Sunday, December 12, 2010

Herbs and Pregnancy

Herbal medicine is an ancient tradition. Some herbs are pretty strong and we should be cautious with them. Pregnant women should be especially careful.
  • Toxic doses of nutmeg are known to induce abortion in pregnant women (note the word toxic... do not try this at home).
  • Saffron promotes production of gastric juices. Large doses cause contractions in the smooth muscle of the uterus and may induce abortion. Poisoning is a significant danger when this herb is used to induce abortion.
  • Many herbs including parsley are used to cause abortion and have been for centuries. Some are dangerous. See Herbal Contraception and Implantation Inhibitors
  • From Medline: Extracts of rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis L., have been used in folk medicine as a diuretic, an emenagogue, an antispasmodic and its aqueous extract does not present toxicity to man, presenting, however, abortive effects. In order to evaluate if this plant induces abortion and/or interferes with the normal development of the concepts, doses of 26 mg were administered to pregnant rats... This result suggests that rosemary extract may present an anti-implantation effect without interfering with the normal development of the concept after implantation.
Women who fear an unintended pregnancy should not take a herbal concoction to avoid implantation without expert advice. Some of the traditional herbs for this purpose are very dangerous. Also, some non-herb supplements are also suspected of having this effect, especially vitamin C in large doses. Read Sister Zeus on this - even this everyday vitamin can have side effects.