Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine, places a significant emphasis on the use of herbs for promoting holistic well-being and treating various ailments. In Ayurveda, herbs are considered integral to maintaining a balance between the mind, body, and spirit. Some of the herbs used for infertility in men and women are particularly useful. These herbs can help promote strength, strengthen reproductive organs, improve quality of egg and sperm, and rejuvenate your body and soul. A few important herbs are discussed below :
- Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): Ashwagandha, also known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry is an adaptogenic herb that is known for its ability to support overall reproductive health. It is an herbal shrub whose roots and berries are used for medicinal properties. Ashwagandha is known for its stress-reducing properties. Chronic stress can negatively impact fertility, and reducing stress levels may have a positive effect on reproductive health. Some animal studies have suggested that ashwagandha may influence hormonal balance, including the hormones involved in reproductive health. Ashwagandha has antioxidant properties, which may help protect cells from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can negatively impact sperm and egg quality. Ashwagandha is a popular natural aphrodisiac too. It can be consumed in powder or tablet form. Powder is usually taken with milk and honey.
- Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus): It’s a member of the asparagus family and is also an adaptogenic herb. Shatavari is often used to support female reproductive health. It is believed to nourish and strengthen the female reproductive organs, regulate menstrual cycles, and support fertility. It may have a positive impact on ovulation, which is crucial for fertility. In men Shatavari may support overall male reproductive health by acting as a tonic for the reproductive organs. It is available in powder, tablet, and liquid forms. If you’re allergic to asparagus, you must avoid this supplement.
- Gokshura (Tribulus terrestris): Gokshura is a small leafy plant which is a member of the caltrop family. In ayurvedic medicine its roots and fruit are used to treat a wide variety of health conditions. These include urinary tract disorders, kidney disease, inflammation, chronic coughing, asthma, and erectile dysfunction Gokshura or Gokhru is also used in Ayurveda to support male reproductive health. It helps to improve sperm count, motility, and overall reproductive function in men. Gokshura is sometimes used to support menstrual health in women, which can indirectly impact fertility. In western countries it is marketed as a natural testosterone booster.
- Kapikacchu (Mucuna pruriens): Kapikacchu is a tropical legume considered beneficial for male infertility. It is believed to support sperm health, increase sperm count, and improve sperm motility. It helps improve semen quality by preventing cellular oxidative stress, supporting sperm production, and maintaining healthy semen balance.
- Vidari Kand (Pueraria tuberosa): Vidari Kand is used in Ayurveda to support female reproductive health. It is believed to regulate menstrual cycles, enhance fertility, and support overall vitality. It may boost general health and vigour and may help in increasing muscular growth and sexual performance. It may function as a natural aphrodisiac and can raise libido.
- Punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa) : Punarnava is a well-known medicinal plant in ayurveda. It is a species of flowering plant commonly used for pain relief and other ailments. It is a traditional remedy for boosting libido and thereby improving fertility in men. It has strong aphrodisiac properties and helps in reducing mental stress and anxiety. It also useful in stimulating the production of reproductive hormones in both men and women.
- Lodhra (Symplocos racemose): Lodhra regulates the menstrual cycle in women, normalizes FSH and LH levels within the blood and helps to treat the inflammation of the uterus. It can be useful in treating PCOS and blocked fallopian tubes. Regular use of lodhra improves fertility and is beneficial if you are trying to conceive. Decoction of the stem bark of the tree can be consumed along with milk to treat menstrual problems and the powdered form is helpful in treating vaginal infections.
- Jeevanti (Leptadenia Reticulata) : This plant is a shrub, and its heart shaped leaves are used for medicinal purpose in ayurveda. Jivanti may be useful in increasing the production of testosterone in males. It is thus useful in male infertility with low sperm count and motility. Jivanti may increase the production of oestrogen in females. It is thus used in oestrogen deficiency and the problems occurring from the same.
- Putrajeevak (Putranjiva roxburghii): It is an evergreen tree growing to the height of up to 12 metres. Seeds of this tree are useful in ayurvedic medicines. It has properties that improve both the quality and quantity of semen. It is useful in boosting libido and regulate menstrual cycles in women. Putrajeevak Beej is also useful in treating certain reproductive disorders such as infertility, erectile dysfunction, and low sperm count.
- Ashoka (Saraca asoca or Saraca indica) : Ashoka trees are a common sight in India. In Sanskrit, Ashoka means ‘without sorrow’. It is often recommended for various gynaecological issues, including menstrual irregularities, uterine disorders, and infertility. It is believed to have properties that may help balance hormones and support the health of the female reproductive system. The bark of the Ashoka tree can be powdered and consumed with honey and the decoction of the bark of the Ashoka tree can be consumed with milk. Ashoka tree can be taken as ayurvedic medicine in the form of ‘Asokarishta’ and ‘Asokaghrita’.
Usually, individual herb is not prescribed for infertility. Most of the times a combination of herbs is used with the purpose of correcting an organic or functional problem that causes infertility. You must consult a qualified doctor before taking any herbal supplements. It is important not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor. Always inform your doctor about the herbal supplements and ayurvedic doctor about allopathic medicines you are taking. Keeping things transparent will protect you from any possible herb-medicine interaction and side effects.