Herbal remedies help to heal hundreds of ailments. However, there are four herbs that pregnant women should avoid.
Most herbs are safe for pregnant women to use throughout their pregnancies. You can add them to your dinner or use them to help you sleep at night. Millions of people use herbs every day. Pregnant women must be diligent and research consuming that cup of herbal tea or using a tincture.
Luckily, you can use most herbs throughout pregnancy, especially if the doses are small. The dangers come when you ingest an herb that could lead to complications or induce preterm labor. Your midwife or OBGYN will have a complete list of herbs to avoid but here are the top four.
1. Black and Blue Cohosh
Many women use black cohosh to try to induce labor. For this reason, you need to avoid taking it in early pregnancy. Black cohosh is a strong uterine stimulant that can lead to contractions. Blue cohosh is in the same family. It is commonly used as a treatment for arthritis, but should be avoided at all costs as well.
2. Licorice Root
You can eat as much licorice candy throughout pregnancy. If it is your craving, rock it! There is a difference between licorice candy and licorice root. You need to avoid licorice root throughout pregnancy because it can lead to high blood pressure, a condition called pre-eclampsia in pregnancy.
Pre-eclampsia is a dangerous condition, for you and your unborn baby. In some cases, your doctor may have to induce you early if your blood pressure level reaches a dangerous level. So, eat the candy, but not the herb!
Comfrey is a popular medicinal herb typically used for ailments such as sprains. It does wonders for a sprained ankle when used topically. Most pregnant women can use comfrey in topical application forms, such as a salve or ointment.
The dangers of comfrey happen when you ingest it. In pregnant women, it can lead to liver complications, which could cause a preterm delivery. In fact, most herbalists recommend that all pregnant and breastfeeding mothers avoid ingesting comfrey. Talk to your doctor about topical uses!
4. Aloe Vera Juice
If you have a sunburn, you can slather your back with Aloe Vera. You and your baby will be fine. However, there is a difference between the gel and the juice. Aloe Vera juice can lead to strong uterine contractions and diarrhea. If you aren’t full term, it is best to avoid this herb until your baby is closer to the due date. While it does have marked nutritional benefits, they don’t outweigh the risks associated with ingesting Aloe Vera juice.
Always remember to speak to your midwife or OBGYN before taking herbs! This ensures you and your unborn baby stay safe.