Dong Quai and Fertility
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Treena
Posted on: July 20, 1998

I am a female 25 years old. I have a problem with infertility which has gone on for four years now, both parties are fine, the fertility is unexplained. I have a fairly regular cycle of about 32 days, my period only lasts for one day, and then phases out. I feel that I am not bleeding propably and was told to try taking Dong Quai. Would this help my cycle? I have also been told not to take it in the first 3 months of pregnancy, can you tell me why?

One of the actions of Dong Quai is to balance sex hormones. It does not exert a hormonal effect, rather its action is on the liver and endocrine system (the system that secretes hormones), nourishing and regulating them to influence hormonal production. It nourishes the blood and stimulates circulation. Dong Quai is powerful in its action and safe to use over an extended period of time. It is not recommended during menstruation or pregnancy because it may stimulate bleeding. Dong Quai and the suggestions following may help to normalize your period and increase fertility.

Important to normal hormone activity are:

* A good, well balanced diet that includes whole foods such as whole grains, rice, fruit and vegetables, and excludes processed foods, coffee, sugar, salt, white flour products

* A healthy body weight, regular exercise, sufficient sleep and low stress.

Rosemary Gladstar, in "Herbal Healing for Women" (available at Richters) suggests a herbal tonic of 4 parts rehmania (a Chinese blood tonic), 1 part astragalus root (immune stimulant), 1 part dong quai (a good general female tonic), 2 parts false unicorn root (uterine tonic), 3 parts wild yam root (a sex hormone precursor)and 1 part vitex berries (hormone balancing). As a tincture, she recommends taking one fourth of a teaspoon of this mixture 3 times a day. In addition, she recommends taking 2 capsules of dong quai 3 times a day except during menstruation, and Liquid Floradix Iron with herbs, following the dosage on the bottle. These recommendations apply to men as well, substituting the dong quai by ginseng in the formula and taking 2 capsules of ginseng a day in place of the dong quai capsules.

For more information, see Rosemary Gladstar’s book as above, or Amanda McQuade Crawford’s "Herbal Healing for Women" (Prima Publishing).

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