Q: I am very interested in trying red clover for enhancing my fertility. I am currently taking organic maca root powder everyday. Is there any reason I should not take maca root and red clover at the same time?
I have read that the red clover tincture or pills are not as effective. Can you tell me how or where I can purchase the dried red clover blossoms to make the infusions? Thanks!
A: Hello. I understand dried maca root to be like dried potato or any other starchy vegetable, so do not know any reason they should not be taken with Red Clover blossom infusions, which is nourishing. I do not work with Maca or capsules so could not comment on this more definitively.
It is true the pills or tincture are often found to not be as effective as the infusions of the Red Clover blossoms. Most herbal suppliers carry them. You can check this list of herbal vendors. Be sure to choose the blossoms, not whole herb. When I harvest, I harvest only the blossom with the three adjacent leaves attached. For cost, I favor Frontier and Mountain Rose for these.
Write any time!
Q: Thanks for your response!
Does red clover increase or decrease estrogen? I read that maca root decreases estrogen.
I have only used maca for part of one cycle. I want to give it a good 2/3/4 cycles to see how it helps. I also want to try red clover, if necessary, but I do not want them to work against each other.
But you are correct about the maca, it is a food, much like a turnip. It is an adaptogen.
Thanks for your wisdom.
A: Hello, I understand you wish to take these herbs to enhance fertility. Red Clover does contain phytoestrogens, among many other rich qualities. It can not contain human estrogen.
I do not know if these two plants work against each other - this is a good question. I do however still see Red Clover as wonderful for enhancing fertility, for qualities likely beyond just the phytoestrogens. The article you mention promotes the use of soy for its isoflavones. While I do not agree with the use of unfermented soy, Red Clover gives the same benefits of soy without the side effects we do not wish. You can read a bit more about this in the article Phytoestrogens: Friend or Foe?
It is a bit confusing I know. The article says Vitex increases progesterone. However it is my belief and that of many others that it more directly supports hormone function so that we naturally increase the progesterone if that is needed in our system. This may be the case with the statements of both maca and red clover. They support our system to do what is in our best interest. In which case one would not counter the other, but moreso compliment each other.
Q: Thanks, Karen! Just wanted to let you know that Ken Johnson, of the website "therootof the matter", wrote me this about maca and red clover:
I don't know "precisely", but I can assure you there is no problem using both of them together.
Maca and red clover are both two of the most safe, harmless, and not needing to be worried about herbs going. Red clover is about the safest herb in existence. I would not think twice about using both of them.
I have another question about red clover: I ordered my red clover about a week and a half ago. It should arrive tomorrow, but I am already one week into my new cycle. I will be away from home for 3 nights this week. I am considering waiting until I return home to start taking my red clover infusions. When is the best time in the cycle to start taking red clover? Is it a problem to start mid-cycle?
Thanks so much for all your help!
A: You can start and use Red Clover blossom infusions any time of your cycle. Perhaps you have already started? I am glad the words from Ken seem to reassure you.... enjoy!!
love and blessings,
Q: Hi Karen! Thank you so much for being patient with me and answering my many questions! I started drinking red clover infusion on Sunday. I have a few questions: I have found that I prefer to warm my infusion in a cup in the microwave and add a little table sugar. Is that somehow lessening the effectiveness of the infusion? Also, is there a time limit as to how long the blossoms should stay in the water? For now, I am only drinking one cup a day, but I am preparing 2 cups at a time. If I strain one cup, should I strain the other cup for drinking the next day? Or is it OK to let the blossoms stay in the infusion for several hours, even more than 24 hours?
Sorry for the questions...I just want to get the full benefit by doing it right!!!
Thanks again, and blessings to you!
A: I love my work! Ask all the question you want :) It does not matter what you do with the infusion once brewed. If it is getting in your body all the benefit is there, whether you mix it with sugar, juice, soup, or your favorite cocktail! Many of us do as you do and leave the herb in until we strain to drink, no worries. I understand wanting to do it right. You are doing great!! And write any time.
blessings and love,
Q: Hi Karen! Just wanted to let you know that I took the red clover infusions from April through June (one cup a day), and yesterday I heard my new baby's heartbeat!!! I will be 12 weeks tomorrow. My husband, our 8 year old son and I are all very happy. I am a Christian, so I give God all the credit for this miracle, but I believe the red clover infusions definitely increased my fertility! (I believe God created the red clover for our benefit, and he gave us wisdom to use it!)
I had lost my right fallopian tube 8 years ago when I had a c-section when my son was born. But even more miraculous, I ovulated on my right side when I became pregnant! The ultrasound tech confirmed this 5 weeks ago. She said "are you sure you don't have a tube on the right side? " She also said "That was one determined egg!"
Should we desire to become pregnant again, I will not hesitate to take red clover infusions again. Any women I speak with about fertility, I will certainly recommend the red clover!
Please accept my thanks, and please let Susun know my thanks as well. Thank you both for having knowledge and wisdom about herbs, and thanks for sharing it with women around the world!!!
A: This is wonderful!!! Congratulations to you and your family!! I agree the Earth is richly blessed, as are we with wisdom well beyond our own. I will certainly share this with Susun. I would love to hear how your pregnancy goes along. I wish you a wonderful one and beautiful birth!
love and best blessings,
Q: Hi again Karen! I just wanted to update you on my pregnancy.
I am now 26 weeks. This morning, I took the 3 hour glucose tolerance test. I took the one hour test on Friday, and my blood sugar level was 185. I will get the results of the 3 hour test tomorrow. Even if I am not labeled as "gestational diabetic", it is evident that I need to take steps to better control my blood sugar. Can you recommend a supplement that I could take that would help control blood sugar that is, of course, safe for my baby and me? I do plan to make some diet modifications, but I would, of course, prefer not to take insulin injections.
Also, I do plan to breastfeed, as often as I can for as long as I can. What supplement/herb could I take in the last weeks of pregnancy to help develop wonderfully rich breastmilk? What should I take after delivery and throughout nursing?
I am so looking forward to holding my baby and nurturing my baby! I feel him moving everyday! My eight-year-old son actually felt the baby kick on Friday night...that was exciting! And last night, my husband saw my stomach kind of vibrate when the baby kicked....he was in awe!!!
A: I know that excitement, I am so happy for you and your family!!
For me the best medicine for blood sugar levels is food - more protein rich foods, nutrient rich foods, smaller more evenly spaced more frequent meals, and a good solid start to the day. Is this what you plan to do?
In general, women nourishing themselves well will have enough breast milk for their babe. For a list of galactagues to stimulate more milk, you can read this excerpt from Susun's Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year.
lots of love,