Herbs to avoid during pregnancy

Although herbs are natural and very effective at treating certain ailments, not all herbs are safe to take during pregnancy. The FDA advises pregnant women not to take any herbal products without talking to their health-care provider first. Women are also urged to consult a trained and experienced herbalist/naturopathic doctor if they want to take herbs during their pregnancy.

Some herbal products may contain agents that are dangerous in pregnancy. Herbs may contain substances that can cause miscarriage, premature birth, uterine contractions, or injury to the fetus.

The following plants may be used occasionally as mildly flavored beverages, teas, seasonings, or as food. These plants should be avoided in an extract or a tincture form-even in small doses while pregnant:

  • Allium sativa (garlic)
  • Allium cepa (onion)
  • Apium graveolens (celery)
  • Armoracia lapathifolia (horseradish)
  • Artemesia dracunuclus (tarragon)
  • Beta vulgaris (beet)
  • Brassica spp. (broccoli, cabbage)
  • Capsicum fructescens (cayenne)
  • Caryophyllus aromaticus (clove)
  • Carica papaya (papaya)
  • Cichorum intybus (chicory)
  • Cinnamomum zeylanicam (cinnamon)
  • Crocus sativa (saffron)
  • Daucus carota (carrot)
  • Equisetum arvense (horsetail)
  • Ferula asafetida (asafetida)
  • Foenicumlum vulgare (fennel)
  • Mentha spicata (spearmint)
  • Myristica fragrans (nutmeg)
  • Nasturtium officinalis (watercress)
  • Ocymum basilicum (basil)
  • Oreganum vulgaris (oregano)
  • Oreganum magorana (marjoram)
  • Petroselinum sativa (parsley)
  • Piper nigra (black pepper)
  • Prunus persica (peach seed)
  • Rosemarium officinalis (rosemary)
  • Satureua hortensis (savory)
  • Silybum (marianum (milk thistle)
  • Thymus vulgaris (thyme)
  • Trigonellum foenumgraecum (fenugreek) Ulmus fulva (slippery elm)
  • Zingiber officinale (ginger)
  • Mitchella repens (sqaw vine) – 3rd trimester only Rubus idaeus (red raspberry)
  • Trifolium pratense (red clover)
  • Zingiber offinale (ginger)

 

Resources

AmericanCollegeofNaturopathicObstetricians:HomeObstetricalCare,AHandbookforthePractitioner.