:: Herbs To Avoid ::
The following herbs should not be used during pregnancy. If you have questions about an herb or what is a safe amount, avoid the herb or ask an herbal practitioner or homeopathic doctor. EXERCISE CAUTION WITH ALL HERBS.
Aloe too stong of a laxative; an emmenagogue; teratogens
Agave teratogens; emmenagogues
Angelica stimulates suppressed menstruation; can cause uterine contractions
Arnica strong uterine stimulants
Asafoetida Emmenagogue
Basil Emmenagogue
Barberry strong uterine stimulants
Beth Root Emmenagogue

Black Cohosh
uterine stimulant - mostly used during labor; abortive ; stimulate muscle, including the uterus, possibly causing miscarriage.
Black walnut strong uterine stimulants
Blessed Thistle Steroid ; strong uterine stimulants
Blue Cohosh a stronger uterine stimulant ;abortive ; stimulate muscle, including the uterus, possibly causing miscarriage.
Blue Flag - (iris) toxic
Borage oil a uterine stimulant - use only during the last few days of pregnancy
Buchu Electrolyte Imbalance
Buckbean  
Buckhorn teratogens; laxative
Butternut  
Cascara Sagrada  
Castor Oil teratogen
Catnip strong uterine stimulants
Cayenne stimulate muscle, including the uterus, possibly causing miscarriage.
Chicory strong uterine stimulants
Cinchona Cinchona and its alkaloids should be avoided in pregnancies because of their oxytocic effects
Coffee avoid caffeine, as it irritates the uterus; excessive amounts in some sensitive individuals can cause premature birth or miscarriage
Comfrey can cause liver problems in mother and fetus - use only briefly, externally only, for treating sprains and strains; strong uterine stimulants
Cotton Root  
Crampbark  
Culver’s Root  
Damiana  
Dong Quai may stimulate bleeding
Devil’s club  
Dogbane toxic
Ephedra Teratogen
Epuzote  
Elecampane brings on contractions or bleeding
Elder do not use during pregnancy or lactation
Eucalyptus oil This oil should be avoided during pregnancy as it is difficult to eliminate through the kidneys
Fennel stimulate muscle, including the uterus, possibly causing miscarriage.
Fenugreek uterine relaxant
Feverfew brings on contractions or bleeding
Flax seed teratogen; stimulate muscle, including the uterus, possibly causing miscarriage.
Ginseng teratogen
Goldenseal too powerful an antibiotic for the developing fetus, also should not be used if nursing ;abortive
Guavine  
Hellebore toxic
Helonias emmenagogue
Henbane highly toxic
Hops teratogens
Horehound brings on contractions or bleeding; strong uterine stimulants
Horse Chestnut toxic
Horsetail too high in silica for the developing fetus; strong uterine stimulants
Ipecac strong uterine stimulants
Jimson Weed Toxic
Juniper a too-strong vasodilating, diuretic effect
Juniper Berry Electrolyte Imbalance; strong uterine stimulants
Lady's Mantle stimulate muscle, including the uterus, possibly causing miscarriage.
Licorice Steroid; stimulate muscle, including the uterus, possibly causing miscarriage.

Licorice Root
can create water retention and/or elevated blood pressure
Lobelia strong uterine stimulants
Lovage causes uterine contractions
Ma Huang (Ephedra) This herb should be avoided during pregnancy as it has too strong of an antihistamine effect; also raises pulse rate and blood pressure; abortive
Male Fern too strong a vermifuge; toxic; timulate muscle, including the uterus, possibly causing miscarriage.
Mandrake toxic; stimulate muscle, including the uterus, possibly causing miscarriage.
Mayapple stimulate muscle, including the uterus, possibly causing miscarriage.
Milkweed Emmenagogue
Mistletoe can cause uterine contractions; stimulate muscle, including the uterus, possibly causing miscarriage.
Motherwort stimulates suppressed menstruation
Mountain Laurel  
Mugwort can be a uterine stimulant and can be toxic in large doses
Nutmeg can cause miscarriage in large doses
Ohio Buckeye Toxic
Osha teratogens; emmenagogues
Parsley dries up milk
Passion Flower stimulate muscle, including the uterus, possibly causing miscarriage.
Pasqueflower teratogens; emmenagogues

