Herbal Infusions for Fertility and Hormone Balancing

by Ann Marie Michaels on December 8, 2011

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herbal infusions

I’m very interested in hormone balancing, and lately I’ve become curious about herbal infusions.

I just got a book in the mail from herbalist, Susun Weed. I just adore this woman! She is Grandmother meets Shaman meets Auntie Mame.

Don’t we all wish we had a wise elder like Susun Weed in our village? Well, now we do, in this village called the internet.

I came across these videos on YouTube and thought they were just wonderful. According to Susun, red clover blossoms, oatstraw and nettles are all powerful and effective herbs to take as infusions for hormonal balancing and fertility.

I just ordered my herbs online and can’t wait to get started!

Herbal Infusions for Fertility and Hormone Balancing

Red Clover Infusion

“Red clover (Trifolium pratense) is better in every way than its cousin soy. It contains four phytoestrogens; soy has only one (isoflavone). Red clover infusion has ten times more phytoestrogens than soy “milk,” fewer calories, more calcium, and no added sugars. Red clover is the world’s leading anti-cancer herb; soy isoflavone encourages the growth of breast cancer cells in the lab. Red clover improves the memory; Japanese men who ate tofu twice a week doubled their risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Soy beverage can contain up to 1000 times more aluminum than milk, according to Sally Fallon, lipid researcher and fat specialist. She believes that ‘the highly processed soy foods of today are perpetuating… nutrient deficiencies…’”

Oatstraw Infusion

“Oatstraw (Avena sativa) reduces high cholesterol, increases libido, and strengthens the nerves. A cup of oatstraw infusion contains more than 300 milligrams of calcium plus generous amounts of many other minerals. Its steroidal saponins nourish the pancreas and liver, improving digestion and stabilizing moods. Oatstraw is best known however for its ability to enhance libido and mellow the mood. Do be careful whom you share it with, or you may find yourself sowing some wild oats. In Auryuvedic medicine, oatstraw is considered the finest of all longevity tonics.”

Nettle Infusion

“Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) builds energy, strengthens the adrenals, and is said to restore youthful flexibility to blood vessels. A cup of nettle infusion contains 500 milligrams of calcium plus generous amounts of bone-building magnesium, potassium, silicon, boron, and zinc. It is also an excellent source of vitamins A, D, E, and K. For flexible bones, a healthy heart, thick hair, beautiful skin, and lots of energy, make friends with sister stinging nettle. It may make you feel so good you’ll jump up and exercise.”

How to Make Herbal Infusions for Fertility and Hormone Balancing

From Susun Weed’s website:

To make a fertility-enhancing infusion, I take one ounce by weight of the dried blossoms (fresh won’t work for this application) and put them in a quart size canning jar. I fill the jar with boiling water, screw on a tight lid, and let it steep at room temperature overnight (or for at least four hours). Dozens of women have told me that they had successful pregnancies after drinking a cup or more (up to four cups) a day of red clover infusion.

There are a ton of fascinating articles on Susun’s website.

She also has a number of books and a weekly radio show.

How About You?

Have you had good luck with herbal infusions for hormone balancing and fertility? Please share your experiences in the comments below.

herbal infusions by henna lion, on Flickr
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{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

Baffled December 8, 2011 at 9:12 PM

I’m interested in the stinging nettle. Where did you order your supplies?

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Jennifer December 8, 2011 at 9:13 PM

You Rock AnnMarie. This post came at a perfect time. I’ve heard of these and I’m ready to try it as well. Where can I buy the herbs from?

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cheeseslave December 8, 2011 at 9:22 PM

Sorry I should have posted where I got them.

Mountain Rose Herbs

http://www.mountainroseherbs.com

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Chessa December 8, 2011 at 9:23 PM

I love Susun Weed! We’ve been trying to include nettles infusions into our wellness regimen in our house. I like mine cold and with a little peppermint tea added at the end (not infused) to cut the “green” taste. :)

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leda December 8, 2011 at 10:26 PM

I love all these herbs and have a couple of Susan’s books. Never thought to.YouTube her tho. Definitely will now. I add nettles to all my broths while they are cooking to add additional nutrients and it is an easy way to get the benefits into something that I’m already making/consuming.

