- CM Diagnosis and Your Herbal Prescription
- Chinese Herbs and Infertility
- Specific Chinese Fertility Herbs
- How Are Chinese Herbs Acquired and Consumed
- Duration of Treatment
- How Can I Tell If My Chinese Herbs Are Working?
1. TCM Diagnosis and Your Herbal Prescription
Herbal formulas and products are created to correct imbalances within the body based on classical Chinese Medical theories of how each system within the body functions. The first thing we will do is review your past and present health as seen through this theory.
You will fill out a very extensive health history questionnaire. From this information Patricia your Chinese herbalist will determine your traditional diagnosis which your custom herbal prescription will be based on.
2. Chinese Herbs and Infertility
The Chinese herbs that Patricia use have a long history of use in aiding fertility. Records indicating herbal treatment and products for infertility and miscarriage date back to 200 A.D., including mention of formulas that are still used for those purposes today, in the famous Shang Han Lun. The first book devoted solely to gynecology and obstetrics, The Complete Book of Effective Prescriptions for Diseases of Women, was published in 1237 A.D.
In modern China, herbs are used to treat infertility in both men and women and the results of large scale clinical trials are reported in Chinese medical journals; these results have been abstracted in English by a research group in Hong Kong since 1986.
The use of herbs in the US is growing rapidly.
3. Specific Chinese Fertility Herbs
No individual herb is considered especially useful for promoting fertility. Rather, more then 150 different herbs given in complex formulas comprised of 7 to15 or more ingredients are used in the treatment of infertility. Each formula is created with the purpose of correcting a functional or organic problem that caused the infertility.
The design of the formulas has varied somewhat over the centuries, based on prevailing theories and available resources. However, differences among individuals being treated accounts for the greatest variations in the selection of herbs and formulas to be used.
There are some “exotic” materials that are frequently found in fertility formulas, such as deer antler and sea horse, but the prominent materials are derived from roots, barks, leaves, flowers, and fruits.
Formulas for men and for women tend to be different, but there is considerable overlap in the ingredients used.
4. How Are Chinese Herbs Acquired and Consumed
In China, a number of fertility formulas can be purchased off the shelf in public pharmacies, and for uncomplicated cases, this is often adequate. However most men and women in Asia are treated for persistent infertility by obtaining prescriptions from a doctor who is expert in Chinese herbs. This is the service that I provide.
In the U.S., it is uncommon to find Chinese herbal fertility-promoting formulas in stores or other outlets; rather, they are prescribed by practitioners of Chinese Medicine. The practitioner should have at least a master's level training from an accredited college. Herbalists in the U.S. are often acupuncturists or naturopaths. Patricia is also a Licensed Acupuncturist and a Chinese herbalist with a specialty in infertility.
Herbs are ingested in several common forms, including tablets, granules, capsules or decoctions (teas). Some of the treatment plans involve using a single herbal combination regularly, but some situations require using two, or even three, different formulas at different times of the menstrual cycle. All of these means can be effective, so long as the correct formula and correct dosage are used for an adequate period of time.
5. Duration of Treatment
In the Chinese Clinical studies, daily or periodic use of herbs usually resulted in restored fertility within 3 to 6 months. Many Chinese doctors feel that if pregnancy is not achieved within about eight to nine months, then it is unlikely that the treatment will be successful with continued attempts.
In Japan, where doctors give lower dosages of herbal products and are restricted to using a smaller range of herbs, treatment time is usually longer: from six to fifteen months. In the U.S., nearly the full range of Chinese herb materials are accessible, but the dosage to be used is usually lower than in China at least to start with; as a result, I estimate that pregnancy can be achieved within six to twelve months, though it seems that most women get pregnant between 4 to 8 months. It must be remembered, however, that approximately one-third of infertility cases may fail to respond to all reasonable attempts.
One advantage of the Chinese herbal approach is that even if pregnancy does not occur, benefits to health can be attained because the herbs address imbalances that affect other aspects of health besides infertility.
6. How Can I Tell if My Chinese Herbs are Working?
When you start to see the external signs and symptoms disappear or change in intensity you will know that internally, systemic changes are occurring; a necessity for a successful conception.
In addition, you will have more energy, feel much better emotionally, sleep better and feel better physically. Of course the ultimate sign of successful treatment is that you get pregnant and carry to term.
MSOM, Dipl.Ac, LAc (Mi)
806 River St.
Owosso, Mi 48867
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.