All Natural Does NOT Always Mean Safe

We all know that the current craze is to be as all-natural as possible, and I’m just as guilty of being front and center on that bandwagon (obviously). There’s many circumstances in our lives where we want to stay as natural as possible, such as pregnancy. However, many people don’t realize that “all-natural” doesn’t always equate to “safe”. Many herbs are harmful under certain circumstances, or can have adverse effects on your body. Some of those same herbs can facilitate in other circumstances. I want to start a dialogue to inform my readers about those herbs and how they can be used to benefit you, or how they should be avoided when used during important life circumstances, such as when you’re pregnant.

This can be a sensitive topic. Please note that in most cases, if you are pregnant and taking herbal supplements/teas, taking herbs in moderation does not automatically point to a harmful activity towards your unborn baby. I am simply trying to advise women to avoid certain herbs during pregnancy. These herbs, foods, and drugs/supplements/lifestyle choices that are discussed in this post are not recommended during pregnancy to avoid accidental miscarriage. As always, check with your doctor to find what is right for you and baby.

Herbs to Avoid During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, that are certain herbs you should avoid ingesting. Comment or message us if you have any questions related to the following list of herbs to avoid:

Angelica/Dong Quai is a uterine stimulant with the ability to strengthen and coordinate contractions, to help encourage the uterus to expel it’s contents. I, personally, would not even recommend this herb to facilitate in inducing labor towards the end of pregnancy, as it is so strong, but some midwifes may recommend it. Please check with your doctor before using.

Black Cohosh is used to help the cervix relax and open. Many herbalists and midwives say it has the ability to “ripen the cervix” in preparation for childbirth.

Blue Cohosh is a uterine stimulant. With unique properties that encourage the uterus to contract. Many people have used black and blue cohosh before menstruation is due, or at 5-6 weeks of pregnancy to intentionally abort pregnancy.

Chamomile tea, taken 3-4 times a day in concentrated amounts, can cause early termination of pregnancy. Chamomile is considered an abortifacient and causes uterine contractions that will expel a fetus from the body Consuming a normal amount will not have any ill effects on a pregnancy.

Cotton Root Bark should be used as a simple (by itself). Interferes with progesterone, and the corpus luteum. Stimulates uterine contractions. Chinese research supports these findings.

Evening Primrose (Oenothera hookeri) may be helpful when used externally to help “ripen the cervix”, this phrase is often used during the birthing process to refer to the condition of the cervix, the cervix has to dilate to allow a newborn to pass, if the cervix is not ready, midwifes have herbs they can use to help encourage the cervix to get ready. Things happen a bit differently in a herbal abortion or miscarriage, the cervix won’t dilate the way it does during birth, but some of the same herbs may still help the cervix to relax and help to facilitate release of the unwanted pregnancy. Taking Evening Primrose during a wanted pregnancy is NOT safe for baby and mommy; please avoid this herb.

Mugwort Leaves if consumed during early pregnancy can lead to accidental termination of pregnancy.

Parsley for use with other herbs or Vitamin C. Good for starting a late period (when not due to pregnancy). Can be used as a pessary (vaginal suppository) to prepare the cervix for release. This could be helpful during labor, but NOT during a safe pregnancy.

Pennyroyal (also known as Squaw Mint) is one of the more toxic choices available. A herb with a long history as an abortifacient. Commonly found in flower gardens.

Rose Hip is a strong abortifacient as it is strong in Vitamin C, but really only effects a pregnancy during the first 5 weeks.

Rue is an ancient herb that has used for centuries to intentionally abort pregnancy. This herb stimulates the cervix and aggravate the uterine walls. Avoid using this, otherwise helpful, herb during pregnancy.

Tansy Should be used with caution, often has side effects, and is probably the most toxic herb listed here on this website. Also with a lengthy history as a herbal abortifacient.

Turmeric in normal amounts is considered safe, but in high doses is not healthy for pregnancy. Consuming turmeric supplements can stimulate the uterus and initiate menstruation process. It can also cause abnormalities in fetus development. Please use caution with Turmeric and stick to just general usage in cooking.

Please note: using most herbs externally will not cause any problems, but I personally recommend to try to stay away from Frankincense, Pennyroyal, and Black/Blue Cohosh, and Evening Primrose across the board for external or Aromatherapy during the early months of pregnancy.

Foods to Avoid

Pineapple should be avoided mostly due to it’s high content of Vitamin C. Vitamin C in high doses can be abortion-inducing.

Sesame Seeds in the amount of about a handful can induce abortion or miscarriage. Avoid sesame seeds to avoid accidental miscarriage.

Cinnamon should also be avoided as it can induce abortion, especially within 5-6 weeks along or prior.

Goji Berry are highly concentrated in Vitamin C and carotenoids like zeaxanthin, lutien, lycopene and have anti-inflammatory properties. Due to the high content of vitamin C, mommy’s should avoid them to prevent early miscarriage.

 

Drug, Supplements, & Lifestyle Choices to Avoid

Vitamin C is probably the least toxic and most effective choice available. Interferes with progesterone, works best before the 5th week of pregnancy, when individuals are attempting to abort. Mommy’s-to-be should take caution in monitoring their Vitamin C intake to avoid accidental abortion.

Aspirin is highly banned and unsafe for pregnancy. Avoid Aspirin at all costs. Aspirin increases bleeding and is known to induce miscarriage, especially when taken in large amounts, such as 5-6 high dosage pills a day.

Laxatives can have really ill effects and can lead to accidental miscarriage. Laxatives leads to upset stomachs, and belly conditions that will not be favorable for fetal growth. As an alternative to laxatives, take a Probiotic supplement, eat probiotic foods, and a high fiber diet to avoid the common constipation symptoms associated with pregnancy. Always get advice from your doctor if you are unsure what is right for you.

Intense Exercise during the first month of pregnancy can naturally induce miscarriage. If you’re trying to get pregnant with the intent of making it stick, then avoid over exerting yourself.

Copious Amount of Sex. Seems silly, right? (I bet your jaw just dropped) Yes! having sex too often during the day can lead to uterine contractions. Just think about it for a second… your partner gives repeated penetration and an earth shattering orgasm, and what happens does there? You contract. Avoid too much sex during the first month of pregnancy, though, and you should be fine.

Acupuncture and Massage. Both alternative remedies also have forbidden pressure points associated with them that can induce miscarriage. Make sure to tell your Acupuncture or Masseuse Therapist is you are expecting or are trying to conceive before going into a session.

Hot Water/Showers/Tubs can all lead to accidental miscarriage. Avoid taking very hot showers and baths during pregnancy.

 

Sources:

http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/herbs-and-pregnancy/

http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/foods-to-avoid-during-pregnancy/

https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/05/10-over-the-counter-drugs-to-avoid-during-pregnancy/index.htm

http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/recreation/

Further Reading:

Are Herbs and Pregnancy a Good Combination? – Mom Loves Best

 

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