Adding herbs to your nutrition plan for pregnancy and postpartum is a sure fire way to boost your wellness. Did you know that most pharmaceuticals are derived from plants? However, pharmaceuticals are highly concentrated and processed derivatives of the plants that appear in the body as foreign objects when consumed.
Because your body has not evolved with these chemical compounds, it’s up to your liver to detox and metabolize these substances. And that’s very hard for the liver to do.
On the other hand, humans have evolved for centuries using whole plants and preparations of plants like teas, tinctures, and salves. Here are a few herbs to consider integrating into your pregnancy and postpartum wellness plan.
Alfalfa is especially helpful for many pregnancy symptoms. Alfalfa contains a variety of minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium and vitamin E, C, and K. Vitamin K is an important component to aid in blood clotting.
Alfalfa can assist easing morning sickness during pregnancy, increasing milk production in nursing mothers, and can help in decreasing the chance of excessive postpartum bleeding when consumed as tea or capsules.
Moringa is a superfood indigenous to Africa. It’s filled with ultra nutritious properties and offers an abundance of health benefits for expecting and new mothers. Moringa leaves can help pregnant and postpartum women reach daily iron and calcium needs.
Moringa also contains zinc, vitamin C, iron, and vitamin A; which are all important trace minerals to promote a healthy pregnancy and even when trying to conceive. Moringa leaves can also help stimulate and increase breast milk production for postpartum mothers.
Nettles are queenly herbs especially recommended and used by traditional midwives and root workers of the south. Nettles are extremely high in chlorophyll and boast highly bioavailable amounts of iron, vitamin C and magnesium among other vital nutrients.
Bioavailble iron is useful to mothers because it is more easily absorbed and gentle on the digestive tract. Nettles can also ease leg cramps and spasms due to its high magnesium and calcium content. Drinking a nettle tea infusion after giving birth is recommended to help increase the richness and amount of breast milk.
4. Red raspberry leaves
Red raspberry is a mineral rich tonic that is recommended to support a healthy pregnancy and help tone the uterus and getting it ready for birth. The alkaloid in red raspberry, fragrine, has been credited with the toning of the uterus, which is also helpful in preventing miscarriages and hemorrhages.
Drinking red raspberry leaf tea can help alleviate morning sickness, nausea, and stomach upset during pregnancy.
5. Oat straw
Oat straw is extremely high in calcium and magnesium - important minerals needed during pregnancy. It can help reduce tension and promote calmness. You can incorporate it into your schedule by taking oat straw baths and soaking in it to absorb its’ nourishing properties. Oat straw is also amazing at promoting healthy milk production for lactating mothers.
6. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm can ease insomnia that may occur as you feel more uncomfortable throughout your pregnancy. It can calm nerves and relieve stress and help boost your mood. Lemon balm is also naturally antiviral and antimicrobial.
During the first 9 weeks of pregnancy, the immune system is at its weakest as the body is focused on growing the placenta. This leaves newly pregnant women more susceptible to cold, flu, and other infections. Pregnant women can use lemon balm tea as a way to alleviate an active infection or prevent an infection or break out.
High in and magnesium and calcium, chamomile is beneficial in aiding promoting rest, relaxation and more peaceful sleep. It is naturally anti-inflammatory and can nourish joints, muscles and ligaments to relax and rejuvenate. Chamomile tea’s pleasant aroma can help relieve nausea morning sickness and elevate mood. It’s also helpful in improving digestion and liver function.
8. Ginger Root
Ginger has been clinically proven to help ease nausea and often used to treat morning sickness. Since ginger comes in so many forms, it can be consumed in so many ways such as in tea, natural ginger candies, and as capsules.
Ginger root is also excellent as a remedy to treating any heartburn associated with pregnancy. Ginger can be applied topically as a salve or oil to promote circulation. It’s applied with long stroke, gentle massage to mothers - especially those on bed rest before and after birth.
9. Peppermint leaves
Consuming peppermint tea during pregnancy can help improve digestion and upset stomach. It can also ease the common discomforts of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. It’s most notable benefit is its ability to reduce stress levels. It’s a natural sedative that can relieve any mental stress.
10. Evening primrose
Primrose oil has been touted for its cervical ripening properties. It can be consumed orally or inserted vaginally for the purpose of promoting a smoother labor. Primrose oil can be applied internally inside the vagina and taken orally - based on the dosage of your midwife or physician.