What to look for in a fertility cleanse (part 2 of 2)
Unlike harsh, prolonged detoxes that rely on powders and supplements, we want your fertility cleanse to be gentle, aligned with your cycle and based on whole foods and whole herbs. Your nutrition approach should be balanced, whole, fresh foods with lots of high nutrient veggies, greens, beans, fruits, clean proteins, healthy fats and added fiber from seeds. Fertility cleansing is less focused on digestion (though that’s important) and more focused on balanced blood sugar, the liver and uterus.
Timing your fertility cleanse with your cycle allows your body to naturally come back into balance. The day after your period ends up until ovulation, focus on the liver. From ovulation until you start menstruating, focus on tonifying the uterus.
You will know that your fertility cleanse is working when you see signs of balance. That may mean your acne begins to clear, you are less moody, PMS symptoms or cramping eases or is no longer a factor, etc.
In part one of this blog series, we covered liver and uterine supports. Here are a few more*:
For the Liver (start the day after your period ends and use until ovulation)
Burdock Root stimulates the liver and gently encourages bowel movements; both are necessary to rid the body of waste and achieve hormone balance.
Milk Thistle Seed: Silymarin is one active compound in milk thistle that supports the liver. In cases of overdose and environmental exposures, milk thistle is used to help the body release the toxins and recover. For fertility, the focus is on getting toxins out and making the body strong and able to carry a healthy pregnancy.
Dandelion Root is notoriously bitter and is perfect for stimulating bile and again encouraging the liver to release toxins and function at it’s best.
Ginger Root is beautifully warming, anti-inflammatory and supportive of healthy circulation. Ginger compliments the other herbs and addresses inflammation as a trigger for imbalance.
Uterus (use starting at ovulation and until you begin bleeding)
Dong Quai Root may help boost iron absorption and increases circulation. Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners use Dong Quai to help relax uterine muscles. In cases of sexual or reproductive trauma, Dong Quai can also help to release emotions that linger about the event.
Raspberry Leaf tones uterine muscles and normalizes menstrual blood flow. Beloved by midwives, red raspberry leaf is most commonly consumed as a tea.
Calendula produces a gorgeous yellow tea that is earthy and astringent and perfect for toning the uterus! Use calendula alternating with Raspberry leaf.
*Note: Always consult an herbalist, midwife or other trusted medical professional before starting a cleanse or any herbal supplements. Most of the herbs used in fertility cleansing should not be used while pregnant or breastfeeding.
Remember to focus on a nutrient-dense whole food diet while incorporating any herbs that are a good fit for your needs. Align your herbs with your cycle for one or two months, then take a break. For meal ideas and more specific guidance, check out The YogaBellies Fertility Cleanse
- Hoffmann, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, Vermont: Healing Arts Press.
- Page, L. (2008). Healthy Healing’s Detoxification – Programs to cleanse, purify & renew. Healthy Healing, LLC.
- Weed, S. (1989). Healing Wise. Woodstock, New York: Ash Tree Publishing.
- Gladstar, R. (1993). Herbal Healing for Women. New York, New York: Fireside.
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