedra, The Latin Name is Ephedra sinesis or Ephedra sinica along with other species being used, it also goes by the common name Ma Huang, use of the twigs and leaf is part used, Herba means Herbaceous part.  Again this plant is used for fever and headaches, it is a brochial dilate and dries sinus conditions, it is not a plant you want to overuse, it is very stimulating, it can cause hypertension and adrenal exhaustion.  This herb is definitely contraindicated in pregnancy.
 
Frutus Jujubae 2.4g Frutus means fruit, and I am assuming this ingredient is the fruit of the Jujube date, this is nuroushing to the body, good for stress.  Its Latin Name is Ziziphys jujube.  This is a great food, it also reduces toxicity of other things which are ingested.

Ramulus Cinnamomi 2.4g Ramulus means little branches or twig, this is the branches of a cinnamon, Cinnamon is used for circulatory problems, it helps with cold hands and feet, it is calming to the intestinal tract.  Medicinal quantities are contraindicated in pregnancy.

Radix Paeoniae Alba 2.4g This is the root of the Peony plant, There are several species used medicinally to move stagnant blood and control sweating and again it is contraindicated in pregnancy.

Radix Glycyrrhizae 2.4g This is the root of the Licorice Plant, one species is Latin Named: Glycorrhiza uralensis, it harmonized formulas, good as a antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral. It soothes mucus membranes.  This plant can cause hypertension in large quantities when used longterm.  I would probably avoid medicinal quantities in pregnancy.

Rhizoma Zingiberis Recens 3.6g  This is the Rhizome of the Ginger plant, it is good for circulation, it is calming to the digestive tract. It is good for cold and damp conditions, such as colds and flu.  It is great for motion sickness and nausea,  some women have used a tea made from the fresh plant for morning sickness and nausea in pregnancy, use a very small amount, less than a gram a day.  This plant is unusual because it helps calm nausea in small amounts but causes nausea in larger amounts.

FERTILITY TREATMENTS
QUESTION:
  .  My wife will be undergoing IVF treatment.  I see in one of your answers that Helonia Root helps to balance the female reproductive system.  It has been a problem for my wife, in the previous IVF cycles, to produce good sized, multiple, healthy eggs  (follicles?) to help the entire process.  Would using False Unicorn (Helonia Root/Chamaelirium leuteum) anyway interfere with what IVF is trying to accomplish and if not, would it help the aforementioned problem that my wife has?
A quick reply would be helpful since she will be starting the cycle end of this month. FYI, I just bought Red Raspberry extract for her as recommended by you.  Also, in general, how long these herbs would take to have a positive effect on a person, since we have only a month to take these herbs.  I would like to use herbs for increasing my sperm count/motility too. You have recommended Dong Chong Xia Cao and a few others.  Does this mean that I have to take all the five or so herbs that you have recommended or do I get a mixture of these essential herbs in one pill or extract form? 

ANSWER:  This is the chinese named plant Ge gen /googun/, known in the United States as Kudzu, Latin Named: Pueraria pseudo-hirsuta, P. pseudo-harsisa,    P. thunbergii has been used to lessen the craving for alcohol.

I would suggest the use of nervines and adaptogens such as Fresh Oats, Saint Johnswort, Lemon Balm and Siberian Ginseng taken as a formula several times a day.  If you are considered a alcoholic consider a non-alcohol based extracts such as glycerites or pills.

If there is a herbalist in your area, please seek their consult.

GOAT'S RUE
QUESTION:
  I have heard that goat's rue is the latest and greatest galactogogue. How well does it work compared to fenugreek and others, and what are the side effects? Which do you recommend?

ANSWER:  GOAT'S RUE, Latin Named: Galega officinalis

Goat's Rue has been used traditionally for agalactia (lack of milk flow after child birth), diabetes mellitus (some testing suggested increased insulin production because of increase pancreatic cell regeneration), hyperglycemia, edema/fluid retention.

The herb has the effect of increasing breast-milk production. It may also stimulate the development of the mammary glands. Has been used with some success in stimulating milk production in women that have not been pregnant but adopted
a child.

This herb should be used with caution, it is more widely accepted for external use.  Dosing and use should be provided by a qualified herbal/healthcare adviser.  Dosing suggestions start very low such as 5 drops and slowly work up one drop at a time to a maximum of 15 drops three times a day.

When used internally it has an unpleasant flavor and can nausea to some people.  If used in excess can cause nausea, vomiting, irritation and inflammation of the stomach and bowels.

Contraindications: pregnancy, ammenoraghia, internal use with caution

The other herbs normally used to increase breast milk have less cautions.  Fennel, Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle can be easily combined into a nice tea such as produced by Traditional Medicinals in their Mother's Milk Tea.

HERBS FOR LABOR
QUESTION:
  

I have read the information on your site about herbs used to help prepare for and progress through labor, however, I still have some specific questions that I am hoping you will address.

First, I am interested to know when to start using the Evening Primrose Oil (how long, typically, does this take to work) and then when to start using the Blue Cohosh (does this typically start to work immediately or take a week or more to get you to full labor?), and how much to take.  Also, would you be able to direct me to a site where I can find the Mother's Cordial Syrup, as I have had no luck.

I appreciate your time and look forward to your response

ANSWER:  .The Blue Cohosh and Evening Primrose Oil should be used 2-4 weeks prior to your delivery date.  If using the Mother's cordial you will not need the Blue Cohosh.  As to where you can obtain the Cordial will carry it in our store and mail order every day, please give us a call and ask for my wife Susanna.

