Herbs are a great way to add flavor to your food, and some herbs even help your pregnancy run smoothly. Many health practitioners are cautious when using herbs, and only recommend using them after the first trimester. Listed below are the top 3 herbs to add to your diet, along with the top 3 herbs to stay away from when you are expecting.
The Best: The following herbs are super beneficial to have while pregnant. Make sure to have these herbs on hand and in the pantry at all times!
- Ginger Root What is not to love about ginger? The taste is spicy yet sweet and, oh yeah, all that morning sickness can be nipped in the bud with a small dose per day. Add to a stir fry skillet, a smoothie or even nibble on a small piece of crystallized ginger throughout the day.
- Red Raspberry Leaf This herb has been shown to ease labor pains! Red Raspberry Leaf is iron rich and can help increase milk production, tone the uterus and even decrease complications during labor. Make as a delicious tea (mix with some peppermint and rose hips) or even take 2 herbal capsules per day to get all the benefits.
- Chamomile (Dried leaves, not oil!) Known as a natural relaxant, this herb is high in magnesium and calcium. Chamomile can help take some tension away in those tired muscles of yours and relieve some stress, along with helping you fall right asleep. Brew a cup of yummy chamomile tea at night and start relaxing!
The Worst: These herbs have been deemed unsafe to use while pregnant. To reduce any chance of harm to your and your baby, keep these out of the pantry for the next 9 months.
- Aloe Vera Great for relieving sunburn, not so great during pregnancy. This herb initiates uterine contractions and can even be stored in breast milk as a toxin. While putting this herb on topically is not as dangerous as consuming it internally, like Aloe Vera Water, it is best to avoid this plant all together.
- Licorice Root If you’re expecting and love licorice, I have some bad news for you. No more licorice root until after you are done breastfeeding! This sweet herb used in candies, teas, as well as natural medicines can stimulate uterine contractions and cause premature birth, cause headaches and excessive water and sodium retention. Yikes!
- Nutmeg One of my favorite spices, especially come fall, nutmeg is actually a very toxic herb for pregnant women. Not only has it been linked to miscarriages, but also birth defects such as low birth weight. Bye-bye, nutmeg!
**As an expecting mother, it is very important to use herbs with caution. Each one of us is different and our bodies may not react the same as one another when taking herbal supplements. When introducing any new herbs or medicines into your diet, just make sure to check with your doctor first.**
Written by: Leana Varvella
Sources: americanpregnancy.org, pregnancyandchildren.com