Herbs to Avoid During Conception and Pregnancy
With spotting at 9 weeks pregnant, Shirelle was scared. She visited her OBGYN, only to be relieved to hear the pitter patter of a fast little heartbeat and went on about her business. The doctor said, “Sometimes spotting was normal.” Then again, a few days later, she spotted. Again, she was reassured. So, in order to make sure that everything was fine – she visited an herbal shop to see if there were any remedies. In a minute, she was given some red raspberry tea and told to drink it every day. A little research on line seemed to confirm that red raspberry tea could help to prevent miscarriage. Then a few weeks later, she miscarried anyways. What she didn’t know is that sometimes, the herbal cures that are often overlooked as harmless – act as uterine stimulants which can actually cause a miscarriage. Chances are the red raspberry tea didn’t CAUSE her miscarriage, but it certainly didn’t help.
Today, homeopathic health is becoming more and more popular. Many women make a visit to herbal shops and holistic practitioners when they are trying to conceive hoping they will find something that will help them do it faster. Others consult herbalists during pregnancy to relieve symptoms that are less than desirable. The problem is that a great many herbs, some found in every day vitamin blends, can actually act as laxatives or uterine stimulants causing a woman to miscarry or have problems during pregnancy. For this reason, it is vital that you do not take any herbal blends, regardless of who tells you to or what you read on the internet, unless you speak to your OBGYN.
The only herbs that are considered safe during pregnancy are the culinary herbs that you cook with. Other herbs, such as bitters, alkaloids, or essential oils should be avoided because many have uterine stimulant properties. You should also avoid herbs that act as laxatives. Black and Blue Cohosh, often offered in the women’s health section – can and will cause a miscarriage and should be avoided at all costs.
If you take any herbs for anything, even unrelated to your pregnancy – make sure you discontinue as soon as you decide you want to become pregnant. Herbs work on the body differently than medications and many can harm a fetus as well. Sadly, the list of herbs to avoid during conception and pregnancy is lengthy – which is just one indicator that you should steer clear unless your OBGYN says it is okay.
As a sampling of the herbs to avoid, here are just a few of the most common:
Aloe, Buckthorn, Cascara, Sagrada Docks, American Mandrake, Blue Cohosh, Black Cohosh, Cayenne, Fennel, Flax Seed, Golden Seals, Passion Flower, Mistletoe, Tansy, Thyme, Rhubarb, Periwinkle, Sage, Wormwood, Blood root, Ephedra, Goldenseal, Barberry, Lavender, Poke Root! While this list is small, the truth is that there are hundreds of herbal blends that are not healthy for pregnant women or those wanting to conceive.