Herbs are a wonderful source of health, nutrition, prevention and cure before, during and after pregnancy. Although it is by no means exhaustive, I’ve found the following list to be very helpful regarding herbs to take and avoid during pregnancy.
Herbs To Use During Pregnancy
- Red Raspberry Leaf– an all around uterine tonic. It is anti-abortive to prevent miscarriage, antiseptic to help prevent infection, astringent to tighten tissue, rich in calcium, magnesium and iron. It is hemostatic to prevent excess bleeding during and after labor and facilitates the birth process by stimulating contractions. Note from Kristy: my favorite way to take red raspberry is MaMa’s Red Raspberry Brew, available from The Bulk Herb Store. I enjoy it as an iced tea best.
- Peppermint– may be used after the first trimester for digestion, soothe the stomach and overcome nausea. An over-all body toner and cleanser, Contains highly absorbable amounts of vitamin A, C, silica, potassium and iron.
- Nettles– high in vitamin K to guard against excessive bleeding. Improves kidney function.
- Ginger Root– excellent for morning sickness; lots of minerals
- Bilberry- a strong but gentle astringent, rich in bioflavonoids to fortify vein and capillary support
- Yellow Dock– improves iron assimilation; helps prevent infant jaundice; also good for constipation
- Echinacea– an immune system stimulant to help prevents colds, flus and infections
- Chamomile– relaxes for quality sleep and helps digestive and bowel problems
Herbs To Aid Labor (take only during the last 5 weeks of pregnancy)
- Back Cohosh
- Dong Quai
- Butcher’s Broom
- Red Raspberry
This combination, known as 5W (stands for 5 Weeks) is available in capsule form through Nature’s Sunshine.
Herbs To Avoid During Pregnancy
- Cascara Sagrada– too strong a laxative; can cause cramping
- Comfrey– alkaloid content (carcinogen) cannot be regulated or controlled for an absolutely safe source
- Golden Seal– can cause uterine contractions
- Horseradish– too strong
My favorite books on natural care and herbs: