- By: Becky
- August 13, 2020
This list of herbs isn’t exhaustive and features some of the most common herbs we use in Western Herbalism. In a lot of cases, there are no actual studies that indicate whether a plant is actually safe to ingest while pregnant and its safety profile is based on the potential hazard for harm. It is necessary to research thoroughly any herbs you intend to use while pregnant and always err on the side of caution. This document covers the internal use of herbs, the topical use of these herbs such as calendula is considered safe to use during pregnancy.
This category of herbs should be avoided as they chemically complex and contain powerful constituents such as alkaloids that could be harmful to a developing baby.
Herbs that fall under these categories can stimulate the uterus and encourage menstruation and therefore quite obviously should be avoided during pregnancy. Some of the herbs listed in this category are also some of our favourite culinary herbs and while sprinkling these herbs on your meals shouldn’t be a concern, large or medicinal doses should be avoided.
Laxatives are not recommended during pregnancy as they increase contractions of the intestines, also known as peristalsis, which in turn can cause the uterus to contract. However constipation can definitely be an issue during pregnancy; bulking laxatives such as oatmeal and flaxseed and would be better alternatives as well as eating a balanced diet which includes plenty of fiber and increasing water intake and exercise.
These herbs can cause hormonal changes in the body and are therefore avoided so as not to disrupt the delicate balance of hormones that the body creates to sustain pregnancy.
These herbs contain compounds that are deemed harmful to both the mother and her unborn baby. Although classed as toxic these herbs are sometimes given under close supervision as low dose botanicals but quite obviously should be avoided during pregnancy.
* Note that some herbs will fall into more than one of the herbal actions listed however for ease of reference they are only listed in one category.