Herbs to Avoid in Pregnancy
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Name not given
Posted on: August 8, 1999

There is this drink called "Chi Tea" that I really like but am wary of its "exotic spices" now that I’m pregnant. It has cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, ginger, nutmeg and star anise. The cardamom and the star anise I’m not familiar with. I just want to make sure these are OK to take. I know some herbs should be avoided, like chamomile and both black and green tea.

Cardamom and Star Anise are both warming, digestive herbs. Star Anise is additionally stimulating. In general it is advised to avoid medicinal doses of any herbs while pregnant without full knowledge of their effects or on the advice of a midwife. This drink may be too stimulating to drink on a regular basis in pregnancy. Following are some of the most common herbs to be avoided in pregnancy.

Herbs to avoid in pregnancy:

* Alder Buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula)

* Aloe (Aloe vera) – use externally only

* Angelica (Angelica sinensis and A. archangelica)

* Arbor vitae (Thuja occidentalis)

* Autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale)

* Barberry (Berberis vulgaris)

* Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) – except as advised by midwife

* Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

* Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum thalacthroides) – except as advised by midwife

* Bogbean (Menyanthes trifoliata)

* Broom (Sarothamnus scoparius)

* Bryony (Bryonia dioica)

* Buchu (Barosma betulina)

* Cascara sagrada (Rhamnus purshiana)

* Cayenne (Capsicum minimum) – use sparingly

* Celandine (Chelidonium majus)

* Coffee (Coffea arabia)

* Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)

* Cotton root (Gossypium herbaceum)

* Elecampane (Inula helenium)

* Essential oils – except floral oils used sparingly

* Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)

* Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium)

* Gentian (Gentiana lutea)

* Ginger (Zingiber officinale) – use sparingly

* Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)

* Ginseng (Panax ginseng, Panax quinquefolium, Eleutherococcus senticosus)

* Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis)

* Hops (Humulus lupulus)

* Horehound (Marrubium vulgare)

* Horseradish (Amoracia lapathifolia)

* Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)

* Jamaican dogwood (Piscidia erythrina)

* Jimsonweed (Datura stramonium)

* Juniper (Juniperus communis)

* Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

* Lobelia (Lobelia inflata)

* Ma Huang (Ephedra sinensis)

* Male Fern (Dryopteris felix-mas)

* Mayapple, American mandrake (Podophyllum peltatum)

* Mistletoe (Viscum album)

* Mugwort (Artemesia vulgare)

* Nutmeg (Myristica officinalis) – use sparingly

* Oregon Grape (Berberis aquafolia)

* Osha root (Ligusticum porterii)

* Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium)

* Peruvian bark (Cinchona spp.)

* Poke root (Phytolacca decandra)

* Poppy, Opium (Papaver somniferum)

* Purging Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)

* Rue (Ruta graveolens)

* Sage (Salvia officinalis)

* Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens)

* Senna (Cassia senna)

* Snake root (Polygala senega)

* Southernwood (Artemesia abrotanum)

* Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)

* Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

* Turkey rhubarb root (Rheum palmatum)

* Vervain (Verbena officinalis)

* Wild Indigo (Baptisia tinctoria)

* Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)

* Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

* Yellow jasmine (Gelsemium sempervirens)

* Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus)

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