What Herbs to Avoid during Pregnancy?

Although herbs have numerous beneficial effects, there are some herbs to avoid during pregnancy. While these may offer good results during other life stages, during pregnancy they could lead to uterine contractions or they could affect the placenta, threatening the well-being of the baby.

Herbs to Avoid during Pregnancy


It is known about bitters that they stimulate the general metabolism including the smooth muscles like the muscles of the uterus. This is why it isn’t such a good idea to use them during pregnancy. You should make sure that you don’t use any of the strong bitters, like southerwood, rue and barberry.

Alkaloid containing herbs

When it comes to herbs to avoid while being pregnant you should also think about those that contain alkaloids. These are secondary plant constituents that have different kinds of effects on the body of the users. There are some stronger representatives that pregnant women have to avoid.

Some of the herbs to avoid during pregnancy include the ones that contain caffeine, such as coffee and tea. The herbs that you have to look out for include barberry, golden seal, autumn crocus, mandrake, broom and blood root.

Oil containing plants

Although women like to use essential oils, some of the oils come from herbs that pregnant women should avoid. These oils could have horrible effects on the placenta and the fetus if they are taken internally. This is why you should avoid any kind of internal use of the essential oils.

On the other hand the herbs to avoid during pregnancy don’t necessarily include the plants that these oils come from in case they are used moderately. However there are some important exceptions in this case, such as juniper, nutmeg, pennyroyal and arbor vitae.

Anthraquinone laxatives

When thinking about herbs avoided by pregnant women you should think about the fact that the herbs with laxative effects often contain antraquinone that stimulates the bowel movements. The bad news is that this substance could also have a stimulating effect on the uterus leading to preterm labor.

If you need a laxative during pregnancy and you don’t want to use herbs, you should be looking for a hepatic or bulk laxative. Make sure that you avoid senna, alder buckthorn, purging buckthorn and cascara sagrada to avoid any complications of your pregnancy.

Other herbs that should be avoided by pregnant women

There are some herbs that pregnant women shouldn’t use, but that don’t belong to a given category. These are often used as home remedies, but they could turn out to be dangerous for pregnant women. Such herbs include poke, Peruvian bark, male fern, mistletoe and cotton-root.

As you can see there are a lot of different kinds of herbs to avoid during pregnancy. The scary thing about them is that normally we use quite often these herbs, but pregnant women have to forget about their habits and start thinking about the health of the baby when it comes to home remedies.


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