Pregnant? Stay Away from These 5 Ayurvedic Herbs

This article discusses the caution needed when considering Ayurvedic herbs during pregnancy. It highlights five specific herbs that could pose risks, such as causing uterine contractions or affecting hormonal balance, and therefore should be avoided. The article also emphasises the importance of consulting healthcare providers before using any herbal remedies during this critical time.

Updated Sep 16, 2023 | 06:00 AM IST


Pregnant? Stay Away from These 5 Ayurvedic Herbs (Credit - Freepik)

Pregnancy is a time of great joy, but it is also a time of significant responsibility for the health of both the mother and the unborn child. Ayurveda, an ancient Indian medical system, provides several herbal cures for a variety of illnesses. However, not all Ayurvedic herbs are safe for pregnant women. In fact, some can be harmful during pregnancy.
A Word of Caution
Before delving into the details, it's critical to consult your healthcare provider or an Ayurvedic practitioner experienced in pregnant care before utilising any herbs or supplements. Even medicines that are widely thought to be safe might have varying effects on different people, and pregnancy is a time to be extra cautious.
1. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is well-known for its skin-soothing effects, but it can also produce uterine contractions, which can lead to miscarriage or early delivery. It also has a purgative effect, which should be avoided during pregnancy since it might cause dehydration.
2. Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha may appear to be a suitable option to reduce stress and increase immunity due to its adaptogenic effects. It can, however, serve as an abortifacient, which means it can cause abortion. This plant has strong hormonal effects and can be overly stimulating for the foetus.
3. Licorice Root
Ayurvedic practitioners frequently employ licorice root to treat a wide range of ailments, from digestive disorders to respiratory issues. However, this herb contains glycyrrhizin, a chemical that can cause elevated blood pressure and uterine contractions, making it a risky choice during pregnancy.
4. Senna
Senna is well-known for its diuretic qualities. While constipation is common during pregnancy, senna should not be your first line of defence. It can result in uterine contractions and, in some situations, miscarriage.
5. Tulsi (Holy Basil)
Tulsi is revered as a sacred herb in Ayurvedic medicine, where it is used to treat everything from stress to bacterial infections. Its blood-thinning qualities, however, might cause issues during delivery, and it could be harmful to health if ingested in excess during pregnancy.
Alternatives and Safeguards
There are safer solutions available if you're looking for natural ways to handle health difficulties throughout pregnancy. Peppermint and ginger, for example, can help ease nausea, and chamomile is typically considered safe for relaxing nerves. Again, before beginning any new herbal regimen, ask your healthcare provider.
To summarise, while Ayurvedic medicine provides many effective therapies for a variety of illnesses, not all plants are suitable for everyone. Pregnancy necessitates extra prudence. Always consult with your healthcare practitioner before making any decisions that affect you or your unborn child.
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