Ask The Herb Lady

With Cathy Schram

Morning Sickness & Insomnia When Pregnant

Q: I just found out that I am pregnant. I do take a lot of vitamins and herbs. I am worried about morning sickness and insomnia because I had those problems with my last pregnancy. What can I take that might help me?

A: Congratulations! What an exciting time for you. Vitamins are a must, especially folic acid. As a rule, most herbs should be avoided during pregnancy; however, there are several herbs that have been famous throughout history for preparing mothers for childbirth. It is always a good idea to check with your health care professional before taking any herbs.

Most herbalists advise against using herbs in the first trimester with the exception of gentle herbal remedies for morning sickness. Later in your pregnancy choose herbs that are packed with vitamins and minerals that complement the body during pregnancy. Listed below are a few remedies that address your particular concerns and can be used safely:

Morning Sickness: A quick fix for nausea is to sniff peppermint oil. Put a few drops of peppermint essential oil onto a cotton ball or tissue and keep it with you. It also comes in convenient stick form. Sniff at first sign of queasiness. Ginger is a safe anti-nausea herb. It helps digestion and warms up the digestive tract. It is best to make a ginger tea and sip 2 to 3 cups throughout the day.

Insomnia: During the second and third trimesters, chamomile tea is an excellent way to get a good night of sleep. It is also helpful to calm your nerves and ease stress. Do not drink more than 2 cups per day, because the uterine muscle could relax too much. (More is not better).

Red Raspberry Leaf is the most popular pregnancy herb. It is rich in vitamins and minerals and contains a substance that helps prepare the uterus for labor and birth. It can be used in small amounts during early pregnancy to help relieve morning sickness. During the second and third trimesters, 1 or 2 cups per day is suggested. In addition to toning the uterus, it can help decrease the pain of delivery.
These are just a few tips to help ease your pregnancy. To learn more, consult with your herbalist or health care professional.

This herb information is for health education purposes only. It is not intended to replace the services of licensed health practitioners. Consult with a physician for any condition that requires professional care.

Do you have questions about herbs or vitamins? Send them to Cathy Schram, CNHP and Certified Herbalist. Write to: Herbs & More, 16021 Manchester Rd., Ellisville, MO 63011.