Fertility Tea: What Is It and Does It Work?
If you're trying to improve your chances of conceiving, you've probably heard of fertility tea. Whether it's a combination of homegrown herbs or a fancy tea company blend, midwives and alternative medicine practitioners recommend these options for improving reproductive health. But what does the science say?
We've gathered research on some of the popular herbs used in fertility teas. Find out what the medical community says about using fertility tea to improve reproductive health and increase the chances of conceiving.
What Is Fertility Tea?
Fertility tea is a type of tea commonly marketed by tea brands. The tea purports to help increase fertility and support reproductive health. These teas have also been sued for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to help boost the chances of pregnancy.
The tea is supposed to contain powerful antioxidants, vitamins A and C, along with folic acid to provide nutritional support, promote female hormonal balance, and aid the entire reproductive system. It's typically an herbal tea made of a combination of ingredients and is available as a loose leaf tea and in tea bags.
Before you reach for a bag of Fertilitea from Fairhaven Health or sign up for a "1-month supply of this nutritive herbal tonic", it's important to understand the science and medical research on the topic.
Medical research has been inconclusive when it comes to fertility teas. However, some research shows that certain ingredients in tea may help to boost reproductive wellness. We'll show you what recent medical studies have shown regarding fertility tea herbal ingredients right here.
What Science Says About The Best Fertility Teas
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
Red raspberry leaf tea contains phyto-progesterone properties. This may help to increase the levels of progesterone, which may, in turn, enhance fertility. Additionally, red raspberry leaf has been shown to reduce inflammation and strengthen the uterine lining (1). Many fertility tea advocates argue that a stronger uterus may help to decrease the risk of miscarriage during the first trimester.
A study published in Integrative Medicine also found that drinking red raspberry leaf tea may help to boost nutrition. That's because the leaf contains high concentrations of vitamins C, A, and E. The leaves are also high in healthy nutrients such as calcium, potassium, and iron (2). While simply increasing nutrient intake won't help increase fertility, it may help to support a successful pregnancy.
Studies published in Botanical Medicine for Women's Health also found benefits of red raspberry tea leaves during labor and birth. Researchers found that raspberry leaf was the only herbal tea tested and shown to reduce the risk of intervention during birth. This means that women who took raspberry leaf during pregnancy had significantly lower risks of needing C-sections and experienced shorter labor durations (3)(4).
Nettle Leaf Tea
Nettle leaf tea is made by infusing the leaves of the stinging nettle plant in hot water. The heat and water deactivate the stinging qualities of nettle. The tea boasts an earthy flavor that can be bitter. A slice of lemon or dash of honey is the perfect companion for mellowing out the flavor of this tea.
Research shows that nettle leaf tea offers post-birth support for female balance and women's health. In fact, research shows that nettle leaf may help to increase the flow of breast milk after birth. Researchers point to the high concentration of nutrients including calcium and iron present in nettle leaves (5).
While nettle may be beneficial for post-birth, research is scarce on its benefits for fertility. In fact, research published in BioMed Central shows that nettle leaf had little to no effect on improving fertility (6).
Green tea is renowned for its health benefits. It's also one of the most well-researched teas on the market. Green tea has shown potential to help lower the risk of heart disease, boost weight loss results, and may even aid in the treatment of cancer (7)(8)(9).
In terms of fertility, research on green tea almost non-existent. However, based on its health benefits, green tea may help boost overall health and ease medical conditions that are preventing conception.
Green tea helps to reduce oxidative stress caused by free radical damage. This protects cells from damage that can cause everything from infertility to dementia. Green tea also improves hydration, which can increase cervical mucus and make the journey for sperm easier (10).
Red clover is an herb used by midwives to boost fertility and improve women's health. The herb contains natural plant estrogen known as isoflavones or phytoestrogen. While technically an estrogen, this form is far less powerful compared to human estrogen. The herb is also commonly used in menopausal women to ease symptoms such as hot flashes (11).
Research on red clover and fertility is inconclusive. The plant does contain high amounts of nutrients that are essential for human health and may create better conditions for conception. However, researchers have not identified mechanisms in the herb that may concretely boost fertility.
Peppermint tea is known for its delightful mint flavor. It offers a refreshing, clean-mouth feel and a tingling after taste. This tea is made by steeping herbal tea leaves in a hot cup of water. Add the peppermint leaves to a tea ball to keep the leaves contained. Peppermint tea should be steeped for 5 to 10 minutes to develop flavors. This herb is often added to fertility teas to improve the taste.
Taking Fertility Tea
It's important to note that the United States Food and Drug Administration does not approve any of these teas as a treatment for fertility. Seek medical advice from a qualified healthcare professional, your ob/gyn, or a fertility expert before taking tea to improve fertility. They can help you understand side effects as well as the effects on your chances of conceiving.
In addition, a physician can conduct a pregnancy test, fertility tests, and help you improve your chances by analyzing your monthly cycle. They'll help you understand your luteal phase and whether or not your body is producing enough progesterone to get pregnant.
If you're looking for a tea for fertility, trying some of these herbs may help improve your chances of conception. Remember that herbal fertility tea is still not proven to be effective, although there is some research showing benefits from plant compounds.
If you do choose to drink herbal teas to improve fertility, opt for loose leaf teas or fresh herbs for maximum freshness. Make sure the herbs are grown organically to prevent problems associated with artificial fertilizers and chemical pesticides. For loose tea and tea bags, look for light-proof bags that can prevent photosensitive herbs from alteration due to sunlight. Opt for the highest-quality teas available for the best flavor and healthy compounds.