Herbs During Pregnancy: What you can safely use and what to avoid

Many expecting mothers ask about the safety of herbs during pregnancy. The process of conception, gestation and birthing is the beginning of all things – the beginning of life. Is there a more natural process?

To complement the ultimate natural process, doesn’t it make sense to remain as close to nature as possible? A great way to do that is to care for your body during your pregnancy and after giving birth with nature’s medicine chest – herbal remedies.

Herbs During Pregnancy: Your Guide to a Safe, Comfortable Pregnancy... plus what to avoid

Herbal remedies can be used for everything from morning sickness to varicose veins.

Common Herbs You Can Safely Use During Pregnancy

Ginger Great for relieving nausea and the symptoms of morning sickness – just add a couple of slices of organically grown ginger to a cup of hot water and sip it as needed. Ginger should be used sparingly during pregnancy so if you have frequent or prolonged morning sickness, alternate with chamomile.

Lavender One of the most calming and soothing herbs during pregnancy. Lavender essential oil can be used to relieve discomfort after childbirth – just add 4 or 5 drops to your bath water and soak. Three or four drops of lavender essential oil on a warm compress will help relieve symptoms of mastitis.

Dill – Drinking a dill seed infusion helps promote breast milk and relieves colic or gas in the baby. You can also use dill essential oil – use 1 drop in a teaspoon of honey.

Chamomile – Soothes the nerves and is wonderful for the digestive system. A cup of chamomile tea will relieve morning sickness, help you relax and ease any digestive issues you may be having.

Jasmine – There is a long tradition of using jasmine essential oil during labor for relaxation and to instill a feeling of calm confidence. Dilute the essential oil with a good carrier oil (olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil) and have your partner massage it into your lower back.

Witch Hazel – Long valued for its astringent properties, witch hazel will help shrink and tighten inflamed veins. Keep a bottle of distilled witch hazel in your refrigerator. Pour some on a cotton ball and apply it to tired, sore legs, varicose veins and/or hemorrhoids.

Linseed Linseed oil acts as a gentle laxative and bowel lubricant to help relieve constipation. As an added bonus, it’s loaded with omega fatty acids. Add a tablespoon to your morning meal (in cereal or oatmeal) and drink lots of water during the day.

Raspberry Leaf A strong uterine tonic only for the last trimester of pregnancy to help the body prepare for childbirth. Drink a raspberry leaf infusion daily in the last trimester and for 2 to 3 weeks after giving birth to help the muscles contract and promote breast milk. Do not use this infusion during early pregnancy.

Avoid these Herbs During Pregnancy

Now having said that, just as there are beneficial herbs to be used during pregnancy and childbirth, there are also herbs to be avoided. You’ll notice that some of these herbs are culinary herbs.

These can be used as you normally would use them in cooking, but don’t take them medicinally while you’re pregnant or breastfeeding:

Aloe vera
American spikenard
Angelica root
Black cohosh
Celery seed
Common sage
Ginseng (ANY variety)
Hemp agrimony
Liquorice root
Oregon grape
Red clover
St. John’s wort

When the birthing process stays as close to nature as possible it’s a win/win for both mother and child. Using these herbal remedies will go a long way toward doing exactly that and keeping you and your baby happy and healthy before, during and after birth.

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