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FERTILITY ASSISTANCE

The goal of this section will be to address possible imbalances and deficiencies, mental and physical stresses, nutritional and herbal supplements, and fitness - which are all involved in the ability to conceive a healthy child.

According to many references, there could be many causes of the inability to conceive. Among them are: for women-- cervical mucosa may be the wrong consistency, pH of the vagina may be too acidic, one or both fallopian tubes could be blocked, uterine fibroids may be present, may be an imbalance of the hormones thereby causing anovulatory cycles, illness, stress, loss of weight or being overweight could affect hormonal balance and inhibit ovulation, birth control pill affects the natural hormonal balance and could take several months to correct, smoking can inhibit the reproductive system, caffeine taken regularly, has been shown to reduce fertility by about 4 times, low thyroid function affects fertility by upsetting hormonal balance, nutrient deficiency can cause infertility. For men-- diet, lifestyle, X-rays, drugs, toxic chemicals, and stress all lower sperm count. Over-hot baths/hot tubs or tight underwear can reduce sperm production. Hormonal imbalance or exposure to lead can lead to poor quality sperm (they can’t swim straight or strong). Research has shown that excessive alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking can cause decreased testosterone production and/or testicular atrophy. Alcohol is also known to reduce sperm count in men (and implantation in women). Some men produce antibodies to their own sperm - forming clumps, which stop them from being able to swim. Stress affects the hormonal balance and also the blood supply to the reproductive system.

The best way to try and over come all or any of these is by adjusting your diet, stress levels, exposure to toxins, and hormonal levels. There are many ways to do this naturally. In most cases, when everything natural has been tried, then, it could be a physiological problem. However, that is usually rare.

Clinical studies have shown that there could be a possibility of antigen/antibody incompatibility between a blood type O mother and either the blood cells of the fetus, if it is blood type A or B (which could result in miscarriage), or the sperm of the father if he is a blood type A or B (which could result in the inability to conceive). In a study of 102 infertile couples – 87% were found to be blood group incompatible. The children that were conceived were blood type 0, which made them compatible with the mother. This suggests that the infertility was due to the presence of antibodies in the secretions of the mother’s genital tract, or incompatible sperm from the father. Eating according to your blood type may help keep opposing blood group antibodies from forming. There have been many case histories where previously infertile women conceived and produced healthy children by eating correctly. Studies have shown that if antibodies are developed against the sperm, it may be a good idea to use a condom for one month – allowing the woman’s antibodies to decrease. Then at the time of ovulation, have intercourse without the condom.

Vegetables and fruits are very beneficial in changing the pH… they are alkaline. Meats, fish, whole grains, cheese, eggs, and seeds are more acidic. Tea, coffee and alcohol are very acidic. Diet is very important, and your blood type is a very good tool for choosing the right foods. The essential fatty acids (preferably Omega 3), a very good balanced multi (heavy in the B complex), and a good balance of minerals are all necessary to improve fertility. A good diet is essential when trying to conceive and also afterwards.

Just remember - once you’re pregnant, it’s important that you balance your diet well, since your baby needs everything. However, insulin imbalances from the wrong kind of or too many carbs can also affect your baby. You need to prepare your body for conception long before you find out that you are pregnant. Eat nutrient dense foods - no processed, packaged, frozen, or instant meals. Eat plenty of vegetables, but protein with every meal. It is best to try to eat 3 small meals and 2 snacks (vegetables and nuts, or fruit and nuts or some mozzarella cheese) a day. This will avoid hypoglycemic episodes. Greens are good sources of calcium. Be careful of the cruciferous vegetables. Eat them lightly steamed to alleviate their goitrogenic properties which will lower thyroid activity. Also avoid the starchy vegetables - especially potatoes, turnips and radishes. Research has shown that those particular vegetables contain a toxin called bafilomycin that has been found to induce type I diabetes by affecting the pancreas in utero in susceptible people. The starchy vegetables, in general, affect the insulin metabolism.

Try to eliminate ALL fluoride from you diet and your home. Research has found without a doubt that fluoride may cause infertility in both men and women. The best water to drink is alkaline water, if possible. There are several good water purifiers that alkalize and ionize the water. DON’T drink tea at all. The tea leaves accumulate more fluoride from pollution of soil and air than any other edible plant. Tea has been the primary cause of dental fluorosis in many international studies. Use toothpaste with no fluoride. Get a water filter for your shower. Showerwise is a good brand, I use one. Your whole body absorbs exceptionally large amounts of fluoride while taking a shower. Fluoride also greatly affects the thyroid and can cause osteoporosis and cancer.

Try to lower stress levels (just worrying about trying to conceive is stressful). It’s somewhat like a vicious circle – being unable to conceive causes stress and the stress can cause anovulatory cycles which can cause the inability to conceive. When you have an anovulatory cycle, there is no progesterone made. If there is no progesterone, then there will be estrogen dominance. The combination of low or no progesterone and estrogen dominance has been found to cause symptoms such as fibrocystic breasts, PMS, fibroids, endometriosis, or irregular periods. Hormones need to be BALANCED for conception and subsequent delivery. Try yoga, meditation, or visualization. Learning to do deep, diaphragmatic breathing is very beneficial. Practice it whenever you think about it, then, it will soon become natural for you. The deep abdominal breathing is the correct way for humans to breath - not through the chest. Practice sitting or laying down with your hand on your abdomen. As you inhale, DO NOT raise your shoulders or chest. Instead, push out your abdomen, raising your hand. Inhale as deeply as you can extending your stomach, then fill your chest. Exhale by contracting your abdomen as flat as possible. This technique draws air into your lungs fully. It makes the diaphragm pull the air all the way into the lower lobes of the lungs. This will not only de-stress you, it will fully oxygenate the system. There are also many useful de-stressing herbs to use.