IRRITABLE UTERUS
QUESTION:
  I just found out I am pregnant with my third child, and I am a little nervous because I had preterm labor (caused by an irritable uterus) and eight months total of bedrest with my first two children. A few years ago I met a woman who had had two premature babies, but with her third child she drank an herbal tea for the entire pregnancy and had no problems with preterm labor. I've looked around and can't find anything that is supposed to relax the uterus, which this woman said the tea she drank did. I would love to find anything that would help me avoid the medication and bedrest I had to endure with my previous pregnancies.

I just found out I am pregnant with my third child, and I am a little nervous because I had preterm labor (caused by an irritable uterus) and eight months total of bedrest with my first two children. A few years ago I met a woman who had had two premature babies, but with her third child she drank an herbal tea for the entire pregnancy and had no problems with preterm labor. I've looked around and can't find anything that is supposed to relax the uterus, which this woman said the tea she drank did. I would love to find anything that would help me avoid the medication and bedrest I had to endure with my previous pregnancies.

ANSWER:  The premiere herb for the uterus is Raspberry Leaf, my wife used it throughout her entire pregnancy to strengthen and tonify the uterus, her first child she delivered in a couple of hours fairly painfree.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, they coin a phrase called "restless fetus", which means the baby wants to come out early..

The following herbs are used for it

Mugwort, in pill form
Eucommia bark as a tea
Scutellaria root, the tea is yucky a alcohol extract would be easier to consume
Dang Qui you must use alcohol extract which relaxes the uterus, as a tea it contracts the uterus

It would be best to find a herbalist and/or a midwife in your area to consult with.


HERBS AFFECTING FERTILITY
QUESTION: 
I am hoping you can answer my question. I will be trying to conceive starting in mid May. I am taking a bunch of herbs that help my hormones, skin and hair :).. I've been taking them for about a year or so, and was wondering if it was ok to take up until the time i become pregnant... Can you enlighten me on this.. My nurse practitioner said that I should stop all of them now. But I would like the opinion of an Herbalist. I will understand if the Black Cohosh has to go.. etc..Thank you very much..

By the way, I am a pharmacist, and have read many things on herbs,but get conflicting views,etc.. Thanks so much in advance. I have read most of your answers online already.. but most of them do not deal with pre-conception.
I am taking the following herbs in tinctures, the first 3 tinctures say they have between 47-5-% grain alcohol.
Skin Clear-    Yellow Dock,Echinacea,Sarsaparilla,Burdock,Oregon Grape,Red Clover.
Mennaplause-     Black Cohosh,Dong Quai,Chaste Tree,Siberian Ginseng,Wild Yam,Oats
Horsetail + Fo-Ti-     Horsetail, Fo-Ti, Nettles,Red Clover,Burdock
Squaw Vine tincture with  roughly 13% alcohol.
also, Chastetree herbs in capsule form with Dong Quai..

ANSWER:  This is the general warning you will see for many herbs, safety for pregnant or nursing women, young children, or individuals with severe liver or kidney disease have not been established again it is a general warning.  I am in agreement with your nurse practitioner I would go off whatever you can, curiously many issues clear themselves up during pregnancy and I err on the side of caution.  This is your choice in the end you must weight the benefit to cost ratio.  Educating yourself as you are doing is the best solution.  One herb which is normally given throughout pregnancy is Red Raspberry leaf to strengthen the uterus, I would also go on folic acid 800 - 1200 mcg a day.  For a natural childbirth find a Midwife in your area that is familiar with herbs.

One good reference on the web and a site you may wish to visit it is called The Natural Pharmacist www.tnp.com. Another great site for chemical constituents and actions of medicinal plants is Jim Dukes at  http://www.ars-grin.gov/duke/  Another good source for information is the herbal PDR written by the same company that writes the Physician Desk Reference on drugs, we carry it in our store if you would like to mail-order it.  Another book for your library is called the Botanical Safety Handbook, Editors include Michael McGuffin, CHristopher Hobbs, Roy Upton, Alicia Goldberg, and Daniel Gagnon is listed in the Acknowledgements section. It is put out by the AMerican Herbal Products Asociation.

We carry the PDR in our store and can get the Botanical Safety Handbook if you can't find them locally, we mail-order everyday.

And now the herbs you asked about.

Yellow Dock is used for inflammation of the skin, acne etc. It can stimulant a laxative effect so possible side effects of overuse include cramps, diarrhea, nausea.  In addition, yellow dock contains oxalic acid so for those prone to kidney stones avoidance may be cautioned.  In general Yellow Dock can cause nausea, use in small amounts, what it does do is help with mineral and nutrient absorption so it is excellent to combine with highly nutritious herbs like nettles or horsetail taken as a tea of dry in pill or powder form.

Echinacea is a immune potentiator and considered by some a blood cleanser, no contraindication in pregnancy have been established, It can cause mild GI upset or allergic reaction, no known herb drug interaction. It has been tested in high doses without toxicity.

Sarsaparilla is used as an anti-inflammatory especially to the skin or connective tissue, good alterative which helps the body to increase elimination of toxins, can increase diuresis drink plenty of water,  no contraindication in pregnancy have been tested.  Generally known as non toxic.

Burdock a great alterative, the sugars constituents of the herb slow the body's uptake of sugar from the GI tract, used in the popular herbal Cancer formulas called 1.) Hoxey and 2.) Essiac good for chronic conditions of the skin, caution is given for hypoglycemia when used in large amounts, Burdock root is eaten a vegetable in Japan on a regular basis without toxicity.

Oregon Grape is used again as an alterative to cleanse the body recommend for acne, psoriasis, eczema, its constituent berberine is used as an antibiotic,  it is contraindicated in pregnancy because the berberine has been found as a uterine stimulant causing contraction in testing.

