Herbs To Avoid During Pregnancy

by | Nov 18, 2020 | Pregnancy

What Herbs Should I Avoid During Pregnancy?

Many women ask themselves and their health provider what herbs to avoid during pregnancy. While information seems contradictory at times, there are herbs that are known for being stimulants. It is best to discuss your options with your health care provider. Until then, it is important that you avoid the following herbs while pregnant:


  • Saw Palmetto – when used orally, has hormonal activity.
  • Goldenseal – when used orally, may cross the placenta.
  • Dong Quai – when used orally, due to uterine stimulant and relaxant effects.
  • Ephedra – when used orally.
  • Yohimbe – when used orally.
  • Pay D’ Arco – when used orally in large doses; contraindicated.
  • Passion Flower – when used orally.
  • Black Cohosh – when used orally in pregnant women (not at term).
  • Blue Cohosh – when used orally; uterine stimulant and can induce labor.
  • Roman Chamomile – when used orally in medicinal amounts.
  • Pennyroyal – when used orally or topically.Pregnant women should avoid pesticides, but if they have to use them.

Most women will question about the safety of herbs during pregnancy. Although you will find controversial opinions, you will notice particular herbs to avoid during pregnancy. Always talk to your care provider about your specific pregnancy situation.

Herbs that are safe during pregnancy

What teas are safe to drink during pregnancy?

The same way you question what herbs to avoid, you will want to make sure what herbs and teas are safe to drink during pregnancy. There is a list of herbs that are likely safe during pregnancy. However, keep in mind that even though they are likely safe during pregnancy, it does not mean they are safe for every pregnant woman at the same frequency. I talk about it in my pregnancy coaching and I recommend you always ask your care provider if the following herbs are safe for you. 

  • Red Raspberry Leaf – This herbal tea from the red raspberry plant has been used for centuries. It seems to help the digestive, respiratory, and uterine health, particularly during pregnancy and childbearing years. There is some controversy about when to drink this tea. Drink throughout pregnancy or just in the second and third trimester? Many health care providers recommend it only the first trimester as a caution.
  • Peppermint Leaf – Peppermint tea is made from the dried leaves of the peppermint plant. Peppermint tea is an herbal tea, which means that it is naturally caffeine free and can be enjoyed without the adverse effects of caffeine during pregnancy. Peppermint can help calm your stomach muscles, which can help relieve flatulence, nausea and common during early pregnancy. It is important to know how much peppermint tea is safe to consume and which side effects you may experience.
  • Ginger Root Tea –Most women experience nausea and vomiting at some point in their pregnancy and many herbalists have recommended Ginger root tea for this. Ginger tea may help to relieve morning sickness symptoms, although evidence that they work is “limited and not consistent,” according to a 2010 review of ginger studies published in “The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.” As always, you should consult your care provider before trying it.
  • Blond Psyllium – when used orally and appropriately. Blond psyllium is an herb that is used as a laxative and for softening stools in people with hemorrhoids, anal fissures, and after anal surgery. It is also used for diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis, and dysentery. Other uses include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, weight control, and serious renal disease.
  • Black Psyllium – when used orally with appropriate fluid intake. Black psyllium is a weed that grows aggressively throughout the world. People use the seed for chronic constipation and for softening stools in conditions such as hemorrhoids, and pregnancy. It is also used for diarrhea, dysentery, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), reducing high cholesterol, and treating cancer. Taking black psyllium during pregnancy or breast-feeding seems to be likely safe, as long as enough water is taken with the dose.
  • Garlic –Garlic is likely safe during pregnancy in amounts usually eaten in food, based on historical use. However, garlic supplements or large amounts of garlic should be avoided during pregnancy due to a possible increased risk of bleeding.

It is important to know what herbs, environment and products to avoid during pregnancy to avoid further pregnancy and labor complications. These precautious can be taken while breastfeeding as well. Do some research but always talk to your doctor about your specific situation. Some health insurance covers birth doulas and we can help you with what you should definitely be careful with. For now, use this information to guide you in what herbs to avoid while pregnant.

The information contained on this site should not be construed as medical advice nor should it replace the advice and individual care of your health care provider.

About Me

Hi, I’m Susan Finazzo! I’m a certified Birth Doula, Birth coach, and Childbirth Educator from Port St Lucie, Florida. In addition to that, I am also a Faith-Based Counselor. I have over 10 years experience helping women having a positive birthing experience and would love to make a difference on yours too! 

should You Avoid Herbs During Pregnancy?

There are herbs known to stimulate certain hormones which may not be recommended while you are pregnant. As your Baby Lady I recommend you to research particular herbs you are looking to consume and discuss that with your doctor.

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