Pennyroyal Leaf
stimulates uterine contractions (NOTE: Pennyroyal essential oil should not be used by pregnant women at any time!) - do not handle if pregnant or nursing
Periwinkle stimulate muscle, including the uterus, possibly causing miscarriage.
Peruvian Bark  
Poke root This herb should be avoided during pregnancy as it is a powerful emetic; toxic ; strong uterine stimulants
Poleo  
Pleurisy Root  
Ragwort  
Rhubarb Leaves ; leaves strong uterine stimulants
Rosemary strong uterine stimulants
Rue strong expellant; can cause abortion
Saffron can cause miscarriage and other problems
Sage teratogen; stimulate muscle, including the uterus, possibly causing miscarriage.
Sarsaparilla  
Saw Palmetto  
Senna teratogen; laxative; stimulate muscle, including the uterus, possibly causing miscarriage.
Shepherd's Purse used only for hemmorhaging during/after childbirth; dries up vagina
Tansy can cause uterine contractions; stimulate muscle, including the uterus, possibly causing miscarriage.
Uva Ursi removes too much blood sugar during pregnancy and nursing; diuretic; strong uterine stimulants
Wild Cherry stimulate muscle, including the uterus, possibly causing miscarriage.
Wild Ginger an emmenagogue that causes uterine contractions.

Wild Yam

 
Wormwood stimulates uterine contractions and can be toxic in large doses.
Yarrow uterine stimulant;a strong astringent and mild abortifacient (may cause abortion of the unborn child).
Yohimbe Toxic

Vocabulary

Emmenagogues: promote and regulate menstruation, which should be avoided during pregnancy.
Teratogens: a substances that can cause birth defects
 
:: Anthraquinone Laxative ::
:: Uterine Stimulant ::
stimulate muscle, including the uterus, possibly causing miscarriage. stimulate muscle, including the uterus, possibly causing miscarriage.
  • Aloe
  • Buckthorn
  • Meadow Saffron
  • Senna
  • American Mandrake
  • Black Cohosh
  • Blue Cohosh
  • Bloodroot
  • Cayenne
  • Fennel
  • Feverfew
  • Flax Seed
  • Goldensea
  • Lady's Mantle
  • Licorice
  • Male Fern
  • Mayapple
  • Mistletoe
  • Passion Flower
  • Pennyroyal
  • Periwinkle
  • Poke Root
  • Rhubarb
  • Sage
  • Senna
  • Tansy
  • Thuja
  • Thyme
  • Wild Cherry
  • Wormwood
:: Alkaloids/Bitter Priciples ::
:: Essential Oils ::
Fetal defects and/or miscarriage
  • Barberry
  • Ephedra
  • Feverfew
  • Goldenseal
  • Mugwort
  • Rue
  • Tansy
  • Wild Cherry
  • Cayenne
  • Fennel
  • Juniper
  • Lavender
  • Marjoram
  • Oregano
  • Passion Flower
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Thuja
  • Thyme
  • Yarrow
:: Emmenogogues :: :: cooking herbs that should be avoided during the first trimester ::
  • Angelica
  • Hyssop
    Lady's Mantle
  • Licorice
  • Mayapple
  • Mugwort
  • Myrrh
  • Nasturtium
  • Osha
  • Parsley
  • Thyme
  • Wormwood
  • Yarrow
  • Mistletoe
  • Passion Flower
  • Pennyroyal
  • Periwinkle
  • Poke Root
  • Rhubarb
  • Rue
  • Sage
  • Senna
  • Shepards Purse
  • Tansy
  • Wild Ginger
  • Wormwood
Culinary herbs (basil, oregano, etc.) usually are safe in the small amounts used in cooking, but not in larger doses used for teas.
  • Basil
  • Caraway Seed
  • Celery Seed
  • Cinnimon
  • Ginger
  • fresh Horseradish
  • SavoryMarjoram
  • Nutmeg
  • Rosemary
  • Saffron
  • Sage
  • Parsley
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme
  Some of these herbs above may be safe when used by skilled practitioner in appropriate doses and some may be used in late pregnancy to help prepare for birth. Make sure you know what you're doing before using any supplements during pregnancy!
:: Boarderline Herbs; possible side effects ::

