You may be aware that infertility is increasing steadily, but do you know the extent of our modern reproductive crisis? Affecting men and women alike, some scientists, like Shanna Swan, warn that humans are rapidly losing the ability to procreate, projecting that the world is on track to be completely infertile by 2045. In fact, Swan helped complete a landmark study in 2017 that discovered a 50% reduction in sperm counts amongst Western men in the past 40 years. Hagai Levine, an epidemiologist and lead researcher of the study, proposed that low sperm counts may be an indication of men’s overall declining health. Dr. Zach Bush would agree, pointing to abundant evidence illustrating the connection between infertility and environmental toxicity, which he explains can disrupt the hormonal balance of reproduction.
The good news is that the Earth always holds the antidote, and that realigning ourselves with the natural world can bring profound healing that, unlike technological interventions, addresses the root cause. According to Swan, one of the primary drivers of infertility is chemicals in substances like phthalates, used quite ubiquitously in soft plastics found in the processing, manufacturing, and packaging of food, which she explains decrease “testosterone and so have the strongest influences on the male side, for example diminishing sperm count…” While this is not the sole driver of male (or female) infertility, Chinese Medicine offers two wonderful allies to support a robust masculine constitution.
Our wildcrafted Pine Pollen is a nutritional and medicinal powerhouse with a long history of use as a fertility aid. This partially explained by its contents of phytosterols, which are considered building blocks for the generation of cells, the protection of nerves, and the production of vitamins and hormones. Pine Pollen also contains androgens – reproductive and growth hormones that include testosterone, and which affect fertility, libido, mood, and energy levels. Thus, pine pollen is not only balancing to the hormones, but can help increase sperm count and even sex drive – another prerequisite for reproduction greatly affected by modern stress (including environmental stress).
Since infertility issues are multifaceted, it’s a great blessing that plant medicine is, as well, and can affect change from many directions. Interestingly, zinc and selenium are known as two of the most important trace minerals for testicular health and the production of sperm, with substantial evidence demonstrating that infertile men are likely to have a zinc or selenium deficiency. As a broken cell-wall supplement, Pine Pollen is considered a nutrient-dense and bioavailable food providing a broad spectrum of vitamins, all essential amino acids, and a variety of minerals, including zinc and selenium.
Deer Antler Velvet is one of the most prized tonic herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine and it is particularly a highly valued Yang tonic. From a TCM perspective, underlying male performance and fertility are issues of Qi stagnation and imbalances of the Kidney, Heart and Liver. Because Deer Antler Velvet can fortify Kidney Yang, which is where the penis sources its reproductive capabilities, it’s no wonder that Deer Antler Velvet is a traditional ally for optimal erectile function and fertility. Importantly, it has been widely used to raise testosterone levels in men, and while clinical studies have been limited, it has also been shown to increase testosterone in a study on aging male mice.
Plant medicine adds countless healing benefits to our lives, but all of nature is rich with information to help humanity move through the challenges we face. For example, it has been shown that antler size and complexity directly correspond to sperm production and velocity in Red Deer. Further, growth hormone has long been utilized to support fertility, and Deer Antler Velvet is a potent source thereof. Indeed, traditional Chinese theorists believe that because animals are genetically closer to human beings than plants or other substances, animal substances are more beneficial than plants or minerals in tonifying the Jing (essence) of the body.
Please note that our Deer Antler Velvet is sustainably and responsibly harvested, with minimal discomfort to these beloved animal allies.
Shanna Swan on Infertility
Dr. Zach Bush on ReGenerations