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July/August 2001


        THE SUMMER MONTHS are always halcyon. The Fourth is over – and I hope you had a wonderful time – and many of you will be going on vacation. Since July celebrates the birth of the nation and August the harvest, I thought it might not be inappropriate to discuss how many American women find themselves unable to give birth and how acupuncture may be able to help them.

CAUSES OF FEMALE INFERTILITY : The most serious causes of female infertility need not be discussed here – chemotherapy, structural problems like a bifurcated uterus, STDs, etc. There is another list that is as common but not as well understood because those in control of this culture do not want to hear it: 1) there is too much birth control medication being dispensed and taken over too long a time; 2) marriage is delayed far too long; 3) the quality of the egg and sperm, including motility are decreasing – chemical pollution probably accounts for only 30-40% of that. So the unrecognized cause of the problem is the society we have constructed. In nature’s scheme of things, a young woman reaches her first menstruation somewhere around thirteen. (Currently some girls are starting the process as young as eight; that is probably being caused by the amount of synthetic hormones being ingested in their food.) If we use thirteen as a benchmark, then the girl would come to marriage somewhere between seventeen and twenty, having had less than one hundred cycles. If she married at twenty, she had her first child at twenty-one, and had several more children after that. In the society that modern man has created, many women are in their thirties before they decide to have a child and then discover that nature, having been repressed and thwarted for over a decade, has decided not to cooperate. There have been too many cycles; the system is depleted. The first step to reversing this is to make sure that you are not suffering from some problem like a bifurcated uterus and that the prospective father has a high enough sperm count.

If the last two conditions are met, the acupuncturist can then move on to find out if the woman is "too cold." In Chinese terms, this means that the system has gone dormant. Once the hormonal system, the kidneys, and the qi are balanced, pregnancy should result. I am pleased to say that quite a few babies have been born after their mothers came to the clinic for acupuncture and herbs. The mother can cooperate by counting eight, ten, twelve, and fourteen days after the end of her period and encouraging intercourse at that time. The chances of a pregnancy resulting at this point are higher.

It can be a long process. One mother came every week for six months before the first pregnancy resulted. Our congratulations to the Thomas family for the birth of twin boys a few weeks ago.

HERBS CAN HELP: The common herbs which promote fertility are:
Achyranthes (Niu Xi), Angelica sinensis (Dong quai) [Dong quai treats infertility, susceptibility to miscarriage, and ovarian function disorders. Toxicity from high doses is rare], Curculigo (Cen Mao), Cuscuta (Tu Si Tze), Epimedium macrantum (Wei Nin San), Gloclidion (Fu pen tsu). Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice root) [tonifier for the uterus and a producer of estrogenic activity], Ligusticum (Chuan chong), Lycium (Quo chee tsu), Paeoniae Alba (Pai Shao) – White Peony, Plantago (Che chien tze), Rehmannia (Shu di), Rubus idaeus (Red Raspberry Leaf) [has normalizing effects on the uterus], Schizandra (Wu wei tze), Viburnum opulis (Cramp Bark) [same family as Black Haw; will stop threatened miscarriage], Viburnum prunifolium (Black Haw –helps recover and maintain uterine function; will halt the course of a threatened miscarriage), Zingiber officinalis (Ginger) [Ginger tones of most parts of the female reproductive system.]

MISCARRIAGE : It can be a dreaded word. It is caused by 1) a defect in the fertilized egg, 2) a uterine defect, 3) leutinize deficiency, 4) loose cervix, 5) abnormal development of the baby between six and twelve weeks, and 6) failure of the fertilized egg to embed in the uterine wall.

HERBS TO PREVENT MISCARRIAGE : Pao wan (a compound of 13 herbs) , Angelica, Peony Root, Bitter Orange, Magnolia Bark, Astragalus, Fritillary Seed, Dodder Seed (Cuscuta), and Lovage (Ligusticum).


You will need:

1 cup of vodka. There is no need to use an expensive brand.
½ cup of brandy. Again, you don’t have to use an expensive brand.
3 tablespoons of finely chopped dried Angelica root.*
1 tablespoon chopped almonds
4 dried apricots, chopped
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon**
1 tsp anise extract
1/8 tsp ground coriander
1 cup sugar
1 ½ cup water
1 drop green food coloring
1 drop yellow food coloring.

Combine vodka, brandy, angelica, almonds, apricots, allspice, cinnamon, anise extract, and coriander in a one-quart jar with a tight-fitting lid. Cover and let stand in a cool dark place for two weeks, shaking frequently to prevent clumping.
Use a fine mesh strainer to strain out solids. Discard.
Make a simple syrup of 1 cup sugar and 1 ½ cup water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. When clear, remove from the heat and let stand until just warm. Add food colorings and then syrup to vodka mixture. Cover and age for at least one month.
Filter into final container.
Will keep indefinitely as long as the cap or cork is tight.
*available at any Chinese herb store or at Ranch 99 Market on Clairemont Mesa.
**the better your spices are, the better this will be. I recommend Vietnamese cinnamon from either Penzey’s Spices or King Arthur Flour.


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