3 Herbs To Relieve Pregnancy's Common Ailments
In several parts of the world, medicinal herbs are used by pregnant women who need gentle, natural and non-toxic alternatives to relieve everyday ailments. But not all herbs are safe and can be used during pregnancy. Here are 3 herbs that can be used during pregnancy to improve your overall well-being.
ECHINACEA (ECHINACEA PURPUREA)
When we are pregnant, our immune system is weakened because our body uses the majority of its resources to help the foetus grow. Echinacea is a great herb to strengthen the immune system, but also prevent and fight against flu, colds and various infections.
Echinacea is a medicinal herb native to North America, and has been used for centuries by indigenous peoples to treat respiratory tract infections, toothache and throat pain. It is considered one of the very first natural antibiotics. Nowadays, echinacea has gained popularity and there are many pharmaceutical products formulated with echinacea extract. It is a wonderful herb that can be beneficial during pregnancy, when the body is more vulnerable to external attacks.
Thanks to its anti-bacterial properties, echinacea will help the body fight infections and strengthen the immune system of the future mother. Several studies show that echinacea helps reduce the duration and severity of cold and flu symptoms. It would also be effective in fighting urinary tract infections. Moreover, it is excellent for boosting energy and revitalizing the body in general. For all these reasons, it is a great herbal ally for pregnant women.
How to use echinacea during pregnancy?
Echinacea can be consumed in various forms: capsules, herbal tea or tincture. Refer to the dosage indicated by the manufacturer. If you opt for herbal tea, make sure you get organic Echinacea dried leaves and flowers available in natural health food or herbal stores.
It is not recommended to use echinacea over a long period of time without taking breaks. Because it has a stimulating effect on the immune system, it can cause the body to be in a permanent state of alert. The breaks are necessary to enhance the effectiveness of echinacea over time.
CAMOMILE (MATRICARIA RECUTITA)
Gentle, soothing, anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic, chamomile is a real treasure of nature that will help you relax during pregnancy, improve the quality of your sleep and relieve digestive disorders. Rich in minerals, including calcium and magnesium, chamomile is highly nutritious and can be consumed throughout pregnancy.
During my pregnancy, my evening ritual was to sip a chamomile tea a few hours before going to bed. Not only did it facilitate my digestion after a meal, but it also helped me relax, so I could fall asleep very quickly. If you have trouble sleeping during pregnancy, chamomile is definitely the right herb for you.
In addition to its soothing properties, it has analgesic properties and can relieve stomach pains, cramps, back pain and headaches. It is also effective in lowering fever.
Chamomile contains nutrients that help the body fight infections and increase disease resistance. Consuming chamomile regularly helps the body increase its immunity and prevent germs from invading it. It has a sweet and pleasant taste and I recommend all pregnant women to have some chamomile at home.
How to use chamomile during pregnancy?
Chamomile can be consumed as a herbal tea, preferably in the evening after meals. Infuse one tablespoon of dried chamomile flowers into a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. Strain and drink warm. Make sure you purchase organic chamomile dried flowers available at natural health food or herbal stores.
Be careful not to confuse German chamomile (Matricaria Recutita), which is safe for pregnant women, and feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) also called Wild camomile. These are two completely different herbs. The latter is not recommended during pregnancy.
PEPPERMINT (MENTHA PIPERITA)
Pregnancy is a magical time that can quickly turn into a nightmare when you have nausea and vomiting. My first pregnancy spared me of that, but during the second one I had severe nausea in the first trimester. Fortunately, there are natural alternative to relieve nausea. Peppermint is one of them. Peppermint is rich in antioxidants and minerals including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium. It is a soothing and refreshing herb that facilitates digestion, boosts energy and relieves intestinal disorders. It is effective to relieve nausea, vomiting, migraines and fatigue due to the cooling effect of menthol. If you get a flu, it will help your recover faster by reducing sore throat, chest pain and breathing problems. In addition, its anti-bacterial properties help pregnant women avoid certain infections including colds and coughs, while stimulating their immune system.
Peppermint is a wonderful herbal ally during for pregnant women because it helps relieve common discomforts such as indigestion, migraines, nausea, gastric acidity, loss of energy, stress etc ...
How to use peppermint during pregnancy?
Peppermint can be consumed as a herbal tea. Simply brew a tablespoon of dried peppermint leaves in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. Strain and drink warm. Make sure you purchase organic peppermint leaves available in natural health food or herbal stores.
Because it is a stimulating herb, it is important to use peppermint with caution during pregnancy (no more than two cups of herbal tea per day - 500ml). It is not recommended to use peppermint essential oil during pregnancy.
Always consult a health care professional, herbalist or naturopathic doctor before using medicinal herbs during pregnancy.