Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
I am having fertility trouble. I am seeing a certified instructor who is advising me in Chinese meditation, including microcosmic orbit and healing sounds, as well as Dao In. He recommended that I take Angelica polymorpha (dong quai) for my painful monthly menstruation. Then I read that this herb could cause preterm labor and also that animal studies have linked it to birth defects. Do you think that if I should take this herb if I am trying to conceive?
A: With regards to the meditations, they need to be learned and practiced under guidance of a licensed instructor. They can generate substantial energy, but unless you have good guidance, they can produce adverse effects.
As with dong quai, or any herbal medications, I do not suggest self-medication. I strongly advise you to consult a licensed practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), who can advise and prescribe dietary and herbal preparations. A licensed TCM practitioner will be able to first regulate your menstrual cycle, and then treat your fertility issues with a combined protocol.