A Thumbs Up Book Review
The Garden of Fertility:A Guide to Charting Your Fertility Signals to Prevent or Achieve Pregnancy–Naturally–and to Gauge Your Reproductive Health
By Katie Singer
Review by Sally Fallon
Fertility Awareness–a method for preventing or achieving pregnancy based on daily charting of the waking temperature and cervical fluid–is the answer for those who want to space their children, become pregnant or even regain reproductive health without the use of hormones or drugs. For those couples conscious of Dr. Price’s discoveries about the importance of spacing children, this book lights the way.
In Garden of Fertility, Katie Singer dovetails step-by-step instructions, including excellent sample charts and diagrams on how to gauge fertility patterns, with fascinating testimonials. This is much more than a how-to book; it presents a model of relationships that partake in the natural rhythms of the earth and moon. In many of the book’s testimonials, women describe how participation in Fertility Awareness helped them achieve an unexpected sense of femininity at once peaceful and strong. Even more moving are the remarks of men, who describe an increased sense of belonging in the reproductive process, and increased closeness to their partners when they are aware of fertility patterns in a relationship. One important benefit of joint participation in Fertility Awareness is increased communication between partners.
Singer does not ignore the influence of diet on reproductive health. Happily, her advice is based on the teachings of Weston Price. She explains the fundamental importance of fat-soluble vitamins A and D, as well as vitamin E, iodine and zinc for reproductive health. Dietary suggestions include cod liver oil, egg yolks, butter, liver, seafood and lard. She also warns against commercial vegetable oils, trans fats, sugar, white flour, soy, caffeine and foods grown with pesticides. She even includes a wise caution against too much protein in the diet, noting that energy bars, protein powders, milk powders added to lowfat milk, and lean meats can deplete the body of vitamin A. Singer also describes the frequent problems she sees in women who are vegans. Women with reproductive problems who are charting their cycles can often see immediate beneficial effects by eliminating one or more bad foods from the diet (like caffeine, sugar or trans fats) and adding butter, eggs and organic greens.
Another excellent chapter describes common products that can be hazardous to reproductive health, starting with the various drugs used in assisted reproductive technology. Depo-Provera (an injectable hormonal method of preventing pregnancy), the pill and even progesterone creams and gels can seriously disrupt a woman’s long-term fertility, making it difficult and sometimes impossible to become pregnant once they are ceased. Other problematic products include bras (which increase a woman’s chance of getting breast cancer), mercury, especially in vaccines and dental amalgams (which can accumulate in the ovaries and testicles), phthalates in plastic containers and coverings for food, most commercial tampons (which contain dioxin) and even disposable baby diapers (which contain estrogen-mimicking chemicals that may interfere with sexual development later on, especially in boys). Singer provides practical alternatives and suggestions for all these industrial products.
Garden of Fertility is a wonderful book to give to your teenage daughters and it deserves a place in every home, right next to Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Summer 2004.