Please read Dr. John R. Lee, MD’s book What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause. It has a very good section on infertility and endometriosis. He is very, very knowledgeable and I have used his information for many years. His research on natural hormones is outstanding. Very few women I’ve counseled have not had positive results by using natural hormones in a natural way.

Exercise will get your metabolism and your whole body working effectively, in addition to relieving stress. It’s very beneficial to exercise in moderation. Excessive exercise has been shown to disrupt hormonal balances in both sexes (it can cause anovulatory cycles in women). It also causes a lot of free radical damage from oxygenation. Oxygen is good, but, it causes free radical damage. That is not something that you need when you’re trying to create new life. Very brisk walking or jogging for a half an hour 3-4 times a week is very good. It is also very beneficial to get in the practice of doing resistance training with light weights. This creates good lean muscle and keeps the metabolism going long after exercising. It is also a fantastic stress reducer, and keeps the bones strong.

Pulsed magnetic therapy has been found to be very beneficial in cases of infertility. After years of studies in Europe, it was found that PMT counters the toxic electromagnetic fields while increasing sperm motility and oxygenation of the pelvic area. Using the whole mat unblocks energy meridians and increases cellular metabolism allowing proper circulation. Using the pillow concentrates the PMT on the pelvic region. Combining this with nutrition, relaxation, supplementation and herbs enhances their benefits.

In most cases, the best time to attempt conception is around the time of ovulation. During that week, it may be best to have intercourse only 2 times - any more than that, and you could reduce the sperm count. By abstaining for the week prior to this, you may allow sperm and energy to build up, thereby increasing fertility. It has been found that sperm are more active after 2-3 days of abstinence. It’s best for men to wear boxers and avoid hot tubs while attempting to conceive. Women should keep a temperature chart and determine ovulation. It’s best to do this for a few months. If the cycle is not regular, there are several herbs that may help with this. Diet is also important.

It’s a very good idea to detox every month or so. If the liver becomes sluggish due to a high amount of toxicity in the body, the hormones could become imbalanced. Detoxification can be accomplished with various herbal combinations that help detoxify the entire system. Some very good herbs to look for might be: milkthistle, dandelion leaf and dandelion root, uva ursi, yellow dock, Oregon grape root, artichoke, licorice, burdock, yarrow, red clover. Combination products are good.

If you have any of the many symptoms associated with hypothyroid, it would be a good idea to take your morning temperature for a week or so to see what your basal temp is. It has been found that the best days for this would be days 1-7 of your cycle, with day one being the first day of your period. This is done by shaking down a, preferably basal but not digital, thermometer at night and putting it on your night stand. Set your alarm 10 minutes early - then without moving too much put the thermometer under your armpit. Hold it there for 10 minutes and read. If the temp is 97.6 or below , chances are very good that you are hypothyroid. Check this for a week. If you have any doubt, have your physician order a TSH, Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3 and thyroid antibodies tests for you to have done. Please know that many physicians declare the results of these tests normal, when, in fact, they are not conducive to fertility in neither men nor women. Following, is some information concerning hypothyroidism and fertility:

It can cause anovulation or irregular ovulation-(still have periods, just don’t ovulate). You may also have a short luteal phase (time between ovulation and when period starts). Normal range is 13-15 days.
OPTIMAL TSH RANGE to get pregnant and maintain pregnancy is 1.0-2.0
It is a very good idea to check for the presence of anti-thyroid antibodies. They can be a factor in infertility or early miscarriage. The risk of miscarriage can be twice as high in women with antithyroid antibodies.
It may be necessary to have your thyroid hormone levels checked during each trimester. The need for thyroid hormone can increase in the early part of pregnancy due to increased estrogen levels.(estrogen blocks thyroid hormone).
A high TSH can cause stillbirth, premature delivery or low IQ.

Try to eat according to your blood type. (Eat Right 4 Your Baby, Peter D'Adamo) It’s important to keep the inside of your body and all your various systems as free of toxins as possible. Over 50 years of research have shown that there is a chemical reaction between the food you eat and your blood type antigen. If you eat foods that contain foreign antigens, your immune system will create anti-blood type antibodies to it. These reactions can disrupt your immune system, increase inflammation, disturb your digestive processes, and also be a factor in infertility or miscarriage when a mother and father have opposing blood types or when the mother is carrying a fetus of an opposing blood type. Eating foods containing foreign antigens may sensitize your system to constantly put out anti-blood type antibodies. When sperm or possibly a fetus with opposing antigens is involved, your antibodies will search out and destroy them. The lectins in foods can also cause autoimmune problems. They cause agglutination in the body which result in toxins. These toxins settle in organs or joints and an over active immune system attacks not only the toxins, but, the organs where they are. Again, this is NOT something you want to be going on inside you while trying to conceive. Your body could be mounting attacks against itself in addition to the sperm or the fetus. It is VERY important for the father to follow the blood type diet also – in order to make adequate motile sperm.

