Top 5 Herbs That Are Not Safe During Pregnancy

With the cool fall afternoons, comes the brisk and dark evenings. It makes the perfect weather to end the night with a comforting, hot cup of tea.

Herbs have a long list of remedies, from reducing anxiety, to easing congestion. Various active components of plants elicit certain reactions in the human body.

This is especially important to remember if you are thinking about, not only, reactions in your own body, but that of the little one you are carrying inside you.

eing pregnant is a whole new playing field with almost everything; your fitness has to be altered, how long you can sit on a plane changes, and your hormones make you feel like something from outer space.

Taking your favorite herbs may be one of those things that need to be evaluated as well. The go-to tea you took pre-pregnancy to kick a cold may have harmful effects on your baby.

American Pregnancy Association reported:

Herbs may contain substances that can cause miscarriage, premature birth, uterine contractions, or injury to the fetus. Few studies have been done to measure the effects of various herbs on pregnant women or fetuses.”

Supplements are not regulated by the Food And Drug Administration, so it leaves it up to the manufacturer to have transparency when labeling ingredients, and when listing the possible risks.

Although, herbs are a more pure and natural source to use for your everyday ailments, every herb isn’t safe for every case.

Let’s look at the top 5 most harmful herbs to consume while you are pregnant. And, remember, herbs absorb differently when taken orally as a supplement, topically as an oil or rub, or when drank as a tea.

1. Saw Palmetto reported on the popular fertility drug:

“Saw palmetto is an herb that has a high chance of not being safe to consume during pregnancy. It is possible that saw palmetto may stimulate the uterus and induce miscarriage.”

This one is important to list because many men and women use it for various fertility, or reproductive organ, assistance.

It helps relieve the symptoms of an enlarged prostate in men, and it helps level out hormones for women trying to conceive.

The New York Times reported on a study published in the journal of the American Society For Reproductive Medicine:

“saw palmetto reduced the viability of sperm that were exposed to the herbal preparation for seven days.”

 So, if you are using saw palmetto to try to get pregnant, it would be advisable to stop using it when you think you may be pregnant.

As a disclaimer, this is not medical advice, only carefully researched information. Please consult with your obstetrician if you have any concerns about what herbs to take, or not take.

2. Blue Cohosh

Web MD reported:

“Blue cohosh is used for stimulating the uterus and starting labor; starting menstruation; stopping muscle spasms; as a laxative; and for treating colic, sore throat, cramps, hiccups, epilepsy, hysterics, inflammation of the uterus, and joint conditions.

It is thought that blue cohosh might have effects similar to the hormone estrogen. It also may narrow the vessels that carry blood to the heart that can decrease oxygen in the heart.”

 Obviously, starting labor is not something we want prior to that special day where you are intended to meet your little bean.

Any herb that has a laxative effect can be dangerous during pregnancy, where you are already having a difficult time staying hydrated.

Using the bathroom too much can cause you to release your vitamins that you are meticulously taking everyday.

3. Goldenseal

NIH reported:

“Historically, Native Americans used goldenseal for skin disorders, ulcers, fevers, and other conditions. European settlers adopted it as a medicinal plant, using it for a variety of conditions.”

Further research of this useful plant has shown that during pregnancy it may be able to cross the placenta barrier. reported:

Goldenseal should not be given to a newborn baby because it may cause brain damage.”

4. Dong Quai

 “Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis) is one of the most powerful female fertility tonic herbs. Used since at least the first century, Dong Quai tonifies and strengthens the uterus by regulating hormonal control, improving uterine tone, and improving the timing of the menstrual cycle.”

 This is a great herb to prepare your body for pregnancy, but be cautious if you think you may have conceived so you can halt your herbal protocol.

Dong Quai can cause uterine contractions in pregnant women, and can effect hormones.

5. Ginger

 This last one may come as a surprise to many pregnant women. It is often recommended by friends, and herbal hobbyists to take ginger to relieve symptoms of nausea and vomiting during the morning sickness phase.

Web MD reported:

“Ginger is a common folk treatment for upset stomach and nausea. … Studies found that taking ginger could reduce nausea and vomiting in some pregnant women. But pregnant women should be careful with ginger. Some experts worry that it could raise the risk of miscarriage, especially in high doses.”

It is thought to cause uterine contractions and miscarriage in high doses. Livestrong reported not to exceed 4mg a day of ginger.

Speak with your doctor about a safe amount if you feel that taking ginger is necessary for morning sickness relief.

When taking teas that are bought pre-packaged from a store it would be difficult to have a high enough dosage of a herb to cause damage.

Home-made teas, or supplements can have a much higher concentration of the herb, and pose a greater risk.

Whatever your herbal protocol is, be advised that limited testing has been done on the reaction to a baby in uterine.

Please let us know in the comments section if you have used herbs during pregnancy, and how they have affected you and your baby.

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