It was great to see an excellent piece of research on the efficacy of Chinese herbal medicine for treating female infertility published last month. The study was a meta-analysis (regarded as the gold standard for scientific research) comparing 22 studies that included a total of 1,851 women treated with either Chinese herbal medicine(CHM), western drug treatment or IVF in order to achieve pregnancy.
The research concluded that women treated with CHM had double the chance of achieving the pregnancy than those on IVF programmes, and 3.5 times the chance of those using western drug therapy.
The women in the study had, on average, been diagnosed as infertile for 4.5 years. You can find the full research paper by Ried & Stuart (2011) here.
As well as achieving great results in fertility, I use CHM to treat wide range of complaints including skin problems, stress and anxiety, digestive and gynaecological issues. I often use CHM in combination with acupuncture. A consultation involves a comprehensive medical history, analysis of your symptoms and objectives for treatment. Based on this I will put together a detailed treatment plan.
Due to its popularity and history of use, significant scientific research has been conducted into the effectiveness of CHM. There is a growing body of research that indicates that traditional uses of plant remedies and the known pharmacological activity of plant constituents often coincide.
However, herbal medicine is distinct from medicine based on pharmaceutical drugs. Firstly, because of the complexity of plant materials it is more balanced than medicine based on isolated active ingredients and is less likely to cause side effects. Secondly, because herbs are typically prescribed in combination, the different components of a formula balance each other, and undergo a mutual synergy that increases efficacy and enhances safety. Thirdly, herbal therapy is designed to achieve long-term results by encouraging the self-healing process rather than treating symptoms alone.