Here are some basic recommendations:

Blood type O’s should eat-
---good free-range organic beef or buffalo, chicken, turkey, and fish. However, since most fish is very high in mercury, lead, and toxins, it is not recommended that pregnant women eat fish. One exception would be a good source of wild Alaskan red salmon. Research has found that wild Alaskan red salmon contains the least amount of toxins. Do not eat farmed salmon, it is NOT free of toxins at all.
---All vegetables are good with the exception of potatoes, corn, cabbage, and carrots. O’s are not genetically able to digest most carbohydrates, and the starchy vegetables also contain harmful lectins. If a blood type O person focuses on protein and non- starchy vegetables,they’ll do very good.
---In moderation, Ezekial bread is acceptable (eat no other breads). It is made from sprouted grains, and the sprouting eliminates most of the lectins.
---Buckwheat flakes are an acceptable cereal for breakfast,if need be. Arrowhead Mills makes a cold cereal called Maple Buckwheat flakes that is acceptable in moderation.
---If you feel a need for an occasional grain, spelt pasta or brown rice is acceptable.
---The best policy is to eliminate sugars, starches and grains. The better your compliance, the better your chances of conception.
---Dark fruits are beneficial, in moderation. Remember, never eat fruits with meat or vegetables. It’s best to have them as a snack, with a handful of walnuts or almonds. That way you’re not eating them on an empty stomach, which could cause an imbalance in insulin.
---Eggs are good, but be sure to purchase free-range, organic eggs. It is very important to eat organic as much as possible - at least while you’re trying to get pregnant and until you deliver. The toxic environmental hormones, pesticides, and steroids are not something you need to be eating at this time. Your baby doesn’t need them either.
---Dairy is also something you will want to avoid. It contains lectins that are highly incompatible for someone who is a blood type O. This includes all cheeses, (except mozzarela and feta which are acceptable, in moderation), milk, and ice cream.
---Eat no SOY.
---Pumpkin seeds, almonds and walnuts are good, but, not peanuts or cashews.
---Fish oil, flax oil and olive oil are also very beneficial.
---Drink plenty of water, but, stay away from green or black tea or coffee.
Even by avoiding most grains, starches, and sugars, you’ll still be getting an adequate amount of carbohydrates by eating moderate amounts of dark fruit and nuts. It takes some discipline, but I know of many people who have done it and had wonderful results with what ever their health problems were. The best way to look at it is ... if a food is considered bad for you, it’s poison to your system and can be causing your immune system to put out excess amounts of antibodies against foreign antigens. According to the studies, this could play a big part in whether you conceive, or not. If a food is considered good for you, it’s like medicine and may help heal and calm your system.

Blood Type A's should eat-
---organic chicken, turkey, and fish but stay away from beef. (see above note on fish)
---Most dried beans (except kidney, navy and pinto) are acceptable, however, a lot of A’s (non-secretors)find that they just do not feel well on the complex carbohydrates. In this case, it's always best to follow what your body tells you. **Non-secretor information can be found in Dr. D'Adamo's books or on his website-www.d'adamo.com.**
---Vegetables are very good. Again, it is necessary to avoid the starchy ones. In most instances,you can adequately digest them, but, they turn immediately into sugar and can cause a blood sugar and/or insulin imbalance. That is not something that you want right now. Really, that is not something that you should ever want!
---Fruits are the same as with O’s. The darker the better, and in moderation. Never eat fruits with meat or vegetables. It’s best to have them as a snack, with a handful of walnuts or almonds. This way, they are not being eaten on an empty stomach - which could cause that imbalance in insulin.
---Peanuts are in most cases acceptable for A’s, but, for now I might stay away from them or at least be very careful of the source. Don’t eat raw ones; roast them first. Peanuts carry the risk of aflatoxin, and that is not something you want to deal with when attempting to conceive a child (or ever).
---Stay away from all dairy (except organic mozzarella and feta) For the most part, all blood types except blood type B should not consume dairy.
---Eliminate most grains, especially wheat. Wheat contains a lectin that binds with every blood type antigen, causing many problems.... some are recognized quickly, others not until years later. In most instances, grains are not a good food choice. Anything that affects blood sugar and insulin balances should be monitored carefully. That means no bread (except Ezekial), pasta, desserts. If you do feel a need to have pastas – you can find spelt pasta in health food stores. Brown rice is also acceptable, in moderation. Pizza is pretty much out. Unless you make your own with spelt crust and organic toppings!.... occassionally.
---monitor sweetners very carefully. My only recommendation is to try stevia. You can buy it as an herb and add it to your herbal teas to brew, or as a finely granulated, white product that is many times sweeter than sugar. There are many different companies producing it, and some are better than others. It's based on personal taste. Another recommendation might be xylitol. This is a sugar alcohol and has many fine recommendations and studies. However, it is also known to cause bloating and gas (as are a lot of the sugar alcohols). The other sweetners are something I can’t ever recommend. Don’t even think about aspartame. It is one of the most toxic substances you can put in your body.
---NO SOY. If I didn't mention it before, this is a toxic endocrine disruptor and will greatly affect your chances of conceiving.
---Drink plenty of water. (not tap water, but, pure, filtered water) I would stay away from green and black tea and coffee. Green and black tea contain a VERY high amount of natural fluoride. This can lower thyroid hormone production – which can cause infertility. THAT is not good when you’re trying to make a baby or carry a baby full term.

