Use of Herbs for Infertility
The use of herbs as a source of medical treatment has been going on since the beginning of time. Allah has put cures in this world which we are to seek, and some of these cures do come in the form of herbs. It was not until recently that herbal remedies have been replaced by synthetic medication. And most doctors do not believe in this "unconventional" medicine and are more inclined towards the modern means of medication. However, many couples do use herbs as one helpful use in the treatment of infertility.
It should be no surprise that Muhammad pbuh himself used herbal remedies in his time. While scholars generally disclude any medically related ahadith as a part of the Sunnah, it is quite interesting to learn the culturally influenced herbal remedies that were used. Some of these remedies are still used today in treatment of certain conditions.
Black Seed is a widely used herb by Muslims, and one of the favorites of Muhammad pbuh.
Abu Hurayra reported Muhammad pbuh as saying: Use the Black Seed as it is the panacea that heals all harms except death. <Muslim, Bukhari>
According to Ibn Qayyim al Jawiziyya the Black Seed was in several forms to treat the following ailments:
Eliminates flatulence, extracts the helmnths, palliates leprosy, provokes menstrual flow and increases milk production
Fenugreek was also widely used during the time of Muhammad pbuh and is an herb that he preferred.
Al Qassem ibn Abdur Rahman Muhammad pbuh said: Resort to the cure of the Fenugreek
Muhammad pbuh was also reported to have been present when Al Harth ibn Kalda used it to treat Sa'd Ibn Waqqas as a cure for his ailment.
According Ibn Qayyim al Jawiziyya Fenugreek was used in several forms to treat the following ailments:
Soothes coughs, increase semen, soothes asthma, provokes menstruation, decomposes the tumor in the spleen. Also recommended to women to soak in a bath with to soothe aches related to a tumid womb
The use of herbs is not to be taken as the be all to end all for infertility treatment. There are many causes for infertility that should be medically treated, such as PCOS, Endometriosis, blocked tubes, and uterine fibroids. Herbs as well as vitamins, proper diet and exercise along with conventional medical treatment can all be used. As with any other forms of medication you should consult professional advice and guidance, herbs should not be taken blindly. Many have very powerful affects and can do more harm than good if not taken properly or at the wrong time. You must also be sure to inform your doctors of any herbs that you take to make sure there is no reaction with any medication or procedure that you will undergo.
In order to be safe I recommend an herbalist who has some form of certification, and this does not include the sales girl at your local health food store. They should be well educated and trained in their field. As you do with your own doctor you should have them checked out, ask about them, find out if there are any complaints against them and as always educate yourself before blindly following recommendations of the specialist.
Many incorrectly assume that because herbs are a natural product than a Muslim can take any of them. But just like other medication put in a capsule there is the question of haram ingredients, specifically gelatin.
Gelatin comes from three main sources, pig, cow and vegetable. Pig of course would be prohibited for Muslims to take. The only known exception to this case is in medical necessity. The use of cow as the gelatin source is argued among Muslims, while some feel that a beef source is permissible others believe that if it is a Non Muslim source than it is not permissible. A vegetable base would not be a problem for Muslims.
Before taking a herb with a capsule with gelatin do research to determine the source, willing ignorance is not an excuse. It is easy to call the manufacturer who will inform you of the source if it is known. There maybe other sources of the same herb by a different manufacturer or you may be able to use the same herb in a different form rather than a capsule.
Depending on the herbal product that you are looking for, it is not difficult to buy them. Your local health food stores are a good source for those not so common herbs, but are generally more expensive than you local pharmacy or Wal Mart. There are many places on the Internet to buy herbal products including Muslim businesses that we should support more. I have located some on the Internet, if you know of any other Muslim owned stores please email us the information to post.
After doing some online research I have found the following recommendations for herbal us in fertility and infertility treatments. Please note I do not take any of the below herbs, nor have I tried any for a remedy for my infertility conditions. I can recommend Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle to increase milk supply, but nothing related to infertility. I must stress again that you research and contact a herbalist in your area.
Chaste Tree Berry, Black Cohosh, Dong Quai
To Bring Menstruation-
Chaste Tree Berry, Parsley, Ginger, Yarrow, Rosemary, Fenugreek
Uterine Fibroids and Ovarian Cysts-
Wild Yam, Sqau Vine, Vitex, Unicorn Root
Red Clover Blossoms
Evening Promise Oil
False Unicorn Root
Herbs to Avoid while Pregnant-
Angelicia, Black Cohosh, Blue Cohosh, Barberry, Bloodroot, Borage Oil, calamus, Cascara Sagrada, Cayenne, Celandine, Cypress, Ephedra, Fennel, Fenugreek, Flaxseed, Goldenseal, Juniper, Lavender, Licorice Root, Male Fem, Mayapple, Mistletoe, Passion Flower, Pennyroyal, Periwinkle, Poke Root, Rhubarb, Sage, St. St. John's Wort, Tansy, Thyme, Wild Cherry, Wormwood, Yarrow,
To Increase Sex drive-
Avena, Capsicum, Humulus, Cimicifuga, Salix, Thuja
Some Links on Herbs that I have found very informative: