The Ayurvedic Perspective on Fertility | Tending the Garden Within
If having a baby is on your heart and mind, you are embarking on a beautiful journey — one that is fun and exciting, but it can also feel scary, complex, and even frustrating.
So Iet’s bring it down to Earth.
We are microcosm of the ecology around us, so just as you would tend to a garden, you can tend to your own body in order to seed new life within.
To do so, you can start with considering the four essential components for planting a garden, as these are also vital for your fertility. These key components are: the field, timing, water and seed.
Fertility Tips from Ayurveda
Here are a few simple ways that you can tend to your garden within as you prepare for your journey to conception!
Life begins with the seed — the tiny source that, when given space and nourishment, can grow into its sacred potential. We know that we cannot plant a garden without healthy seeds, and so when it comes to our own fertility, the seeds are the healthy ovum and sperm. Your seeds are nourished by your own sense of vitality (known as ojas in Ayurveda).
Here are some key ways to build your vitality to support a healthy seed (ovum and sperm):
Spend more time outside, especially around water, mountains and rocks
Focus on attitudes of love, faith, devotion, compassion, forgiveness, and peace
Travel less, reduce screen time and practice your daily routine
Do self-oil massage 2-3x per week
Enjoy foods that are uniquely nourishing such as milk, almonds, mango, dates, ghee, saffron, pistachios
Avoid the use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and other recreational drugs
When it comes to planting a garden, what is the second thing you need to think about after acquiring the seeds? If you thought about the space and soil, you’d be right on track. In order to plant seeds that will grow and flourish, we need to ensure that we have a garden bed that is clear and a soil that is healthy. Within our own bodies, this means that it is essential to cleanse first in order to purge any toxins and remove any blockages that could prevent pregnancy — from the womb and the body as a whole.
Many of us are walking around with internal metabolic waste — or toxins — that results from improperly digested food. According to Ayurveda, this is a heavy, sticky substance that is toxic to the body, and is at the root of disease. A buildup of toxins in the body is similar to a polluted field, and it clogs channels in the body that are responsible for cellular communication, elimination of wastes and successful fertilization. If you experience brain fog, a feeling of heaviness, malaise, bad breath, low appetite, difficulty with elimination or PCOS, then you know you need to pull the weeds before you can plant your garden.
Here are a few important ways you can begin to gently detoxify (in other words, clear your field):
Eat mostly warm, well-cooked and well-spiced foods
Scrape your tongue first thing in the morning
Drink warm lemon honey water before your first meal
Eat more of the bitter, pungent (spicy), and astringent tastes
Incorporate yoni steaming two to three times per month to clear and detoxify your womb
Reduce sources of toxicity such as processed foods, alcohol, cigarettes, and caffeine
Another vital aspect of growing any garden is to think about the water that will encourage the seeds to sprout. When it comes to fertility according to Ayurveda, the healthy fluids include plasma, lymph, and blood. If you experience anemia, fatigue, low libido, skin difficulties, irregular menstrual cycles, acne related to your cycle, or weak bones, you know that this is an area you need to focus on specifically.
In order to ensure that these life-giving and nutrient-giving tissues of your body are able to support new life, you should:
Get and stay hydrated — drinking warm herbal tea can provide hydration as well as nutrients
Eat good quality fats — ghee, full-fat dairy, avocado and coconut oil
Eat nourishing carbohydrates such as root vegetables and grains
Eat dense proteins such as meat and nuts for their very earthy building qualities.
Eat foods that are rich in iron, as this helps build your blood — you can often tell if a food is rich in iron because it’s red! Think about red meat, beets, red cabbage, raisins, currant and cranberry juice!
Eat the bitter taste occasionally in order to cleanse the liver and spleen. You can get the bitter taste from vegetables like kale, dandelion greens or radishes.
We know that there is an optimal time of year for planting seeds in the ground in order to ensure that they are able to grow and flourish. It’s important to consider timing on your own fertility journey — the most fertile time of the month, the most fertile time of the year, and the most fertile time of life. We also know that it is possible to get pregnant even outside of these optimal windows, but to increase your chances of conception, it’s worth aligning your attempts with the rhythms of nature.
You can begin by paying attention to timing during a one-month cycle of the moon, which will also likely align with your own menstrual cycle and ovulation. The most fertile time of your cycle occurs in the 4-5 days before your ovulation, as well as on the day of ovulation (when the mature egg is released from the ovary).
The rhythms of nature are a vital part of the Ayurvedic lens, so it is also important to take a look at the timing in a year — in other words, the seasons. The most fertile time of year on the whole is Spring time — trees are budding, eggs are hatching, and the juiciness of Spring replaces the dryness of winter. Fall season is the least optimal time to conceive — although this certainly isn’t to say that it can’t be done!
It’s also best to think about timing your conception during a relatively calm and stable time in your life — your body is smart, and it knows that periods of stress in your life aren’t ideal times to have a baby. Do your best to reduce stress in your life, and to create peace and stability in your household. This might look like setting aside a little more time for self-care, meditation, movement or time in nature. It might also look like doing LESS — simply resting more.
What stress-inducing aspects of your life could you actually just release? How can you set up systems and structures to help you manage relationships and responsibilities that depend on you? As you are clearing space in your life, be sure to also set aside time for you and your partner to be alone and intimate.
When you are settled in with stability in home, finances, and supportive relationships, your body is most fertile!
And finally, surrender
Just as we cannot force a seed to grow in a garden, we also cannot force conception. The act of conceiving a child calls upon the potent and Universal energies of compassion, awareness and love. It’s not something that can be easily controlled, so remember to embark on your fertility journey from a connection to your highest self, with compassion and intention. This is an invitation to surrender — to trust the process and the outcome, even in the face of any fear and barriers that show up. As you do, be gentle and patient with yourself, always acting from a place of self-love rather than self-control. This is for you and your future child — so honor yourself, your intention, and take your time.
Sierra Brashear, MA is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, DONA-trained doula, herbal alchemist, wellness educator and founder of Vibrant Souls yoni steams. Inspired by the rhythms and elements of nature, Sierra weaves her knowledge of Ayurveda into the products and lifestyle design programs she offers. She invites you to join her 16-week program, The Art of Fertility | Journey to Conception — to clear toxins and nourish your mind and body in preparation for an easeful conception and healthy pregnancy. Sierra is also co-founder of Cultivate Balance and Moon Bath, and lives in Boulder, Colorado.