Fertility Tea Blend {recipe}

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© Donielle

I truly believe that many times the cure for what ails us has already been given by God in the form of plants.

Herbs can be a wonderful addition to a healthy diet to help balance hormones and cleanse the body. Recently I’ve made myself about a quart of tea each day and enjoy drinking it over ice. It’s a fabulously refreshing on our hot and humid days, and I love knowing that it’s nourishing my body as well as hydrating it.

The herbs used can be specific to each woman, adding in others to help with unique health issues, and taking out what’s not needed. But I find that this simple mix offers me what I need for now and I’m not only happy with the changes I see happening, but also with the flavor. There may be other herbs that you enjoy using and the possibilities are endless!

4.5 from 2 reviews

Fertility Tea Blend {recipe}
Author: 
Recipe type: Beverages
 

Ingredients
  • red clover (harvested and dried myself) – for cleansing the blood, supporting the uterus, helps to alkalize the body and has a high mineral content.
  • dandelion root – purifies and builds the blood, helps increase production of bile, cleansing the liver and keeping digestion moving, is rich in potassium, overall benefits the female organs
  • nettle leaves – a blood purifier, increase the efficiency of the liver and kidneys, may help with the imbalance of the body’s mucous membranes. Also known as a uterine tonic and high in minerals.
  • red raspberry leaf – great for the female reproductive organs, strengthens the uterus, helps to decrease a heavy period, also aids in pregnancy support, and high in minerals.
  • rose hips – a good source of vitamin C, offers immune support, and good for stress.
  • Other herbal option would be something like vitex and/or dong quai – both help to normalize the menstrual cycle, but note that dong quai should not be taken alone and should not be taken during pregnancy.

Instructions
  1. Boil 3½ cups of water and add one heaping teaspoon of each herb to either a french press, or jar to strain later. (if you dry your own red clover, add a handful of blossoms)
  2. Pour the boiling water over the herbs and let sit for 3-4 hours, straining into a jar when finished infusing.
  3. Stir in a small amount of honey if needed and a bit of juice from a lemon. Refrigerate and drink throughout the day.

Notes
Optional Tastiness: I also add in the following on occasion (about 1 teaspoon each) to change up the flavor and include other nutrients: red rooibos tea – contains high levels of antioxidants and minerals, boosts the immune system, helps with nervous tension, and soothes digestive problems. elderberry – immune booster and flu fighter, ease inflammation and pain, and soothe the intestines dried cranberries (sugar and sulphur free)- adds wonderful flavor, digestive aid, helps to prevent urinary tract infections, and contains anti-inflammatory properties.

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What blends of herbs  do you use for fertility support?



Notes About "Detoxing" and Cleansing

Last night I had the opportunity to attend a “detox” seminar at our local health food store that was led by one of our local naturopaths.

I was the one who they probably thought looked bored as I was sitting there ‘playing’ on my phone. Little did he know I was doing some social media outreach for him!

It was an interesting one hour talk on how to cleanse the body and I left with some new knowledge as well as verification that some of the conclusions I’d come to are right. I mean….it’s easy to “think” you’re right after lots of reading and researching, but it’s wonderful to hear the same words come out of a health practitioners mouth. I took a few pages of notes and I’ll list some of my favorite quotes and remedies that Dr. Tamminga mentioned  for you and try to make most of them full thoughts for ease in reading.

I tend to take sloppy notes.

Toxin: something that disrupts your bodies natural ability to heal.

♥ Cleansing is over rated ♥

Build the body and it will cleanse itself

It’s so important for us to know that our body cleanses it’s self each and every day. When you go to the bathroom, sweat, and even when you breathe. The problems begin when we don’t give it the nourishment it needs to keep it’s natural detoxification system going strong.

He talked mainly on the gentle forms of cleansing that we can do at home – not heavy metals cleansing which he recommends doing with a practitioner (very important!). While still a gentle form he also discussed that pregnant and nursing women should not actively cleanse the body of toxins. In such cases, it’s better to eat a clean and nourishing diet so that the body can keep up it’s natural cleansing state, not speed it along.

Do not cleanse when you are in a weak state.

When the body is suffering from illness, disease, or certain organs are weak, you need to begin to build the body first. Build the minerals and overall nourishment, then cleanse small amounts at a time.

  • Fasting can be an effective cleanse as your body normally spends about 60% of it’s energy on digestion. Without having foods to digest it can send the energy to clean out toxins.
  • Your body can’t cleanse when it’s digesting – don’t eat after 7pmish to allow the body that rest while you sleep.
  • The master cleanse can be effective for some people. (note- I think if a person goes this route it needs to be done well before trying to conceive so that you have plenty of time to build nutrient stores)

He talked quite a bit about fasting and basically mentioned that even fasting during just one meal a week can be beneficial in allowing the body a break from digestion.

Herbs for cleansing the colon:

Cascara and Senna, but both must be balanced with psyllium hulls as they are quite powerful and you may spend lots of time int he bathroom without the extra fiber to slow things down.

