Herbs to Avoid During Pregnancy

By no means are the following lists complete. I recommend consulting qualified practitioners of Eastern and/or Western herbology before administering any herbal treatment during pregnancy. For more information see our eferences (at the bottom of this page), or go to our Chinese herbal section complete with information & pictures of over 300 herbs!

Contraindicated Herbs During Pregnancy

The herbs in the following category should not be used at any time during pregnancy or when pregnancy is even a possibility:

Common Name (botanical name)
Angelica root (archangelica, atropurpurea, sinensis, sylvestris)
Ba Dou (croton tiglium seed)
Bai Fu Zi (Typhonii rhizome)
Bai Mao Gen (imperatae cylindricae)
Ban Mao (mylabris)
Chan Su (bufonis secretion)

Che Qian Zi (plantago asiatica)
Chong Lou (Paridis rhizome)
Chuan Niu Xi (cyathulae officinalis)
Da Ji (cirsii japonica, euphorbiae)
Di Bie Chong (eupolyphaga)
E Wei
E Zhu (curcumae root)
Fan Xie Ye (senna leaf)
Fu Zi (aconite carmichaeli root)
Gan Sui (euphorbiae kansui)
Guan Zhong (dryopteris crassirhizomae)

Hai Long
Hai Ma (hippocampus)
Hong Hua (carthami tinctorii)
Huai Hua (sophorae japonicae immaturus)
Liu Huang (sulphur)
Ma Chi Xian (portulacae)
Ma Qian Zi (strychni seed)
Mang Xiao (mirabilitum)
Meng Chong
Mu Dan Pi (moutan)
Niu Huang (bovis calculus)
Jack-in-the-pulpit root (arisaema)
Pennyroyal (hedeoma puegioides)
Qian Niu Zi (pharbitidis seed)
Qing Fen (calomelas)
Qu Mai (dianthi leaf)
Queen Anne�s Lace (daucus carota)

Rue (ruta graveolens)
Rutin
Saffron stigmas (crocus sativus)
San Leng (sparganii rhizome)
Shang Lu (phytolaccae root)
She Gan (belamcandae rhizome)
She Xiang (moschus secretion)
Shui Zhi (hirudo)
Smartweed leaves (polygonum hydopiper)
Stoneseed root (lithospermum)
Tansy Ragwort (tanacetum vulgare)
Tao Ren (persicae seed peach)
Thistles (cardus, cnicus, cirsium genus�)
Tian Hua Fen (trichosanthis)
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid high dose)
Wei Ling Xian (clematidis root)
Wild Carrot seed (daucus carota)

Wu gong (scolopendra)
Wu Tou (aconite root)
Xi Xin (asari herb)
Xiong Huang (realgar)
Xuan Ming Fen (mirabilitum)
Yan Hu Suo (corydalis rhizome)
Yi Mu Cao (leonuri motherwort)
Yu Li Hua (pruni flower)
Yuan Hua (daphnes genkwa)
Zao Jiao (gleditsiae)
Zhang Nao (camphora)

Cautionary Herbs During Pregnancy

The herbs listed below should be used with extreme caution during pregnancy.
If in doubt do not use/prescribe these herbs.

Common Name (botanical name)

Bai Fu Zi (typhoni gigantei)
Ban Xia (Pinelliae ternatae)
Bethroot (trillium pendulum)
Birthwort root (trillium pendulum)
Bing Pian (borneol)
Black Cohosh (cimicifuga racemosa)
Blue Cohosh (caulophyllum thalictroides)
Chan Tui (cicadae)
Chang Shan (dichorae febrifugae)
Chuan Jiao (zanthoxyli bungeani)
Chuan Sha Jia (squama manitis)
Cotton root bark (gossypium)
Da Huang (rhizome rhei)
Dai Zhe Shi (haematitum)
Dong Kui Zi (abutiloni semen)

Ergot fungus (claviceps purpurea)
Feverfew (chrysanthemum luteum)
Frankincense (gummi olibanum)
Gan Jiang (zingiberis officinalis)
Ginger root (zingiberis officinalis)
Hou Po (magnoliae officinalis cortex)
Huai Nui Xi (achyranthis bidentatae root)
Hua Shi (talcum)
Hyssop (hyssopus officinalis)
Lemon balm, fresh (Melissa officinalis)
Lou Lu (rhapontici echinops root)
Lovage root (levisticum officinale)
Lu Hui (herba aloes)
Lu Lu Tong (liquidambaris)
Marijuana (cannabis sativa, indica)
Mistletoe leaf (phoradendron)
Mo Yao (Myrrha)

Motherwort (leonurus cardiaca)
Mu Tong (caulis mutong)
Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)
Myrrh
Osha root (ligusticum porteri)
Peruvian bark (chinchona)
Pu Huang (pollen typhae)
Quan Xie (buthus martensi)
Rosemary (tosmarinus officinalis)
Rou Gui (cortex cinnamomi cassiae)
Ru Xiang (gummi olibanum)
San Qi (pseudoginseng root)
Su He Xiang (styrax liquidis)
Su Mu (lignum sappan)
Sumac berries (rhus glabra)
Sweetflag root (acorus calamus)
Tian Nan Xing (arisaematis rhizome)

Tong Cao (medulla tetrapanacis papyriferi)
Vervain (verbena officinalis)
Wang Bu Liu Xing (baccariae segetalis seed)
Wood sorel, fresh (oxalis acetosella)
Xue Jie (sanguis draconis)
Yi Yi Ren (coicis lachrymal-jobi, barley seed)
Yu Jin (curcumae turmeric root)
Yu Li Ren (prunus japonica seed)
Ze Lan (herba lycopi lucidi)
Zhi Ke (Qiao) (citri ponciri fruit)
Zhi Shi (citri ponciri immaturis)

Common Cooking Herbs

The following may encourage miscarriage:

Basil, Caraway seeds, Celery seeds, Ginger, fresh Horseradish, Savory, Marjoram, Nutmeg, Rosemary,
Saffron, Sage, Parsley, Tarragon, Thyme, Watercress.

References:

Weed, Susan, Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year, 1986 Woodstock New York, Ash Tree Publishing.

Et al, Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 2003 Stockton California, Published by Therapeutic Research Faculty.

Benskey & Gamble, Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica revised edition, 1993 Seattle Washington, Eastland Press Inc.

Maclean & Lyttleton, Clinical Handbook of Internal Medicine vol. 1 second edition, 2000 Sydney Australia, University of Western Sydney.

Chung, Michael, Cautions Using TCM Herbs (Canadian Traditional Chinese Medicine Association safety course), 2002 Vancouver Canada, CTCMA