Are Herbs Safe for Pregnant and Nursing Mothers?


I’ve always liked to use herbs to treat health issues. It’s a good feeling to know I’m using something from nature. It’s also fascinating to me that we are provided with cures and remedies for just about anything, and those aids are growing right out of the ground!

But as soon as I was pregnant, I started hearing that even herbal teas were a no-no. I couldn’t imagine that should be the case for every herb. After all, wouldn’t that mean you shouldn’t even add any herbs or spices to your cooking because it would be too dangerous?

I started digging into it, and I found not a single herbal expert that concluded all herbs were dangerous for pregnant or nursing mothers. In fact, most herbs seemed to be on their “safe” list. But since there are definitely several herbs pregnant and nursing mothers should avoid, it’s good to know what’s what.

I found a pretty thorough list of herbs safe for pregnant and nursing mothers. It covers a large amount of herbs, giving separate lists for pregnancy and lactation. One thing here surprised me, however. They have garlic marked as a caution for lactation. I’ve found quite the opposite information elsewhere. For instance, at ivillage, one specialist actually recommends garlic as a way to get babies to nurse longer, as most actually prefer the taste of mother’s milk a few hours after mom has consumed garlic.

Some herbs actually aid in lactation. Fenugreek, for instance, has been used to increase lactation for hundreds of years.

My experience with asking doctors about alternative forms of medicine is that they usually aren’t very well versed in these areas.  That stands to reason.  After all, their area of expertise is not alternative medicine.  But if you can find a doctor who does understand these things, you’ve hit gold.  There’s a better chance of that by going to an osteopath.

In the end, the very best thing you can do is find a doctor who understands and appreciates the use of herbs and vitamins.  There are so many valuable things from nature that can aid us in staying healthy that it’s a shame, in my opinion, to rule them out during this most important stage of life.

Psst! I’ve also blogged about Chinese Medicinal Remedies for promoting lactation.

3 thoughts on “Are Herbs Safe for Pregnant and Nursing Mothers?

  1. Mark, you are absolutely correct, it shows that you’re an authority on the subject. I admire someone that takes the pride you have and with your projecton of information. oSo when i actually do sit down to read material, I appreciate well written and organized blogs like this one. I have it bookmarked and will be back. Thanks.

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