Herbs for Stress:

Since stress around the colon affects digestion and therefore natural detoxification, he mentioned some herbs that are good for lowering that stress.

Passionflower, Chamomile, and Valerian as well as St. John’s Wort.

For Cleansing the Cells:

It was interesting to hear how our cells work. He put it a bit like this: they are basically like a factory; taking in raw materials (minerals, oxygen, etc.) at one end from the loading docks (the receptors) , process them, and then ship out the product (energy) at the other end. The problem comes when the receptors get “gunked up” and can’t receive those raw materials.

**huge sidenote here – he also mentioned that processed wheat (a.k.a. bread), takes on the same shape as the insulin receptors. So if wheat is “gunking up your insulin receptors, you aren’t able to efficiently use the insulin your body is producing.**

Essential oils can be used to help cleanse the cells.

  • week one – use 2 drops of a clove or cinnamon essential oil on the bottom of the foot each morning.
  • week two – use 2 drops of a hyssop, frankincense, or patchouli essential oil in the same way.
  • week three – use a citrus essential oil on the feet
  • week four – take a break.

Every factory has waste product – your lymphatic system helps to clear this waste from the body. It’s slow moving though and could use help. Massage the body toward the heart – massage from your ankles up, your wrists up, up your sides, and toward your heart.

Blood Cleansers:

Chloryphyll, Burdock root, Vitamins A, C, and E, and the herbs pau D Arco, red clover, and sarsaparilla.

Parasite Cleansers:

Black Walnut (also mentioned it helps build tooth enamel), Green pumpkin seeds, clove essential oil, and the herb artemisia.

Overall the message was

“Take the bad out and put the good in.”



Natural Fertility 101: 7 Simple Ways to Detoxify Your Home

photo credit: darwinbell

1. Use a water filter , especially if you have water treated with fluoride and/or chlorine. Shower filters are also important as chlorine is released into the air as well as absorbed through the skin. Swimming in pools treated with chlorine may be cause for concern; make sure you stick to outdoor pools if possible or cut back on your swimming experiences. And stick to stainless steel or glass water bottles as the plastics may leach into the water.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulcole/3631719372/

photo credit: paulcole

2. Use cast iron or stainless steel pots and pans to cut down on toxic fumes from non-stick pans.

photo credit: crossbow

3. Stay away from products made with PVC (poly vinyl chloride). Many household items are routinely made from PVC and continue to off gas for many months. One very common PVC product is a shower curtain, others include windows, bottles that contain beauty care products, office supplies, and even food storage containers.

photo credit: collinanderson

4. Use only natural cleaners within the home. Not only does this keep your surfaces non-toxic, but decreases air pollution as well. Many common household cleaners are made from chemicals that produce hormone disruption as well as developmental problems in animal studies. It’s easy (and very cheap!) to make your own cleaners at home!

photo credit: tessawatson

5. Use plants within your home to naturally detoxify the air you breathe. The Areca Palm Tree, English Ivy, Boston Fern, Aloe Vera and even Spider plants have all been shown in studies produced by NASA to clean the air and remove substances like formaldehyde and even heavy metals.

photo credit: petrusia1

6. Air your home out on a regular basis, even in the winter, will keep the air fresh and push out stagnant air that holds toxins.

photo credit: mdid

7. Cleaning your home regularly also keeps any chemicals and toxins at bay. The dust that settles on furniture is often polluted.


Making just a few small changes within your home goes a long way to better health!



Natural Fertility 101: Herbs for Cleansing

Used throughout the centuries, herbs can be a powerful source of assistance to the body in natural detoxification. While many herbs are considered cleansing, there are a few that normally rise to the top in availability and taste.

Dandelion: Containing substantial levels of vitamins A, C, D, and B complex as well as iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, manganese, copper, choline, calcium, boron, and silicon, dandelion is often thought to be a common nuisance in lawns across the country but has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes. The root is often used in teas and tinctures, and the leaves in salads. (If you use in salads, make sure it’s from a pesticide-free lawn!!)

The summary from Mountain Rose Herbs:
“Dandelion leaf is a mild chloretic, that is, an agent for stimulating the release of bile from the liver into the gallbladder. The herb is used to support treatment of a variety of liver and gallbladder disorders, especially the incomplete digestion of fats. The release of bile is laxative, and accelerates the breakdown of various steroid hormones, causing an indirect, favorable effect on eczema and other skin conditions. Dandelion leaf, like dandelion root, also is one of the best herbal diuretics. It stimulates urination but also replaces the potassium lost to the increased volume of urine.”

Red Raspberry Leaf – While not to be used during the first trimester, RRL can be beneficial in cleansing the uterus and is high in B vitamins as well as vitamins A, E, and C.
Nettle Leaves – Believed to increase fertility while ridding the kidneys and uterus of toxins. Also contain wonderful amounts of vitamins A, C, and K. Some sources recommend not taking nettle leaf during pregnancy.

