an article by Susun S. Weed
most fertile years of a woman's life are those between
18 and 28. Even into the mid-thirties, it is usually
fairly easy to conceive and carry a pregnancy to
term. During these years the hormones that control
ovulation, enhance conception, and ensure a healthy
pregnancy are usually made easily and in generous
quantities. And detrimental life-style choices have
not had decades of repetition to create chronic
problems. The previous section deals with disturbances
to that pattern; and the section following deals
with herbal ways to decrease or control the teeming
fertility of the twenties and early thirties.
But more and more women are waiting until their
late thirties, early forties, even late forties,
to have children. Is this too late? Are these destined
to have high-risk pregnancies? Will these children
have more birth defects?
The answer to these questions - and others like
them - is "no!" for wise women who enlist the help
of green allies to increase fertility, ensure conception,
prevent birth defects, and promote a healthy pregnancy
and an easy delivery.
INCREASING FERTILITY; ENSURING CONCEPTION
Increase your chances of conception by meditating.
Cultivating a calm attitude, not surprisingly, enhances
fertility. Even taking a quiet five minutes alone
just for you, free of all responsibilities, can
bring big results if done frequently enough.
Use lunaception to time your ovulation so you have
the best odds of conceiving. It's fine to have sex
in the weeks before ovulation, especially if the
sex is focused on the woman and her orgasm, but
do save your best efforts for those three nights
when your "moon" is full and bright and ready to
Orgasm on the part of the male is necessary for
fertilization. The woman's orgasm does increase
the possibility of conception. Women who experience
orgasm after their partner (up to 40 minutes after
his ejaculation) have the very best chance of becoming
Red clover is the single best remedy for women over
forty who want to conceive but can't - even if
there are medical reasons for not conceiving such
as blocked tubes, diabetes, ovarian cysts, internal
scarring, or endometriosis. There are many heart-warming
success stories I could share about red clover!
But suffice to say, drinking 2-4 cups of the infusion
of the dried blossoms (neither tincture nor tea
nor pills will work for this application) seems
to do wonders for fertility, no matter what your
PREVENTING BIRTH DEFECTS
Boosting your nutritional status makes birth defects
less of a worry. Women who drink 2-4 cups of stinging
nettle infusion daily and eat cooked leafy greens
as well as lettuce salads are getting the abundant
folic acid, calcium, magnesium, and other minerals
needed to create a healthy baby. (Tinctures, pills,
and teas contain little or none of these important
Vitamin E is an especially critical nutrient for
fertility after forty and freedom from birth defects.
Freshly-ground wheat flour, cold-pressed oils, and
nut butters are all good sources of vitamin E, as
are stinging nettle infusion and most cooked seaweed,
such as kelp. The man's vitamin E level has as much,
if not more, bearing on freedom from birth defects
as does the woman's vitamin E level.
Avoid heat, both of you. Hot tubs, even prolonged
soaking in a hot bath, can cause temporary (up to
several months) sterility in some men. In women,
it can endanger the early embryo and trigger a miscarriage
or birth defects.
Avoid drugs, both of you, including alcohol, tobacco,
coffee, as well as over-the-counter drugs and prescription
drugs (except those you absolutely need). Your liver
needs to be strong and so do your kidneys, so you
can conceive and gestate a child. Instead of alcohol,
which damages the liver, drink herbal infusions
or alcohol-free wine or beer. Instead of tobacco,
which may contribute to birth defects and low birth
weight, try smoking a little dried peppermint, or,
better yet, go for a walk. Instead of coffee, which
challenges the kidneys, you may wish to drink green
tea or black tea, or try coffee substitutes, especially
the one made with dandelion roots. Instead of drugs
to ease everyday aches and pains, use the gentle
herbal remedies in this book instead.
Ambivalence about pregnancy and parenthood is normal
and natural. But the older a woman gets, the more
complicated her emotions about it may be. Add to
her emotional soup pot strong opinions from family
and friends, confusing information spread by the
popular media, and fear-inducing pronouncements
from "helpful" medical professionals, and that pot
will be in danger of boiling over. Herewith then,
some wise woman hints for keeping your cool in the
midst of overt and covert confusion.
Contrary to current opinion, having children in
your forties is ordinary and common worldwide. The
Bible mentions several women having children in
their fifties. What is unusual and unique to our
time is having a first child in one's forties. Our
mother’s, mother’s, mothers were having their fifth
or eighth or tenth child when they were in their
forties, not their first. If people tell you it
just isn't done, close your eyes and call upon the
spirit of your great-great-great-great grandmother,
then smile and tell them it seems utterly ordinary
Feeling tense and distressed about choosing or refusing
motherhood? Motherwort tincture is my favorite calmative.
