Herbs During Pregnancy
By Alison Haasch
Following is a partial list of what you can use, what to use with caution and what not to use. I would suggest Vitamin C For vein support and as an antioxidant and a good vitamin like Super Supplemental from Natures Sunshine and a good liquid mineral.
The following is a list of herbs that can be used safely during pregnancy. Use these herbs in the gentlest way as hot Relaxing teas, capsules or tinctures.
Bilberry: will fortify vein and capillary support, aids in kidney function . (editor's note: caution should be used as bilberry is a mild diuretic. Talk to your midwife or doctor.)
Blue and Black Cohosh: stops and eliminates false labor ; for final weeks of pregnancy, to ease and/or induce labor. (editor's note: This should only be used under the direction of an herbalist who is familiar with natural birth and in the final weeks of pregnancy)
Chamomile: aids digestions and bowel problems and relaxes for good sleep.
Echinacea: aids the immune system to help prevent colds, flu, and infections.
False Unicorn: use only in the final weeks of pregnancy, will ease and/or induce labor.
Ginger Root: excellent for morning sickness
Golden Seal: small amounts only, lager amounts can cause uterine contractions
Lobelia: helps relax the mother during birth and helps speed up the delivery of the placenta. Use the liquid topically.
Nettles: will guard against excessive bleeding as it has vitamin K in it; will improve kidney function and help prevent hemorrhoids.
Peppermint: after the first trimester, may be used to help digestion, soothe the stomach and overcome nausea. It is an all-over body strengthener and cleanser.
Red Raspberry Leaf: it is an all-around excellent herb to use for pregnancy. It is a uterine tonic, anti-abortive, and helps prevent infection. Aids in preventing cramps and anemia. Prevents excessive bleeding during and after labor and will facilitate the birth process by stimulating contractions.
Wild Yam: for pregnancy pain, nausea or cramping and will lessen the possibility of miscarriage.
Yellow Dock: aids in iron assimilation and will help to prevent infant jaundice.
The herbs listed below should not be taken without the recommendation of your herbalist, midwife, or doctor and then not in combin- ations. The herbs listed below are laxative in nature and should be used sparingly.
Strong laxatives should be used with discretion as it causes cramping and stomach griping. Cautions: The following herbs should NOT be taken during pregnancy:
Angelica: can cause uterine contractions
Cinchona: cinchona and it's alkaloids should be avoided in pregnancy because of their oxytocic effects.
Soda and Coffee: avoid caffeine, as it irritates the uterus; excessive amounts in some sensitive individuals can cause premature birthing or miscarriage.
Eucalyptus oil: difficult to eliminate through the kidneys.
Juniper: too strong vaso-dialating, diurectic effect
Lovage: causes uterine contractions
Ma Huang (ephedra): too strong of an antihistamine effect.
Male fern: too strong a vermifuge.
Mistletoe: can cause contractions.
Mugwort: stimulates contractions and can be toxic in large doses.
Pennyroyal: can cause miscarriage.
Poke root: a powerful emetic. (causes vomiting)
Rue: can cause miscarriage.
Sheperds Purse: too astringent; may be used for afterbirth bleeding.
Tansy: can cause uterine contractions.
Wild Ginger: an ammenogogue that causes uterine contractions.
Wormwood: stimulates uterine contractions and be toxic in large doses.
Yarrow: too strong astringent and mild abortifacient.
Compiled by Alison Haasch
Executive Director -- NaturalChildbirth.org
Taken with permission from the newsletter Healthy Tips & Topics, by Katherine Ferrente, ND. Source: Little Herb Encyclopedia.