Beneficial Herbs For Pregnancy


Nettle (Urtica Dioica)

For those who have wandered into woodlands near water, stinging nettle will be a familiar memory. Nettle is a popular table green still today, eaten much the same way as cooked kale or spinach. Rich in chlorophyll, nettle is a world favorite for all urinary tract problems.

Contains: Chlorine, chlorophyll, formic acid, iodine, magnesium, potassium, silicon, sodium, sulfur, tannin, Vitamins A and C, protein, iron, copper, histamine, glucoquinine, and facilitates absorption of Vitamin D from the sun.

Nettle is a gentle yet powerful tonic to the adrenals, and is known to rebuild the adrenal cortex, improving energy levels. It has been used with great success in the treatment of adrenal exhaustion, one of the primary underlying causes of Chronic Fatigue and a host of other auto-immune disorders. As the adrenals are the fundamental glands of immune health, Nettle is used to improve general immune function, increasing resistance to illness caused by viruses or bacteria. With its strong affinity to the adrenals, Nettle is used extensively to eliminate allergy and hayfever symptoms. It has been used throughout time to restore kidney function, eliminating edema, cystitis, incontinence, and urinary tract infections. Improving liver function, Nettle reduces jaundice. The high Vitamin C content of Nettle ensures that dietary iron is properly absorbed, reducing headaches. By improving nerve signal to the muscle, Nettle helps increase muscle response time, reducing incidence of postpartum hemorrhage. By improving elasticity of the skin, Nettle helps prevent tearing of vaginal tissue. Combined with burdock root, Nettle is extremely helpful in the treatment of eczema. Nettle is an excellent promoter of abundant breastmilk.

Oatstraw (Avena Sativa)

Oatstraw, as any livestock breeder will confirm, builds the strongest possible body, with the greatest resiliency. Used extensively in European cultures throughout time for health and beauty, the United States has let this valuable herb slide into disuse.

Contains: Starch, silicic acid, calcium, Vitamins A, C, B-complex, LE, G, phosphorus, potassium, mucin, and protein.

Oatstraw contains Avenin, an amorphous alkaloid which is highly nutritive to cells, improving normal cellular reproduction. Its calcium is so easily absorbed that oatstraw is considered the premier food/herb for the nervous system. Working directly on the brain and endocrine system, oatstraw reduces nervous disability, anxiety, and epilepsy. Due to its ease of absorption, oatstraw has been used with great success in addiction recovery. As calcium is responsible for the enzymatic process by which nutrients are laid down in the muscle, oatstraw improves muscle tone throughout the body, reducing leg cramps and heart palpations, improving digestion and elimination. Improving muscle tone allows the cardiovascular system to function more vigorously, improving circulation to the uterus and placenta, and therefore, to the baby. Its high levels of minerals make oatstraw invaluable in building excellent bone density and enamel on teeth. Oatmeal’s high levels of silicic acid are responsible for its international fame for helping heal skin disorders such as acne and relief from topical inflammations such as chicken pox and poison ivy. Oatstraw, in cases of allergic reactions, seems not to affect the individual to the same degree as the oat grain and is often used without aggravation by those who cannot eat oats.

Red Raspberry (Rubus strigosus or idaeus)

Likely the most well-known pregnancy herb, red raspberry has been used throughout Europe and the Americas for centuries as the premier herb for the childbearing years. Growing easily in almost every environmental condition, even the youngest country child can identify the wild, briary canes as they overtake everything in their path.

Contains: Fruit sugar, pectin, citric acid, malic acid, Vitamins C and B2, niacin, carotene, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, and improves Vitamin D absorption.

Red Raspberry is a specific muscle toner, working on the smooth muscle of the body, including the uterus. As it soothes spastic muscle behavior, it improves contractibility of the uterus during labor. The particular properties of the herb tone and nourish the ovaries and, by relation to the pituitary, reduces nausea, morning sickness, and intestinal spasm caused by excess progesterone. This same relationship has made red raspberry a popular herb for menstrual cramps and hot flashes. Due to its astringent qualities, it is used for mouth ulcers, bleeding gums, hemorrhage, hemorrhoids, and cold sores. The unique mineral blend in red raspberry promotes healthy nails, bones, teeth, and skin.

Alfalfa (Medicago Sativa)

One of the richest mineral foods in the world, alfalfa’s roots grow as deep as 130 feet into the ground, allowing it to reach minerals not available at higher levels. The name “alfalfa” is Arabic and means “father of all foods”.

Contains: Calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, chlorophyll, biotin, choline, inositol, iron, PABA, sodium, sulfur, tryptophan, Vitamins A, B complex, C, E, G, K, P, and U.

Alfalfa is a restorative tonic which promotes pituitary gland function. It contains 8 enzymes known to promote a chemical reaction that enables food to be assimilated properly, helping to normalize weight, reduce incidence of ulcers, diabetes, and other digestive disorders. It alkalinizes the body, reducing arthritis symptoms, neutralizing uric acid, improving kidney function, and reducing edema. A toning agent to the intestines, it improves peristaltic action of the bowels, improving colon disorders and normalizing bowel movements. It contains anti-fungal properties. Alfalfa’s tryptophan levels help improve sleep patterns. In tablet form, alfalfa has been used successfully to reduce heart disease and improve arrhythmia. Alfalfa has been shown, in laboratory trials, to reduce cholesterol levels by reducing plaque.

©2006 Charis Childbirth, Inc. Used by permission. This article was originally published in the Charis Childbirth free e-newsletter in September of 2006. The original article can be viewed here

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