Spices And Supplements To Avoid While Pregnant And Nursing

Whether you are pregnant or nursing, this is a very special time for the mother, baby, and family.  And of course, you want to make all the healthiest choices for you and your little bundle of joy.  While some of the choices are quite obvious, like quit smoking (if you haven’t already), no alcohol, no caffeine, and avoiding a diet high in sugar, there are a lot more perhaps not-so-obvious health choices to take into account, for an optimal pregnancy as well as when you’re nursing.

In this article, we will cover a menu of food spices and supplements that women should avoid while pregnant and nursing.  And of course, please always consult with your doctor with regards to taking any prescribed or over-the-counter supplement, remedy, etc.


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Onion and Garlic Both onion and garlic are very healthy and offer many health benefits, but there is some note of caution to heed.  Both are OK to consume during pregnancy (barring any individual sensitivity), but you might want to discontinue drinking while you are nursing, as both onion and garlic in breast milk may cause colic in your infant.

Celery Seed While usually posing no problems when consumed while nursing, pregnant women should avoid celery seed without a doctor’s approval, because of its strong diuretic properties.

Nutmeg Women, who are pregnant or nursing, should both avoid nutmeg, as it has hallucinogenic properties. The question is when to start birth control?

Basil Pregnant women should avoid basil during their first and third trimesters.  Basil is commonly used as a menstruation promoter, and can potentially induce abortion during the first trimester, or labor during the third trimester.  Basil is fine to consume while nursing.

Ginger Ginger is an effective remedy for nausea and stomach upset, even during pregnancy.  HOWEVER, some modifications have been recommended for its use.  While taking ginger as a tea for nausea and stomach complaints is OK, it’s best to avoid taking ginger supplement form (capsules) during pregnancy.  Taking ginger in supplement form usually means you’ll be consuming a much higher dosage, and this has been shown to put pregnant women at a slightly increased risk of miscarriage during the first trimester.  It is therefore advised only to take ginger in tea form during your pregnancy.  Ginger is fine to take while nursing.

Cumin Consuming cumin in either seed or powder form increases your risk of miscarriage, premature labor, and cramping.  Avoid altogether throughout your pregnancy.  Cumin is safe to consume while nursing.



Aloe Vera While aloe vera is perfectly safe to use externally during pregnancy, never take aloe vera internally until 6 weeks after delivery.  Aloe vera stimulates uterine contractions and has strong laxative properties.  Aloe vera is safe to use both externally and internally while nursing. Read more brief info at http://healthandcaretips.com

Green Tea Green tea can decrease folate levels, which increases the risk of congenital disabilities.  This usually only occurs in higher than average consumption, but it is best advised to avoid altogether during pregnancy.  You will preferably want to drink only 100% herbal and caffeine-free teas.  Youll wants to opt for caffeine-free green tea only while nursing.

Juniper – Juniper is commonly used to treat UTIs (urinary tract infections) but should be avoided throughout the duration of pregnancy, as it can trigger pre-term contractions.   Ok to resume use while nursing.

Feverfew is successfully used to treat migraines.  Its use should be avoided during pregnancy, as it can induce both abortion and labor.  Safe to use while nursing.

Black or Blue Cohosh, Both of these cohosh varieties, are commonly used to treat and balance female hormonal imbalances.  Both should be avoided during the entire pregnancy, as they can also induce both abortion and labor.

Dong Quai Dong Quai (also called Angelica) is another commonly used herb in the treatment and balancing of female hormones.  Avoid during the duration of pregnancy, as it will bring on strong contractions.

Rosemary Rosemary when used as a spice and only on occasion, should pose no problems.  However, rosemary, when used supplementally for digestive distress and headaches, is to be avoided throughout the pregnancy, as it can terminate the pregnancy.  If you do happen to use rosemary as a spice regularly, it is best advised to eliminate it from your diet until after delivery.

Vitamin A Vitamin A as retinol is toxic, and should not be taken at all as a supplement during pregnancy, as it can cause congenital disabilities in the unborn child.

Licorice – Licorice is used to treat a wide variety of health concerns, but should be completely avoided in any supplement, candy or tea form during the entire pregnancy.  Licorice can raise blood pressure, increase adrenal activity and induce a premature birth.  Ok to use while nursing, as long as you don’t suffer from any blood pressure or adrenal concerns.

This list could not possibly be all-inclusive but should be used as a reference guide, along with the advice of your doctor.  If you have any questions regarding any supplement, food or drug that you are taking or are considering taking, always get clearance from your doctor first.

Healthy Living wishes you a very healthy pregnancy and a wonderful nursing experience.