Just like prescription medications, many herbs can be harmful during pregnancy. The herbs to avoid during pregnancy below have been found to be particularly unsafe during pregnancy.
And when it comes to your baby, you don't want to take any chances during pregnancy.
Although herbs have served us well for centuries as seasonings and natural remedies, these herbs to avoid during pregnancy are potentially harmful to mothers and developing babies.
Some herbs are unsafe during pregnancy because they can induce uterine contractions that could lead to miscarriage, a premature birth or injury to the fetus. Others herbs are harmful during pregnancy because they can cause high blood pressure, birth defects or even death.
Herbs to Avoid during Pregnancy
- Aloe Vera stimulates uterine contractions. Also avoid when breastfeeding.
- Angelica (Dong Quai), a menstrual stimulant, can bring on strong contractions.
- Arbor Vitae (Thuja Occidentalis) causes uterine contractions.
- Autumn Crocus can affect cell division and lead to birth defects.
- Barberry is known to stimulate uterine contractions.
- Basil Oil is a uterine stimulant. Use only during labor
- Black Cohosh can cause premature contractions. Safe during childbirth.
- Blue Cohosh is a uterine stimulant. Safe during childbirth.
- Caffeine in guarana, coffee, tea and sodas can cause high blood pressure.
- Comfrey contains toxic chemicals that could cross the placenta.
- Cotton Root is a uterine stimulant.
- Cumin Seed or Powder can cause premature labor, miscarriage or cramping.
- Dong Quai (Angelica) is a menstrual stimulant. Ideal after childbirth.
- Ephedra (Ma Huang) is an unsafe stimulant.
- False Unicorn Root may cause nausea and vomiting.
- Feverfew is a uterine stimulant.
- Golden Seal may lead to premature labor or miscarriage. Safe during childbirth.
- Juniper and Juniper Oil are uterine stimulants. Use only during labor.
- Licorice can cause high blood pressure.
- Mugwort may lead to birth defects. Also avoid when breastfeeding.
- Pennyroyal can cause birth defects. Also avoid when breastfeeding.
- Peruvian Bark is highly toxic and can cause coma, blindness or even death.
- Poke Root may cause birth defects.
- Rue is a menstrual stimulant that may cause premature contractions.
- Shepherd's Purse is a uterine stimulant. Should be used only during labor.
- Tansy, another uterine stimulant, may cause birth defects.
- Wild yam is a uterine stimulant. Safe during labor.
- Wormwood may cause birth defects. Also avoid when breastfeeding.
These include aniseed, aniseed oil, caraway, celery seed or oil, chili, cinnamon, cumin, fennel, lavender, marjoram, nutmeg, nutmeg oil, oregano, parsley, peppermint oil, raspberry leaf, rhubarb, rosemary, rosemary oil, saffron, sage, sage oil and thyme oil.
Other Things to Avoid during Pregnancy
Foods to avoid during pregnancy definitely include alcohol, which can lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). FAS causes central nervous system dysfunction, birth defects, severe mental retardation and other abnormalities.
Other things, such as smoking, prescription and recreational drugs, toxic fumes from pesticides, cleaning products and gasoline, high body temperature (above 102 degrees) cat litter, and x-rays, can all lead to spontaneous abortion, low birth weight, birth defects or infant death.
To learn about the different pregnancy stages and see great pictures of what you and your baby will look like throughout your pregnancy journey, go to Pictures of Pregnancy Stages.
And be sure to check out my Natural Health Newsletter.
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Articles you might also enjoy:
A Healthy Pregnancy Food List
Healthy Pregnancy Weight Gain Check
Eating Healthy for Pregnancy Baby Health
Pictures of Pregnancy Stages of Fetal Development
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Note: The information contained on this website is not intended to be prescriptive. Any attempt to diagnose or treat an illness should come under the direction of a physician who is familiar with nutritional therapy.