Monday, September 11, 2006

Herbs for fertility - red clover


I've gotten a few emails from people telling me how they (or close relatives/friends) have had conception success with RED CLOVER. I know that red clover is a great blood tonic, but hadn't thought of it too much vis a vis fertility. I do know that it's totally benign (don't know if this is a Minnesota thing, but we used to pick those juicy buds and eat them or suck out the little bits of "honey" in the individual petals while waiting for the school bus--watch out, though, because bees like the "honey" too!). My mom said she read somewhere that red clover is also good for asthma.

The dried unprocessed flowers (which I've found in the bulk area of several organic food co-ops) are best, according to herbal expert Susun Weed:
"One of the most cherished of the fertility-increasing plants is red clover (Trifolium pratense). Common in fields and along roadsides, it has bright pink (not really red) blossoms from mid-summer into the chilly days of fall. A favorite flower of the honeybees, the tops (blossoms and appending leaves) are harvested on bright sunny days and eaten as is, or dried for medicinal use. The raw blossoms are delicious in salads and nutritious when cooked with grains such as rice or millet.

To make a fertility-enhancing infusion, I take one ounce by weight of the dried blossoms (fresh won't work for this application) and put them in a quart size canning jar. I fill the jar with boiling water, screw on a tight lid, and let it steep at room temperature overnight (or for at least four hours). Dozens of women have told me that they had successful pregnancies after drinking a cup or more (up to four cups) a day of red clover infusion.

It is especially helpful if there is scaring of the fallopian tubes, irregular menses, abnormal cells in the reproductive tract, or 'unexplained' infertility. It may take several months for the full effect of this herb to come on and pregnancy may not occurs until you have used it for a year or two. You can improve the taste by including some dried peppermint."

To be filed under: can't hurt, may help, and delicious in salad.

PEACE.

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14 comments:

LSG said...

Hi Marie,

I monitor another board where women try to use holistic/alternative means to help them achieve pregnancy. The one thing I've realized in monitoring that board is that there is no single herb that is right/safe for everyone. There are always at least two or three women for each herb that see negative effects instead of the expected results.

Red clover has estrogenic properties, so that makes it a great fertility enhancer for many women. For women who have signs of too much estrogen, it might or might not be a good choice. I personally had very negative effects from raspberry leaf, another estrogenic herb that is often declared as a great overall fertility booster.

Herbs are such a great help in TTC. I urge women to really listen to their bodies and monitor themselves if they decide to try different herbs. That way, you’ll be able to assess if they’re helping or hurting.

LSG

Green Fertility Marie said...

Hi LSG--

Hear! Hear! Great comment, and I will remember that next time I post about herbs. It's a really good thing to keep in mind; I kind of work from the Eastern medicine model, which is all about tonics to keep yourself healthy, and most tonics work for most people, but even there, red ginseng, for e.g., makes me nuts because I am too "yang" and it's a very "yang" tonic, but in general it's great for health.

And yes, rasp. leaf also contians prostaglandins, which makes it a great uterine tonic...but can also make it iffy for the first trimester if you are prone to miscarriages. So thanks for making that point:

Everyone's different, and it's up to you (and your healthcare provider) to make the ultimate, individual decisions!

Kim said...

I totally concur with LSG. Being someone who has used herbs and western medicine, both, I advise people to do a LOT of research and practice moderation when delving into either form of medicine, whether its using plants or pills. As far as herbs go, many assume "its natural, it must be ok" but there are so many different properties and effects that herbs can have, it is not something to take lightly.

I interviewed Susun Weed for an article I did on holistic practices and she is a trip! One of the things she mentioned, with regard to us westerners 'using herbs' is that we still treat it as a "drug" looking for affect. She encouraged mind/body practices as the initial steps in treating ill health. Using subtler forms of healing, instead of always trying to ingest something to "fix things," is something she stressed emphatically. I personally feel that in my fertility journey, working in this realm helped me tremendously. Through yoga, meditation, and simply letting go of the wanting, I think I was able to let go of the awful stress that infertility can cause. Stress is a huge factor... I also think it allowed me to be more open to possibilities.

Green Fertility Marie said...

Hi Kim,

Yes, the whole "quick fix" thing is entirely lacking in traditional Chinese medicine (except acupuncture, in that it fixes pain fast). But I'm so impatient!

Green Fertility Marie said...

p.s. is her name really Susun WEED?

Kim said...

Hey Marie-
I would say the name is something she created.. but that is just a guess. She is a real character - completely self-taught.
~K

Henry Holmes said...

* Historically, red clover has been used for cancer and respiratory problems, such as whooping cough, asthma, and bronchitis.
* Current uses of red clover are for menopausal symptoms, breast pain associated with menstrual cycles, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, and symptoms of prostate enlargement.

Lolita said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lolita said...

i currently started drinking red clover tea for fertility. i read it is good for blocked fallopian tubes- not sure how this is good. Would anyone here know?
Also, how can you tell if its working or if its a waste?

I drink it three times a day.

Green Fertility Marie said...

Thanks for writing. Red clover is great for cleansing the blood, so it's something that could help and probably wouldn't hurt. Again, but if you are like the reader LSG and experience NEGATIVE effects, then listen to your body. I drink it every day. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

How many times a day should you be drinking red clover as a fertility booster? I am new to this particular flower and I am not sure how to completely use this one. Where I bought the dried flowers the woman who helped me, told me to use one teaspoon per cup of tea and steep for 10mins. Is this correct? Should I be using addtional herbs to help even more?
I am very anxious to start a family and my partner and I have been trying for about 4 months with no sucess. Does anyone have any other suggestions?

Thanks,
L

GreenFertility said...

Hi,

dried herbs like clover and nettle generally need to steep overnight to get all their herby goodness out--I follow Weed's recipe, as written in this post and doctors area always amazed how "young" hormone levels I have for someone of my age.

Lisa said...

Hi all

I was on the depo for 10 years and my last injection was June 1st. Still no cycles and so am trying different herbs. I'm currently taking Dong quai and agnus castor. Was considering the red clover. Do you think its a bad idea to be on all at once, I mean could it cause any side affects?

GreenFertility said...

Red clover has mild estrogenic effects, so I'd consult a naturopath! Also, you are not the 1st person to report period disappears with depo!