Although most people rely on medicines than natural supplements, some still prefer natural herbs to get nutrition during pregnancy. Herbalists claim that herbs are healthier and cheaper than prescription medicines, but not everything derived from nature is safe for you and your baby. Some herbs can be so dangerous that you must discontinue having them once you’ve conceived. Curious to learn more about the herbs to avoid during pregnancy?
Dangerous Categories of Herbs to Avoid During Pregnancy
Herbs are the gifts of nature that humans have been using for centuries to cure a range of illnesses. But when you are pregnant, some herbs used can have adverse effects like miscarriage, premature labor, and developmental delays. We’ll tell you all about those dangerous herbs in pregnancy that you must not consume.
1. Saw Palmetto
Saw Palmetto is one of the herbs you are supposed to intake orally. It can cause hormonal imbalances during pregnancy.
2. Dong Quai
Dong Quai is another herb you should not use during pregnancy. It may be accountable for uterine contractions and even miscarriage.
The health benefits of passionflower are not unknown. But when someone is pregnant, it will be wise to avoid this herb.
Goldenseal is among the unsafe herbs during pregnancy and you must quit taking it if you are expecting. It has the potential of crossing the placenta, thus affecting the fetus’s brain development.
Did you know that yohimbe can endanger your baby’s life? Therefore, you must stay off this dangerous herb in case you’re pregnant.
6. Pau D’arco
Pau D’arco can treat ulcers, arthritis, dysentery, fever, and several cancers. However, heavy doses of Pau D’arco can have disastrous consequences when you are pregnant.
Ephedra is one of the herbs to avoid during pregnancy as it may cause premature labor and uterine contractions. Hence, don’t drink any herbal supplement that has Ephedra.
8. Black Cohosh
Several women who took Black Cohosh regularly have gone into premature labor. Another reason why you should try to avoid it is uterine contractions.
Whether you are on your first trimester or third trimester – willow bark, sage, and cat’s claw are some other herbs pregnant women should not consume.
Several studies have revealed that pennyroyal is not good for pregnant women as it might threaten the baby’s life. It can cause fetal death (due to damage of liver or brain) and miscarriage.
10. Blue Cohosh
According to doctors, blue cohosh may have embryotoxic and teratogenic effects. It also has abortifacient properties which make it a risky choice for expecting women.
11. Roman Chamomile
Taking even a small amount of Roman Chamomile daily can increase the chances of a miscarriage. So, it is better to stay away from herbal products that contain Roman Chamomile.
Some Other Toxic Herbs in Pregnancy
These are some other unsafe herbs during pregnancy that can have negative impacts on your maternal health.
- Evening Primrose
- Kava Kava
- Ginseng (Korean & American)
Herbs That Are Safe During Pregnancy
Wondering if there are any herbs that will positively impact your and your baby’s health? Now we’ll reveal the names of certain herbs that will help you have a healthy pregnancy:
Ginger, the popular ingredient found in every kitchen, does more than enhancing the flavor of your food. It is among the most wonderful herbs that is not just considered safe but is infused with many health benefits. You should have ginger daily, especially when you’re on your first trimester. It eases morning sickness and reduces uneasiness.
How to consume?
The best way to have ginger early morning is by preparing tea with grated ginger. You can also add it to your soups, veggies, and other recipes.
2. Peppermint Leaf
Peppermint leaf is among the safe alternative herbs for pregnancy which can improve multiple conditions. It is effective in easing flatulence and nausea. However, refrain from having it in excess.
How to have it?
Take some fresh peppermint leaves, wash them thoroughly, and make a cup of soothing tea for yourself.
3. Red Raspberry Leaf
Want to know the name of the wonderful herb that will make your pregnancy enjoyable? An incredible source of iron, red raspberry leaf is a must-have herb for you. There is scientific evidence that proves it reduces obstetric complications and makes labor less painful.
How to have it?
Once your early pregnancy/ first trimester gets over, you can have a refreshing cup of red raspberry tea once in a while.
4. Slippery Elm Bark
Many women in cities are not aware of the advantages of using the bark of the slippery elm tree. The indigenous people have been using it since ages to get relief from heartburn, vaginal irritation, and nausea.
Some other common herbs that you can use in pregnancy include:
- Black Psyllium
- Blond Psyllium
- German Chamomile
Pregnancy Herbal Teas to Avoid
For a tea lover, resisting the urge to drink tea can be challenging. But you must limit the intake of caffeine when you are pregnant or breastfeeding. A common misconception is that using herbal tea will keep such concerns at bay. However, all teas have caffeine and therefore, overconsumption is not recommended.
Additionally, there are some herbal teas you should not drink to have a healthy pregnancy and those include:
- Aloe vega tea
- Lemongrass tea
- Hibiscus tea
- Ginseng tea
- Chamomile tea
- Kava tea
Why Consult Your Doctor Before You Use Herbs During Pregnancy
Whatever the ailment, medical professionals advise their patients to avoid herbal remedies. The main reason behind this is that unlike prescription drugs, natural supplements don’t go through strict evaluation and scrutiny by the FDA. Hence, the strength and quality of herbal supplements can differ between two batches even when you order the same product.
It is also true some herbs are extremely beneficial during pregnancy. But to keep complications at bay, you must always research well before taking any herbal medicine. It is better to take the opinion of your healthcare provider as your baby’s safety is of utmost significance.
Some herbs may even react with the prescription drugs you are taking and reduce their effectiveness or increase their side effects.
Additional Pregnancy Wellness Tips for Expecting Moms
Follow these tips to have a blissful journey of becoming a mother:
- Stay active to improve circulation and reduce stress.
- don’t skip your prenatal vitamins.
- Attend an online/ offline childbirth class to prepare yourself for the delivery.
- Visit your gynecologist for regular checkups.
So, the bottom line is to remember that taking herbal medicines is a matter of personal choice. But whether you like herbal remedies or synthetic medicines – you must not take any medicine without allergy checks and medical consultation.
Seek advice from reliable obstetricians and midwives and procure herbs from trusted sources only. Keep following us for more pregnancy herbal remedy precautions.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Which herbs are unsafe during pregnancy?
Herbs like Saw Palmetto, Dong Quai, Goldenseal, Yohimbe, Blue Cohosh, Ephedra, Black Cohosh, Pau D’arco, Passionflower, and Roman Chamomile are not safe to take during pregnancy.
- Why should some herbs be avoided in pregnancy?
Some herbs like black cohosh and ephedra can be responsible for preterm labor and uterine contractions. There are other herbs that can stunt the development of the fetus and alleviate pregnancy discomforts. So, such herbs should be avoided at all costs.