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Presented by: UT El Paso / Austin Cooperative Pharmacy Program & Paso del Norte Health Foundation

Herbs to Avoid During Pregnancy

Scientific name Common name(s) Part (s) used Form of use Comments
Achillea millefolium

 

Yarrow, Milenrama Stems, leaves, and flowers Tea May induce uterine contractions.
Actaea racemosa Black cohosh Root Tea, capsules May induce uterine contractions.
Adiantum capillus-veneris Maidenhair fern, Culantrilllo de pozo Fronds (leaves) Tea May induce uterine contractions.
Aloe vera Aloe, Zábila, Sábila, Babosa Gel and latex Creams, whole leaf preparations, beverages Gel used topically is considered safe. Avoid ingesting whole leaf preparations as they may induce uterine contractions.
Alchemilla, xanthochlora Lady’s mantle Leaves Tea, capsules           May induce uterine contractions
Angelica archangelica Angelica, Angélica Root Tea, capsules May induce uterine contractions.
Angelica sinensis Dong Quai, Dang gui, Chinese angelica, Angélica china Root Tea, capsules May induce uterine contractions.
Anthemis nobilis Roman chamomile, Manzanilla romana Flowers Tea, capsules May induce uterine contractions.
Artemisia spp. Wormwood, Estafiate, Istafiate, Ajenjo Leaves and stems Tea Various species of wormwood contain potentially neurotoxic ingredient known as thujone.
Capsella bursa-pastoris Shepherd’s purse, Bolsa de pastor Leaves, stems and flowers Tea, tinctures May induce uterine contractions
Cascara sagrada Sacred bark, Cáscara sagrada Tree bark Tea, capsules May induce uterine contractions.
Caulophyllum thalictroides Blue cohosh, Squaw root Root Tea, capsules May be toxic to fetus and induce uterine contractions.
Centella asiatica Gotu kola Stems, leaves Tea, capsules May induce uterine contractions.
Claviceps purpurea Ergot, Cornezuelo del centeno Fungus (sclerotium) Grows in various species of infected cereal grains (rare in industrialized countries) May induce uterine contractions.
Cinnamomum cassia Cassia, Canelón Tree bark Tea Occasional use as a condiment considered safe. Taken as tea may induce uterine contractions.
Cinnamomum verum Cinnamon, True cinnamon, Canela Tree bark Tea Occasional use as a condiment considered safe. Taken as tea may induce uterine contractions.
Datura spp. Jimsonweed, Stramonium, Moonflower, Estramonio, Toloache Whole plant, seeds are especially toxic Tea Various species of Datura are toxic and hallucinogenic. Avoid use.
Dioscorea villosa Wild yam, Cabeza de negro Root and rhizomes Tea, tinctures, capsules Uterine stimulant
Dryopteris filix-mas Male fern, Helecho macho, Dentabrón Raíz Tea, extracts, pills May induce uterine contractions.
Dysphania spp. Wormseed, Mexican tea, Epazote, Paico Leaves and stems Tea Occasional use as a condiment considered safe. Contains a toxic compound known as ascaridol; may induce uterine contractions. Avoid ingesting oil, as it is neurotoxic.
Foeniculum vulgare Fennel, Hinojo Seeds, root, leaves Tea, pills, capsules, essential oil High doses should be avoided, as they may induce uterine contractions
Harpagophytum procumbens Devil’s claw, Garra del diablo Root Tea, pills, capsules May induce uterine contractions.
Humulus lupulus Hops, Lúpulo Fruits Tea, pills, capsules May induce uterine contractions.
Hydrastis canadensis

 

