Herbal Supplements 200x149Herbal supplements are used by some 50 million Americans but if you’re pregnant you might not want to be among them.

A review of 74 studies published in the May 2019 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that some herbal remedies, like almond oil for skin, eating black licorice candy or taking raspberry leaf orally have been associated with increased risks of pregnancy complications like preterm birth and cesarean delivery.

Some of the more common side effects from herbal remedies were nausea, headache, bowel changes and dizziness with raspberry leaf and dry mouth, heartburn and headache with ginger.

Many of the studies in the review were observational, asking women to report their own use of herbal remedies. Experts say few rigorous studies have been done and that makes it difficult to scientifically prove or rule out problems with the use of herbal remedies during pregnancy.

There are other reasons why it’s a hard question to answer. Herbal remedies are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration like prescription medicines, so there’s no standard for measuring their potency and effectiveness.  Consumers have little way of knowing if a product will do what the label claims or how safe the product may be.

That’s why the FDA suggests that pregnant women should not take any herbal products without talking to their doctor. You’re also advised to consult an experienced and trained herbalist if you decide to take herbs during pregnancy.

Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax