Herbs to Avoid during Pregnancy

Updated at: May 27, 2018
Herbs to Avoid during Pregnancy

The consumption of herbal supplements, herbal medicines or medicinal herbs may cause complications during pregnancy. Learn what kinds you may have to deal with.

Himanshu Sharma
PregnancyWritten by: Himanshu SharmaPublished at: May 27, 2018

Similar to certain medical drugs, there are several herbs that can be harmful during pregnancy. When it comes to foetal development, don't take inadequate measures.

herbs in preg

Instead, adopt a safe and secure way to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Some of the herbs during pregnancy are considered unsafe due to their ability to induce complications such as  uterine contractions leading to miscarriage, preterm birth or foetal injury. Among other risks associated with herbs during pregnancy are high blood pressure and birth defects.

Read: What Not to Eat during Pregnancy

Herbal remedies of pregnancy include intake of herbal supplements, herbal medicines or medicinal herbs. Available as powdered formulation, herbal infusions, capsules or tablets at the pharmacies, these are not advised, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy. Consultation with a health care provider is advised before taking any herbal remedies during pregnancy or labour.

Herbal preparations to avoid during pregnancy and labour

There are several herbs that should be completely avoided during pregnancy and labour or used with caution. Mentioned below are the herbal remedies accompanied by the reasons why they should be avoids during pregnancy and labour.

  • Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis): may cause miscarriage and birth defects. Among long-term complications are potassium deficiency, heart problems and muscle weakness
  • Clove (Sanguinaria Anadensis): may cause liver complications and blood clotting
  • Jasmine (Jasminum Grandiflorum): may cause contractions, miscarriage or premature labour
  • Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Cassia): may lead to liver toxicity
  • Anise/Aniseed (Pimpinella Anisum): may cause skin irritation
  • Garlic (Allium Sativa): may lead to complications such as uterine contractions and miscarriage
  • Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla Xanthoclora): may cause liver toxicity with large doses.Squaw Vine (Mitchella Repens): cause uterine stimulation, miscarriage or early labour during pregnancy
  • Alder Buckthorn (Rhamnus Frangula): may cause cramp-like discomfort and nausea
  • Barberry (Berberis Vulgaris): may cause strong contractions, low blood sugar and foetal distress
  • Arbor Vitae (Thuja Occidentalis): may cause complications such as vomiting, seizures, diarrhoea, asthma and miscarriage
  • Bitter Orange (Citrus Aurantium): may cause heart irregularities and stroke
  • Beth Root (Trillium Erectum)  : referred to as stomach irritant, it may cause miscarriage or intense labour
  • Pennyroyal (Mentha Pulegium): herb’s toxicity may hamper liver and kidneys. It may lead to bloody vomiting, alleviated blood pressure and blood clotting disorders
  • Oregano (Origanum Marjoricum): may cause uterine stimulation, leading to miscarriage

Read: Side-effects of Prenatal Vitamins

Other things to avoid during pregnancy

Like the aforementioned herbs, alcohol should be avoided during pregnancy, which may lead to foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). The syndrome disrupts the nervous system or leads to mental abnormalities. Indulgence or getting in contact with smoking is also harmful for expectant mothers. 

Image: Getty

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