Red Clover again is listed as an alterative, is recommended for the treatment of acne, eczema, psoriasis, and other skin diseases, it is also used in cancer formulas, normally non toxic.  It is listed on the FDA's GRAS (generally recognized as safe) list, and is consumed regularly in teas and as a wild food.  However it has been shown to have blood-thinning and estrogen-like constituents and the general warning given is use by pregnant or nursing women should be avoided although safety levels have not been studied or established.  A possible herb drug interaction could occur with blood thinning, anticoagulant drugs

Black Cohosh is normally given to menopausal women for issues concerning this timeframe in their lives along with pain in muscles especially pain in the uterus for women, it is also indicated for doom and gloom depression associated with female reproductive issues or conditions, a contraindication for pregnancy is given because the herb can effect blood pressure either up or down idiosyncratically.  It should also be taken with food because stomach upset seems to be a common side effect.

Dong Quai this herb is generally regarded as nontoxic and is also used in FRS issue like Black Cohosh, it is contraindicated in pregnancy in at least the first trimester, use during pregnancy should be guided by a qualified herbalist.

Chaste Tree is again an FRS herb, use during pregnancy is contraindicated because of a reported ability to lower prolactin levels.  This herb does not contain phytoestrogens but works via the pituitary balancing FSH (folicle stimulating hormone) and LH (lutenizing hormone).  It is used for elevated estrogen and normal to low progesterone OR normal estrogen and low progesterone hormone levels. 

Siberian Ginseng is considered an adaptogen helping the body deal with stress, it is considered safe and non toxic one side effect for some is over stimulation leading to insomnia

Wild Yam is used for menstrual cramps, nausea, gas and diarrhea, it does not contain and human hormones it does contain chemicals which have structures which can be used as a starting point for chemists to produce synthetic human hormones, as of this writing there are no contraindication indicated or demonstrated for this herb but again there is little if any testing done.

Fresh oats is a great nervine, building to the bodies nervous system food for it when we are pushing ourselves and burning the candle at both ends or have a nervous system problem, neurasthenia. It is considered non toxic and safely consumed as a food worldwide.  The Contraindications are  Celiac disease, high gluten allergy

Horsetail is a great nutritive herb, builder to the skin, nails and hair, it is also a diuretic however it has been listed as contraindicated in pregnancy because the fresh herb has an enzyme that destroys B1, this is not so in the dry herb.  The herb is also said to contain small amounts of nicotine also contraindicated in pregnancy.

Fo-Ti is a bad common name it refers to several plants and several preparations of this herb, I will talk about the Latin Named:  Polygonium multiflorum, FO-TI. This herb can cause a laxative effect and has been used for women because of its high iron content to help restore blood issues. It is used in a wide range of formulas in TCM

Nettles is nutritive as the leaf building the body and blood because it is highly nutritious, It is a diuretic but builder to the kidney as the seed helping to restore structure and function when kidney are failing and can trophorestore them, As the root this herb is indicated with Saw Palmetto to help with BPH issues.  No contraindications are given

Squaw Vine is a common name used for several plants, one is Blue Cohosh, Latin Named: Caulophyllum thalictroides it is usually used in the last weeks of pregnancy to prepare the uterus for delivery, it is indicated for ovarian pain and inflammation in small joint from arthritis.  A second plant with the common name squaw vine is Latin Named Mitchella repens Valued for its use in symptoms related to pelvic congestion. Painful menstruation (before onset) with heavy or clotted bleeding. Delayed or absent period. Chronic vaginal discharges. Hemorrhoids. Pelvic conditions with fluid congestion. A Native American-inspired tonic given in the last trimester of pregnancy for easy labor.

DRAGONS EGGS
QUESTION: 
  I was recently in a health store and the clerk was telling me about a powerful fertility dose called dragons eggs have you ever heard of this? She was real evasive and was saying it caused multiple births and then got real tight lipped.  Any truth here?

ANSWER:  I have never heard of this product and can find any research to familiarize myself with the ingredients.  If you cannot determine the ingredients, I would not ingest any product, including this one.  The vagueness does not give me a warm and fuzzy feeling about this product and without more to go on, my advice is to avoid its use.

Read my other answers online about pregnancy and getting pregnant.

RIPENING THE CERVIX
QUESTION: 
  I want to ripen my cervix to prepare for labor.  I used cohosh with my first child and was 4cm dilated when I went in.  I can not remember if it is blue cohosh or black cohosh that does this.  I have also heard of using evening primrose oil vaginally and orally.  Which one would be better and how much would you use?

ANSWER:   Blue Cohosh, has been used traditionally to start a poky labor and prep a woman for delivery.

According to a CNM friend of mine, Evening Primrose Oil is given in the last couple weeks of pregnancy to soften the cervix.  She recommends 1-2 caps up to 3 times a day.  She has also seen them used intravaginally, apply at night so they dissolve inside you while you sleep and don't fall out.  The EPO is a natural prostaglandin.  Prostaglandin are used as the first step during induction for women who do not go into labor on their own.

My wife used a product called Mother's cordial, she was in labor for 2 1/2 hours with our first child, quick and fairly pain free.  For more information You can read about this product and my other answers online about questions asked on pregnancy and labor/delivery which have been asked in the past.