Blood type B’s should eat-
---Lamb, mutton, rabbit, turkey, venison, beef, buffalo, veal and ostrich are the meat protein choices.
---It is necessary to avoid chicken, as it contains a lectin incompatible with blood type B's.
---In most cases, fish would be an excellent choice for B's, however, when trying to conceive and after conception, it is necessary to avoid most fish (as mentioned above). Except for good, wild Alaskan red salmon, most contain too many toxins.
---B's are able to enjoy most dairy products. As mentioned above, it is always best to get organic, if possible. In some cases, it is possible to get organic, raw cheeses. This is always the better choice. If you have access to an organic dairy farm and can buy unprocessed, raw organic milk, that is far superior than pasteurized milk.
---Olive oil, cod liver oil, and flaxseed oil are the most beneficial for blood type B's.
---Most nuts are not recommended for B's, however, moderate amount of walnuts, almonds, flaxseeds, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, and pecans are acceptable in moderation.
---Most breads and grains are not recommended. Ezekial bread is acceptable in moderation, as is rice, oats and spelt. Do not eat corn, rye, or wheat. Foods that factor adversely in weight gain and metabolism are corn, buckwheat, lentils, peanuts, sesame seeds, and WHEAT. They result in fatigue, fluid retention, and hypoglycemia. It is known that wheat and wheat products are intolerable to B’s due to the fact that it slows down the metabolism and, when not digested and burned efficiently for fuel, it is stored as fat.
---Eggs (organic) are beneficial in moderation.
---SOY is not recommended at all (as above). Soy is an endocrine disrupter and can influence steroidal hormones as well as thyroid hormones
---All fruits are good (dark ones are the best). It has been found to be most beneficial to avoid eating fruits with meat or vegetables. It’s best to have them as a snack, with a handful of walnuts or almonds. This way you’re not eating them on an empty stomach - which will cause an imbalance in insulin.
---Most vegetables are good. Corn, avocado, olives, tomatoes are not acceptable. ---People with Blood type B are very susceptible to food lectins which increase the risks of hypoglycemia, obesity, and “leaky gut”. ---There are not a lot of choices in sweetners for the B. Mollasses, pure cane sugar, rice syrup, maple syrup, and honey are what's available. All should be organic and as unprocessed as possible. AND - always in very small amounts, due, again, to the insulin and blood sugar effects.
---Drink plenty of pure, filtered water. Avoid all green or black tea due to caffeine and fluoride. There are many beneficial herbs you can use during pregnancy to make wonderful teas. A rare, small glass of good organic red wine would be acceptable.

Blood type AB’s should eat-
---Basically, AB's need to avoid all of the A and B avoids, and, for the most part enjoy all of both acceptables.
---However, because this is the rarest of blood types, it is very important to narrow the choices down to specifics -- especially if trying to conceive or carry a pregnancy full-term.

It’s very important to have a good diet prior to attempting to conceive. This will alleviate hormonal imbalances, insulin imbalances, toxicities, and/or autoimmune problems enabling the body to function at optimal levels.

At this time, I need to give one caution concerning an over-the-counter product. Most of the above dietary suggestions have limited or cut out many foods most people regularly consume....breads, pastas, sweets. The comfort, addictive foods. Please, at this time, don't be tempted to fall into the trap of running to the health food store or drug store and grabbing a bottle of "carb blockers", then eating the "forbidden" foods. DON’T USE CARB BLOCKERS!! They are one of the worst “magic bullets” to be put on the market. Granted, the carbs go undigested, but, they sit in the stomach and ROT. This can cause a myriad of immune problems, as with all the above mentioned lectins, and digestive problems. The toxins have to go somewhere, so they permeate the intestinal wall - causing leaky gut syndrome. Many autoimmune disorders are caused by a “leaky gut”.

It is recommended, if you experience difficulty in conceiving, to have saliva hormone levels done (female). In many instances, estrogen dominance may be the reason for an inability to conceive. There are many herbs known to help balance the hormones. It has been recommended in several alternative references to use the herb vitex every day for at least 3 months – even during your period. This has been found to help balance both hormones (estrogen and progesterone). In addition, progesterone cream has often been found to rebalance hormones after a few months by countering the estrogen dominance.

Men can also have an estrogen imbalance - thereby affecting the amount of free testosterone in their systems. If a man is overweight with excess fat deposits, estrogen will be converted from testosterone in the fat cell. This, in turn, creates more fat cells due to resulting hypometabolism. It’s a vicious circle. It is always important to get your weight under control if having problems conceiving. This is important for both male and female.

BENEFICIAL SUPPLEMENTS

---A good multiple vitamin. This should contain all of the basic nutrients for both male and female fertility. Liquids and capsules are utilized the best. If you can not find a multi that has 800mcg of folic acid, it is suggested to supplement with enough to equal 800mcg. Men need to take a multipe with NO IRON unless diagnosed anemic.

---It is very beneficial to take a good calcium/magnesium supplement. Try to get at least 1000mg elemental calcium citrate or hydroxy apatite with at least 500mg elemental magnesium. Country Life has a good powder that you can mix in a smoothie. There is also a good liquid by Lifetime; it doesn't contain quite enough magnesium, but, you can add another 200mg capsule in the evening to make up for that.

