Herbs to Avoid While Pregnant

Herbs to Avoid While Pregnant

By Shannon, Posted in Herbal Remedies

Pregnancy- it's such a miracle if one thinks about it. Life begins to feel rich and steady when you are waiting for something to hatch. This ecstatic jubilant adventure changes your life in many ways, one of which is how you care for yourself. Now that a new company is breathing in your skin, you must be keen about what’s on the plate that could be harmful to you and your baby. 

We all know how synthetic medicines have replaced the goodness of natural herbs, but masses still opt for herbal remedies for nutrition and relieving some usual discomforts during pregnancy. Many medical professionals still do not recommend taking herbs during pregnancy due to a lack of evidence and clinical literature. We always require a reliable set of information while dealing with such cases. Although there are loads of herbs that can be safely ingested during this time, sadly few of many are highly contraindicated as they compromise the safety of mother and baby.  

Today, we are going to break down a series of natural herbs that you must watch out for in your supplements and plate.

Aloe vera

When topically applied, aloe vera gel does not cause any harm but its ingestion should be avoided during pregnancy. It contains anthraquinones that impart laxative action which may induce abortion.


It is usually recommended to avoid taking angelica orally during pregnancy as it can threaten the life of the fetus by stimulating uterine muscle contractions that can lead to miscarriages.

Black Cohosh

Black Cohosh is famous for inducing labor contractions, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy. There isn’t enough data available that tells us whether it could harm a nursing baby. It is better to stay on the safe side and avoid its consumption. 

Blue Cohosh

Taking blue cohosh orally during pregnancy can be toxic to the mother and be a big threat to the life of the fetus. It has been reported to produce birth defects and severe heart-related problems in the fetus if a mother ingests blue cohosh during the trimester of her pregnancy. 


Bugleweed should be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding as it has its way with the hormonal activity that can disrupt their balance and threaten the fetus and milk production in lactating mothers.

Cascara sagrada

Cascara sagrada contains anthraquinone that has a severe purgative effect which can lead to miscarriage. 


Cinnamon doesn’t display any harm when it is taken occasionally as a condiment during pregnancy. However, cinnamon tea, capsules, and their respective supplements must be avoided because it's an emmenagogue that has the capability to contract the uterine muscles and kick-start menstrual bleeding.

Datura (Jimsonweed)

Jimsonweed is known by various names around the world. Such as thornapple, devil’s trumpet, and devil’s snare. Its leaves contain atropine alkaloids that proffer teratogenicity and should be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding.


Ergot is a fungus with wonderful benefits but it has been found to be harmful to an ongoing pregnancy. Its alkaloidal content, especially ergotamine tartrate and dihydroergotamine, can disrupt the blood supply to the fetus, which can lead to its death.


Fennel is an all-rounder herb with myriads of medicinal benefits. However, its emmenagogue action isn’t suitable for the pregnant population and they must avoid it at any cost to escape the chances of menstrual bleeding and miscarriages.

Gotu Kola

Gotu Kola is an absolutely safe herbal remedy for topical application however, its oral ingestion is prohibited during pregnancy as it is liable to produce liver toxicity which can be harmful to certain functions that are keeping the fetus alive.

Maidenhair Fern 

Maidenhair fern is a herb that poses multiplicity of action. It is highly contraindicated during pregnancy due to its anti-implantation effect that prevents conception. It also shouldn’t be administered to women who are suffering from estrogen-positive cancer because it mimics the actions of estrogen.


Motherwort is bestowed by mother nature for addressing the issues of women all around the globe. But pregnant ladies must steer clear of it due to its labor-inducing effects that can lead to miscarriages or fetal death due to bleeding.


Oregano is no doubt an essential ingredient of Italian cuisines, without which the dish seems incomplete. However, pregnant ladies must abstain from ingesting oregano medicinal amounts, both topically and orally, as it contains some harmful substances that can harm the pregnancy and result in miscarriages.


Wormwood contains thujone that can induce abortion by stimulating uterine muscle contractions. Its ingestion in greater amounts should be avoided, especially during the first trimester as some animal studies have reported developmental abnormalities.


Yarrow is a famous abortifacient of its time. It was anciently used as an emmenagogue (start menstruation), contraceptive, and for inducing voluntary abortions. It is well-known for stimulating uterine muscle contraction that leads to miscarriage.

These are just a few herbs that are possibly unsafe to ingest during pregnancy. A number of herbs that lack some clinical evidence for their safe usage during pregnancy are yet to be investigated. It is preferred to discuss your discomforts with your gynecologist and set forth the alternative treatment you want to start with to avoid compromising the health of you and your baby.