Ginger is a highly effective anti-emetic that helps to relieve the symptoms of nausea and morning sickness. [Photo: Bigstock]

Herbal relief: Pregnancy and birth

9 November, 2015

Several herbs can help relieve uncomfortable symptoms that are common to pregnancy and birth.

No medicinal herb other than those known to be safe as everyday foods should be take during early pregnancy or while breast-feeding without the advice of a qualified herbalist (see more belowchart).  However, some dietary plants and external lotions can relieve common ailments such as morning sickness or varicose veins, and heal the body after childbirth. This chart contains the key herbs that are beneficial for pre- and post-natal mothers.




Herbs to avoid in pregnancy

This list of herbs should not be used internally in pregnancy unless prescribed by a qualified medical herbalist trained in the appropriate use of these substances. Please note that this list is not exhaustive.

Culinary herbs marked with an asterisk (*) are acceptable, but avoid them in large therapeutic doses.

  • Agnus castus/Chaste berry (Vitex agnus castus)
  • Aloe vera (Aloe vera)
  • American spikenard (Aralia racemosa)
  • Angelica root (Angelica archangelica)
  • Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
  • Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)
  • Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa)
  • Borage (Borago officinalis)
  • Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
  • Catnip (Nepeta cataria)
  • Celery seed (Apium graveolens)
  • Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara)
  • Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)
  • Common sage (Salvia officinalis)
  • Costus (Saussurea costus)
  • Crampbark (Viburnum opulus)
  • Damask Rose (Rosa x damascene)
  • Elecampane (Inula helenium)
  • Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium)
  • Goji* (Lycium barbarum)
  • Goldenseal (Hydrastis Canadensis)
  • Gravel root (Eupatorium purpureum)
  • Hemp agrimony (Eupatorium cannabinum)
  • Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)
  • Japanese ginseng (Panax japonicas)
  • Juniper (Juniperus communis)
  • Lemon grass* (Cymbopogon citratus)
  • Liquorice root* (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
  • Lovage (Levisticum officinale)
  • Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)
  • Mistletoe (Viscum album)
  • Motherwort (Leonurus cardiac)
  • Purple giant hyssop* (Agastache rugosa)
  • Red clover (Trifolium pratense)
  • Rosemary* (Rosmarinus officinalis)
  • Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis)
  • Senna (Senna alexandrina)
  • John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum)
  • Thyme* (Thymus vulgaris)
  • Turmeric* (Curcuma longa)
  • Vervain (Verbena officinalis)
  • White willow (Salix alba)
  • Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)
  • Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
  • Yellow dock (Rumex crispus)