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)

Donielle Baker

Donielle Baker

owner and editor of Natural Fertility and Wellness at Natural Fertility and Wellness
I believe women can learn how to heal their bodies & balance their hormones through natural methods. An advocate for natural health, I have a passion for nourishing/real food nutrition and natural living. My personal background includes both infertility and miscarriage and I started Natural Fertility and Wellness in 2008 in order to share all of the information I found helpful in my journey to heal from PCOS and overcome infertility.
Donielle Baker
Donielle Baker
Donielle Baker
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  1. Andrea @ Simple Organized Living

    Are these things available in the grocery store? I’ve only ever heard of dandelion leaves…but still don’t know where I’d find them. {I’m new to this!}

    • donielle

      @Andrea @ Simple Organized Living, You might be able to find them locally in the tea section at a supermarket, though I think that if you bought them from a health food store as loose herbs or ordered from a place like mountain rose herbs, they’ll be a lot fresher and more beneficial. (I’m an affiliate for MRH 🙂 banner is in my sig line on each post right now)

      of course parsley and cilantro is available in most grocery stores!

  2. Liz | Eating Well on the Planet Earth

    Herbal remedies are fantastic whenever you can use them instead of taking medications. I know this probably isn’t a concern of most of your viewers, since you are talking about fertility and natural conception, but do you know of any herbal or natural remedies for hot flashes?

  3. Christine @ Lily of the Valley

    You should be able to find dandelion greens at an International type food store. These are also excellent additions to green smoothies. I am enjoying organic parsley and kale in my green smoothies this week.

  4. Rachel

    There are a few other great benefits with nettles including it’s ability to help with seasonal allergies (antihistamine), although for that reason you might limit it while attempting to get pregnant, or not take it during the first part of your cycle as it’s drying and you wouldn’t want to affect your fertile quality mucus. It’s also very high in folate, which we all know is important before and early in pregnancy. Some people have an unknown genetic mutation, a MTHFR mutation, that prevents them from utilizing synthetic folate, or folic acid, well. So nettles can be a better way to get your folate than prenatals with a synthetic form. Both my boys have subtle evidence of midline disorders including mild tongue-tie and a sacral dimple (in my second only). This despite my consistent use of prenatals before and during pregnancy. After drinking a quart of nettles infusions almost daily for several months the severe eczema I had on my hands for several years all but went away, and stays away as long as drink nettles regularly. Eczema is a common problem when the folate detox path isn’t functioning. And obviously useable folate is needed to make it work properly.

    • donielle

      @Rachel, Thank you so much for leaving all of this information!

  5. Kristen @ Sage and Chocolate

    Forgive me if I’m wrong, but one caveat about using parsley therapeutically vs. in food is that too much of it can act as an abortifacient while pregnant. (At least I think that’s what I heard Susun Weed say in a recorded lecture.)

    I really wish I could get into the habit of drinking nettle infusions… I’ve found that it really is an acquired taste for me and I just haven’t acquired it yet!

    • donielle

      @Kristen @ Sage and Chocolate, I just looked it up in her book and yes she mentioned that parsley was an abortifacient. I know it’s a strong detoxifier as well and would never recommend a woman who is pregnant or nursing to use it other than sparingly in foods. I’ll make sure the herbal disclaimer is quite noticeable on this post – thanks!!

  6. Hélène

    You can also make or buy herbal tinctures and take in some juice and then you won’t have to drink qts of tea if you don’t like the taste. Expensive but handy and the taste is over quickly!

    • donielle

      @Hélène, Yes – good suggestion!

  7. Stephanie

    I started a nettle/RRL infusion in my last trimester, and never stopped (now 14 mo pp).

    SO HAPPY to find this site!!! I was just thinking in the shower THIS morning about ways to prepare the body for pregnancy. Because I am still nursing though, I worry about detoxing too quickly, and affecting milk supply and quality. Hoping to find some direction here 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Is Dandelion generally considered safe for nursing?

    • donielle

      @Stephanie, I think in small amounts, dandelion is safe for nursing as long as baby is no longer exclusively nursing.

      While breastfeeding though I tend to steer more to foods that help with liver and kidney function instead of herbs or other methods of cleansing. Seems a bit on the safer side and much more gentle on the body!

  8. Candice

    I was wondering…. There is a large bush of stinging nettle on my property. My dad told me that if i boil it up and drink it’s good for you. I was wondering if you know what it does and is stinging nettle the same thing as you listed as Nettle leaves?

    • donielle

      @Candice, Yes – stinging nettle = nettle leaf. 🙂

      • Candice


        Sweet! Thanks! I’ll have to go harvest some! Question! Can i drink this while nursing? My youngest is 21 months and still nurses a few times a day. He’s slowly weaning himself so it’s not a huge issue as for supply really… I just don’t want to make him sick.

        • donielle

          @Candice, I would just start slow- one cup and wait a couple days to make sure it doesn’t bother him, then do one cup a day, gradually increasing over a couple months to 3 cups. At least, that’s what I did while I was still nursing! 🙂

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