You have a little plot of dirt, a garden. Maybe its a barrel above ground on your balcony, or maybe its a carved out border in your backyard. It bakes in summer heat, and freezes in winter. Acid rain and snow are its primary nourishment. Some years you transplant hydroponic Impatiens, adding some pre-packaged chemically enhanced soil. Other years you just let the wild clovers and violets grow. One year you planted wildflower seeds and now an occasional Cosmo and Echinacea blossom will sprout up, summers gifts. This year, you want to grow a Rose. And not just any rose, You want to grow one from the seeds you saved from your Mothers garden. You have tried, a few times, carefully planting 2 or 3 of the seeds you have saved. Watching and waiting, watering, only one little shoot grew once, then shriveled and died. What will you do? You can buy a nursery-perfect blossom and transplant it, and hope it grows and thrives. Or, you can redeem the quality of the soil, find the right balance of elements for your location, and carefully nurture your roses into life.
This is, of course, a thinly veiled metaphor for modern fertility. The overheating effects of alcohol and nicotine and cold harsh winds of stress are our basic elements. Our reproductive system is the highly chemically influenced plot of earth, exposed to the acid rains of caffeine, sugar and pesticides. But gardens can be restored, and so can our vital human bodies. In fact, some women have an inherently fruitful composition, and with just a little consideration and TLC, natures natural abundance takes root easily. Other women have more work to do.
As a fertility Naturoopathic Doctor in downtown Toronto, I see many women in their late 30’s and early 40’s preparing for their first baby. Whether a woman is mid-IVF, mid-insemination or doing it the old fashioned way, there is always work that can be done to improve the chances of conception.
After 20+ years of stress, drugs, alcohol, and junk food, the reproductive “soil” always can benefit from some rejuvenation. There are some general principals, and some individual components to this. Generally, Vitamins B5 and B6 are important for hormonal health. These should be taken as *at least* 100mg each daily with food, or up to 500mg B5, 250mg B6 for up to 3 months. CoQ10 is a fat soluble antioxidant that works at the cellular mitochondrial level, increasing each cells energy bank. CoQ10 can protect and rejuvenate ovarian cells at 100mg daily, with food. Nutritionally, everyone can benefit from adding 3 servings of organic brown rice per week, and eating 1 head of steamed broccoli or cauliflower and 1 head of steamed kale each week, minimum. Finally, fresh berries are powerhouses of antioxidant value – have about 1/4 cup 4 times per week. Also, drink 2 liters of water daily. Measure it, drink it. Cervical fluid cannot be fluid if you are chronically dehydrated.
Now, I wouldn’t be a naturopath if I didn’t also do some food eliminations! Caffeine in the form of black tea and coffee are natural enemies to fertility. Anyone with PMS can tell you it activates crampy reactive uterine muscles and promotes tender, swollen breasts – evidence of its actions on the female reproductive system. However, the small amount of caffeine in green tea is overcome by the enormous benefit of ECGC. Therefore, I reccomend 2 cups of organic green tea daily, *especially* in the week prior to ovulation. Small amounts of chocolate are also ok, as there have been many studies on the stress reducing chemical components of chocolate! Try to get organic higher cacao content chocolate with lower amounts of sugar for maximal benefit. Other foods that need to be eliminated are food dyes (anything artificially red, blue, green etc) and pre-packaged pre-made foods – whether boxed, frozen or bagged. Bathing your newly optimized internal soil in chemicals and preservatives will only re-establish a barren hospitality; feeding yourself fresh fruits, whole grains, organic meats and vegetarian proteins will produce a rich compost for your inner loam.
The secrets to an inner green thumb are also about recreating a fertile mindset. How do you perceive your uterus? Your ovaries? When you look within, what do you see? I encourage you to actually picture your uterus as flower almost in full bloom. Layers of rich red petals, folding tightly around a secret center. Find a metaphor or image that works for you, dependent on where you are in your own evolution of creation. Create rich, fertile soil. Sprouting a tiny seedling. Water, sun and nurture the seedling in your rich nutrient-filled inner earth. And enjoy the fullness of your Rose (Jenny, Aiden or Simon) in bloom.