---Carlson fish oil is a very good brand to take for the Omega 3 fatty acids. It is most beneficial to take at least a tablespoon a day. This is known to be good for conception and the development of the child. Another good fish oil supplement is CorOmega. This is an emulsified supplement that comes in individual packets.

---Take a good digestive enzyme with each meal. Enzymes are the catalyst for every metabolic process in the body. They are also very important to insure proper digestion and assimilation of the food you eat. Unless you are a type O, get one that contains HCL. People with blood type O don’t need HCL- they have enough genetically. Hence, their need for high protein.

---most multi vitamins don’t have enough vitamin C in them. Vitamin C has been found to be beneficial in infertility with both men and women. If you feel you need to supplement for that (exp.don’t eat enough colorful veges and green vegetables), Emergen-C is an effervescent vitamin C that contains 1000mg.plus trace minerals and 200mg of potassium.

---Zinc is important in every aspect of male reproduction. It is found to increase the motility of sperm. It is most beneficial to take about 50mg/day; no more than 100mg total combined. Nuts and pumpkin seeds are good sources.

---1000mg. of L-carnitine 3 times a day for men has shown dramatic increase in sperm concentration and motility.

---Co-enzymated B-Complex – 50-100mg. 2X a day. Studies show that this is very beneficial to the functions of the reproductive glands.

---Vitamin E and selenium have been found to benefit both men and women. In men, it has been shown to improve the sperms’ impregnating ability. The best dosages are 400iu of mixed tocopherols of vitamin E, and 200mcg of selenium.

As an aside...The drugs Zantac and Tagamet are known to decrease sperm count and cause impotence.

There are many herbs for both men and women that are good tonics, adaptogens, and hormonal balancers. Most herbs mentioned here are safe to take with a little guidance and common sense as you are preparing to conceive. Once conception has taken place, however, women should never take anything without careful guidance. Most substances ingested by a pregnant woman will affect the fetus. Here are some of the better known herbs:

He Sho Wu - known to strengthen the heart, purify the blood, strengthen glands; is a tonic herb; is found to promote hair growth and color; nurtures the liver and kidneys, reduces signs of aging, is beneficial for high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries; affects thyroid hormone production and conversion of T4 to T3; has been found to restore energy, maintain strength, vitality, and fertility.

Chaste tree berry (vitex) – shown to regulate hormone balance, affecting pituitary hormone activity. Is known to be beneficial for irregular periods; is relaxing and calming; helps in the conversion of estrogen production from the ovaries to the adrenals during menopause; is beneficial in supporting the production of hormones in the second half of the menstrual cycle; appears to have more progestogenic than estrogenic action, making it effective during PMS; may normalize the activity of progesterone and estrogen, stimulating the hypothalamus gland to produce leutenizing hormone (this is often enough to encourage the ovaries to release an egg). Many sources recommend women taking this 3 times a day every day for about 3 months or until conception occurs.

Wild yam - is known to affect the glandular balance; it has been used for any type of cramps (is an excellant anti-spasmodic herb); is beneficial for constipation, arthritis, inflammation of bowels; found to calm nerves and restore tone to the bladder.

Sarsaparilla - known to be an excellant blood purifier, and affect glandular balance; found to increase metabolism and promote the production of progesterone; is an alterative herb (alters the body to promote good health), and is beneficial for hot flashes and vaginal or uterine infections. Found to increase the production of testosterone, thereby correcting flagging libido.

Dong Quai - known to improve circulation, lower blood pressure, regulate hormones - bringing on delayed or suppressed menstrual periods, relaxe the heart muscle, and stabilize blood sugar; is found to be a uterine tonic, detoxifier, anti-spasmodic, analgesic, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal herb; it has been shown to enhance the immune system, strengthen female reproductive organs, and ease the effects of menopause. It is best to take this before conception to balance hormones. Don’t take during pregnancy.

Saw palmetto - found to regulate the menstrual cycle; is a mild sedative; helps relieve hot flashes; relieves urinary tract infections and fluid retention; soothes tension and anxiety; may be beneficial in polycystic ovarian disease where there may be too much androgen hormone; increases sexual energy and fertility in women; increases milk production. This herb is beneficial for women in small amounts. In men, it is known to increase production of testosterone, and block the conversion of testosterone to the inactive metabolite - DHT. It has been found to increase the breakdown and excretion of DHT. Saw Palmetto has also been found to increase sperm count and motility when combined with --
Ho Sho Wu, which is known to tone and strengthen the male reproductive system, enhancing the male hormones when required. This is a well-known remedy for atrophy of the testicles, low libido and impotence.

False unicorn - has been found to stabilize the menstrual cycle; is a hormone balancer; improves ovarian function; tones the uterus; is a liver tonic; beneficial in treatment of depression; encourages fertility and treats impotence; may prevent threatened miscarriages; promotes pelvic circulation and relieves pelvic congestion. I has been found to be beneficial in cases of sterility.

Dandelion root - is a known liver tonic, blood purifier, digestive tonic, and laxative; is beneficial for problems associated with a sluggish liver (tiredness,irritibility,skin problems, headaches); increases the elimination of toxins, wastes, and pollutants through the liver.

