Ask an Herbalist: Fertility & Grief

Serena Asks:


Hi April,

My husband and I have been trying for a baby for over a year and there's just so much advice out there and so many factors, my head is spinning! I really respect the breadth and depth of your knowledge about trauma as well as herbs and nutrition so I thought I'd reach out.

I'm turning 32 this year and I have a history of sexual trauma going back to the age of 4 and only recently have I begun to work through it. My mother also had a history of trauma but she never told me details and she died of ovarian, uterine, endometrial cancers three months ago. My siblings and I cared for her at home until her last breath. An honour, but a very stressful and painful time as you can imagine. I can see so many reasons why a baby hasn't come to me just yet but I long to be a mother so badly and my husband wants to be a father.

I’ve always had painful heavy periods and used birth control for five years in the past. I've been taking evening primrose oil, vitex, red raspberry, prenatal vitamins, ashwaghanda, just willy nilly taking a million things to see if anything helps. I hope you can give me some advice! I just ordered your moon blood salve so I'm hoping to have some relief from painful periods soon.




Hello Serena,

First thing I definitely want to say is that I am by no means of fertility expert. and there are a lot of really great people out there that specialize in this area from an herbal standpoint, here is a link to someone that could probably give more in-depth help then I am  going to offer today. Also do check out this book by Susun Weed, I think it will really help you if you don't have it already. On Amazon you can basically just pay the cost of shipping if you buy it used.


But hey let's dive right in. Okay so what's your diet like? The thing is our bodies are more receptive to pregnancies when we are functioning at optimal nutrition levels. Your body says “Hey we've got excess of everything we need why don't we make another little creature!” haha! So I would make sure that I was eating healthy animal fats at every chance I got like grass-fed butter, grass-fed meat, grass-fed whole fat plain yogurt, whole milk, cheeses, bone broths and beyond! I would also be really sure that I was getting a lot of vegetables in my diet that are very well cooked, because we get very little nutrition from raw vegetables our stomachs just can't digest the tough cell membranes that are present and raw vegetables. Same thing goes with me except for it's the opposite so you can't just eat this meat raw so you need to make sure that you are cooking it really low and slow for a long time and like a Crock-Pot or a really long time in the oven basically until the meat falls off of the proverbial bone or a literal one.


Also be so very sure to get a good bit of activity into your day. Being sedentary kills. Oh and this is going to seem random and kinda witch crafty but I swear there is real science behind it. I want you to sleep in a 100% pitch black room except on full moons, when they roll around i want you to (if possible) sleep where the light of that moon gets into the room. This will really help sync your cycles up. As in when I began doing this years back i was all over the calendar now in the summer i 100% bleed on the full moon and in winter i shift and bleed with the new moon and my ovulation is spot on. It’s all linked to our circadian cycle (internal clock).


With your raspberry leaf make sure that you're doing nourishing herbal infusions and not just tea. Tea made of non-volatile plant material ( volatile meaning highly aromatic herbs such as chamomile, lavender Etc ) Is basically just flavored water. An infusion it's just long brewed tea where you're going to put 1 oz by weight of raspberry leaf into a mason jar you're going to then dumped boiling water over the top of it put a cap on it (please don't shake it) and let it sit for 4 hours. Then you just strain it and drink a cup or two a day. Here's a quick video you can watch to see how crazy easy it is so there's no reason to feel intimidated by this!


The next thing I would do is add in Stinging Nettle infusion, then I would do Red Clover infusion, I'd even add in Kelp just for good measure and Oat Straw taste good too! But here's the deal you're not going to drink these all the same time so you do like a schedule. There are four cups to a quart jar and so you say for these two days I drink two cups of Nettle and the next two days I do two cups of the red raspberry and then the next two days I do two cups a day of the Red Clover and then you get to the Kelp and then you just circle around like that and before you know it your body will be functioning at optimal nutrition levels and it's not just going to be your fertility that could fall into place but also your health and just feeling better/having real energy. Also all of the herbs mentioned are womb nourishing!!


I'm sure you're already tracking your moon time and if you're not the calendar that came along with my kit will really help you. But I also have you look into like a really good ovulation app where you can see what days you're supposed to be ovulating. And then I would have sex on every one of those days that you're fertile and maybe two days before and two days after for good measure haha I mean really the goal is to get that sperm in you on the perfect day so you can't really have too much sex in this case!


I personally would back away from the other herbs you've mentioned and focus more on the making your body more receptive in the way of having everything it needs versus kind of trying to force it you know? But I mean of course there are  factors to look into if you're trying and trying and trying over like a year or two time frame and you don't get pregnant you might want to look into his fertility abilities and yours as well.


But also your body might just know that you're not done grieving yet. You just might not be receptive at this point but you shouldn't feel guilt over this at all because babies are hard and they are even harder to handle emotionally if all the sudden we are hit with a wall of grief and trauma that we haven't truly addressed while we're having to address the seriousness of becoming a mother and how draining that can actually be. So I would look at all of this as a way to begin my own healing journey and as I nourish my body maybe just maybe I can heal a little further and when I am emotionally and physically ready a seed will probably take hold when this area we've been cultivating is fertile in all ways you know?


I really hope that some of this will be helpful to you and that your own little creature will come to you when the time is right for you!


Kindest regards,

April Graham

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