Nov 14, 2012 - Health, Tips    No Comments

Plants and Herbs in Pregnancy

Yesterday was my birthday and definitely my last day of ovulation. Now I have to wait till, at least, 23 November, on Black Friday, to see if I get my period, and then wait another week to do the test. I’m so looking forward to that day!

I surprised myself this weeks. I ate more fruits then I usually do, lots of milk, and I checked everything that could go wrong with my plan. The I’m Expecting App was fun for research but I also checked the internet a lot. I wondered if poppy seeds during pregnancy can affect it but there is no conclusive  info anywhere.  Of course the poppy seeds they make opium with are not good, but there are different kinds of poppy seeds and some, the safe ones I guess, are used in food industry. I decided to avoid any poppy seeds as much as I can, and it will be hard seeing that my favorite breakfast is this:

I also found a cool site for pregnancy that helps you stay healthy and strong. It is called American Pregnancy Association and I found some cool stuff about plants there. I found out that not all plants are good during pregnancy and they have a list you can follow and be safe. For most of the plants I couldn’t get a precise translation to my language but the ones that I was interested in were not that hard to find.

The list of likely unsafe plants are:

  • 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 who are 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

Fortunately the list for the safe plants has some popular names so they are easier to find:

  • Red Raspberry Leaf – Rich in iron, this herb has helped tone the uterus, increase milk production, decrease nausea, and ease labor pains. Some studies have even reported that using red raspberry leaf during pregnancy can reduce complications and the use of interventions during birth. You may see pregnancy teas that are made from red raspberry leaf to help promote uterine health during pregnancy. There is some controversy about whether this should be used throughout pregnancy or just in the second and third trimester, so many health care providers remain cautious and only recommend using it after the first trimester.
  • Peppermint Leaf – Helpful in relieving nausea/morning sickness and flatulence
  • Ginger root – Helps relieve nausea and vomiting
  • Slippery Elm Bark – (when the inner bark is used orally in amounts used in foods) Used to help relieve nausea, heartburn, and vaginal irritations
  • Oats & Oat Straw – Rich in calcium and magnesium; helps relieve anxiety, restlessness, and irritated skin
  • Blond Psyllium – when used orally and appropriately
  • Black Psyllium – when used orally with appropriate fluid intake
  • Garlic – when used orally in amounts commonly found in foods
  • Capsicum (Cayenne, hot pepper) – when used topically and appropriately

They also include a list of plants with insufficient reliable information that is best you ask someone with experience in the field:

  • Dandelion – Rich in Vitamin A, calcium, and iron; dandelion root and leaf can also help relieve mild edema and nourish the liver
  • Chamomile (German) – High in calcium and magnesium; also helps with sleeplessness and inflammation of joints
  • Nettles (Stinging Nettles) – High in vitamins A, C, K , calcium, potassium, and iron. Used in many pregnancy teas because it is a great all around pregnancy tonic. Note on the safety of Nettles: Natural Medicines Database gives Nettles a rating of Likely Unsafe, even though it is used in countless pregnancy teas and recommended by most midwives and herbalists. This may be contingent upon which part of the Nettles plant is used (the root or the leaves) and how much is used. According to other sources, the use of Nettles is encouraged during pregnancy because of its health benefits.

Source: American Pregnancy Association – Natural Herbs

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