Cornsilk - For general health, when using herbal medicines or any natural therapies, it is best to tone all systems so the body works effectively as a whole. Cornsilk is a very good urinary tract tonic. It has been found to clear toxins, deposits, and irritants out of the kidneys and bladder, has an antiseptic and healing action, and reduces fluid retention.

Red Raspberry - known to strengthen and tone both the male and female reproductive systems; it may quell nauaea in pregnancy and encourage safe, easy and speedy childbirth; reduces the pain of uterine contractions.

Black Haw - is a uterine anti-spasmodic and tonic to the reproductive system, making it beneficial for dysmenorrhea(heavy menstruation) with cramping pelvic pains; is beneficial for nocturnal cramping of the legs; improves circulation to the uterus and ovaries and whole pelvic area; strengthens the reproductive system in women who have had previous miscarriages; is recommended for uterine cramping during pregnancy; is a nerve sedative, and beneficial for asthma.

Panax ginseng - boosts energy, immunity and sexuality; strengthens the adrenal glands; improves the body’s ability to handle stress (adaptogen); beneficial for a weak pulse, energy deficiency, and a lack of appetite; acts on the pituitary to stimulate the adrenal glands; increases mental performance and concentration. It is best to try to get wild-cultivated 7 year old ginseng grown in unsprayed woods if you want to use it. Cultivated ginseng is the most heavily sprayed herb on the commercial market due to it's susceptibility to hosting fungal growth. Panax has a more stimulant activity than Siberian ginseng. Therefore, it is best to take for only 2 weeks at a time and never take a stimulant herb while pregnant.

Maca - is found to be beneficial in balancing the thyroid, aiding in libido problems, and helping to balance hormones in both men and women.

Damiana- This may increase vitality and low adrenal energy. Both are,at times, lacking in cases of infertility. It is a nerve tonic with a strong affinity to the sexual organs; is useful in treating anxiety and/or depression that has a predominant sexual factor; is beneficial for both men and women. Studies have found that an effective way to take this is to simply have 1-2 cups of the hot tea with supper or before bed.

Epimedium sagittatum (horny goat weed) - is a liver and kidney tonic; is beneficial with chronic fatigue and rheumatic conditions; is beneficial with lumbago, cold hands and feet, spasms, and numbness; dilates capillaries and large blood vessels, balancing blood pressure; is beneficial for men in cases of premature ejaculation and erectile disfunction; is used in Chinese herbal medicine (goes by the names Yin Yang Huo, and Herba Epimedii) traditionally for disorders of the kidneys, joints, liver, back and knees, and as an aphrodisiac; it is found to have testosterone-like effects and may stimulate sexual activity in both men and women, stimulateing the sensory nerves and increasing sexual desire. Research has shown epimedium is capable of inhibiting acetylcholinesterase which inactivates cholinergic neurotransmitters which are associated with sexual arousal. The anti-fatigue effects of epimedium are found to help prevent adrenal exhaustion. Studies have found that this herb increases sperm count and density. It is best to take epimedium cyclical.

Siberian Ginseng - is an adaptogen (helps in dealing with all forms of stress and anxiety); exhibits immunostimulant activity; increases resistance to the flu and acute/chronic respiratory infections; is a circulatory stimulant and vasodilator, showing effectiveness in hypertension; has been found to reduce cholesterol; is used to help treat impotence. It is best to take this cyclical.

Ashwagandha - Indian ginseng - is known to enhance thyroid activity - balancing the thyroid hormones; shows effectiveness in treating male impotence and infertility; strengthens the mind - enhancing learning and memory retention; has good anti-stress properties and increases the immune response. Take this cyclical.

Milk thistle- This is the premier liver tonic herb. In herbal medicine, you must treat all systems of the body, not just one. They all work together. The liver detoxifies the whole body, recycling and excreting the hormones. It is very beneficial to use this in conjunction with any other herbal preparation or holistic therapy. The liver is very instrumental in regulating estrogen balance. When the liver is sluggish, estrogen is recycled back into the system and in most cases, a state of estrogen dominance results.

Tribulus Terrestris- This has been found to be a very beneficial herb used for increasing testosterone levels in both men and women. It is known to increase the quality and quantity of sperm and circulation to the genitals; is very rich in plant steroids, saponins, flavanoids, alkaloids (which cleanse the body diuretically), oils, calcium, phosphorus, iron, and protein; has been found to have no adverse effects. Tests have shown that tribulus helps to maintain normal cholesterol and blood pressure, inhibit stress-induced clumping of blood platelets, and strengthen contractions of the heart muscle while improving the blood cell profile – including the immune cells.


EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUE

In addition to all of the above suggestions (and remembering the "body/mind connection"), it may be very beneficial for you to learn a technique called EFT (emotional freedom technique). It is very helpful in alleviating numerous problems, such as - phobias, traumatic memories, pain, allergies, insomnia, depression, anger, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). Sometimes, there are many negative thoughts and emotions tied to the decision to conceive a child. "Can we really afford it?"; "What if I can't get pregnant?"; "Will my baby be normal?";" Should I have my baby vaccinated?"; "Will I be a good parent?"; "Will my child be able to get into a good college?"; "Should I continue to work, or stay at home?"; and on and on and on. EFT can help with all of those emotions, allowing you to focus your energy on the matters at hand - which should be a normal, healthy conception and pregnancy.