OVULATION
QUESTION:
Hi my husband and I are  trying to conceive a child and i just cant stand or take the normal course of hormone therapy I went through 3 months of clomid and almost became single again, I was moody and  such I have very irregular cycles and have been tested for everything, My uterus and tubes are clear but I just don't ovulate ,my husbands sperm tested excellent so the problems lie with me and I am 31 and have diabetes and high  blood pressure and also a thyroid problem is there any thing you recommend that will get me to ovulate

ANSWER:  The following herbs have been used for ovulation problems

Nu Zhen zi, Shiny Privet, Ligustrum fruit, Latin Named: Ligustrum lucidum

Blue Cohosh, Latin Name: Caulophyllum thalictroides in small amounts.

Helonia Root, (False Unicorn), Latin Name  Chamaelirium leuteum works well with Chaste Tree for women coming off birth control medications to normalize hormones.
If you are going to use this one make sure of the Latin name for proper identification, there are other commonly named plants with Unicorn or even False Unicorn as their name.

Read my other answers online about this issue. 

POST PARTUM DEPRESSION
QUESTION:
I have a mild post partum depression (anxiety and anger) and I am still nursing my ten month old. I want to remedy the PPD with herbs instead of Zoloft, Paxil, etc. My midwife
advised St. John's wort and kava kava. Can I take these in conjuNction with
each other so that it won't affect the baby negatively? What other herbs
can be taken safely and in what combinations? Any advice you may have
would be appreciated!

ANSWER: Unfortunately many herbs have not been well studied for the question you ask, the general warning you will see on most is Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver or kidney disease has not been established.  The key being it has not been established, most warnings are theoretical at best, herbs have been used for millenium and most modern day uses are traced back to the original uses.

Here are some herbs which have been used effectively for depression.

Black Cohosh, Latin Named: Cimicifuga racemosa is a great herb connecting female reproductive issues and nervous system issues such as Post Partum Depression, I would look at this herb as a good choice.  Modern day testing of this herb has demonstrated few side effects produced with longterm use.  One side effect which it has been known to cause, is upset stomach, so take with food if this concerns you.  Some say it can take 4-6 weeks for Black Cohosh to show its full benefits so take it for that long before determining its effect on you.  I would suggest a fresh or freshly dry root alcohol based extract.

St John’s Wort, Latin Named: Hypericum perforatum has been well known recently as the antidepressant herb.  Today's scientific testing proves its abilities to fight mild to moderate depression and seasonal affected disorder  (SAD) and what used to be called melancholy.  It mixes well with Lemon Balm.  Full effects are seen in 4-6 weeks, give it this long to work.  A fresh or freshly dried flowering tops herb extract is best, I would avoid a standardized extract and use a whole plant alcohol based extract.

Lemon Balm, Latin Named: Melissa officinalis is a gentle herb found in most gardens or in the wild.  This herb is a mood elevator used for mild depression caused by SAD or to get one out of the blues.  It is excellent in combination with St John's Wort.  This herb can be taken as a tea or a alcohol based extract from the fresh or  fresh dried herb.  Lemon Balm tea is easy to make and good tasting.  Oral usage of Melissa is on the FDA's GRAS (generally recognized as safe) list. There are no known drug interactions.

Rosemary, Latin Named:  Rosemarinus officinalis is another great herb for depression and mood lifting, it helps pickup the mind and is also good for memory, foggy thinking.  It is also a great antioxidant and good carminative calming digestive issues.  Rosemary can be taken fresh or dry as a tea or an alcohol based extract.

You may want to start with Lemon Balm or a combo of Lemon Balm and St John's Wort.

See my other answers online about depression.

Kava Kava or Awa Awa, Latin Named: Piper methysticum is used as an antianxiety agent and mixes well with Motherwort and or Blue Vervain.  Kava is a little more volatile and prone to some interaction with other meds, it is normally considered safe when used appropriately.  One warning comes from The German Commission E monograph warns against the use of kava during pregnancy and nursing, unfortunately this document is not well cited and no source for this warning is given.

Blue Vervain, Latin Named: Verbena hastata is another great women's herb, it is appropriately used for irritation and irritabillilty and anxiety associated with female reproductive issues, such as pregnancy, menses, PMS, or menopause.  It is a good muscle relaxant, antispasmodic and muscle aches.  It is great in combination with Kava Kava and or Motherwort.

Motherwort, Latin Name: Leonurus cardiaca This herb is good for hormonal changes, anxiety, irritability and moodiness or mood swings, use in combination with Blue Vervain.  It is also used for problems of the heart either physical or emotional, it relieves what the Chinese refer to as disturbed shen and helps relieve those who are stressed out.

I would probably start with Blue Vervain or a combo of Blue Vervain, Motherwort and/or Kava.

I would also try to find someone to talk to about your issues, some times just talking with someone helps out, find a friend or talk to your clergyman.  Take some time for yourself, when you feel anxious or stressed out.  Take a moment and do some deep breathing exercises, you will be amazed how they can calm you down, concentrate on your breath, take a long 20 second if you can breath in, then hold it as long as you can upwards to 20 seconds then exhale for 20 seconds.  Five breaths of 20 in, 20 hold and 20 out will calm you down and reset all you body functions so your ready to go again.  Do this exercise 3 times a day or whenever you feel out of control to get a grip, hope this helps.


INDUCING LABOR
QUESTION: 
I am past my due date and have heard that taking goldenseal can induce
labor, is this true?  If so how much are you suppose to take?  Will it hurt
the baby?  I do not have a midwife I have a private doctor and am planned
to deliver in a hospital setting, he wants to induce with pitocin and I had
a c-section with my last baby one year ago and I have heard that pitocin
can cause uterus abruption??  So I don't want to chance going that way, if I
can go a natural way I would much rather prefer to do that. Any knowledge
that you have on this situation would be greatly appreciated. 