To use herbs medicinally, you can consume them as a tea, up to 3 cups per day.

Other herbs that can help cleanse the body are often used in modern cuisine like parsley and cilantro. Both can be used as additions to green smoothies as well!

*when herbs are used medicinally it’s best to work with an herbalist or holistic health practitioner. Some herbs may cause an increase in miscarriage rates. (parsley is one example of that)



Natural Fertility 101: Cleanse with Whole Foods

It’s really no coincidence that I started off the Natural Fertility 101 series with detoxification. Even in January. You see, cleansing our bodies before conception is important AND January is a great time to do it! During the fall months we normally dine on rich and dense foods like stews, chili, and roasts so that our bodies can build up nutrient stores to help us last through the winter months. The normal indulgent and sweet treats of the holidays are also behind us and our bodies are ready for a break.

I’d long heard that winter was a great time for a cleanse and I heard it again when I had a chance to listen to Jordin Rubin speak last fall. He highly recommended a week-long diet cleanse every three months, starting in January. A recent newsletter from the Body Ecology Diet mentioned the same thing as well as referred to the Traditional Chinese Medicine theory that backed that thought as well.

But how do you cleanse your body?

It can actually be as simple as making just a few changes within your diet and healing with real foods.

photo credit bobmarley753

Length of a Dietary Cleanse

The length that one would choose to cleanse can vary by person, but should last somewhere between 3-10 days. The goal is to lighten the load placed on the body and increase bile production to remove toxins.(increased bile production makes the liver more efficient and moves more toxins out of the body faster than it normally would) You don’t want to cleanse any longer than 10 days (unless you’re working with a professional for a specific health issue) because while the foods that help your body cleanse are healthy, you also need to make sure you get the building blocks needed for strong health as well as keeping your reproductive system working in top gear. Growing babies need those building blocks too!

Foods to Avoid

  1. Caffeine – While it’s the most popular ‘drug’ consumed in America, it’s also very hard on the body. It’s one of the biggest contributors of adrenal fatigue, causing constant internal stress. It also causes us to push our bodies beyond normal limits and we work instead of rest.
  2. Sugar – Not only is refined sugar hard to digest it depletes the body of nutrients. During a time of cleansing, we should also refrain from even unrefined sugars to allow for even more healing.
  3. Gluten, Grains, Legumes, Nuts, and Seeds – Often hard for people to digest, they also contain enzyme inhibitors that are difficult for the body to deal with.
  4. Meat – While meat is a very nutrient dense and building food, there are times where we need to take a short break from including it into our diets.
photo by wwworks

Foods that Cleanse

All of the following foods have wonderful cleansing properties to them and contain plenty of antioxidants, sulpher compounds, and/or specific nutrients that can help increase bile production.

  • Dandelion leaves and spinach.
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Broccoli and brussel sprouts
  • Asparagus
  • Garlic
  • Lemon
  • Avocado
  • Eggs

Other Foods to Include

Probiotic Foods. Fermented vegetables, yogurt, kombucha, and homemade lacto fermented dressings all add to the beneficial bacteria within your system. This bacteria is essential for good health and keeps your body’s immune system functioning properly.

Homemade Bone Broth. Deeply nourishing, bone broths are rich with minerals and help heal the digestive system.

Seafood. More specifically, wild caught seafood is not near as “heavy” as other animal meats and offers a multitude of essential nutrients.

Berries and “Sour” Fruits. Lower in natural sugar, many types of berries and the more sour or tart fruits can help the body cleanse as well as help deal with any sugar craving that come up during a cleanse. You’ll want to look for not only berries and lemons, but fruits like green apples and grapefruit.

{Learn more about cleansing with foods in chapter two of the book!}

Cleansing During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

There are a couple of times in life when a woman should not try to actively cleanse her body. Pregnancy and breastfeeding are those times! When you cleanse, your body may release many toxins, which can end up being sent to the baby in utero as well as through the breast milk. It would be a good idea to eat foods that have cleansing properties along with your normal diet, but do not cut out foods like whole dairy and meat because your little one needs these nourishing foods to grow and develop correctly.

Also be aware of when you try to conceive following a strict cleanse as the sperm and egg have a three-month life before conception. You don’t want to be displacing toxins around your body to have them effect the DNA of the egg or sperm. If you are already in good health and don’t have a lot of exposure to toxins, this won’t be such a big deal as if you are coming off of a very standard american diet and may have a much larger toxic body burden.

Dr. Natura Health Tip:

For extra cleansing, you can boost the detoxifying effects of a plant based whole-foods diet with a fiber-based herbal cleanse. Adding a fiber cleanse to your whole-foods diet can help stimulate digestion while sweeping the GI tract clear of wastes and toxins. Look for a cleanse that combines powerful psyllium fiber husks with soothing and stimulating digestive herbs like fennel seed, rhubarb root and/or slippery elm bark.

 

What do you do/have you done to actively cleanse your body with foods?



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