Flu and Cold Medicine While Pregnant?
Can you take flu and cold medicine while pregnant? Perhaps some of them, but why not try these safe healing herbs for cold and flu instead?
It’s Cold and Flu Season!
We’re headed into cold and flu season. So here at the farm I’m stocking up both on what we need for our family as well as what I need to make for the families in my community. I wouldn’t go into winter without a good supply of ginger and garlic. They are my go-to remedies when anything starts to creep up on us. Of course, not everyone can use my favorites.
Using Herbs During Pregnancy (and Preconception)
I was reminded this week that there are special conditions when using herbs. This requires a careful look at appropriate herbs. One of my past students, and a dear friend, is currently working on the project of getting pregnant. Feeling under the weather, she was stocking up on cold and flu remedies, and sent me a text. She is very well versed in the common remedies, but has been using my book, Conceiving Healthy Babies, to reference which plants might be best to avoid at this time in her life. Unfortunately, she left the book at home while shopping. As I began to put this list together for her I decided it would be a timely thing to share with readers here.
There are many herbs that are safe to use while trying to conceive, but become problematic once you are pregnant. Mainly these herbs are classified as emmenagogues or abortifacients. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is an example of just such an herb. Many women have used ginger safely before and while pregnant, but it is all in the dose. Heavy use of ginger when first pregnant could potentially encourage a cycle when one is not wanted. It is important to differentiate where you are in the process of becoming pregnant when choosing your herbs.
Herbs for Cold & Flu – Safe During Pregnancy
Before you take flu and cold medicine while pregnant, use the following list of safe herbs to help cure what ails you.
The following list contains herbs that are safe both in preconception and pregnancy. If you are in this phase of your life, it is good to keep these herbs on hand for making teas or tinctures.
Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea)
The root and/or flower and leaves of this plant are specialists at combatting infection. Note: Echinacea is best taken when there is a problem rather than as a preventative, especially when trying to conceive or when pregnant. (Find echinacea here.)
Elder (Sambucus nigra)
The berry of this shrub is made into syrups, teas, jellies, and even wine. They have been clinically proven to be effective against many strains of the flu. Elder will shorten the time of illness and reduce the severity of symptoms. (Find Elderberry here.)
Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceous)
This is an adaptogen that supports the proper action of the immune system. (Find Astragalus here.)
Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus)
Eleuthero, commonly referred to as Siberian Ginseng, is another great adaptogen. (Find Eleuthero here.)
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)
This aromatic leaf is helpful in reducing congestion. (Find Eucalyptus here.)
Elecampane (Inula helenium)
Elecampane is one of the best prairie natives for congestion. It is beneficial in supporting respiratory conditions, and is known as an expectorant for coughs. (Find Elecampane here.)
Garlic (Allium sativum)
Garlic can be used in small amounts during preconception and pregnancy. It should not be used daily in a clinical dosage.
Mullein (Verbsascum thapsus)
This herb is great for removing congestion and soothing the mucous membranes. (Find Mullein here.)
Plantain (Plantago spp.)
The leaves of this species of plant are soothing and help to reduce congestion. (Find Plantain here.)
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
Valerian isn’t specific for the respiratory system, but is both a safe pain reliever, and makes a great addition in a formula to relieve the spasm of coughing. (Find Valerian here.)
For Mom & Baby
Using any of the plants in this list, singularly or in combination, is sure to provide relief during cold and flu season that is also safe for mom and baby.
There, you found the solution in nature, not the pharmacy! Doesn’t finding and using herbal remedies feel better than worrying it’s safe to take flu and cold medicine while pregnant?
NOTE FROM MATT & BETSY:
If you want more information on natural health before, during, and post-pregnancy, check out Dawn’s book Conceiving Healthy Babies. This comprehensive manual will help guide you through the process of keeping yourself and baby healthy.