A lot of people ask — what herbs are safe for pregnancy? It’s an important question! Making sure that you are careful about what you choose to put on and in your body in pregnancy is crucial so that you can stay healthy and not take a chance of harming the baby.
Not Everything Natural is Safe
There is sometimes a perception that everything natural is always safe. This is not true.
Herbs and related essential oils are extremely potent medicines, and some of them can be dangerous for people in different situations, including pregnant women. It is important to research any herb or natural treatment you want to use to find out if it is truly safe for you before choosing to use it. Do not ever believe that just because it’s natural, it will be safe for you. If you are unsure if a particular herb or treatment is safe, please consult a midwife or herbalist or another health professional before using it.
Some herbs are known to cause contractions or even miscarriages. Some are safe late in pregnancy (those that facilitate contractions, for example) but not in early pregnancy. Be cautious about what you use.
Still, some herbs are extremely safe and beneficial in pregnancy! Curious what they are?
Safe Herbs for Pregnancy
The following herbs are nourishing and adaptogenic, which means they gently help to balance the body instead of creating a particular effect. These herbs are also safe for children and even some babies and it is not usually possible to overdose on them.
Nettle leaves are a stinging plant when found in nature, but they are extremely rich in vitamins and minerals. The plant is high in protein, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, vitamins C, D, and B-complex. It is also anti-inflammatory. It may boost adrenal function and is very useful against seasonal allergies. This is a safe remedy if you need help with adrenal function or allergies during pregnancy, but is also a good general tonic due to all the nutrients. It can also boost milk supply.
This is a very nourishing herb with many benefits. It is rich in carbohydrates, calcium, magnesium, vitamins B complex and E. It is beneficial as a nerve tonic, soothing anxiety and aiding depression. It may reduce pain, boost the immune system, and lower cholesterol. If you are prone to postpartum depression, including this herb is an excellent idea. It can also boost milk supply.
Alfalfa is a very nutrient-rich plant that is especially beneficial for many women in the final weeks of pregnancy. It can help to clot blood (which helps prevent hemorrhage in many women, but it should not be taken by women who already have issues with blood clots or who have lupus). It may help to relieve pain and joint stiffness (some women experience joint pain in pregnancy; this is a good herb to try). It may reduce cholesterol. It may increase energy levels and help to treat UTIs. It is rich in many nutrients, including magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, vitamins B6, B12, C, D, E and K. Many women use it in the final weeks of pregnancy to boost their vitamin K levels so their babies will not need any supplementation (a controversial practice anyway — infant supplementation).
Red Raspberry Leaf
This plant is very beneficial to pregnant women. It contains manganese, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, and sulfur. It also contains vitamins B complex, C, D, and E. It may be beneficial in alleviating morning sickness, and it also smooths and tones the uterine muscle, making contractions more effective and labor often shorter and easier. Some consider it controversial in early pregnancy because on occasion it can cause miscarriage in sensitive women. However, other studies have shown that it may help prevent miscarriage. For most women, red raspberry leaf is very safe and beneficial throughout pregnancy, and should especially be taken in the last trimester.
Ginger root has many amazing benefits! The most commonly-known use, in pregnancy and otherwise, is the anti-nausea properties. Ginger may help combat morning sickness and other forms of nausea. However, it does much more than this! Ginger is an anti-inflammatory, meaning it may help reduce pain. It is known to help get rid of colds, and also contains some natural antibiotics. Ginger has been shown to be beneficial in fighting cancer. It boosts liver function (aiding natural detox). It is also high in potassium, manganese, silicon, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, calcium, and vitamins C, E, and B-complex. It’s a powerhouse! Make fresh ginger tea with 2 – 3 slices in a cup of boiling water and sip as desired.
With these five herbs, you can stay healthy and safely address many health concerns during pregnancy, as well as enhance your nutrition and give your baby an excellent start. Drinking a pregnancy tea containing the first four herbs daily is a very good idea throughout pregnancy.
**This post has been entered in Frugal Days and Sustainable Ways.**
Do you use any herbs for pregnancy? Why and how?