*Peppermint (contains menthol)
*Chamomile (mild menstrual stimulator)
*Ginger
*Fennel
*Horsetail
*Cramp Bark
*Lady's Mantle
*Blue Chohosh

*With all herbs exercise caution and if you are unsure, talk to your doctor.

:: Helpful Herbs ::
This guide is to help easy some aliments naturally; however consult your doctor before taking any herb listed here. As with all herbs - small doses are more effective than large doses.
Alfalfa This is one of the few plant sources of vitamin K (necessary for blood clotting). It also contains eight digestive enzymes, numerous trace minerals and high quantities of vitamins A, D and E. Rich in calcium, trace minerals and vitamins E, K, and carotene
Black Cohosh tones uterus; regulates contractions at birth; -- use only during third trimester
Black Haw helps relieve leg cramps; helps prevent possible miscarriage
Blue Cohosh tones uterus; regulates contractions at birth; -- use only during third trimester
Caraway eases labor and stimulates the flow of milk
Chamomile great calming agent and helps with digestive disorders including nausea. It also has some anti-inflammatory properties; reduces constipation with regular use; calming -- 1-2 cups daily; avoid high doses
Cleavers diuretic to reduce edema (fluid build up esp. in feet and wrists; helps decrease high blood pressure
Cramp Bark herbalists consider this one of the best herbal remedies for preventing miscarriage; antispasmodic (relieves muscle cramps); helps prevent possible miscarriage
Dandelion Root & Leaf rich mineral source; root tea or tincture decreases constipation; root & leaf tea are diuretic decreasing edema and raised blood pressure
False Unicorn Root helps prevent possible miscarriage; eases nausea
Fennel Seed Fennel Seed (Foeniculum vulgare) -- reduces constipation, carminative (relieves excess gas)
Ginger relieves nausea; -- very high amounts may lead to miscarriage. Do not use excessive amounts of ginger, and avoid it if you have a history of miscarriage.
Kelp high in vitamins and minerals, aids thyroid
Hawthorn improves circulation; decreases high blood pressure
Horsetail rich mineral and silica content for strong bones; long-term use requires thiamine (vitamin B1) supplementation
Lavender calming; relieves nausea -- 1-2 cups daily; avoid high doses
Lemon Balm calming; relieves nausea; carminative
Nettles This contains high levels of calcium, iron and protein, and is an excellent herb for nourishing mothers who are feeling depleted, rich mineral source
Oatstraw This is high in calcium and magnesium. It also calms nervous stress and tension, and is an effective remedy for yeast infections.
Partridge Berry tones uterus to prepare for birth
Peppermint carminative
Psyllium good source of fiber and relieves constipation
Red Raspberry Leaf This is an herb rich in numerous vitamins and minerals, especially iron. It also nourishes the uterus, soothes nausea, helps prevent miscarriage, eases labor pains and builds a healthy breastmilk supply; tones uterus; improves contractions; decreases constipation
Rose Hips great source of vitamin C and help fight infection and exhaustion
Skullcap calming
Slippery Elm relieves contipation; nourishing
Spirulina high in vitamins and nutrients
Strawberry leaf may be used to prevent miscarriage, for fevers and diarrhea
Wild Yam relieves uterine pains