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Laura December 9, 2011 at 2:21 AM

I am totally getting that same wise grandmother/mentor vibe from Susun! She has such a sweet, welcoming demeanor. I’m a fast fan, and I’m going to have to pick apart this woman’s website, buy her books, and learn all I can from her. Thank you!

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Heather December 9, 2011 at 4:05 AM

Susun Weed is even better in person:) I had the good fortune to a free lesson at a Pagan Pride day in MA a few years ago. She took us around a beautiful natural space, teaching about white pine and how it’s loaded with vitamin C, and plantain (not the banana relative) and how it’s good for injuries.

I need to go back to my nettle infusions. They are great! Even better when cut with a bit of peppermint tea.

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Tamara December 9, 2011 at 4:29 AM

I am in pre-TTC waiting to conceive our first so im just now getting into Red Raspberry Leaf tea infusions, but once we start TTC, i will most definitely and Red Clover infusions to my eating plan. Thanks for sharing!

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Nickole@savvyteasandherbs.com December 9, 2011 at 4:53 AM

Chaste Tree Berries, Sarsaparilla, Blessed Thistle, and Red Raspberry Leaf are also great herbs for balancing hormones. We created a Hormonal Harmony herbal blend for this purpose. I love making herbal infusions! ;)

Nickole

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cheeseslave December 9, 2011 at 6:21 AM

Nickole, I wish I had remembered to order from you! I didn’t think about it because ou guys are not on our resources page anymore. How come? I plan on writing more posts about herbs and I would love to link to you.

I will order from you next time. In fact, I think I will order some chaste tree berries and red raspberry leaf — those are excellent suggestions.

Can you respond to the commenter above re: red clover being estrogenic? I have read different things about that.

Also are your herbs organic?

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cheeseslave December 9, 2011 at 6:25 AM

Oh, sorry, the comment I was thinking of was on Facebook:

I use nettle, oat straw, raspberry leaf, hibiscus, and dandelion root daily to balance hormones and tone my reproductive system. Vitex tincture is one of the first remedies I use on myself to correct an estrogen dominance by addressing the progesterone deficiency. I would never contradict Susun Weed (she is so awesome, no?), however I would caution the use of red clover unless you know that you are not estrogen dominant.

Can you comment on that?

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Nickole@savvyteasandherbs.com December 9, 2011 at 10:29 AM

Thanks so much! Advertising here did not fit in our budget. I also have concerns about red clover in particular if you are estrogen dominant. There seems to be valid concern that it could make the condition worse, instead of balancing out the estrogen as chaste tree berries (vitex) helps with. We do not have red clover in our hormonal blend we created. While our herbs are not certified organic (although our teas are because non-organic teas tend to be heavily treated), they are not irradiated or sprayed, ever. We feel comfortable with that quality for our own family. Thanks for your interest in our store. We adore herbs! :)

Nickole

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Jenni December 29, 2011 at 9:42 AM

How do you know if you are estrogen dominant? I know something isn’t right with my hormones, as I encounter some sleep issues during my menstrual cycle. Mostly I have problems right before ovulation and right before menstruation. Don’t know if anyone can comment. I’m 38, just lost a pregnancy in June, am now on my 6th cycle since then. Don’t have very bad PMS at all, even my cramps are not that bad anymore. Not sure if that’s a clue.

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Heather Brandt January 27, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Why sasperilla?

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Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist December 9, 2011 at 5:46 AM

Susun Weed’s book “Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year” was my bible for what herbs to use when during preconception, pregnancy and breastfeeding! I still drink nettle infusion several times a week. It does wonders for keeping everything balanced!

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cheeseslave December 9, 2011 at 6:22 AM

Thanks, Sarah, I’m going to start! You are so balanced hormonally. Now I know why!

