A good general rule during pregnancy is not to use anything other than simple foods and nutritive herbs unless the action of the substance on the uterus and fetus is known.

To find first-quality nutritive herbs for pregnancy, email Sudy Storm, a midwife in Ashland, Oregon at sudy@holisticmidwifery.com.  She grows and packs quality organic herbs especially designed for the
needs of pregnant women and nursing mothers. She can send you a product list on request.

The following information is taken from a pamphlet by Paul Bergner, Medical Herbalist.

Abortive herbs, found to produce uterine contractions or traditional used to induce abortion in early pregnancy or to promote contractions during labor: black cohosh, blue cohosh, cotton root bark, golden seal, pennyroyal, shepherd’s purse, cinnamon (oil), ephedra (ma huang), basil(tea), carrot seed, catnip.

Emmenagogues, menstrual promoters to be avoided, especially in high doses, in early
pregnancy and in those who are prone to miscarry:
agave, aloe vera, angelica, asafoetida, basil, bethfoot, birthwort, black pepper, catnip, celery juice, chincona bark, cinnamon, dong quai, feverfew, ginger, hyssop, lovage, marjoram, mugwort, myrrh, osha, parsley (juice), peppermint (oil), rosemary, sage, saffron, senna, yarrow.

Dietary amounts of ginger, black pepper, peppermint, and sage are
probably safe.

Potential teratogens (may cause birth defects; the research on the teratogenic  effect of herbs is minimal and not conclusive, but best to avoid): agave, buckthron, ephedra (ma huang), ginseng, juniper berry, licorice, osha, sage, senna.

Safe herbs to use during pregnancy: red raspberry leaf, nettle (tea, as a tonic); spearmint or peppermint tea,
sips upon arising (morning sickness); ginger root tea, tablespoon doses (for nausea, up to a cup a day); yellow dock (for constipation and to improve uptake of iron).

For more information about herbs in pregnancy, visit Susun Weed‘s website, or buy her book, the definitive resource on the subject, Wise Woman’s Herbal for the Childbearing Years. Also, check the list at the GardenGuide web page.

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