• midwife michele

Herbal Pregnancy Infusions



First things first, there are a limitless variety of concoctions for pregnant folks to be overwhelmed by. Every midwife and herbalist has their own special, often proprietary, blend of herbs for their clients to steep and drink throughout pregnancy and when/if certain pregnancy-related complications arise. Mine is no more or less special than the next one.


Are herbal pregnancy infusions necessary? I would not go as far as to say that they are absolutely necessary. However, they do not hurt and they can often take up the slack where diet/eating habits might be lacking. In certain cases, either herbal infusions (or medications) *can be* necessary to bring a pregnancy back to a healthy state and to keep it there. These situations and complications can be discussed with your own personal healthcare provider.


How do we make and take herbal infusions and decoctions? It is not difficult to make infusions and decoctions. The only truly difficult part is the waiting! Below are the simple and easy methods I have used for years for myself, my family, and my clients. I have also shared simple and easy dosing instructions, but it is strongly advised that you seek the guidance of your own personal healthcare provider to make sure these are appropriate for you.


Basic Preparations: Infusion – 1 inch dried herbs in 1 quart canning jar; fill with boiling water; steep at least 2 hours (overnight is preferred) Decoction – 1 part dried herbs to 4 parts water; boil and then simmer until half volume; strain.


Basic Dosing: Infusion – 1 quart per day Decoction – 2-4 tablespoons per day, or mixed into tea/infusion


What herbs are commonly used during pregnancy? The following herbs listed are commonly used during pregnancy. I have given both their common name and their Latin name to help with identification. I have also included reasons why the herbs are used (what their functions are).


Red Raspberry Leaf (Rubus idaeus) – high levels of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, b-vitamins, and high concentration of vitamin C; used for nausea, restful sleep, uterine toning, leg-cramps, immunity boost, PMS symptoms, and endometriosis.


Nettle Leaf/Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) – very high levels of chlorophyll, vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and trace minerals; used for allergies, asthma, hyPERtension, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, immunity boost, hair/scalp issues, UTIs, strengthens kidneys and adrenal glands, respiratory illnesses, and blood purification.


Chamomile Flowers (Matricaria chamomilla/Chamomilla recutita)* – source of magnesium; used for sedative/relaxant qualities, teething, colic, muscle pain, headache relief, gastrointestinal support, and pinkeye. *Avoid during first trimester if history of threatened miscarriage. *Also avoid if history of being allergic to ragweeds.


Alfalfa Leaf (Medicago sativa) – provides chlorophyll, iron, calcium, magnesium, sulphur, phosphorus, amino acids, beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin A, and ; used for allergies, blood clotting, cleansing the blood, arthritis, gout, reduce cholesterol, hyPERtension, hyPERglycemia, and anemia.


Dandelion Root/Leaf (Taraxacum officinale) – high levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, and B vitamins, iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, manganese, copper, choline, calcium, boron, and silicon; used for liver and gallbladder support, UTIs, lactation support, diuretic, blood purification, hyPOtension, and hepatitis.


Oatstraw Leaf (Avena sativa) – contains calcium, protein, silica, B vitamins, and trace minerals; used for bed wetting, relaxation, anxiety, nervousness, insomnia, and broken bones.


Spikenard Root (Aralia racemosa)* – is in the ginseng family and is similar to sarsaparilla; has glucose, iron, magnesium; used for easing and speeding up labour. *Avoid during pregnancy until the last 4 to 6 weeks.


Yellow Dock Root (Rumex crispus)* – contains magnesium, selenium, silicon, and iron; used for laxative, blood purification, liver detoxification, antioxidant, anemia, obstructive jaundice. *Avoid with history of Ragweed allergy.


Recipes: The following recipes are based off of the herbal profiles above and how I typically prepare them in my practice, though I often have to adjust the accordingly for specific client needs. It is extremely important that you seek the advice of your healthcare provider before trying any herbal remedy or supplement. Herbs are strong Medicine.


Pregnancy Daily Infusion: Red Raspberry Leaf (2 parts) Nettle Leaf (1 part) Chamomile (1 part) – avoid in 1 st trimester if history of threatened miscarriages Alfalfa (1 part) Dandelion (1 part) Oatstraw (1 part) Spikenard (1 part) – added in the last 6 weeks gestation sweeten to taste


General Nourishing/Tonic Herbs: Red Raspberry Leaf (2 parts) Nettle Leaf (1 part) Dandelion Leaf (1 part) sweeten to taste


Iron Booster Infusion (pre/postpartum): Alfalfa (1 part) Nettle Leaf (1 part) Red Raspberry Leaf (1 part) Yellow Dock Root – decoction to be added 50/50 to the above infused herbs sweeten to taste


Sources Used: – Clinical Phytotherapy for Women’s Health, by C. Cabrera – The Book of Herbal Wisdom, by M. Wood – Medical Herbalism, by D. Hoffmann – Herbal Medicines in Pregnancy and Lactation: An Evidence-Based Approach, by E. Mills et al – Herbs and Natural Supplements: An evidence-based guide (3rd edition, 2010), by L. Braun and M. Cohen – The Earthwise Herbal: A Complete Guide to Old World Medicinal Plants, by M. Wood – The Earthwise Herbal: A Complete Guide to New World Medicinal Plants, by M. Wood – Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health, by R. Gladstar – Herbalism: An Illustrated Guide, by N. Shaw (Element Books Unlimited) – Family wisdom passed from elders down to me


{Disclaimer: Educational purposes only. This information is NOT medical advice or meant to diagnose or treat an illness. If you have questions or concerns, please seek the advisement of a physician, naturopath, or herbalist before using any herbal preparation for yourself or your family.}


#pregnancyinfusions #herbsforpregnancy #herbalism #herbalprofile #herbsforchildbearingyear

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