These plants could be dangerous

When you’re pregnant, nighttime hunger pangs can make you reach for the wardrobe like never before. Maybe morning sickness is making your stomach ache and you might consider sipping ginger tea for nausea relief. While you’re trying to satisfy your cravings while meeting your nutritional needs — or just hoping to enjoy a cup of your favorite herbal tea — it’s important to know which plants are safe and which herbs to avoid during pregnancy.

One of the most nerve-wracking parts of pregnancy, however, is the fear of what’s safe or unsafe to eat. The list of things to avoid can seem downright overwhelming. And when it comes to herbal teas and herbal remedies, the information can be particularly confusing. Salads are healthy, right? Are herbs just harmless supplements found in nature? It turns out that the answer is a bit more complicated. There are thousands of herbs and plants that provide health benefits to humans, but unfortunately there is not much research on plants and their effects on a fetus or pregnant woman and most supplements Herbal products are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at all. While most plants and herbs, collectively referred to as “plants,” are safe to eat during pregnancy, we spoke to a few experts to find out exactly which herbs are safe for mother and baby, and which to avoid.

Herbs to Avoid During Pregnancy

While most of us turn to the FDA for safety warnings about the foods we eat and the products we use, it doesn’t work for organic herbs and supplements. “In general, herbs and supplements are not regulated by the FDA like prescription drugs. For this reason, the ingredients and effects on our bodies are not fully studied and/or known,” warns Dr. Kenosha Gleaton, a certified OB-GYN. An additional problem, she says, is that because these products are unregulated, it’s impossible to know if the “safe” supplement you’re taking is contaminated with another supplement. The bottom line when it comes to knowing which herbs can be taken safely during pregnancy? Speak with your doctor before consuming any unregulated herbal supplement, as no list of herbs to avoid is exhaustive.

Avoid these lesser-known supplements and always talk to your doctor before adding any supplement or herbs during pregnancy:

  • Almond oil
  • Cranberry capsules
  • Comfrey
  • Blue Cohosh
  • pennyroyal
  • black cohosh
  • Buckthorn
  • Burdock
  • cascara
  • Coltsfoot
  • corn silk
  • devil’s claw root
  • Dong Quai
  • Ephedra
  • Feverfew
  • Gerrymander
  • Ginseng
  • Hawthorn
  • Horseradish
  • Lobelia
  • Margosa oil
  • Comrade
  • Street
  • Sassafras
  • Cap
  • Senna
  • St. John’s wort
  • Uva ursi
  • Yarrow

Herbs in Tea to Avoid During Pregnancy

And the herbal teas? When you’re stressed or achy, curling up with a steaming cup of herbal tea is divine. Most herbal teas on the market are a blend of several herbs, which can make choosing an herbal tea that you know is safe even more stressful during pregnancy. When scanning labels, it’s important to read carefully and it’s a good idea to check with your healthcare provider. They can often share a list of safe herbal teas during pregnancy. Some herbs are acceptable in small doses and only become toxic in large amounts, for example. With all of these important caveats, Gleaton generally warns patients to avoid these common herbal teas:

  • Echinacea tea is commonly used to support immune health, but this herb has been associated with cleft lip, trisomy 18 (a genetic disease) and hypoplastic left heart syndrome.
  • Hibiscus tea
  • Licorice is a popular flavor and additive for many foods. High doses can increase your risk of preterm labor and early preeclampsia.
  • Raspberry leaf tea or capsules are often taken while trying to conceive, but it is best to stop once pregnant. Raspberry may be linked to hypoglycemia and a higher incidence of cesarean delivery compared to pregnant women who did not use it. On the other hand, some people use it to induce labor at term because it can soften the cervix.
  • chamomile tea is not a good choice for pregnant women. While there are few things more soothing than a cup of Sleepy Time Tea, it’s best to steer clear. It’s linked to fetal tachycardia, premature delivery and low birth weight, says Gleaton.

Which Herbs Are Safe During Pregnancy?

Don’t despair, said Gleaton. There are many teas that are safe during pregnancy. There are even some, she says, that can relieve common pregnancy symptoms. “Peppermint leaf and ginger root have been show to relieve morning sickness and nausea,” but, she adds, this is an important conversation to have with your own healthcare provider. Certain herbs and herbal teas have different potential risks and benefits depending on your personal situation.

Plants to avoid during pregnancy

Generally speaking, most herbs are safe to eat during pregnancy, says Gleaton. “Culinary herbs such as basil, parsley, sage, and ginger are safe to consume during pregnancy as long as they are in their original form and not in pill form.”

There are, however, a few caveats. Nutritionist and dietitian Colleen Wysocki-Woods has built her career helping people eat healthy foods in a safe way, whether due to allergies, pregnancy or food intolerances. “As for plants like fruits and vegetables, they are safe and recommended for a healthy pregnancy.” She offers some tips for avoiding dangerous cross-contamination issues:

  • Wash, wash, wash. Even for fruits and vegetables with bark, it is essential to wash them well. A knife can transfer bacteria to the edible part of the fruit or vegetable. Cantaloupe and lettuce have recently been linked to several outbreaks of foodborne illness.
  • Cabbage must be well cooked. The way sprouts are grown, in warm, humid environments, creates the ideal conditions for bacteria to grow. “Rinsing and even lightly cooking germs will not remove Listeria, Salmonella, Where E.coli shoots. This is true for store-bought and home-grown sprouts.
  • Raw wheat flour and other vegetable flours must be heated to the correct temperature. Although they are not dangerous on their own, preparation is essential. Raw food powders should be heated to at least 158°F be safe for pregnant women.

Although deciding what to eat during pregnancy can be stressful, especially in the midst of what can seem like ever-changing information, avoiding these common herbs and preparing your food safely can help keep you and your baby safe. baby. Enjoy this salad with peace of mind – as long as you rub it first.

Sources interviewed:

Dr. Kenosha GleatonBoard Certified OB-GYN for Natalist

Colleen Wysocki-WoodsMS, RDN and Founder of ZEST Nutrition

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