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  • Writer's picturemisha

Miscellaneous Herbs For Pregnancy

*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 or herbal remedies 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.*

How do we make and take herbal remedies? It is not difficult to make herbal remedies. 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: – Tea – 2 teaspoons dried herbs per 8 ounces boiling water; steep 5-10 minutes – 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. – Tincture – 1 inch dried herbs in 1 quart canning jar; fill with 100 proof vodka; steep at least 6 weeks (8-12 is preferred)

Basic Dosing: – Tea – three 8 ounce cups per day – Infusion – 1 quart per day – Decoction – 2-4 tablespoons per day, or mixed into tea/infusion – Tincture – 1 dropperful (approx 22 drops) in small amount of warm water held under tongue for 1-2 mins & then swallowed

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).

Ashwagandha Root (Withania somnifera)* – and adaptogen; great for depression/anxiety, inflammation, hyPOthyroidism, immunity boost, male fertility, libido, regulation of blood sugar, and restless legs; best used as a tincture, commercially available capsules, or adding root powder from capsules to smoothies; during pregnancy it is mostly used for proper thyroid functioning and in cases of Gestational Diabetes. *Avoid with history of allergy to Nightshades.

Echinacea/Purple Coneflower Leaf/Flower/Stem/Root/Whole Plant (Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea angustifolia)* – antiviral, antifungal, antibiotic, and antiseptic; used for infections, immunity boost during travel, hyPOthyroidism, and yeast infections; best used as a tincture, tea, or infusion; used during pregnancy for short periods (up to three weeks at a time) for thyroid support, yeast, mouthwash for gum problems (infusion used as mouthwash), and Group B Streptococcus (tincture – dropperful 2x day for 2 weeks). *Avoid with history of Ragweed allergy.

Fennel Seed (Foeniculum vulgare) – antispasmodic, antidepressant, antimicrobial, and rich in phytoestrogens; great for digestion, mild laxative, promotes lactation, hyPOthyroidism, morning sickness, amenhorrea, colic, and hyPERtension; best used in teas, infusions, or eaten; used during pregnancy for digestion, morning sickness, hyPERtension, and postpartum for lactation support.

Jamaican Dogwood Bark (Piscidia piscipula) – analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, nervine, and sedative; used for migraines, sedative effects, neuralgia, insomnia caused by pain, nervous tension, dysmenorrhea, pain of arthritis and rheumatism; best used as a decoction or tincture; used during pregnancy for migraines.

Skullcap/Scullcap Leaf/Flower/Stem (Scutellaria lateriflora)* – used for sedative, tobacco/drug/alcohol withdrawal, hyPERtension; best used as an infusion, tea, or tincture; used during pregnancy for pregnancy induced hyPERtension (PIH). *Only to be used under the guidance of healthcare provider during pregnancy due to its mild-emmenagogue properties.

Lemon Balm/Melissa Leaf (Melissa officinalis)* – analgesic, antiviral; used for pain, depression, headaches, sedative, earache, morning sickness, hyPERthyroidism, herpes, and functional gastrointestinal complaints; best used as fresh herbs tea or a tincture; used during pregnancy for morning sickness, pain, and headaches. *Avoid with history of glaucoma.

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 Medicine from the Heart of the Earth, by S. Tilgner – 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 – Erin Walker, Midwife and Herbalist

– 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.}

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