I have shared a lot about postpartum, but actually never mentioned any Ayurvedic tips to boost fertility!
The Ayurvedic approach to boosting fertility starts almost 6 months before trying for a baby. The mother and father’s balance body, mind and spirit will create an optimal environment for the baby. If they are imbalanced then it will carry on to the baby. It is laying the foundation for the offspring, so that may the best egg and sperm be chosen. Ayurveda places an emphasis on “preparing” for conception because the mother and father’s state of being will directly impact the offspring. The timeframe 6 months may seem like a long time, but every individual has some area where they can improve in their health, it may be their mind or body. The Ayurvedic approach is to ensure that the parents have taken measures to create the “best” possible offspring. Depending on the parents state of balance, it will determine their offspring’s immunity and health for their life.
Often, is it during this time in our modern era we go to the OB-GYN to get tested to see how good our chances of getting pregnant are through a series of different methods. Back 5,000 years ago when Ayurveda came into existence there weren’t any fancy methods of of knowing the quality of and quantity of egg and sperm in females in males. These modern methods can help us but also deter us from doing the necessary in cleansing and balancing ourselves before preparing to conceive. On one hand, we can get aggressive about boosting our fertility through natural methods such as Ayurveda. On the other hand, knowing too much might make us feel helpless and opt for an easier solution to conceive.
Cleansing the Body and Mind
Pre-conception care is beyond cleansing the body. It is also cleansing the mind. Physical ama (toxins) in the body are easy to spot as symptoms and disease manifest from it. We rarely tall about mental ama. It is the unprocessed, undigested thoughts, emotions and events in life.
Use these months to communicate and express may it be with your partner, through art or other means like journalling. Are there fears of motherhood or fatherhood or emotions surfacing of your own childhood as you embark on parenthood?
Nourishing The Reproductive Tissues
The reproductive tissue, shukra dhatu, is the focus in boosting fertility. It the last tissue amongst others to receive nourishment after eating food. If we are not eating a wholesome diet suited for our dosha type then chance are the shukra dhatu is malnourished. Shukra dhatu is what will give great quality and quantity sperm and a regular menstrual cycle and ovulation.
To nourish shukra dhatu, there are certain foods and lifestyle practices that will enable it to be better nourished. One of the reasons Ayurveda recommends waiting around 6 months before trying for a pregnancy is because it is only every 35 days that new tissues are formed in the body.
Pre-Conception Diet and Lifestyle
Depending on what your imbalances are, you would need to be evaluated to understand what type of doshic diet to be on.
Though, I will say that very frequently a vata pacifying diet it recommended for a few reasons. When vata is imbalanced, there is a tendency for the body to be malnourished. The vata imbalance can stem from stress, anxiety or even poor eating habits and timings. The qualities of vata are cold, dry, light, rough, and mobile. When these qualities manifest in the body as vata, then essentially we are
One of the best ways to nourish the shukra dhatu is by consuming ghee regularly in your food. It is the best to penetrate deep into the tissues of the body. It counters the dry, rough, light qualities of vata. When shukra dhatu has what it needs, then it came easily function the way it is meant to- almost like greasing the gears of a bike. Start with a teaspoon of ghee and work your way up to two teaspoons a day. Either make or buy grass-fed organic ghee.
Ojas is the subtle essence in our body that is what composes our immunity, our physical and mental strength and vigor, radiance and what helps prevents us from aging. It is a byproduct of shukra dhatu and a protective mechanism naturally inbuilt into our bodies. Ojas often referred to as a milky, white substance resembling semen and reproductive fluids.
Drink ojas milk with a few threads of saffron steeped into it before bed. Saffron increases ojas and also is an aphrodisaic. Check out this post for the ojas milk recipe.
The best and most well known rejuvenator (rasayana) in Ayurveda is chawanprash. It is an herbal jam made of gooseberry (amla), ghee, honey, sesame oil and 20 herbs or more. In India, its actually sold as a common household dietary product where the whole family, kids included, takes a spoonful in the morning before heading out for work or school. Chawanprash is a nutritious herbal supplement that will increase your ojas and immunity. Take a teaspoon of this in the morning before eating breakfast or if you prefer you can even spread it on toast. I use Banyan Botanical’s Chyawanprash, its organic and a high quality product.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen and nerving tonic. It helps the body cope with stress and by lowering cortisol levels. For boosting fertility, it will help balance the hormones and increase libido. It is commonly known as the “indian ginseng”. Ashwagandha is vata balancing and great for men and women. Though because it does increase a bit of testosterone, women should be careful taking it.
Shatavari translates to “she who has 100 husbands”. It is an estrogen balancing herb that can be helpful in regulating menstruation and triggering ovulation. Shatavari has an unctuous quality to it, thereby increasing cervical mucus in women and semen in men. it is vata and pitta balancing.
Triphala is an herbal formula made of three fruits. Though it works as a laxative, it does much more than that. Triphala thoroughly cleanses the walls of the colon that has ama (toxins/sludge) and also tones the wall. When the colon is not eliminating completely and disturbed, this is caused by vata. Triphala is tri-doshic, as it balances all dosha.
Meditation and Yoga
Mediation and yoga are methods to connect with our higher self. They help in lowering stress levels and allowing our body to release whatever it is we are holding on to. When we connect to our higher selves, the answers may already be there, we just have to give our subconscious a chance to speak to us. If you are ready to conceive, then connect and speak with the soul that is ready to come to you. Let the soul know that you are ready to receive it and develop this relationship.
Yoga on a physical level helps with blood and energy circulation. It lowers stress and detoxifies organs. Focus on staying longer in poses that help increase circulation to the ovaries and lower half of the body
Although this is a basic guide to start thinking int he direction of how to boost your fertility, many other factors come into play. If there is ama or disease then the aim should be to get to the root cause and clear those first before working on boosting fertility.