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Pat Robinson December 9, 2011 at 6:13 AM

I love herbal infusions. Nettles are a favorite – tons of vitamins and minerals, anti-histamine properties too! According to Susun Weed, “Two cups of nettle infusion has all the vitamins and minerals you need for a day.” Beneficial while pregnant and nursing too. Plus, stinging nettle contains up to 25% protein, dry weight, which is high for a leafy green vegetable.

(I couldn’t get the videos to activate for viewing.)

Pat

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cheeseslave December 9, 2011 at 6:23 AM

Hmm not sure why… they work for me. Try clicking over to YouTube.

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Angelique December 9, 2011 at 6:50 AM

Thanks so much for this post! It’s only natural to make the transition to herbal care of our families once you get the wholesome diet changes down. I’d like to also suggest Aviva Jill Romm. She is wonderful. I have her Naturally Healthy Babies and Children and her The Natural Pregnancy Book. Herbal care for little ones can be hard to find. Her writing is very clear and her recipes can be used for adults as well. I am 20 weeks pregnant and drink her Pregnancy Nourishment Tea every day along with a dose of flax oil and progesterone cream. I have had very little morning sickness this time around and have felt much better in general (even though I was WAP with my first pregnancy). Aviva is a midwife, master herbalist and she went back and got her M.D. My own family doctor recommends her!

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cheeseslave December 9, 2011 at 7:18 AM

That’s great!

I worry a little about the progesterone cream. If I were you, I would get your levels checked. Susun Weed told the story in her book about one woman who was taking progesterone during her pregnancy and the baby girl ended up with a clitoris that was 3 times too large. Now, she didn’t say what kind of progesterone the woman was taking or whether it was a cream or synthetic. Regardless, I do think it’s a good idea to get your levels checked.

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Angelique December 9, 2011 at 7:45 AM

Thank you. I have had them checked and they were normal but I will continue to have them monitored.

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cheeseslave December 9, 2011 at 8:52 AM

If they are normal, maybe it’s not a good idea to take it.

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Angelique December 9, 2011 at 10:35 AM

Oh, sorry. I should have been more clear. If I don’t take it they are below normal and I get terrible, ring-of-fire, headaches on the top of my head.

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Angelique December 9, 2011 at 10:44 AM

Oh, sorry. I should have been more clear. If I don’t take it they are below normal and I get terrible, ring-of-fire, headaches on the top of my head. After losing a baby last year (at least partially due to low progesterone, which also caused a great deal of difficulty in even conceiving), progesterone suppositories were discussed in order to allow me to carry a baby. I opted for a natural approach instead.

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christy December 31, 2011 at 7:37 AM

angelique-
what sort of progesterone are you using and where would I find it? I have low progesterone and would love a natural solution. I haven’t had problems with conception (first try, three times) but I’ve had one miscarriage and virtually no milk with which to feed my boys. The lactation consultant thought it might be the low progesterone so I’m hoping to get that fixed before we try for another baby. Any resources you could point to would be greatly appreciated!

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April December 9, 2011 at 7:03 AM

Nettle infusion has helped me do major repair with my adrenals; I swear by it. A four-hour Red Raspberry Leaf infusion throughout my pregnancy made my pre-transition laboring basically painless. (RRL does not affect sensation post-transition).

I’ve been meaning to try Oatstraw, but Nettle feels so good to me that I’ve never switched.

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cheeseslave December 9, 2011 at 7:20 AM

That is great! Helping your adrenals is SO important since they make so many of our sex hormones.

I think all these young women who are drinking huge Starbucks lattes every morning are going to regret it when they get into their 30s and 40s. I used to live on coffee and it ruined my adrenals.

Glad we can bring ‘em back!

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Susan December 9, 2011 at 10:01 AM

Ann Marie-
You aren’t kidding with that! I lived through my 30′s on the standard diet of cigarettes, coffee and Jack Daniels. A meal was a handful of Chex-mix and another cup of coffee. The price I pay now, at 46, is total adrenal burnout for the last 3 years. I’m better than I was, but I, in no way, have any sort of life yet!