ANSWER:  I would not use Goldenseal for this use.  Try Evening Primrose Oil, internally and intravaginally with the assistance/agreement of your DR it is a natural prostaglandins, which are normally the first course of treatment when the doctors want to induce, depending on your due date and other factors.  I would also try to find a local midwife to consult with if you have time.

Please read my other answers to this same question online

DRYING UP MILK
QUESTION:
  Is there a herb that will help dry up breast milk after delivering a
baby.  Please let me know if there is. 

ANSWER:  Sage and White Sage are the best.

EASY DELIVERY
QUESTION: 
My wife and I are expecting our first child February 26th.  She's been hearing horror stories about labor pain.  We'd like to try aromatherapy or herbals if possible to avoid an epidural.  We'd appreciate your suggestions.  Thank you. 

ANSWER:  My wife had our first child in less than 2 1/2 hours of labor,  the nurses and doctors thought it was miraculous,  She had very little pain.  We attributed this to her use of Raspberry Leaf extract and a Mother's Cordial, both are safe to take while pregnant.

The Raspberry Leaf Extract is a uterine tonic to be taken while pregnant and post deliver to tone the Uterus.

The Mother's Cordial is to be taken in the last 2-4 weeks to prep the mother's body for delivery.

FENUGREEK FOR NURSING
QUESTION: 
Is really fenugreek for the increase of milk supply on mothers?how many
pills a day should I take to increase it? How long it take? thank you
...I would like to know everything about it .. 

ANSWER:  Fenugreek, Latin Name:  Trigonella foenum-graecum is an excellent Galactogogue, which increase milk flow.  An excellent product my wife use was Mother's Milk Tea by Traditional Medicinals Company.

To make Fenugreek tea, Freshly grind 1-2 teaspoons of the seed and use 8 ounces (1 cup) of water, Decoct 10-15 minutes the steep up to 1 hour. You can consume up to 2 cups a day.  You should see results within a couple days.

FALLOPIAN TUBES PROBLEM
QUESTION:
Please can you help me i have suffered with one blocked and one damaged
fallopian tube.  I have been given some herbs blood moving one and also some
others to put in a cloth bag direct onto my tube.  Do you supply these Also
is there anything I can take as I am starting IVF and always seem to loose
the eggs as soon as they are transferred into my womb, they have problems
putting them back as my cervix is quite far back but they do manage it but
they never stay in the womb.

ANSWER:
I cannot help with the physical problems of your fallopian tubes.

As to keeping the eggs in place, I would strengthen your Uterus with Red
Raspberry leaf, Latin Named: Rubus idaeus

As to the other herbs you are using I would wonder why you would want to use
Blood Moving herbs they would be contraindicated for getting pregnant, I
would need more details here.

You may want to read my other pregnancy Questions and Answers


ENDOMETRIOSIS AND CONCEPTION
QUESTION:
I have endometriosis & would like to have a child, I was wondering if there is
a herbal remedy to help me concieve?

I am also over weight what do you recommend to use for weight loss?

ANSWER:
The following herbs have been traditionally used for Endometriosis, some are
contraindicated while pregnant and other conditions so this is only a
starting point, specific herbal protocol for you would deal with everything
going on with you.  My suggestion would be if the endometriosis is stopping
you from getting pregnant, clear up the endometriosis then deal with getting
pregnant.

Sheperd’s Purse, Latin Named:  Capsella burse-pastoris

Juniper Berry, Latin Named: Juniperus communis

White Peony root, Latin Named:  Paeonia albifloria

Chinese Rhubarb/Turkey Rhubarb, Latin Named:  Rheum tanguticum, R.
officinale, R. palmatium

Dan Shen, Red Root Sage, Latin Named: Salvia miltiorrhiza

Huang Qin, Chinese Scullcap root, Scute root, Latin Named:  Scuttellaria
biacalensis

Processed Rehmannia, Latin Named:  Rehmannia glutinosa

Teasel root, Latin Name: Dipsacus japonicus

Aletris, Unicorn Root, Star Grass, Latin Named:  Aletris farinosa

Pipsissewa, Latin Named:  Chimaphila umbelata

Artichoke, Latin Named: Cynara scolymus

Chaste Tree, Latin Named: Vitex agnus-castus

Stay away from Blue Cohosh, Celery Seed, Wild Ginger and WIld Carrot they are
contraindicated with Endometriosis.

As to herbs for weight loss I do not recommend any, the only way to lose
weight is to reduce caloric intake and increase exercise.  Many weight loss
products inappropriately use herbs which can cause speed like reactions in
the body to rev up your system overtaxing your adrenals or laxative herbs
which can cause bowel dependency.  Just because a product says it is natural
does not mean it is safe.

Finally, for some women chronic endometriosis is associated with being
overweight or obesity, lose the weight and your endometriosis may clear up on
its own. 

Additionally many time endometriosis clears when pregnancy occurs, if you can
get pregnant it may clear up on its own.

SPIKENARD
QUESTION:
I want to ask about spikenard I was told Indian women took this herb to ease labor and for a swift delivery. I am pregnant and I want to know if it is advisable to take this. Thank you for your time. 

ANSWER: Spikenard, Latin Named: Aralia californica or Aralia species has been used in the past to restart a labor that stopped at 4-5 centimeter dilation, it may not be effective to start labor but can help stimulate it and keep it going. As to easing labor my wife used a formula called Mother's Cordial for the last 2-4 weeks of her pregnancy to prep her body for labor. I don't know what the cause was but she only had 2 and 1/2 hours of labor before delivering our baby girl, Angelica last year. I say it was the cordial. The other herb she used throughout the pregnancy was Red Raspberry Leaf a uterine tonic which is appropriately used pre, during and post pregnancy and labor to help the uterus return to it normal size and prep the uterus for implantation of the fertilized egg during conception.