EFT goes by the theory that all negative emotions are caused by a disruption in the body’s energy system. You can get rid of the negative emotions and - in 50%-80% of the cases, the physical disorders attached to them - by tapping on the energy meridians located throughout the body. This is just a synopsis I have typed up to help in learning… I am available to answer any questions you may have.

The whole technique is centered around the fact that most people have self-defeating, negative thinking and are, in most cases, what is termed as "psychologically reversed". This is somewhat like having your batteries in backwards. You say you want to do something, like lose weight or quit smoking, or get rid of a stress but, subconsciously you don't, or your body doesn't recognize that you want to. The other premise of EFT is – “all negative emotions are caused by a disruption in the body's energy system.” If you rebalance or correct the energy system, then the negative emotions go away and the problems that those negative emotions caused in most cases also leave.

In most cases, after one round of tapping, the negative emotion is gone, however, there are times where one round gets rid of the emotion, but, another one surfaces. This does not mean that EFT doesn’t work. It just means that you have different aspects of the same problem. In other words, many causes of the same problem that you may not even be aware of until you get rid of one aspect, and then either the symptom changes, or you feel a different emotion. Some people have lots of aspects, but, if you keep doing more rounds of the tapping, they all fall away. That's when you notice improvement or that the problem is gone. Persistence is very important. Just try, try again. As I mentioned, it's not that EFT doesn't work, it's just that all the emotional aspects surface and you have to get rid of each one.

When using EFT,it is suggested that you rate the craving, pain or whatever emotion it is you decide to work on, on a scale of 1-10. After tapping a cycle, re-rate it. In most cases, the pain/emotional rating goes down. When it gets to 0, then the craving, pain, fear or phobia is gone.

It is felt, by practitioners who have used EFT extensively, that the underlying cause of most addictions is anxiety - an uncomfortable feeling such as tension or stress - that the addictive substance masks or tranquilizes. You need to relax, take a break, chill - if you get rid of the anxiety, then the craving should subside. Anxiety is a negative emotion. When treating addictions, it is suggested that you do the tapping 15-25 times a day. That way, you don't have cravings. When and if you do have a craving, you tap on it right then until the craving is gone. Addictions are hard to get rid of. They aren’t often eliminated after only one tapping. Sometimes it takes 2-3 weeks, but, the tapping takes care not only of the physical craving, but the emotional part of it too. Once you get to the point where you don't crave anymore, then it's good. But, as with cigarette smoking, you can always get the addiction back, so you have to be vigilant and just tap on anything that could trigger you to start smoking again.

Now that I've gone over the basic theory, I'll explain more about the tapping itself. It's very easy to memorize; the cycle goes from top to bottom. But, first, the most important part is the SETUP. This is what is used to undo the "psychological reversal". If you're psychologically reversed, then no amount of tapping or psychological therapy or – actually – any other healing modality will work. To initiate the Setup, you can do one of two things--- about 4 inches down your sternum and about 2 inches left or right, find a spot that if you press with 2 fingers hurts. This is called your sore spot. Supposedly, it's a spot of lymphatic congestion. Rub on this spot in a circular motion while saying an affirmation. If the psychological reversal is caused by self-defeating, negative thinking, then you correct that by neutralizing it with a positive affirmation. So, you rub, and say -(for example) "Even though I have this...(problem, pain, addiction,feeling, etc), I deeply and completely accept myself" Say this 3 times while rubbing the sore spot OR - tapping on a point on either hand between the top of the wrist and the bottom of the little finger - a place where you would do a karate chop. Either rub the sore spot or tap the karate chop spot with 2-3 fingers while saying your affirmation. After that - you say a reminder phrase - if the affirmation was about a cigarette craving, then the reminder phrase might be "this cigarette craving". Say that phrase while tapping on each of these following spots - the inner corner of the eyebrow, where it begins - the outer corner of the eye, on that bone - under the eye, on that bone - under the nose - between the chin and lower lip - a spot that is about 1 inch down from that little notch in your neck and over 1 inch to the left or right, it is the junction of the sternum, collarbone, and first rib - a spot about 4 inches down under the armpit, usually in the middle of the bra on women or even with the nipple for men. Those spots are the MAIN SPOTS , those are the ones that HAVE to be tapped with every sequence. However, if you feel you need a little extra help, then after you get done tapping under the arm, you can proceed to the fingers. You would tap on the outside part of the thumb even with the base of the thumbnail - the outside of the pointer,facing the thumb, even with the base of the nail - the outside of the middle finger, facing the pointer, even with the base of the nail - the outside of the little finger, facing the middle, even with the base of the nail, the outside of the little finger, even with the nail,- then, tap on the karate chop spot again. You can also add this to it - and this is a really weird part of the whole thing, but, it's purpose is to rebalance or reintegrate the right and left sides of the brain. , On either hand, and you can use either side of the body for any of the tappings, find the spot one half inch down from between the knuckles of the ring and little fingers. Tap on that spot while saying your reminder phrase AND - close your eyes, open your eyes, keeping your head straight - look hard down right, then look hard down left, then make your eyes go around in a circle clockwise, then circle counter clockwise, then HUM first line of Happy Birthday (actually you can hum whatever you like), count - 1,2,3,4,5, then HUM another line of Happy Birthday - all the while tapping on your hand and saying your reminder phrase THEN - do the original sequence all over again - eyebrow, corner of eye, under eye, under nose, under lip, collarbone, under arm.

