Truth About Herbal Remedies

What's Safe and What's Not

Herbs for Pregnancy Discomforts

There are also herbal remedies specifically targeted to pregnant women. Indeed, there are a number of herbal teas that promise relief from morning sickness. These include ginger, chamomile, peppermint, and raspberry teas. Of these herbs, ginger is the only one that has been studied in pregnant women. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), ginger can in fact help relieve pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting. Unfortunately, less is known about the safety of chamomile, peppermint, and raspberry teas.

In general, many experts do believe that chamomile (usually consumed in teas) is safe in pregnancy. However, women who are allergic to plants in the aster family (including ragweed and daisies) should avoid chamomile because of the possibility of dangerous reactions, such as breathing difficulties. Peppermint tea (made from peppermint leaves) is also considered safe, but consume it in small amounts. Large amounts of peppermint- and raspberry-leaf tea are suspected of causing uterine contractions in mothers-to-be.

If your morning sickness is severe, speak to your doctor. She can provide tips for easing a queasy stomach, such as snacking on dry crackers and eating frequent small meals. There are also medications that can safely treat severe pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting.

Constipation can be another common problem in pregnancy, but beware of certain herbs used as laxatives, including goldenseal and senna. These herbs can trigger uterine contractions, possibly increasing the risk of preterm labor. Instead, ask your doctor about dietary changes that can ease constipation. Eating foods higher in fiber, drinking more water, and exercising (with your doctor's approval) often help.

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