A dose of 10-20 drops helps clear your mind, eases
your tension, and assists you in discerning the
best path to follow.
Bach flower remedies excel as helpers when you are
feeling emotionally overwhelmed. Try:
* Aspen when you feel anxious, apprehensive, or
afraid of the unknown.
* Mimulus when you are dwelling on a specific fear.
* Elm when you feel overwhelmed or inadequate.
* Red Chestnut when you are afraid for or worried
about your baby to be.
* Rock Rose when you are trembling, shaking, or
weeping from anxiety or fear.
Regular gentle massage or Reiki treatments not only
help you calm your distress, they also guide you
in creating a strong center that's resistant to
being pushed around by other people's opinions.
Massage and/or Reiki also help prepare your mind/body
for a healthy pregnancy and a safe birth.
SPECIAL ALLIES FOR PREGNANT WOMEN OVER FORTY
The single most important herb for pregnant women
over forty is comfrey (Symphytum uplandica hybrids).
The leaves of the mature plant contain an abundance
of constituents beneficial to mother and babe, including
generous amounts of minerals, alantoin, proteins,
and many vitamins. The minerals in comfrey help
ensure healthy nervous system growth; the fetus’s
developing brain uses the proteins. And the alantoin
helps the mother's tissues become stretchy and elastic.
Aging can lead to increased stiffness and brittleness
in bones and muscles, making pregnancy more arduous
and painful, labor slower and more difficult, and
injury more likely during birth. The hormones of
pregnancy, which help soften and relax the pelvic
tissues, may not be produced in adequate amounts.
Comfrey comes to the rescue! Comfrey creates flexible
and strong tissues throughout the body especially
mucus surfaces (including intestines, uterus, bladder
and vagina), the bones, the ligaments and tendons,
and the skin.
Regular use of the leaf infusion, at least a quart
a week, promotes a safe delivery by:
* strengthening uterine muscles and preparing them
to work easily and well
* strengthening perineal tissues so they become
resistant to tearing
* strengthening uterine ligaments so the uterus
does not prolapse
* strengthening the bladder and increasing resistance
to bacterial infection
* strengthening the vagina and helping to promote
an environment hostile to infection
* providing easily assimilated minerals to prevent
eclampsia and other complications
* helping the bones of the pelvis flex and open
* increasing iron in the blood and thus forestalling
I harvest the flowering stalks when they are fully
formed; and I am careful to use the cultivated garden
comfrey, which grows very tall and has purplish,
pinkish, bluish flowers. I avoid wild comfrey, which
stays rather small even when flowering, and has
cream-colored, white, or yellowish flowers.
Some people feel that comfrey is not safe to use
during pregnancy. Some people feel comfrey is not
safe to use internally at all. I disagree. The roots
of comfrey do contain compounds that are best avoided
during pregnancy (as do all parts of the wild plant).
In fact, I rarely use comfrey root because of the
possibility of liver congestion, and I strongly
caution those who have had hepatitis, chemotherapy,
or alcohol problems to strictly avoid comfrey root.
Yet even these people can benefit from use of comfrey
Another important herbal ally for women over forty
who desire a child is chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castii).
It has been used in Africa and parts of Europe for
several thousand years to discourage the male libido.
In women, the effects seem to be the opposite! It
may also be a fertility enhancer. Most importantly,
chaste tree is a strengthening tonic for the pituitary
gland, the master control gland for the endocrine
system. Daily use of the tincture of the berries
(1 dropperful/1 ml 2-3 times daily) had been shown
to increase progesterone - the hormone of pregnancy
- and luteinizing hormone - which promotes conception.
Because it can lower prolactin levels, chaste tree
is best discontinued during the last trimester of
Dong quai (Angelica sinensis) is not recommended
for women over forty. In general, this herb promotes
blood flow to the uterus and surrounding tissues.
This can promote the growth of fibroids and increase
the risk of post-partum hemorrhage. Ginger is a
better warming tonic; motherwort is better at relieving
pain; and raspberry is better at preparing the uterus
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Susun Weed at: www.susunweed.com and www.ashtreepublishing.com
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and involved, Susun Weed has garnered an international
reputation for her groundbreaking lectures, teachings,
and writings on health and nutrition. She challenges
conventional medical approaches with humor, insight,
and her vast encyclopedic knowledge of herbal medicine.
Unabashedly pro-woman, her animated and enthusiastic
lectures are engaging and often profoundly provocative.
Susun is one
of America's best-known authorities on herbal medicine
and natural approaches to women's health. Her four
best-selling books are recommended by expert herbalists
and well-known physicians and are used and cherished
by millions of women around the world. Learn more
article is © copyright Susun
S. Weed 200 - Republished here with kind permission.
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