Chinese Medicine, Fertility, Health, Herbal medicine, Menstruation, Womens Health

The Rose

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Love planted a rose, and the world turned sweet. Katharine Lee Bates

Ah the scent of roses! Love and beauty and English country gardens. The rose however originated in China but of course is now grown worldwide with hundreds of different varieties. As well as a token of love and the subject of copious amounts of love poetry, the rose is also used extensively in cooking and beauty products. As it’s Valentines day this week, I wanted to write about the Rose as a medicinal herb.

In Chinese herbal medicine it is called Mei Gui Hua. It is described as a ‘docile’ herb, gentle in it’s nature. Most commonly, it’s included in formulas for Women with menstrual irregularities, menstrual pain and pre-menstrual breast tenderness. It can also be included for patients with digestive problems especially stomach distension and heartburn. It has a very mild laxative effect but generally calming for the stomach especially when stress is a factor.

It is said to ‘regulate the qi’ and relieve constraint. It is thought to have a balancing effect on the endocrine system which helps to regulate the menstrual cycle and has also been shown to help clear up the skin. I consider it to be a fertility herb as our goal when supporting Women trying to conceive is to regulate the menstrual cycle. I’m always conscious too, that the fertility journey is often an emotional one. Rose therefore seems appropriate.

I love rose as part of a herbal tea. On it’s own it has a strong bitter flavour but combined with other herbs such as lime flower, chamomile and perhaps a little lavender, it’s delicate flavour is revealed. It’s an excellent tea to drink in the evening to ease away the days stresses. I’d recommend to people who emotionally overeat in the evening to make a pot when they get in from work.

Mei Gui Hua, the rose, to me is a Woman’s herb. Gentle and compassionate. So instead of a bunch of roses this valentine’s day, how about a delicious rose tea blend instead?

Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, Fertility, Health

No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.

Acupuncture for Fertility

Spring is a time where nature bursts forth into a period of chaos and activity. Suddenly, life is everywhere in abundance, the ducklings and the daffodils. In many cultures Spring represents a time of rebirth, renewal and particularly, fertility. For many couples however, it seems that Spring will never come.

We spend a lot of time preventing pregnancy, so when we make the decision, that the time is right to have a baby, we expect it to be easy, and for a lot of couples, it is. However it is quite normal for conception to take 12-18 months. This can end up being a stressful waiting game.

In a cruel twist of nature, pre-menstrual symptoms can mimic the early signs of pregnancy. Women can go through a roller-coaster of excitement and disappointment each month. Ovulation kits and early pregnancy detectors taunt us. Information is everywhere, the right diet, the right position, the right supplement. Everyone seems to be pregnant. The process becomes all consuming and very stressful.

I successfully treat many couples for fertility issues. Acupuncture is an excellent treatment for regulating the menstrual cycle. Common problems include irregular cycle, heavy or scanty menstrual flow, a long bleed, mid-cycle spotting, erratic ovulation and so on. Women who experience miscarriage can find that their cycle changes so a return to the normal cycle is an important step towards conception.

Male fertility is also improved with acupuncture. Acupuncture can improve sperm production as well it’s mobility and motility. It’s relaxing effect reduces stress levels, improves energy and leads to increased libido and performance.

Once the above elements are in place and we can confirm that all is working as it should be, then it may be as well to cast aside the fertility monitors and let nature take over. The increase in temperature during ovulation often puts a sparkle in a women’s eye, to which a man responds. Nature it seems is very clever!

Taking time for yourself and time for each other might just be the best road to conceiving. Keeping a balanced perspective whilst trying for a baby is probably the most important thing as is maintaining the love and romance between the partners. However dark the Winter becomes, it is important to remember that Spring is just around the corner.