Treating Infertility Naturally with Herbs, Supplements, and Aromatherapy

Discover why more and more couples are turning to Mother Nature to answer their fertility problems and whether this route might work for you.

Ginseng root, black cohosh, catnip tea. If someone told you these are remedies for treating infertility, you would probably be skeptical. However, more and more couples are finding success with alternative or complementary forms of medicine for treating infertility.

Although herbal and supplemental therapy for infertility is on the rise, it should be noted that none of these methods are surefire cures, and some herbs interact negatively with medications. Herbal and supplemental therapy should only be practiced after consultation with a physician and/or in conjunction with clinical infertility treatments.

Herbal Remedies

For as long as the yellow bloom of calendula and the purple florets of echinacea have dotted the world’s fields, people have gathered herbs to use for medicinal purposes. In fact, calendula was used by the Romans to treat scorpion bites, and echinacea was harvested by Native American Indians for a host of cures, from sweats to the common cold.

There is also a long history of using herbs to treat infertility. The bark of the plant yohimbe, which grows primarily in Cameroon, Gabon, and Zaire, has long been used as an aphrodisiac. West Africans used yohimbe to treat male impotency, and the bark is now used worldwide for impotency problems.

Chinese herbalists recommend Siberian ginseng to both men and women to boost vital energy and promote overall systemic functioning. This root is known to support sexual functioning and promote fertility, and is still recommended today as an aphrodisiac. A ground-breaking study published by the Russian health researcher, I. I. Brekhman, in 1960 outlined the benefits of Siberian ginseng and its successful tests on thousands of Russian men and women. Studies found the root to improve the immune system, physical and mental performance, and boost overall vitality. More recent studies continue to support Brekhman’s findings.

Dr. Susun Weed, MD, herbal expert and author of four bestselling books, touts red clover as one of the best herbs for women battling infertility. You can find this herb as a tea in many health food stores. Dr. Weed shares, “It is especially helpful if there is scarring of the fallopian tubes, irregular menses, abnormal cells in the reproductive tract, or unexplained infertility. 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.”

Other herbs used to help regulate menstrual cycles and ovulation include licorice, chaste tree berry, dong quai, and ginseng. Wild yam root and red raspberry leaf are believed to increase sex drive.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins are essential for healthy living and are indispensable in treating infertility. Hormonal imbalances and nutritional deficiencies can inhibit conception. A premenopausal woman should take 400 mcg of folic acid daily, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. The link between folic acid and fertility is strong; however, taking too much of a vitamin (such as calcium or iron) can actually work against you, making it more difficult to conceive or increasing your chances of giving birth to a baby with a birth defect.

Doctors recommend men with low sperm counts or premature ejaculation should take multivitamins and zinc, vitamin E, and amino acids supplements.

The following table outlines vitamin and mineral supplements that can be added to the diet in addition to multivitamins to increase fertility.

As with all dietary changes, please consult a doctor before supplementing your daily intake of any mineral and vitamin.  


ZincSemen contains high concentrations of zinc. Supplementing the diet with zinc could improve sperm count and boost sex drive.30-60mg/dayPUMPKIN SEEDS, OYSTERS, EGGS, GRAINS
Amino AcidsArginine and Taurine can raise sperm counts and sperm motility.  Boosts sex drive.2-4 g/dayMEAT, MILK
Vitamin EVitamin E is crucial to proper reproductive function in both men and women. Vitamin E is one of the body’s main antioxidant nutrients and protects hormones from oxidation.400-800 IU/dayMARGARINE, WHEAT GERM, SOYBEAN OIL


Extract – ¼ to 1 teaspoon, three times a day or as directed by manufacturer or herbalist

Astragalus Extract
Extract – ¼ to 1 teaspoon, three times a day or as directed by manufacturer or herbalist or 2-4 ml

Butcher’s Broom
Extract – ¼ to 1 teaspoon, three times a day or as directed by manufacturer or herbalist

Extract – ¼ to ½ teaspoon, three times a day or as directed by manufacturer or herbalist

Extract – ¼ to 1 teaspoon, three times a day or as directed by manufacturer or herbalist

Saw Palmetto
Extract – 1-2 ml, three times a day or as directed by manufacturer or herbalist
Tablets – one to three a day

Squaw Vine
Extract – ¼ to 1 teaspoon, three times a day or as directed by manufacturer or herbalist


Vitamin C


Dr. Gary Schwartz, PhD, professor of psychology and psychiatry at Yale University, found that the aromas of some essential oils by themselves affect the nervous system and even reduce blood pressure. The smell of spice apple, for example, was found to reduce blood pressure by an average of three to five points in healthy volunteers. Because infertility problems can create enormous emotional stresses, aromatherapy can offer an excellent therapy to help counter such stress and induce relaxation.

Aromatherapist Nancy Rogers recommends putting a drop or two of lavender oil on a cotton pad and sliding it in a pillowcase to aid in relaxation. “A soothing massage with lavender and almond oil as a carrier is wonderful to help relax before bed,” Rogers recommends, and adds that it can act as an aphrodisiac as well.

Some other essential oils suggested by Rogers to enhance fertility include ylang ylang, sandalwood, neroli, peppermint, angelica root, juniper berry, and jasmine.

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