Women and couples who want to increase fertility, or even increase the chances of success with assisted reproductive therapies such as in-vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection, have to maintain low levels of stress to get pregnant and sustain pregnancy for the full term.
Chronic stress may cause hormonal imbalance, most commonly increased cortisol, which can reduce the quality of health for egg and sperm cells, as well as decrease libido. Herbs that are known to promote and support a sustainable and healthy stress response are beneficial for the health of the nervous system, supporting vital endocrine functions and allow the developing fetus to thrive.
The following are a number of natural herbs and their functions beneficial for reducing stress:
1. Ashwagandha root (Withaniasomnifera). This belongs to a class of herbs called nervines, which has a beneficial effect on the nervous system.It regulates thyroid and adrenal gland function and supports the function of the endocrine system as a whole. Ashwagandha root has also been categorized as an adaptogen, whose primary action is to improve stress response and hormonal balance.
Bee Pollen/Propolis: Bee pollen is a compact mass of pollen, nectar and honey produced by worker honeybees. Extensive studies have demonstrated bee pollen to be highly effective in boosting the immune and reproductive systems. Bee propolis is a resinous mixture gathered by honeybees from botanical sources. Studies have reported that bee propolissupports healthy inflammatory, immunologic and stress responses in the body, as well as overall emotional balance.
Chamomile flowers (Matricariarecutita): This herb is a nervine and a mild sedative.It is believed to attenuate stress and improve sleep. Many health professionals and practitioners use this herb to treat insomnia without resorting to more aggressive means of treatment.
Eluthero root and stem bark (Elueutherococcussenticosus): Eluthero root strengthens the immune system. Used extensively in Eastern medicine, this root has particular utility in treating patients with bone marrow suppression as a result of chemotherapy or radiation. It is also useful in the treatment of angina pain, hypercholesterolemia, insomnia, or poor appetite. Eluthero root and stem bark has been shown to be effective in treating severe stress.
Fo-ti, also known as Ho Shou Wu or He Shou Wu, root (Polygonummultiflorum): This popular Chinese herb is believed to restore jing (life essence). It has pharmacological actions such as replenishing liver and kidney vitality, and nourishing the blood. It also has other benefits such as a laxative, improving digestion and nutrition.
Lemon Balm leaf (Melissa officinalis): This herb has been used extensively for nervous system support. Lemon balm also mitigates depression and anxiety, promoting good emotional health. However people who have a medical history or family history of hypothyroidism should avoid this herb.
Linden flower and bract (Tiliaplatyphyllos, T.cordata). This herb has been used in the treatment of hypertension as well as anxiety. Its actions include lowering blood pressure, reducing episodes of depression, and supporting normal nervous system function.