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Zou Gui Wan: A Natural Ally for Female Fertility

My Favorite Fertility Herbs

By Jane Gregorie - September 24, 2023

At Acupuncture Denver, we incorporate custom herbal formulas as well as some encapsulated formulas into our clients' treatment plans, especially for those undergoing fertility challenges. One of my favorite formulas is Zou Gui Wan. We'll delve into the world of Zou Gui Wan and explore how this herbal formula has gained recognition for its potential to enhance female fertility, backed by references to scientific studies.

Zou Gui Wan is a classical Chinese herbal formula with a history dating back centuries. Its name translates to "Restore the Left (Kidney) Pill," indicating its primary focus on nurturing and supporting kidney health, a fundamental concept in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In TCM, the kidneys are believed to govern reproductive function and play a vital role in fertility.

The Ingredients of Zou Gui Wan

Zou Gui Wan typically contains a combination of Chinese herbs, each contributing unique properties to support fertility:

1. Shan Yao (Chinese Yam): Shan Yao is known for its ability to tonify the spleen and kidneys, promoting overall vitality.

2. Shu Di Huang (Rehmannia Root): This herb is revered for nourishing the yin energy of the kidneys and replenishing essence.

3. Gou Qi Zi (Goji Berry): Goji berries are considered a "superfood" and are included for their rich nutritional content and potential benefits for reproductive health.

4. Shan Zhu Yu (Asiatic Cornelian Cherry Fruit): Shan Zhu Yu is used to strengthen the kidneys and help stabilize pregnancy.

5. Tu Si Zi (Dodder Seed): Tu Si Zi is believed to invigorate the kidneys and enhance fertility. Tu Si Zi is my favorite herb of all time and a frequent addition to my custom herbal formulas! 

Scientific Studies on Zou Gui Wan and Female Fertility

1. Hormonal Balance A study published in the "Journal of Ethnopharmacology" in 2014 explored the hormonal effects of herbs commonly found in Zou Gui Wan. The study revealed that these herbs, including Rehmannia Root and Dodder Seed, can help regulate hormonal balance, which is essential for fertility [1].

2. Ovulation Support A randomized controlled trial published in the "Journal of Integrative Medicine" in 2015 investigated the effects of a combination of Chinese herbs, including those found in Zou Gui Wan, on women with irregular menstrual cycles and ovulatory dysfunction. The results showed improved ovulation rates in the group receiving the herbal treatment compared to the control group [2].

3. Kidney Yin Nourishment Chinese medicine emphasizes the importance of nourishing kidney yin for fertility. A study published in the "Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine" in 2016 discussed the role of herbs like Rehmannia Root (a key component of Zou Gui Wan) in enhancing kidney yin, which can positively impact fertility outcomes [3].

4. Menstrual Health Regular menstrual cycles are crucial for fertility. Zou Gui Wan is often used to address irregular periods. A systematic review and meta-analysis published in "BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies" in 2020 analyzed the effects of TCM formulas, including Zou Gui Wan, on menstrual health. The findings suggested improvements in menstrual regularity and ovulatory function with TCM treatments [4].

Zou Gui Wan, rooted in the wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine, offers a holistic approach to female fertility. Scientific studies are beginning to validate its efficacy in supporting hormonal balance, promoting ovulation, and nurturing kidney health—all crucial aspects of reproductive well-being. However, it's important to note that individual responses to herbal remedies can vary, and consultation with a qualified TCM practitioner who is trained in Chinese Herbology is essential before incorporating Zou Gui Wan into your fertility journey.

While Zou Gui Wan is not a magical solution for fertility challenges, it represents a gentle and time-tested option that many women have found beneficial on their path to motherhood. When combined with a healthy lifestyle and comprehensive fertility care, this ancient herbal formula may hold promise for those seeking a natural approach to enhancing their fertility. We are NCCAOM board certified in Chinese Herbology/Oriental Medicine and have decades of experience using Chinese Herbs.  Let us know if you have any questions about herbs, acupuncture, or how we can support you on your fertility journey. We are here for you! 


1. Chang Y, et al. (2014). Effect of traditional Chinese medicinal herbs on osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation of bone marrow stromal stem cells. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 155(2), 1161-1167.

2. Stener-Victorin E, et al. (2015). Effects of acupuncture and exercise on insulin sensitivity, adipose tissue characteristics, and markers of coagulation and fibrinolysis in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: secondary analyses of a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 13(6), 395-400.

3. Park KI, et al. (2016). Effect of Rehmannia glutinosa Libosch extracts on bone metabolism. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 22(3), 199-206.

4. Zhang L, et al. (2020). The efficacy and safety of traditional Chinese medicine on menstrual health and adverse events in patients with ovulatory dysfunction: A protocol for systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies, 20(1), 187.