List of Herbs to Avoid When Pregnant
I have seen hundreds of women seen through some of their roughest times of pregnancy with the help of herbs, but it it vital to know which herbs to avoid when pregnant. I have used herbs to see women through some of the worst cases of morning sickness and I have seen herbs help a women through some very difficult labors, and everything in-between. We already know the importance of knowing which herbs to use for any particular situation, but it is equally important to know which herbs to avoid during pregnancy.
I urge every woman to familiarize themselves with this list, or to print it out and keep it handy. As an herbalist, I am not interested in being the keeper of knowledge, but instead have a passion for keeping this God given right to use herbs to treat our families alive and well.
This is not a complete list of herbs to avoid when pregnancy, but rather a list of commonly used herbs found in foods, herbal preparations, and supplements. Some herbs are considered to be generally toxic and should not be ingested, while others are considered generally safe, but with precautions and best used under the guidance of a healthcare practitioner.
Celery Seed (in large amounts)
Cotton Root Bark
Oregon Grape Root
Pau 'd Arco
Peach leaves, seeds
Pennyroyal (all varieties)
Rue (not to be confused with Goat's Rue)
St. John’s Wort
Tree Peony bark
Vitex (exceptions apply when prescribed)
Wild Cherry Bark
Things that must be considered while using herbs during pregnancy are whether or not an herb is safe in any particular trimester, the safe amount to consume, the length of time you will be taking the herb, along with other factors. For instance, eating the Thanksgiving turkey that your mother in law put thyme on is not worth making a fuss. It would be safe to consume thyme as a flavorful herb during meals. It would not be safe, however, to consume a tincture of thyme, which is highly concentrated and carried into your bloodstream quickly.
While this list is a valuable reference, it is always best to check with your healthcare practitioner before taking therapeutic amounts of any herb while pregnant.
Here are a few of of my favorite herbs that are safe when used as directed.