Golden Seal, Sello dorado Root Tea, pills, capsules May induce uterine contractions.
Hypericum perforatum St. John´s Wort, Hierba de San Juan, Corazoncillo, Hipérico Flowers, stems Tea, pills, capsules May induce uterine contractions.
Juniperus spp. Juniper berry, Cedro, Enebro, Sabino Berry Tea May induce uterine contractions.
Leonorus cardiaca Motherwort, Agripalma Stem, leaves, and flowers Tea, tinctures, syrups May induce uterine contractions.
Lycopus virginicus Bugleweed, Menta de lobo Stem, leaves, and flowers Tea, tinctures May induce uterine contractions.
Matricaria recutita German chamomille, Manzanilla alemana Flowers Tea, capsules,  enema May induce uterine contractions.
Mentha pulegium Pennyroyal, Poleo Leaves, stems, and flowers Tea, syrups, essential oil  Essential oil should not be used internally; abortifacient and liver toxic.
Montanoa tomentosa Daisy tree, Tree Daisy, Zoapatle, Cihuapatli Leaves and stems Tea May induce uterine contractions.
Myristica fragrans Nutmeg, Nuez moscada Kernel Powder Large doses are hallucinogenic and produce convulsions.
Nicotiana tabacum Tobacco, Tabáco Leaves Smoked, chewed All parts of this plant are toxic and contraindicated during pregnancy.
Ocimum basilicum Basil, Albahaca, Albacar Leaves and stems Tea, essential oil Safe as a condiment. Avoid essential oil during pregnancy.
Origanum spp. Oregano Leaves and stems Tea, essential oil Occasional use as a condiment considered safe. Essential oil should not be used internally.
Panax ginseng Korean ginseng Root Tea, capsules Safety for use during pregnancy not established. Avoid during first trimester.
Panax quinquefolius American ginseng Root Tea, capsules Safety for use during pregnancy not established. Avoid during first trimester.
Passiflora incarnata Passion flower, Flor de la pasión, Pasiflora Flowers Tea, capsules May induce uterine contractions.
Pausinystalia yohimbe Yohimbe Tree bark Tea, capsules May induce uterine contractions.
Petroselinum crispus Parsely, Perejil Leaves, seeds, root Tea, juice Safe as a condiment. High doses, especially of the seeds, may induce uterine contractions.
Peumus boldus Boldo Leaves Tea Contains a toxic compound known as ascaridol and a hypnotic alkaloid, boldine.
Piper methysticum Awa, Kava kava Rhizomes, root Liquid extracts, capsules Safety for use during pregnancy not established.
Rhamnus purshiana Buckthorn, Espino cerval Bark Tea, capsules May induce uterine contractions.
Rheum spp. Rhubarb, Ruibarbo Root Tea, capsules May induce uterine contractions.
Ricinus communis Castor oil plant, Palma Christi, Higuerilla Seeds Oil Castor oil used as laxative may stimulate uterine contractions. The seeds are very poisonous.
Rosmarinus officinalis Rosemary, Romero Stems and leaves Tea, essential oil Occasional use as a condiment considered safe. Taken as tea may induce uterine contractions. Avoid topical use of essential oil during pregnancy; avoid ingestion of essential oil.
Rubus idaeus Raspberry, Frambuesa Leaves Tea, tinctures Leaf preparations, may induce uterine contractions.
Ruta graveolens Rue, Ruda Leaves and stems Tea Toxic internally, may induce uterine contractions.
Sambucus spp. Elder, Saúco Bark Tea, tinctures Bark may induce uterine contractions. Unripe berries are toxic.
Serenoa repens Saw palmetto, Palma sabal Berries Pills, capsules May have hormonal action.
Symphytum officinale Comfrey, Consuelda, Consuelda mayor, Sínfito Whole plant Tea, capsules Avoid prolonged use internally; can be liver toxic.
Tabebuia spp. Pau d´ arco, Palo de arco,  Lapacho Flowers, tree bark Tea, capsules May induce uterine contractions.
Tanacetum vulgare Feverfew, Tanaceto Flowers, stems Tea, capsules May induce uterine contractions.
Trifolium pratense Clover, Trébol Flowers, stems Tea, capsules May induce uterine contractions.
Trigonella foenum-graecum Fenugreek, Alholva, Fenogreco Leaves, seeds Tea, capsules May induce uterine contractions.
Turnera diffusa Damiana, Hierba de la pastora Flowers, stems Tea, capsules May induce uterine contractions.
Uncaria tomentosa Cat´s claw, Uña de gato Liana Tea, capsules May induce uterine contractions.
Ustilago maydis Corn smut, Cuitlacoche, Huitlacoche Fungus Food Safety for ingestion during pregnancy not established. Avoid especially during the first trimester of pregnancy.

 

References

 

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