Please read my other answers online involving herbs and pregnancy.

TRYING FOR TWINS
QUESTION:
My husband and I are starting the family planning process. We are hoping there is a way to increase the odds of twins. Neither of us have family history of multiples. Is there an herbal way?

ANSWER: None that I know of, if you find one please inform me for future reference.

FALSE UNICORN FOR INFERTILITY
QUESTION:
I have been recommended to try false unicorn as treatment for infertility. 
I have been using Clomid but am now looking for natural alternatives. I am wondering what dosage is appropriate and should I take it at a specific time of my cycle. I have bought 100 capsules that each contain 450mg of root powder.

ANSWER: I am assuming you are talking about Helonia Root, False Unicorn, Latin Named: Chamaelirium leuteum, if so I would follow the directions provided on the bottle you bought. If none given I would start with 1 capsule 3 times a day, you don't need much of this herb.  You may want to read my other answer to a similar question on getting pregnant and infertility 
 

EMBRYO TRANSFER
QUESTION:
I am about to have a transfer of embryos and want to know what herbs, teas, etc. would be helpful at this phase of the development. I also would like to know if there are any harmful herbs I should stay away from and if drinking Raja Cup, which containsclearing nut, kasmard, licorice and winter cherry is okay to drink.

ANSWER: The only herb I would suggest at this point is Raspberry leaf, which is a uterine tonic and strengthens and prepares it for implantation of a fertilized egg. Delete the rest. See my other answers for getting pregnant for additional thoughts. Folic acid supplement would also be called for.

PALPITATIONS DURING PREGNANCY
QUESTION:
Is there something safe to take for heart palpitations during pregnancy? 
I had them before I was pregnant and was on Verapamil, a calcium blocker, but am now off of that medication because of the pregnancy. Is Hawthorne safe and would it be effective for this during pregnancy? What about Gingko? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

ANSWER: What trimester are you in? if you are not in the first you can try:

Hawthorn, Latin Name: Crataegus oxycanthoides or C. monogyna, is a good choice

Many formulas for palpitations combine Hawthorn with Motherwort but Motherwort is contraindicated during pregnancy so for you stay away from Motherwort.

The medicinal mushroom Reishi, Latin Name: Ganoderma lucidum will also help with palpitations and arrhythmia, calms the spirit, relieves insomnia, anxiety and helps with hypertension. If allergic to mushrooms stay away from this one.

Both Hawthorn and Reishi Mushroom are considered food herbs that are safe during pregnancy. Make broth for soup or strong teas of the Reishi and the Hawthorn can be taken as a tea or tincture.

Find an Herbalist in your area, or a Midwife familiar with herbs to help.

USING BLUE COHOSH
QUESTION:
Is it true about Blue cohosh helping to induce labor, and what is the 
difference between the cap. and the liquid, and is it in anyway non effective if taken by cap. What cap. dose equals the liquid dose apposed to 5-10 drops of liquid in a teaspoon of water or in tea once an hour for 4 hours vs how many mg in a cap. does this add to.

ANSWER: 
Blue Cohosh, Latin Name: Caulophyllum thalictroides: This herb is a Partis preparator - used in last 2 weeks of pregnancy it is part of a formula called Mother's cordial, a syrup prepared with Partridgeberry, Helonias, Ginger and several other herbs. This syrup has traditionally been used to prepare a woman for delivery. My wife used this and her contractions only lasted 2 and 1/2 hours before she delivered our baby girl Angelica. It is also used to stimulate labor once it has begun when contractions are weak or inconsistent. Finally it is useful for anxiety especially birth anxiety. Blue Cohosh is usually used in a formula. It is irritating to the mucous membranes and should be cautiously. Seek qualified herbal or health consultation on use. 

If you are pregnant find an experienced midwife in your area to help.

As to form I would suggest, tea or tincture.

For Tea:
Use a tea ratio of : 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of freshly ground (don't inhale) dry root to 12 - 16 ounces of water, boil water then pour over herbs and cover, let sit for 1 hour, strain, add honey to taste. Suggested use is 2 - 4 ounces 3 to 4 times a day.

For Tincture:
As a Tincture use dry extract made 1:4 or 1:5 in 60% alcohol. Suggested use is 5-20 drops, 3 to 4 times a day. Put drops in hot tea, water or juice

Also review the previous answer on the pregnancy found on the HerbNet Website.


IMPROVING FERTILITY
Question:
What are the best herbs for men and women to promote fertility? The 
information available seems very contradictory especially with regards to 
Vitamin C. One source says it does help promote fertility while another says 
it can be used in terminations. As I'm sure you understand, I don't want to 
get it wrong!

Answer: I am assuming the following:

You and your husband have been tested for fertility and he has adequate volume and motility of sperm, you have no blockages and eggs are released and make it down the fallopian tubes to your uterus. I am also assuming you don't have a problem with endometriosis or have had surgical corrections to your female reproductive system.

Recommendations

Stop trying so hard, this is easy to say but hard to do, I know you are frustrated, hurt and upset by the inability to conceive; and if you were in my office I would console you and try to talk you through the tough times. The reason I say stop trying so hard is many couple who are unable to conceive, finally give up then adopt, interestingly once the pressure is off most become pregnant the following year or so. The forced trying is over and the stress of the situation is gone because of the adoption. I am not saying you should go out and adopt a child. Just try to take the pressure off yourselves. You may want to try some stress relieving techniques, deep breathing or Tai Chi.