So, of course I am ready to jump on the nettle bandwagon! But I did find this article where, near the bottom, the author talks about starting nettles slowly. Have you read this anywhere else? Does this mean I can’t follow Susun’s recipe and start enjoying right away? Or should I water it down for a while? Adrenals are funny -as you know- and things can go horribly wrong when we over-energize them.

http://ezinearticles.com/?How-to-Avoid-Stress-Induced-Abdominal-Weight-Gain&id=590076

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Linnae December 9, 2011 at 7:33 AM

I just adore Susun Weed! I love herbal infusions but I have a hard time with them, Im not sure if I am sensitive to the herbs or just so in tune with my body that I feel the “rush” of nutrients! I sometimes experience some anxiety when i do the full-potentcy infusions so I will make an infusion and then dilute half with water and add a little lemon and drink it like iced tea. I still consume the same amount as Susun recommends- just not all at once. I will have several cups of this through out the day. I feel great and truely believe that they help balance hormones. Great post!! Thanks!

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cheeseslave December 9, 2011 at 7:51 AM

I think it’s very wise to listen to your own body and intuition. I know from studying Julia Ross that everyone is different; some people are very sensitive to nutrients and others need a hammer on the head.

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Linnae December 9, 2011 at 8:39 AM

I agree! And I am determined to get these nutrients in! Sometimes slow and steady wins the race! ;)

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Bella December 9, 2011 at 7:53 AM

What does an ounce by weight usually look like by tablespoon? I don’t have a scale.

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Linnae December 9, 2011 at 8:38 AM

I usually use about a half cup measuring cup heaping full or more. I think in one of Susun’s videos she shows you what it looks like. I have been doing it for so long, I just estimate it now. I think I’m using correct qty. :)

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cheeseslave December 9, 2011 at 9:36 AM

I thought she said it was about a cup.

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Rachel J December 10, 2011 at 12:02 PM

Depends what you’re using. Red clover is a few cups per ounce, at least. A one pound bag is about the size of a bed pillow. Nettles are about 1/2 c. maybe? I don’t really measure anymore either, just put in what I feel like I need or want.

I love red clover and find if I drink it for about a week during my cycle and don’t overdo the sugar I have much less PMS and often I don’t get the spotting a few days before. My understanding is that the spotting is from low progesterone so I’m not sure how that works out, except that at a conference with Susun Weed I attended she made the point that Red Clover isn’t just phytoestrogens but actually hormonal precursors so the body is able to use them to convert to various hormones as needed (if I’m remembering that correctly, it’s been a few years). The red clover also helps balance the dryness of the nettles. I tend to be dry so the moistening red clover is helpful. I suppose I could also use plantain, not very tasty though, or peach leaf which is perfect for my Vatta type and digestive issues. Mostly though I just drink nettles/RRL/red clover. Those are what I’m most drawn to on a daily basis.

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Linda Townsend December 9, 2011 at 9:40 AM

http://www.salvationsisters.com/2011/11/osmosis-day-spa-and-lindas-detox-herbal.html
Sending along my link to my blog. The post includes my recipe for my herbal tea that has red clover and nettles in it as well as peppermint, yarrow and calendula. All of these herbs help cleanse the body as well as having hormone balancing properties. I get my herbs from Pacific Botanicals in Grants Pass, Oregon. They grow their own certified organic herbs and they produce the best red clover and calendula blossoms available in my opinion.

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Jean December 9, 2011 at 9:43 AM

Any idea if oatstraw is GAPS legal? I’ve been doing the nettle infusions and have had great success with them, but I’d also like to try oatstraw.

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cheeseslave December 9, 2011 at 11:44 AM

I don’t think it is legal.

