Other Herbs and Their Risks
Some herbal products, according to studies, do ease a number of chronic conditions. For instance, the herb St. John's wort can alleviate symptoms of depression or anxiety. Many doctors believe St. John's wort raises the levels of serotonin and other feel-good chemicals in the brain, lifting the mood and relaxation level of the user.
However, studies also show that St. John's wort can raise health risks in pregnant women, such as uterine contractions and miscarriage. This herb can also interfere with other medications you may be taking, increasing the effectiveness of some drugs and reducing it in others. Until more is known about the safety of St. John's wort in pregnancy, women should avoid it. If you suffer from depression, talk to your doctor, who can recommend the safest prescription drug treatment or refer you for counseling.
Women who suffer from frequent migraines often take the herb feverfew, which appears to reduce the frequency and severity of their headaches. However, pregnant women should avoid this particular herb, as it can cause menstrual bleeding and miscarriage.
So while it's fine to sip the occasional cup of herbal tea, be careful about what you consume in pregnancy, and check with your doctor before taking any herbal product. If you're concerned about a health problem, speak with your doctor immediately. He or she can recommend the safest treatments for you and your baby.