Category: 

Should I Use Chamomile During Pregnancy?

Article Details
  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 11 September 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
The U.S. Coast Guard led the evacuation of more than 500,000 people from Lower Manhattan on 11 September 2001.  more...

September 27 ,  1940 :  The World War II Axis powers formed with the signing of the Tripartite Pact.  more...

There is considerable debate about the use of chamomile during pregnancy. The bottom line is that this herb can cause severe allergic reactions and it is also a mild uterine stimulant. For these reasons, many sources, including government agencies like Health Canada, recommend avoiding chamomile during pregnancy. A doctor should be consulted before using any herbal ingredient, as herbs can contain compounds that may be harmful for the fetus or could endanger the pregnancy.

Chamomile is a member of the ragweed family that has been used in herbal medicine for thousands of years. It can be used as a topical rinse for skin conditions and oral ulcers and can also be consumed for anxiety and upset stomach. Since many pregnant women experience these symptoms, some specifically encounter recommendations to take chamomile tea, and many pregnant women who drink chamomile tea during pregnancy experience no ill effects.

A single cup of chamomile tea periodically is unlikely to cause problems unless a woman is allergic to plants in the ragweed family. It is advisable to check with a doctor first and women with a history of miscarriages should definitely avoid chamomile, even in mild teas. The tea can help settle the stomach, but there are alternative ingredients that are safer, like ginger, that offer the same benefits.

Ad

Consuming more than one cup of chamomile tea is not recommended, and chamomile essential oils and extracts should be avoided during pregnancy. The risk with stronger preparations of chamomile during pregnancy is that the compounds in the herb are concentrated, and women may receive a dose high enough to trigger contractions. Unless a woman is working with a physician to induce labor, taking chamomile during pregnancy is not recommended because there is a risk of premature labor.

The conflicting information available about chamomile during pregnancy reflects a lack of controlled research on the use of this herb in pregnant women. This is a common problem with both herbs and pharmaceutical products, because researchers do not want to endanger pregnant women and their babies by testing compounds on them during pregnancy. As a result, researchers have to rely on individual reports about pregnancy outcomes in association with certain medications and herbs to collect information about pregnancy safety. In the case of chamomile, there have been some reports of miscarriages correlated with use of chamomile during pregnancy, but other factors may have been involved and it is possible that the herb was not a direct cause or was not even involved. For example, a woman might have taken the herb for cramps that preceded a miscarriage.

Ad

You might also Like

Recommended

Discuss this Article

donasmrs
Post 3

I asked my doctor about chamomile tea and she said it's fine. She said that she doesn't recommend it to patients who have had miscarriages, but it's okay for everyone else. If anyone is worried, have Rooibos tea instead.

ysmina
Post 2

@SarahGen-- Don't quote me on this but I think that chamomile tea is okay in moderation. So a few cups per week is fine. I think it's chamomile oil that we have to be worried about.

I had a bad cold during my pregnancy and chamomile tea with honey was very helpful. You can ask your doctor to make sure, but I don't think you have to quit chamomile tea altogether. Just don't overdo it.

SarahGen
Post 1

I've been having a cup of chamomile tea a few times a week and I'm pregnant. I normally drink a lot of black tea, but since caffeine is not recommended during pregnancy, I started having chamomile tea occasionally. Chamomile has no caffeine and until now, I thought that it was completely safe. It's a very soothing tea, so I've been using it for pregnancy heartburn and to help me fall asleep.

After reading this article though, I'm a little worried. I don't think I'll be having chamomile tea any longer.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email