You may want to consider counseling, take your husband, deal with the pain, frustration and stress, let go of it. Talk to a good friend, preacher or give me a call the simple step in bringing the issue out in the open releases the pent up emotions and stress. Before and after the child is born, you need to keep a strong relationship with your husband, maintain it now through these hard times by talking.

I am going to tell you about folic acid. Pre, during and post pregnancy it is a vital nutrient, get 800-1200 mcg of folic acid per day.

When you feel ready stop any conventional treatments you are under going. Start using a condom as a birth control device, this will reduce risk of getting pregnant until you are ready again to try especially during the body cleansing period.

Use a fast or juice fast to cleanse your body of the chemicals and drugs you may need to do several. It will probably take several months up to a year. I am assuming you are not diabetic. If diabetic do not go on a fast, use a strict vegetarian diet and use vegetable juices to cleanse your body. You could also enlist the use of Alterative herbs, which help increase elimination. Watch what you eat try to eat only organic produce, meat, dairy etc. this will reduce your xeno-estrogen load, which may be a problem. Stay away from cleaning chemicals, fertilizers, paints, insecticides and herbicides etc.

Here are some herbs which may help once you are ready again.

Plant Name Helonia Root, False Unicorn Latin Name Chamaelirium leuteum

False Unicorn Helps with Hormonal Infertility, hormonal imbalances, use with licorice, Dong qui, Shatavari. This combination is also good for women coming off of Birth Control or Fertility Drugs. Helps normalize the reproduction system. Use with Chaste Tree. 

To build blood and increase libido use
Bu qu zhi Latin Name: Psoralea corylifolia and the herb Shatavari 

For the anxiety, stress, depression use chaste tree, blue vervain, Motherwort.

If you feel you are depressed try Saint Johnswort, it will take upwards of 6-8 weeks to be fully effective.

To build and strengthen your body.

Use Raspberry Leaf before during and after your pregnancy. It is a Uterine tonic, builds the structural integrity, prepares uterus to recieve the egg, maintains the muscle tone of the uterus as it is stretched by the growing child. And after birth it will help reduce the uterus back to its prepregnancy size.

To build your blood, strength etc.

Use Horsetail, Alfalfa, Nettle leaf and a small amount of Yellow dock (yellow dock can cause nausea or upset stomach) or aquire a green super food drink mix. Take daily, if making a tea with the herbs heat them the night before allow to cool and then place in the refrigerator, the longer the herbs are in the water the more nutrients will pulled out. You can make a batch, 2 day supply at most, store the tea in the fridge, but daily preparation would be best. The green super food powder can be added to a morning smoothie or shake. Sprinkled on salad or steamed veggies.

During the first trimester after getting pregnant, stop all treatments, except the folic acid. The raspberry leaf can be taken throughout. In your last 2-4 weeks before birth use a Mother's Cordial to prep your body for birth.

For your husband you can try the following herbs they help to improve sperm count and motility and increase libido.

Dong Chong Xia Cao, Summer Grass and Winter Worm, Latin name: Cordiceps sinensis

He shou wu, Fo ti (very bad common name), Latin Name: Polygonium multiflorum

Yin yan huo, lustful sheep and goat plant, Latin Name: Epimidium macranthum (use short term)

Ashwaghanda Latin Name: Withania somnifera this is a great herb for stress reduction and calms you down.

Wu wei zu, 5 flavor fruit, Schisandra berry Latin Name: Schisandra chinesis This one will normalize hormone function and will be slightly stimulating, less than caffeine but could cause a pickup feeling.

Once you decide to start trying again, stop using the condom, enjoy your love making, it is not a job, or schedule to keep. Relax and let it happen. One point if you have done a basal temp diary, to pinpoint ovulation, start your love making 6 days prior and through ovulation. Most women conceive when lovemaking has occurred a couple days before ovulation, sperm can live several days in the female reproductive tract.

AGAIN, For a Woman the herbs which can help are: 

Helonia Root, False Unicorn, Latin Name Chamaelirium leuteum
Helonius is a strong female fertility herb it balances the female reproductive system.

Chaste Tree can be used if there is a slight hormone imbalance, causing the infertility. 

Women with history of miscarriages should use uterine tonifying herbs for 3 - 6 months before conception. The help to tonify and increase the integrity of uterine tissue:
Raspberry leaf (okay to continue in pregnancy)
lady's mantle
Partridge berry 

Once pregnant discontinue herbs, one exception is Raspberry, it has traditionally been used to tonify the uterus throughout and post delivery.

IN GENERAL For a man the herbs that can help are:
To increase sperm count and motility use kidney yang tonics:
Morinda root, Bai ki tien
Ashwuganda
plantain seed
dodder seed
Saw palmetto
Sao yang, cistanches 
Ru cong rong
Cordiceps
Use Red Ginseng for testosterone hormonal problem
Use He shou wu for deficient blood
increase essential fatty acids and zinc which are essential to normal reproductive function.

TUBAL REVERSAL
Question:
I have a question and I hope you can help.  I am 38 and had a tubal reversal 
done in February of this year. I have been taking Prometrium to extend the 
last phase of my menstrual cycle. Currently I am "late" a home PG test was neg., 
and this is a long weekend.  Is there something in the herbal word that would increase my progestrone 
levels that I could take at least for a few days. If I am PG I don't want to 
risk miscarrying.

Answer: 
If you are trying to get pregnant I wouldn't play with hormones or herbs at this crucial stage, although Raspberry leaf has been traditionally used prior, thru and after delivery to tonify and prep the Uterus, also get on a Folic acid supplement usual range is 800-1200 mcg per day to prevent neural tube defects. See my previous question/answer on pregnancy if you become pregnant there might be some ideas there to think about. If you are not, there is a previous question/answer on getting pregnant you might want to review it.

