Pregnancy is a beautiful time and a wonderful experience. However, due to the dramatic changes in the female body during this time, there are many common but frustrating pregnancy complaints. Thankfully, there are many herbal remedies to help deal with these pregnancy discomforts.
I know what you are thinking, are herbs even safe during pregnancy?
“Most of what is currently known about the use of botanicals during pregnancy is based on a significant body of historical, empirical, and observational evidence, and limited pharmacological and animal studies. Overall, most herbs are safe, with little evidence of harm. Few reported adverse events have occurred, and those that have been reported typically involved the consumption of known toxic herbs, adulterants such as unsafe herbs or even pharmaceutical additives, or inappropriate use or dosage of botanical therapies. However, lack of proof of harm is not synonymous with proof of safety.”
Herbs have been used successfully during pregnancy for many years. There are some herbs that are known to be harmful during pregnancy. Others are known to be okay. Then there are some that we just aren’t sure about. I would avoid the uncertain herbs to be on the safe side.
*It is always important to consult your midwife or doctor before taking herbal supplements and remedies during pregnancy. *
Herbs that are considered harmful during pregnancy and should be avoided overall include:
- Aloe Vera (internal)
- Black Cohosh
- Comfrey (internal)
- Lady’s mantle
- Red Clover
- Shephards purse
Here are a few safe and effective herbal remedies for pregnancy:
Nausea: Peppermint and ginger are both great for relieving nausea. You can make Peppermint Ginger tea by steeping 1 tsp of ginger and 1 tsp of peppermint in 8 ounces of boiling water for 5 – 10 minutes. Take a look at this article to learn more about treating nausea.
Fatigue: Your body is creating a human being, yes, you are going to be tired. Ginger tea can be a great pick me up. Make this with 1 tsp of ginger root in 8 ounces of boiling water for 5 – 10 minutes. Sometimes fatigue can be related to an iron deficiency. If this is the case, then you can drink alfalfa nettle tea. For this tea steep 1/2 tsp each of alfalfa, nettle leaf, and peppermint in 8 ounces of boiling water for 5 – 10 minutes.
UTI: To help prevent (but not cure) a UTI during pregnancy you can drink rose hips tea. Steep 1-2 tsp of rose hips in 8 ounces of boiling water for at least 10 minutes. The large amounts of vitamin C in rose hips will help to prevent these irritating infections.
Sugar cravings: Unfortunately, there aren’t any safe herbal remedies to combat sugar cravings during pregnancy. However, the amino acid L-Glutamine can help with these cravings. You can get it from natural sources like beef, chicken, fish, eggs, and soybeans.
Headaches: To deal with pregnancy headaches you can try this relaxing tea recipe: Steep 1 tsp of both chamomile and lemon balm, and 1/2 tsp of both lavender and fennel seeds in 8 ounces of boiling water for 5 – 10 minutes. Sit back, relax, maybe listen to some classical music, sip on your tea, and enjoy a headache free day! You could also try frankincense oil, which has been shown to help reduce aches and pains and is safe (for external use) during pregnancy. Add a few drops to 1 tsp of any carrier oil (almond, grape seed, olive, coconut) and add it to a bath.
Back pain: For back pain, you can use the same frankincense oil bath that I mentioned to help with headaches. There aren’t many safe herbal remedies for back pain during pregnancy. You could try going to see a chiropractor or scheduling a massage.
Heartburn: Ginger tea is a great tried and true solution to pregnancy induced heartburn. Steep 1 tsp of ginger root in 8 ounces of boiling water for 5 – 10 minutes.
Constipation: Chamomile is a very relaxing tea that can also help relax the digestive system. Hence, easing constipation. Do not drink more than 2 cups of chamomile tea a day while pregnant. Steep 1 – 2 tsp in 8 ounces of boiling water for 5 – 10 minutes. Psyllium husks are a natural fiber that could also be helpful. Add a 1 tbsp to hot water or hot herbal tea. Add lemon to your tea or water to help with digestion. Read this to learn more about the benefits of lemon.
Swollen hands and feet: Dandelion is a great source to help release excess fluids from your body. You can take dandelion tea up to three times a day during pregnancy. Steep 1 tsp of dandelion leaf and 1 tsp of dandelion root in 8 ounces of boiling water for 5 – 10 minutes.
I hope these herbal remedies are successful for you! What have you done to relieve common pregnancy complaints?