herbs to avoid during pregnancy
Many herbs should never be used during pregnancy. Those containing high quantities of volatile oils (some of which could be toxic, such as pennyroyal), or alkaloids, such as barberry, can affect your central nervous system as well as interfere with the development of your baby’s
Harsh bitter, such as Mugwort, that strongly stimulate digestion and metabolism should be avoided, as should strong laxatives such as senna, buckthorn, cascara Sagrada, and rhubarb; bitters and laxatives can trigger uterine contractions. Herbs with strong hormonal properties are not advised, including sage and licorice.
Consult your health-care provider if you have doubts about the safety of any herb.Alder buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula)—cathartic
Angelica (Angelica archangelica)—emmenagogueBarberry (Berberis vulgaris)—uterine stimulant Birthroot (Trillium spp.)—uterine astringent Blessed Thistle (Cnicus benedictus)—strong bitter Butternut (Juglans cinerea)—laxative Cascara Sagrada (Rhamnus purshiana)—laxative Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara)—possibly fetotoxic Damiana (Turnera diffusa)—nervous system and hormonal activity Drug Aloe (Aloe vera)—cathartic Ephedra (Ma-huang) (Ephedra sinica)—high alkaloid content, cardiac stimulant Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium)—emmenagogue Goldenseal (Hydrastis Canadensis)—uterine stimulant Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica)—affects nervous system Juniper berries (Juniperus communis)—possibly fetotoxic, affects kidneys Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)—emmenagogue Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) (safe to use in cooking)—slightly toxic Osha (Ligusticum porteri)—emmenagogue Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) (safe to use in cooking)—emmenagogue Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium)—emmenagogue Pleurisy root (Asclepias tuberosa)—cardiac stimulant Rhubarb (Rheum palmatum)—laxative Rue (Ruta graveolens)—emmenagogue Sage (Salvia officinalis) (safe to use in cooking)—emmenagogue, hormonal activity Sarsaparilla (Smilax regelii)—hormonal activity Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius)—cardiac stimulant Senna (Senna alexandrina)—laxative Shepard’s purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)—hemostatic Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)—emmenagogue Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)—emmenagogue Common Tea Herbs to Avoid During Pregnancy
Angelica (Angelica archangelica) - can bring on menses Catnip (Nepeta cataria) - increases menstrual flow Cinnamon (Cinnamomum spp.) - large doses can be a uterine stimulant Dong quai (Angelica sinensis) - moves blood and can lead to miscarriage Ephedra (Ephedra sinensis) - can increase heart rate and blood pressure Fennel (Foenicculum officinale) - excess may be a uterine stimulant Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) - may be a uterine stimulant Ginseng (Panax ginseng) - may disrupt hormonal constituents Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) - brings on menses Juniper (Juniperus spp) - diuretic with vasodialating effect on uterus Kava-kava (Piper methysticum) - large doses can cause a build up of toxins Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) - can adversely affect hormone levels Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) - stimulates oxytocin, brings on menses Mugwort (Artemesia vulgaris) - may stimulate uterine contractions Oregon Grape Root (Mahonia aquifolium) - too strong and bitter Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) - large doses may cause stimulation of uterus Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) - many alkaloids that may affect fetus Sassafras (Sassafras officinale or spp.) - oils in plant may harm fetus Sage (Salvia officinalis) - large doses may adversely affect hormones Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) - excessive use may be uterine stimulant Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) - can cause headache or palpitations Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) - strong astringent, may be abortive