Taking herbs during pregnancy

Q: Are there any dangers in taking herbs during pregnancy? For example, are herbal teas okay? I also get migraines and since I can’t take most painkillers while pregnant, I was wondering if there are any natural remedies.

A: There are many herbs that are contraindicated during pregnancy. You need to find a list of herbs in one of several herb books that are very clear about this information. In my book, Women’s Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Keats Publishing), the pregnancy chapter has a section that lists herbs that are contraindicated. Be sure to check a trustworthy reference guide before taking herbs while you’re pregnant.

Many women’s migraines get better during pregnancy. Michael Murray has a good migraine chapter in his book Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima Publishing). You will have to look up many of his suggestions – feverfew, magnesium, tryptophan, 5 hydroxytryptophan – in other books to find out if they are safe to use during pregnancy. He has two other excellent books: Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements, and The Healing Power of Herbs (both Prima Publishing).


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