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104 Herbs To Avoid During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding

herbs to avoid during pregnancy

Herbs that are taken during pregnancy can affect your baby. Many contain compounds that can lead to demonstrable effects on the body. Some also contain oils and alkaloids that affect the nervous system. Therefore, it is essential to know that herbs can safely take, and which should be avoided during pregnancy and during lactation later. Some of the herbs listed below can be safely consumed in small amounts. In general, the following herbs are best avoided in all quarters and also later during lactation.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is generally safe, but during pregnancy could lead to uterine contractions. Therefore, avoid taking internally in pregnancy. You can, however, safely apply Aloe Vera topically creams or gels without harming you and your baby.

Dong Quai Angelica Sinensis and

Angelica is contraindicated during pregnancy because it can cause miscarriage in early weeks.Dong Quai or Chinese Angelica is particularly harmful because it can cause miscarriage restart menstruation. Dong quai might even lead to fibroid and increase the risk of postpartum hemorrhage. Stay away from all varieties of Angelica during and after pregnancy while breastfeeding her baby.

-this seal gold

This herbal remedy can cause severe diarrhea in the pregnant mother which leads to dehydration. It contains an alkaloid known to cause Miscarriage in the first weeks.

Licorice root

Licorice root is best avoided during pregnancy, as it mimics estrogen and leads to premature labor in pregnant women. In addition, male fetus exposed to this herb may develop abnormalities in the sex organs.

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Rue, tansy, black cohosh and pennyroyal

These are very strong herbs that can cause uterine contractions and even a spontaneous abortion during pregnancy.


Senna is a cathartic laxative herb that can cause many potential problems in the mother and child. Senna could even go down to the child through breast milk and can be toxic to the baby.

Some more herbs and spices to limit during pregnancy

Turmeric, sage, ginger, arnica, barberry, borage, buckthorn, camphor, castor oil, foot pony, false unicorn, fenugreek, goldenrod are some spices and herbs should not be taken in large quantities. Borage oil and fenugreek are stimulants that can affect the uterus and cause premature contractions. Both can be taken safely during breastfeeding, as they improve milk production of the mother. If you are wondering whether salvia is safe during pregnancy, the answer is that it is best to take it in limited quantities. Blessed thistle, when taken in large amounts, can cause vomiting. Henbane, Elder, sage and nutmeg are some other herbs and spices that are best avoided altogether or eaten in small amounts, as it may cause miscarriage.

Summary herbs that can cause miscarriage or bleeding in pregnancy

Here are some more herbs that could cause menstruation to restart occur:

  • saffron
  • Yarrow
  • Devil’s claw
  • Marigold
  • lily of the valley
  • Oleander
  • Ma Huang, a Chinese herb that is best avoided during pregnancy because it could cause bleeding. It is called by different names like ephedra, ephedrine, Mormon tea or desert.
  • Uva Ursi
  • Shell
  • Holy
  • calamus root
  • Foxglove
  • root bark cotton.
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Abstract-104 list of herbs and spices to be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding

  1. Aloe Vera (avoid domestic consumption, but it is safe for topical use)
  2. Agrimonia
  3. Agave
  4. Arnica
  5. Angelica
  6. Autumn Crocus
  7. balm of Gilead
  8. barberry
  9. Beth Root
  10. Black cohosh, blue and red
  11. blessed thistle
  12. Blood root
  13. Butternut
  14. Broom
  15. Calendula
  16. Chaste Tree
  17. comfrey
  18. cotton root
  19. Primula
  20. Damania
  21. devil’s claw
  22. dong quai
  23. Ephedra or Ma Huang
  24. Helenio
  25. Matricaria
  26. garlic in high doses
  27. Ginseng
  28. ginger (food use is fine)
  29. gentian
  30. Gingko
  31. Goldenrod
  32. Goldenseal
  33. Gota Kola
  34. Gravel root
  35. Guarana
  36. Hawthorn
  37. honeysuckle
  38. Hops
  39. Horse chestnut
  40. horseradish
  41. Horsetail
  42. Hydrangea
  43. The swab
  44. Iris
  45. ipecac
  46. Juniper berries
  47. Kava Kava
  48. Kolanut
  49. lady slipper
  50. Licorice root
  51. Lemon balm (can be consumed in small amounts)
  52. liferoot
  53. lily of the valley
  54. Lobelia
  55. lovage
  56. lungwort
  57. Malefern
  58. mistletoe
  59. Mandrake
  60. Ma Huang
  61. Mate (occasional good use)
  62. Agripalma (small amounts well)
  63. sagebrush
  64. Melissa
  65. myrrh
  66. Nutmeg (can be consumed in small amounts)
  67. Osha
  68. Oregon grape root
  69. Lily
  70. Parsley (small amounts well)
  71. Passion Flower
  72. pennyroyal
  73. periwinkle
  74. machine
  75. poke root
  76. Puls
  77. Queen of the Meadow
  78. rhubarb
  79. Rue
  80. red clover
  81. cohosh Red
  82. Romero
  83. Roman chamomile
  84. sarsaparilla
  85. Saw Palmetto
  86. Sage
  87. Senechio Aureus
  88. Senna
  89. Shepherd’s purse
  90. Stillingia
  91. Tansy
  92. tea tree
  93. Tien Chi
  94. Thuja
  95. Thyme
  96. valerian
  97. Vitex agnus (avoid high amounts)
  98. White clover
  99. witch hazel (topical good use)
  100. Wormwood
  101. Woodruff
  102. Wood Sorrell
  103. Yarrow
  104. Yucca

Many of these herbs really affect pregnancy hormones and alter its delicate balance. If you are unsure about which foods, spices or herbs stay away from during pregnancy and lactation, consult a trained herbalist to guide.

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