Published: 08/17/2013 - Updated: 03/20/2017
Author: Miriam Reyes
Plants have been used by humans since ancient times in order to look after our health and heal our bodies.From the year 1552, around 1200 known herbs have been used and according to statistics about 80% of latin people preserve the use of herbs to treat certain ailments in modern day.
However, despite being natural, there are some plants that are not suitable for the stage of pregnancy and lactation and there are even some that can have a similar effect to drugs, which affects fetal development. Many of the active substances found in plants can cross the placenta, or be passed through the breast to the baby, which is why their use should be avoided during this period.
An example to illustrate is aloe vera: Considered safe, it is often used to treat constipation problems. However, it has a side effect which can cause uterine contractions. Also Mugwort, commonly used to treat colic and indigestion, can produce abnormalities in the fetus.
Another consideration to keep in mind is that medicinal herbs can intervene with some medications and decreasing their effects, so it is always important to consult your doctor about the use of herbs and medicinal plants, especially when you are taking a previous medication.
Effects of medicinal herbs during pregnancy and / or breastfeeding
Below is a list of commonly used herbs that can be dangerous during pregnancy, however, there are still more whose consumption is not advised at this stage.
Barberry (Berberis vulgaris): May cause or stimulate uterine contractions and bleeding.
Wormwood aluinos (Arthemisia absinthium): Causes fetal abnormalities and stimulates bleeding. May also be passed to the baby through breastfeeding.
Arnica (Arnica Montana): Stimulates the uterus and bleeding.
Buckthorn, Fragula (Rammus frangula): works by stimulating the bowel, can cause uterine contractions.
Field parsley (ligusticum porteri): Stimulates bleeding and can be passed via breastfeeding to the baby.
Blue Cimifuga (Gaulophyllum thalictroides): Can cause uterine contractions
Comfrey (Symphytum officinale): It is toxic to the baby and can be passed through breast feeding, so it is recommended to avoid consumption.
Huitlacoche (Ustilago maydis): It can stimulate uterine contractions.
Maidenhair (Adiantum capillus-veneris): Stimulates uterine contractions and can also stimulate bleeding.
Drumstick tree (Cassia fistula): Stimulates the bowel and can also cause uterine contractions.
Damiana (Turnera diffusa): While it is a plant that it is attributed to conception, it is not advisable to consume during pregnancy because it can stimulate bleeding.
Dioscorea (Dioscorea villosa): Stimulates uterine contractions.
Dong quai (Angelica sinensis): Used to purify the blood, can stimulate bleeding.
Epazote, ragweed (Chenopodium ambrosioides): Due to its laxative effect, it can stimulate uterine contractions and can also be passed to the baby through breast milk.
Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris): It can affect fetal development, causing abnormalities. Stimulates bleeding and can be passed to the baby through breastfeeding.
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus): Its use during pregnancy may increase the risk of bleeding. It can also be passed through breast milk.
Farafra, cat's claw, paw mule (coltsfoot Tussilago): Its components can be passed through breast milk.
Devil's claw (Harpagophytum procumbens): It can stimulate uterine contractions.
Bearberry (Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi): During pregnancy it can reduce the blood supply to the uterus.
Gingko biloba (Gingko biloba): Can be passed through breastfeeding the baby.
Herb cinch, black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) Stimulates bleeding. Passesd through breast milk.
Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis): It can stimulate bleeding.
Senna Leaves (Cassia angustifolia) Stimulates bleeding and can be passed through breastfeeding.
Malva (Malvestrum sylvestris): Passed on through breastfeeding the baby.
Manaca (Brunfelsia uniflorus): Stimulates bleeding and uterine contractions.
Mandrake, Podophyllum (Phodophyllum peltatum): It is very toxic in pregnancy, can be passed on through breastfeeding and can cause abnormalities in the developing fetus.
Horehound (Marrubium vulgare): Stimulates bleeding.
Matarique (Cassia angustifolia) can stimulate bleeding and its components can be passed on through breastfeeding.
Yarrow (Achillea millenfolium): Stimulates bleeding.
Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha): can cause uterine contractions and is passed on through breastfeeding.
Licorice (Glycyrrizha glabra): Passed through breastfeeding.
Pennyroyal mint (Mentha pulegium): Its use is not recommended during pregnancy as it can cause fetal abnormalities.
Ephedra, Ma Huang, Mormon you (Ephedra vulgaris): During pregnancy it can reduce blood supply to the uterus. It can also be passed on to the baby through breast milk.
Red Quina (Cinchona ledgeriana): Stimulates uterine contractions.
Rue (Ruta graveolens): Stimulates bleeding and can be passed to the baby through breastfeeding.
Rhubarb (Rheum palmatum): Stimulates bleeding and passes to the baby through breast milk.
Lithospermum (bloodroot canadensis): Stimulates bleeding and can be passed on to the baby through breast milk.
Aloe Vera (Aloe socotrine): It affects bowel mobility and can cause uterine contractions. It can also be passed to the baby through breastfeeding.
Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis): As a side effect can cause uterine contractions.
Tansy (Thuja occidentalis): Can produce fetal abnormalities, stimulate uterine contractions and bleeding, also passes through breastfeeding and is toxic.
Tuya (Thuja occidentalis): It can stimulate uterine contractions and bleeding, so its use is discouraged. Furthermore, passing through breastfeeding baby and is toxic.
Sarsaparilla (Smilax officinalis): It can stimulate bleeding and is passed through breast milk to the baby.
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