Now that you’re pregnant, you might have noticed that suddenly you have ailments popping out of nowhere. Yeah, we thought dads were the only ones who complained about endless heartburn and gas too. But when you think about it, your entire insides--and outsides for that matter--are shifting to make room for that little one to grow. So what’s the solution? No need to run to the medicine cabinet just yet. “Herbs and pregnancy have a long history, from using marshmallow root to calm heartburn to boiling up some ginger tea for a pregnant mama’s queasy belly,” says Earth Mama Angel Baby® Founder CEO and Mama-in-Charge Melinda Olson. With all the research Olsen has put into her own line of Earth Mama teas that provide support from pregnancy through postpartum, we knew we could turn to her for the lowdown on what herbs solve some of the top pregnancy and post pregnancy issues. Here’s your guide through the herbal aisle.
Nausea – Clinical research in the US supports information that ginger safely and effectively reduces the severity of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Ginger is approved in both the German Pharmacopoeia and the British Herbal Compendium for anti-nausea.
Heartburn – Marshmallow root has been indicated for coating and soothing of gastrointestinal irritations.
Leg cramps, uterine tonic – Red raspberry leaf is packed with vitamins and minerals and is recommended by midwives as a woman’s body prepares for labor. It is well documented in traditional medicine as a uterine tonic and all-around great pregnancy herb.
Postpartum, PMS, cramps -- Lady’s Mantle is used traditionally for “female troubles,” during menstruation, after pregnancy and even during perimenopause.
Low milk supply – Fennel seed has long been used for gastrointestinal problems, as well as in galactagogue preparations (those taken by breastfeeding mamas to help increase breast milk supply). It should be noted that fennel seeds also have an emmenagogue effect — they stimulate menstruation — therefore are not recommended during pregnancy in greater than culinary amounts.
Busy, restless mind – Lemon balm is often used as a component of mild sleep aid. The Commission E approved the internal use of lemon balm for nervous sleeping disorders and functional gastrointestinal complaints.
Weaning -- Sage contains oils responsible for its antiseptic and antiviral properties, and it has traditionally been used to help reduce breast milk supply. Sage should be avoided during pregnancy except in small culinary amounts due to its very high concentration of volatile oils that stimulate the muscles of the uterus.