A List of Herbs Not Safe During Pregnancy

Pregnant women should think twice before downing that cup of herbal tea. While some herbs are harmless in small doses, there are several that could cause complications during pregnancy, including inciting preterm labor. Herbs that are used for tea, seasonings or as medicine can be harmful to your unborn baby, states the March of Dimes on its website. Know which herbs are not safe during pregnancy so you will avoid making a dangerous mistake.

Herbal Supplement Risks

Herbs are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; therefore, the quantity, quality and composition of herbal supplements are questionable. The claims of a particular herb’s effectiveness on its packaging could be false or misleading. Some herbs can cause complications in pregnancy, including early uterine contractions that could lead to premature birth and even miscarriage, warns the American Pregnancy Association on its website. Always consult with your obstetrician, or midwife, and a professionally trained herbalist before ingesting herbal supplements while pregnant.

Avoid Herbal Stimulants

Attractive pregnant woman holding a bowl of salad while standing

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Some herbs can act as stimulants and should not be taken by pregnant women, according to the American Pregnancy website.

Herbs that Could Harm the Fetus

There are additional herbs that are considered dangerous and may cause miscarriage or other complications and should not be taken by pregnant women. These include:

  • black walnut
  • cascara sagrada
  • comfrey
  • echinacia
  • fenugreek
  • large amounts of ginger
  • goldenseal
  • henbane
  • horsetail
  • licorice root
  • large amounts of nutmeg
  • motherwort
  • pau d’arco
  • saw palmetto
  • senna
  • shepherd’s purse
  • St

John’s wort
uva ursi

Questionable Popular Herbs

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Is Drinking Tea Dangerous in Pregnancy?

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Some herbs and teas may be recommended by herbalists but have a rating of possibly unsafe or unknown on the Natural Medicines Database, according to the American Pregnancy website. You should check with your doctor before drinking too much chamomile, nettles or dandelion tea. Other herbs that are possibly unsafe to ingest or use are aloe, evening primrose and ginseng.

Tea Vs. Supplements

Lu also suggests steering clear of homemade herbal teas, which may be too concentrated for pregnant women.