It sounds like a lot or very confusing, but, REALLY, it's not. I learned it very fast. It goes from top to bottom. At first I used everything, because I figured it would be most beneficial if I used all of the sequences. But, after a while, I realized that I had forgotten to go back and redo the first one. It's not always important that you get the additional sequences perfect. In fact, the shortcut of just doing the setup and the first sequence is used for most things. If it takes a while for numbers to come down, then the fingers and the eye sequences might be helpful. There's no set way to do it. Except for the most part the first sequence always needs to be done in the descending order.

I already mentioned to you that persistence is very important… even if you don’t think it’s working.

There’s somewhat of a difference between tapping for cravings and any other problem. With cravings, like cigarettes, or chocolate or coffee, when you tap, you’re in the throes of a craving. With other problems or emotions, you may want to tap for fatigue or a headache, for example, or depression, or osteoporosis, or a fear, or a phobia, or a traumatic memory , or cramps, or even foggy thinking, - but you may not really be tuned in to the emotions or reason for what you’re tapping on. You need to- as painlessly as possible- get yourself into the emotions or feelings of what you’re tapping for.

Using that scale of 1-10, with 10 being the worst, before you tap on a problem, think about it exactly as you remember it, and notice how you’re feeling, and WHAT you’re feeling - then give it a number, and tap on it. After tapping on that specific thing, (that feeling, or emotion) re-evaluate it, and see if the number has dropped. As you’re tapping, be aware of different aspects of the same problem coming up. For instance, a pain turning to stiffness, or anger turning to sadness or fear, anxiety turning to depression, or headache pain going to neck pain. When you’re tapping on one feeling or emotion, it doesn’t always take away all the aspects of the problem. That’s why it may take more than one tapping session to get anywhere. It could sometimes take 15-20 minutes. I know when I first started doing it on myself(when I started the course), it brought out many different aspects about totally different things. All I know is that I felt awful, and got terribly depressed. But, I kept tapping on everything that was surfacing and how I felt, and my awful feelings finally went away. It took about a week, and I tapped whenever I thought about it for whatever I was feeling. Maybe I just needed a lot of baggage cleaned out!! I was 52 years old at the time!!!

Try tapping whenever you think about it for whatever you’re feeling. For osteoporosis, you could just tap on the osteoporosis in general, but, think about - if you could attach an emotion or a feeling to the osteoporosis right now, what would that be? Fear, anger, depression pain….. tap on those also - each separately. And each time, rate it 1-10, then see if you can tap on it until the number gets to zero. After that, go on to the next emotion or feeling. Sometimes it helps when you’re tapping on an emotion or traumatic event and it doesn’t seem to be working, to picture that feeling or trauma as a movie, and give the movie a name. Then, run the movie in slow motion by telling it – either in front of a mirror or into a tape recorder… any way that can let you recall it slowly. As you’re telling it, as soon as you start to have any type of reaction (increase heart beat, sweaty hands, shallow breathing) stop and tap on that particular aspect. Then, proceed with the movie. In this way, you may be able to focus on every aspect of the event. The more aspects you get rid of, the better results you’ll have.Until all aspects of a problem are brought up and gotten rid of, you may not notice total relief. If possible, be as specific as possible when tapping on something. That usually gives the quickest results. Also, in some cases, a person just can’t put a finger on exactly what it is that’s making them feel bad, they just know that they aren’t happy, or are stressed, or just have a bad feeling…. Tapping on “even though I have this bad feeling, I deeply and completely accept myself” is going to rebalance the energy system, and could have positive results that you don’t even expect.

Tap during the day whenever you think about it. Sometimes if you tap for generalities, like thyroid, or hormonal problems, or conception problems, you won’t notice results immediately. That's to be expected...physiological functions can't be corrected immediately, especially if using generalities. But,it's never a bad idea to use them, if that's easiest for you at the time. Just do it. EFT doesn’t hurt, and it doesn’t cost anything. Just be aware of any other feelings that come up as you tap, then tap on those, too. It’s that “cutting down trees in the forest” theory.

For trying to get pregnant, some suggestions might be - "even though I'm not pregnant, and we’ve tried very hard, I deeply and completely accept myself." That could be used as the set up phrase. Then, tap on the points with “this pregnancy problem”. You really can’t judge on a 1-10 scale how well you’re doing or how it’s working, but, in a lot of cases, it’s just good to tap like that as often as you think of it during the day. (To trigger yourself to think of it, it has been recommended that you try – as soon as you get up in the morning, before you go to bed, before every meal, and every time you go to the bathroom). You just may find as you tap, you get “feelings” that come up. They may be of sadness, depression, anger, anxiety, stress, even incompetence, or anything. Ask yourself - “if I put an emotion to not being able to get pregnant, what would it be”? I can’t begin to attach emotions to what you’re going through. Only a husband and wife can decide what feelings they have about the situation. Just remember to tap on absolutely everything. It might be a good idea if you each independently tap in private. I’m sure you each may have your own feelings apart from your combined feelings.

I know I have probably given more information concerning this than was necessary. However, EFT is a wonderful, effective therapy for more things than conception. It's a good thing to know and use in daily life.

A very good source of information for EFT is the website – emofree.com

Please email me if you have any questions.