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Renee N. December 9, 2011 at 1:20 PM

I LOVE my nettle infusions! After a few days of drinking about a quart a day, I noticed my (and my husband’s) eczema start to clear up. After about a week, my hands were smooth again. The only things I’d changed recently were taking FCLO, nettle infusions, and rubbing coconut oil on my hands. However, I started getting lazy with the nettle infusions and stopped for about 2 weeks and my eczema (and my husband’s) is just as bad as before. I’m so miserable… I’d forgotten how bad it can be. I’m going to start my infusions again tonight, for sure. Of course, I can’t be 100% sure that it was the nettle, but I’m pretty convinced…

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Paula December 9, 2011 at 1:30 PM

After testing out gathering wild red raspberry leaves this last summer, we are going to take a day next summer to gather enough for the year. They are abundant up here, and I found they dry fully in less then an hour in the dehydrator.
The leaves must be gathered during blossom time, in case anyone else is interested in trying this.
Have not tried Nettles yet, but now I just might!

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Andreah December 9, 2011 at 5:33 PM

Half way through my last pregnancy I drank lots of nettle tea. My mom and I harvested them from her yard and then we dried them. I had a couple painful varicose veins that were completely pain free after a few days of drinking this infusion. And after my daughter was born they dissapeared!

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jeanmarie December 9, 2011 at 9:25 PM

Another great idea I have no time to try! But this will be in the back of my mind, for when I’m ready… Right now, all my “free” time is going into projects like sprouting peas, seeds and grains for my chickens.

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Kendahl @ Our Nourishing Roots December 10, 2011 at 12:00 PM

My hormones are doing much better after taking coconut oil several times a day and starting GAPS. My last pregnancy really did a number on my body. I was never a coffee drinker, but I did live in abuse for years as a child and that’s what shot my adrenals. So now I am rebuilding with real food and stress reduction techniques. I think some herbal infusions might help too.

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Nicole December 10, 2011 at 10:31 PM

Could someone please tell me is it any good to just drink nettle tea? Or is it much better to do the infusion overnight??

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Nickole@savvyteasandherbs.com December 11, 2011 at 5:15 AM

An herbal tea is definitely beneficial, however, an infusion is stronger and helps pull more of the properties out of the herbs.

Nickole

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Raquel December 11, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Red raspberry leaf and Nettles are what my Naturopath told me to take while pregnant to help tone my uterus. My entire labour was under 4 hours, this was my second child. I also did hypnobirthing and had a drug free labour. My first child was around 20 hours and I did not know about RRL or nettles.

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Coral December 11, 2011 at 4:14 PM

Can you share your dosage details?

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Raquel December 11, 2011 at 5:01 PM

I think I had about 1 – 3 cups of both everyday when I remembered. I also took Rubus Ideus (raspberry) Gemmo it is excellent for pregnancy and tonifies the uterus and promotes an efficient labour. I took it throughout my pregnancy at 1/4 tsp 2 times per day in equal amount of water between meals. I know I forgot to take it everyday, lol. Another thing I did was get accupuncture a couple days after my due date, I went into labor about 12 hrs later. Maybe that helped with the speedy labor too, although the reason I got it was to help put me into labor so that I didn’t have to get induced.

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Anali December 13, 2011 at 8:13 AM

I’m curious if you were drinking tea or infusions. :)

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Rauel December 13, 2011 at 9:40 AM

I was just drinking the tea and let it steep for maybe 20 minutes :)

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Meagan December 11, 2011 at 7:04 PM

I am def going to look into this!!

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Amanda December 13, 2011 at 5:54 AM

Any ideas on the benefits/safety of these herbs while breastfeeding?

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Meghan January 7, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Just an FYI: your link to Susan Weed’s books doesn’t work. I think you meant this one:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=susan+weed&x=0&y=0

Love this post, by the way! I’m shopping for herbs right now. =)

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Raspberry Ketones October 18, 2013 at 5:04 AM

Awesome article.

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certified raspberry ketones January 1, 2014 at 6:01 PM

Everything is very open with a clear explanation of the challenges.
It was really informative. Your website is very useful.
Thank you for sharing!

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windy March 31, 2014 at 8:29 AM

Thank God for insomnia! If I didn’t suffer severely from it, I never would have found your website. All the info, links and tips are amazing. It’s a refreshingly hopeful alternative to the traditional medical approach. I’m really excited to try the herbal infusions, and start reading some of the books. You may have just saved my life. Thanks so much.

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