INDUCING PREGNANCY
QUESTION:
I am 37 weeks pregnant. I have just seen a perinatologist who performed
a level 2 ultrasound. He says my baby is too large for the gestational
age (measured today at 8.1 lbs-8.8lbs). Because the fetus grows on an
average of 1/2 pound per week, he doesn't want to let it go till my due
date on 7/15. He is recommending inducing labor. He said if I attempt to
wait for nature to take its course, I could have the shoulders get stuck
and he described the worst case scenario. The health of the baby at
this point is very good - it's just big.
             I'm afraid of being induced and even more fearful of a c-section. I want
labor to occur naturally. The reason I don't want to be induced is
because they make you stay on the monitors, IVs and blood pressure cuff
for the duration of labor. I wanted to void an epidural, but with the
above conditions, I don't see how I can manage the pain if I'm not
allowed to move around. The whole thing sounds like a complete ordeal.
My cervix isn't ripe and I'm afraid that induction will lead to a
c-section because the cervix won't cooperate. I'm a large woman and big
babies run in the family. I'm not sure what decision to make. I think I
could deliver a big baby, but I'm not sure how big. He really scared
me. My blood pressure has been elevated for a week but I'm really
stressed out from work because I have a lot to do before maternity
leave.
           I have some black cohosh and blue cohosh capsules but I want advice on
whether to take them and in what doses. I know they probably won't work
until the cervix is ripe. I read somewhere that I could take them in
smaller doses in the last month or pregnancy as a tonic. I know blue
cohosh elevates blood pressure so I'm concerned about that as well. 

ANSWER:
           I may be able to help but it is hard to tell with the information at hand. I want to stress one thing, you have a baby that is yours inside you. The method of deliver does not matter as long as the result is a healthy child and mother. My advice 9 months or more ago would be to find a Midwife lay or certified to help you with a natural child birth. At this point I would do whatever is necessary to achieve a happy and healthy outcome for you and your child. My wife and I recently had our second child and although she and I wanted to go natural, she also needed induced. Once labor started it was very quick and relatively pain free. We used Raspberry leaf throughout the pregnancy and post delivery to maintain uterine tone. Two weeks before delivery she started on a product called Mother's cordial and additionally Evening Primrose Oil, which has been used for years by mothers to prepare for delivery. We were delivered by a certified nurse midwife. Angelica is a happy healthy 8 month old.
             My main goal was the health of my wife and child foremost, natural is good but if necessary make use of the modern technological, equipment and procedures. I believe Modern medicine has its place and herbal medicine has its place each has strengths and weaknesses, utilize the best of each to achieve you 9 month goal. 
             Remember your goal for the past 9 months or more has been to produce a child. Make that your most important issue and concern and don't let the other things bother you.
Print this out and give to your Doctor for discussion, but I stress to you a successful delivery is the utmost goal.
           As to your natural-herbal questions here is the information I can provide on herbs, pregnancy and delivery:
             I have a Midwife friend who uses Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) to ripen the Cervix ingest it internally and apply to Cervix to soften and ripen. It helps dilate the cervix because of prostaglandin's found in the oil. Prostaglandin's are the first step of induction, usually a cream or pill is inserted in the vagina close or on the cervix. The drawbacks of EPO is that it is expensive and dosage is high. But if you want to start with a natural prostiglandin try EPO, with you Doctors involvement.
             Here are the herbs traditionally used for pregnancy and delivery, discuss them with your Doctor.
Blue Cohosh, Latin Name: Caulophyllum thalictroides: This herb is a Partis preparator - used in last 2 weeks of pregnancy it is part of a formula called Mother's cordial, a syrup prepared with Partridgeberry, Helonias, Ginger and several other herbs. This syrrup has traditionally been used to prepare a woman for delivery. My wife who is also a large woman used this and her contractions lasted only 2 and 1/2 hours before she delivered our baby girl Angelica. It is also used to stimulate labor once it has begun when contractions are feeble. Finally it is useful for anxiety especially birth anxiety.
               Beth Root, Birth root, Latin Name: Trillium erectum, Traditionally used as part of formula to stimulate delivery 1 part each Blue Cohosh, Spikenard and Beth Root
                Partridgeberry, Squaw vine, Latin Name: Michella repens, One of the key ingredients in Mother's Cordial (Helonias, Blue Cohosh, Ginger, Blue Vervain) given last 2-3 weeks of pregnancy to help prevent false labor pains, prevents overdue labors, make labor less painful. Used in combination with Raspberry throughout pregnancy for tonification of uterus. Use postpartum w/ Raspberry leaf & Lady's Mantle help return uterus back to normal size.
             Lady's Mantle, Latin Name Alchemillia vulgaris, A. Mollis: useful for boggy and atonic uterus in combination as mentioned above.
            Blue Vervain, Simplers Joy, Latin Name: Verbena hastata (many species of vervainus, but blue is best): This is an underutilized herb, Blue Vervain is a great connector herb between the nervous system and female reproductive system. It is great for anxiety, irritability, cramping and spasms. Used in combination as mentioned above.
              Spikenard, Latin Name: Aralria racemosa: Stimulate pokey labor, used in combination as mentioned above
               Finally a herbal tincture combination to dilate the cervix is 1/4 part Lobelia, 1 part Spikenard, 1 part Blue Cohosh, 1/4 part Cottonroot bark, 1/4 part ginger take 30 - 40 drops three times a day. The caution with this one is Lobelia can cause nausea, which usually indicates a multiple birth i.e. twins or that nausea has been a factor with previous births.