Herbs to Avoid During Pregnancy and Lactation

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Angelica Root
Basil
Beth Root
Birthroot
Black Cohosh
Black Walnut
Bladderwrack
Blessed Thistle
Blue Cohosh
Blue Vervain
Boneset
Borage
Buchu
Buckthorn
Burdock Root
Butcher’s Broom

Butternut

Calendula
California Poppy
Cascara Sagrada

Catnip
Chaparral
Cinnamon
Coltsfoot
Comfrey Leaf
Comfrey Root
Cotton Root Bark
Damiana
Dong Quai
Elecampane
Ephedra
False Unicorn
Fenugreek
Feverfew
Ginger (in large amounts)
Ginseng (Siberian Ginseng aka Eleuthero is fine, except for those with high blood pressure)
Goldenseal
Gotu Kola
Hops
Horehound
Horsetail
Hyssop
Jamaican Dogwood
Juniper Berry
Kava Kava Root
Kelp

Lemon Balm
Lemon Grass
Licorice Root
Lobelia
Lovage
Ma-Huang
Marijuana
Mistletoe
Motherwort
Mugwort
Myrrh
Oregon Grape Rt.
Osha Root
PN6 Capsules/Tea
Parsley
Pau ‘d Arco
Pennyroyal
Pleurisy Root
Poke Root
Red Clover
Rosemary
Rue (Ruta graveolens)
Saffron
Sage
Sarsaparilla
Sassafras
Saw Palmetto
Senna
Shepherd’s Purse
Skunk Cabbage
St. John’s Wort
Sumac
Tansy
Thyme
Turkey Rhubarb
Turmeric
Uva Ursi
Vitex
Wild Cherry Bark
Wormwood
Yarrow
Any herb used as a laxative

Herbs to Avoid During Lactation

Black Cohosh
Black Walnut
Bladderwrack
Borage
Buchu
Buckthorn
Cascara Sagrada
Chaparral
Coltsfoot
Comfrey Leaf
Comfrey Root
Damiana
Elecampane
Ephedra
Ginseng (Siberian Ginseng aka Eleuthero is fine, except for those with high blood pressure)
Goldenseal (internal use in jaundiced newborns)
Horsetail
Jamaican Dogwood
Juniper Berry
Kava Kava Root
Kelp
Licorice Root
Ma-Huang
Mugwort
Myrrh
Oregon Grape Root (in jaundiced newborns)
Pleurisy Root
Rue
Sage
Sarsaparilla
Saw Palmetto
Senna
Sumac
Turkey Rhubarb
Uva Ursi
Wormwood

For further information on this subject, please see our Premium article “Herbs to Avoid During Pregnancy and Lactation: The In-Depth Version” (coming soon!).  In this version, you will be given specific reasons why a particular herb may be contraindicated for a pregnant or breastfeeding mother.
written by Pam Caldwell
Certified Herbalist — Fertility, Pregnancy, Birth, Postpartum & Lactation Specialist