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The Golden Rule Of Herbal Remedies In Pregnancy

Herbal medicine has long been used to aid healing and recovery in different cultures all over the world. In Western culture, the use of herbs has become much more widespread and accepted over recent years. There is now easy access to herbal teas tinctures and supplements, with some available in pharmacies and health food shops. There’s a wealth of easily accessible information and expert practitioners to help with your particular requirement, but read on to be sure you’re making a safe choice.

Herbal remedies, along with some other types of complementary medicine, are now quite commonly used is in both pregnancy and fertility treatment. In the case of herbal remedies, however, as a pregnant woman you should always obey the golden rule of herbal remedies in pregnancy, which you can read in the nice big letters just below:

1. Never take any “harmless herbal remedy” without the consent of your medical team

Although there are a range of benefits from some herbal remedies, there’s a disturbing amount of mis-information available today online. Unfortunately this does a dis-service to both the genuine, qualified practitioners as well as members of the public, like you, who use herbal remedies in the wrong way. In fact during pregnancy some remedies may even be dangerous.

2. Taking care of yourself and your baby

When used carefully, in conjunction with a good diet and regular exercise, herbs can bring about a really positive change in the body and stimulate healing and balance within the system. However, before and during pregnancy, and while breastfeeding are particularly sensitive times for the body.

It is important to remember that anything you take can be passed on to the baby in some capacity and may have a completely different effect on he/she than it would on you and using wrong herbs or incorrect doses can be very harmful. It is therefore vital that you seek the advice of expert herbalists and medical practitioners if you decide to consider using herbal therapies.

As with many complementary remedies, it’s common advice to avoid trying anything new in your first trimester before the pregnancy is fully established. Because these are natural products, it can seem fair to assume that they would all be naturally safe to use and you could just pick up a tub in your local chemist, this, however, is not the case and extreme care and caution should be used when putting anything at all into your body at this time.


3. Herbal therapies for fertility

Difficulties in conceiving can be attributed to a wide range of reasons including menstrual problems, poor egg or sperm health, uterine fibroids, hormone imbalances and stress-related issues. All of these and many more can result in fertility problems. Herbs such as dandelion, black cohosh, white peony and licorice root are commonly used to ease some of these specific issues in women and men. They can also be used to strengthen the uterus, nourish the body and boost the immune system to prepare the body for pregnancy when prescribed by a qualified practitioner. Herbs are gentler than medicines so they tend to take time to work with your body to bring improvements. This means that, although fertility issues can be very frustrating, herbs should be used with consideration and patience. They are not a miracle cure for infertility.

4. Remedies for pregnancy

We have all either heard of or experienced the less enjoyable side of the wonder of pregnancy. The morning sickness, heartburn and insomnia that often come along with the growing bump. As well as these, a pregnant woman is also not immune to run-of-the-mill ailments such as coughs and colds. Herbal remedies can provide some help relieving these problems and are often safer than taking pharmaceuticals.

One of the most common natural remedies used in pregnancy is ginger. This is a great one for helping with nausea and morning sickness. It can be taken in herbal teas or a small touch of fresh ginger grated into warm water. Alternatively, crystalised ginger is really good to keep to hand if you’re suffering. Chamomile is another popular herb. This beautiful little white flower has lovely soothing properties and makes a pleasant tea, particularly when sweetened with honey. This helps to relax and ease stressed minds promoting comfortable sleep.

Red raspberry leaf tea is also a common herbal remedy that is thought to help improve the normal uterine contractions in labour, aiding a natural birth. This takes a while to have an effect so it is often taken regularly over the last trimester of pregnancy – not before 32 weeks – just one or two cups a day. There are differing opinions about its effectiveness but it’s generally considered to be safe in small doses. 

5. Always Seek Medical Advice First

There are a range of really effective herbal remedies to help ease you through the tricky bits of pregnancy – with plenty of research and qualified advice, these can be really useful. There is also a long list of herbs that should be avoided in pregnancy such as aloe vera, barberry, caraway and motherwort. It’s important to research carefully and take expert medical advice with anything you take when pregnant so that you can enjoy the benefits and avoid the risks.


Nuchal Translucency

12-14 weeks


Anatomy Survey

21-22 weeks


Later Dating

10-17 weeks


Gender Scan

19 weeks onwards


Growth & Well Being

22 weeks onwards


Post Dates & Liquor

40 weeks onwards

Midwife sonographer facilitated

Consultant Led, Centre of Medical Excellence 


All articles on the blog and website are intended as information only. Please do not consider any of the information provided here as a substitute for medical advice. At all times seek medical advice directly with your own doctor and medical team.


This website was formerly Merrion Fetal Health. The clinic has undergone a rebrand and is now known as Merrion Ultrasound.