As we mentioned in previous articles, infertility is defined as the inability of a couple to conceive after 12 months of unprotected sexual intercourse. It affects over 5 million couples alone in the U. S. and many times more in the world. Because of an unawareness of treatments, only 10% seek help from professional specialists. We have spent most of the time in this series discussing conventional and Chinese medicine for treating fertility. I believe it is the best time to change the subject by discussing how to treat female infertility with the Chinese herb: bupleurum.
Bupleurum is also known as Bei Chai Hu. They are a very large genus of plants and they belong to the family Apiaceae (Umbelliferae). It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years in treating infections, and fever and liver problems.
II. How bupleurum effects female fertility
1. Liver qi stagnation
The herb is said to have a liver tonic effect that helps to release liver qi stagnation as a result of toxins accumulating in the body, leading to abnormalities of the liver in regulating the spleen’s function in insulin production. This results in hormone imbalance and an irregular menstrual cycle. Also a sluggish liver reduces it’s function in essential fatty acid metabolism, leading to an over-production of certain hormones in the prostaglandins family. This results in menstrual cramps and pain, and an overactive uterus that affects the chance of fertility.
It not only helps to improve kidney function in urinary extraction, but it also restores it’s function in regulating the steroid growth hormone, leading to hormone balancing and decreasing the risk of irregular menstrual cycle.
3. Kidney yin deficiency
It is considered to be a cool to cold herb, thereby it helps to release over abundant yang qi that obstructs the normal process of egg production and increases the risk of irregular menstrual cycle.
4. Immune system
Bupleurum is also an immune function tonic with the cool to Cold side. Besides helping the immune system in fighting against bacteria and virus invasion, it also helps the immune system to recognize sperm are a part of the body’s tissue and to not attack them. It works well if the infection is caused by abrnormal immune function in yin qi deficiency.
5. Spleen function
It also has an effect in spleen function in production of insulin that helps to reduce the risk of insulin fluctuation, leading to the production of certain hormones (such as serotonin) and interrupting the hormone production (progesterone), thereby increasing the chance of fertility.
6. Blood flow
It is said that bupleurum helps to reduce the levels of cholesterol and triglyceride, therefore it not helps to improve the function of the heart, but also increases blood flow to the reproductive organs, resulting in lessening the risk of infertility
III. Side effects
It may cause
4. Increase bowel movement
If over dose.