10 Herbal Remedies for Common Pregnancy Complaints
By Meagan - May 07, 2014
This past year, while I was pregnant with my daughter, I was determined to have the most natural pregnancy possible. This was as pretty daunting goal, give that there are so many different symptoms that women can face during pregnancy. Luckily, many of them can be treated naturally! Today I want to share 12 natural remedies for some of the most common pregnancy complaints with you in hopes that you too can strive to have a more natural, healthy pregnancy the next time around!
Morning SicknessMorning sickness is most likely the first symptom you think of when you think about pregnancy- and likely the first symptom you would experience, too! When I was pregnant, I was sick every day for two months. Ginger is one of the most commonly used remedies to treat morning sickness. This is an easy and tasty way to use ginger medicinally: Ginger Tincture 2 lightly packed cups freshly grated ginger 2.5 cups vodka
- Place ginger in pint jar
- Fill jar 1 inch from the top with vodka
- Store for 2-6 weeks
- Strain ginger our with a t-shirt or cheesecloth, pour vodka into tincture bottles.
- Take tincture for nausea or indigestion as needed.
SwellingChances are that, at some point during your pregnancy, you'll experience some type of swelling. Also known as edema, this swelling most commonly happens in the feet and ankles, and is most prevalent in the later months of pregnancy, during hot weather, or after prolonged standing or exertion. Excess water weight is retained by the body and appears in this often unsightly and annoying manner. If you find yourself the victim of pregnancy swelling, try this herbal tea, featuring corn silks: Herbal Diuretic Tea 2 teaspoons of dandelion root ½ teaspoon of nettle leaf ½ teaspoon of oat straw ½ teaspoon of fennel seed ½ teaspoon of dried corn silks
- Add herbs to one quart of boiling water
- Turn off heat and steep for 20 minutes.
- Drink up to two cups per day to relieve fluid retention.
Urinary Tract InfectionsMany, many women suffer from Urinary Tract Infections during pregnancy. There are countless reasons why: we have to urinate more often, our immune systems are repressed, we don't drink enough water to stay properly hydrated. Whatever the reason may be, UTIs are painful and bothersome. Never fear, your herbs are here! The above diuretic blend can work well, and so can this: Cranberry-Echinacea Refresher 2 teaspoons dried echinacea, steeped in 2 cups water for 10 minutes 2 tablespoons pure cranberry juice (not cocktail or sweetened)
- Prepare echinacea tea, chill.
- Fill a tall glass halfway full with echinacea tea
- Add 2 tablespoons of cold cranberry juice
- Top off with plain water, ice cubes.
Muscle CrampingLeg Cramps and charley-horse are as annoying as they are random. To prevent these, make sure you are getting enough calcium and magnesium, as well as potassium. Half of a banana before bed can work wonders! Here is a mineral-rich tea blend that will help with your Cal-Mag levels, too: Calcium and Magnesium Balance Tea 1/4c alfalfa 1/4c oatstraw 1/8c peppermint Honey or other sweetener to taste
- Blend all herbs together in large bowl or container.
- Steep 1-2tsp of tea blend in a cup of water for 5-10 minutes.
- Strain and enjoy! Most effective if used daily to keep levels even.
Skin IssuesSkin issues may be the bane of the pregnant woman's existence. Whether you've got skin that is dry, itchy, and flaky, or your skin has suddenly turned oily and succumbed to acne, one thing is for sure- it's not fun and it needs to go! If you are suffering from dry skin, try this: Calendula and Chamomile Skin Oil 1/2 cup dried calendula flowers 1/2 cup dried chamomile flowers Light oil, such as almond, jojoba, or sesame
- Place dried flowers in a glass jar.
- fill jar with oil until flowers are completely covered.
- Let stand for at least 2 weeks in a dark place, shaking gently each day.
- When ready to use, strain out flowers.
- Use liberally to moisturize skin.
- 1. Prepare lavender tea by steeping 1 teaspoon of lavender buds in a cup of hot water for about 10 minutes
- 2. Mix clay and tea tree oil with lavender tea, adding a teaspoon at a time until you reach desired consistency
- 3. Spread on face, let sit for at least 20 minutes.
- 4. Rinse off with remaining lavender tea
InsomniaMaybe you're reading this post at 3am because you woke up and you can't get back to sleep to save your life. It's way more common than you might think, especially in the later months of pregnancy- yes, you're exhausted throughout the day, yet can't sleep at night! If this is you, these herbs may help. Sleepytime Tea 1 teaspoon chamomile flowers 1 teaspoon lavender flowers Hot water
- Steep herbs in hot water for 5-10 minutes
- Drink as needed to help you sleep.
ConstipationBowels slowed down a bit since baby's on the way? You aren't alone. Constipation is extremely common as the hormone relaxin rushed through your body, making your joints all loosey-goosey (great for pushing a large baby out of your pelvis) but, unfortunately, relaxing your colon as well, making it more difficult to, well, you know. In addition, your body needs more water these days, and if you don't provide it, it'll take whatever it can find- meaning, yes, that dehydration can be behind your problem as well. So drink up, my blossoming belly friends! Add some fiber to your diet as well- here's a great way to do it: Smooth Move Elixir 1 Tablespoon Psyllium Seed Powder 2 Tablespoons Blackstrap Molasses 1.5 Cups Water
- Place all ingredients in cup, stir quickly to combine.
- Drink immediately!
- Repeat 1-3 times per day to relieve constipation.
Lack of Energy/ FatigueI think that lack of energy effects nearly every pregnant woman at some time or another. Whether it's the incessant need to nap during the first trimester or the sheer exhaustion of carrying around 20+ pounds of extra weight in the third (while not sleeping well at night), chances are that you'd give anything for a little jolt of life! Making sure that your hormones are balanced, your liver is cleansed, and your vitamin and mineral levels are appropriate will serve as great building blocks for you to get through the day with a smile. Here's a few herbal formulas to try: Vitamin B Tincture 4 T alfalfa, cut 4 T fenugreek, whole 5 T burdock, cut 2 T nettle, cut 3 T catnip, cut 1 T dandelion leaf, cut 3 T chamomile flowers 4 T eleuthero (siberian ginseng), cut 1 T cayenne, garlic, or onion 3 T gingko leaf (optional), cut Vodka
- Place herbs in a quart jar
- Fill jar with vodka, leaving 1-2in from the lid.
- Clsoe tightly and store for 2-4 weeks in a cool, dry place.
- Shake gently daily.
- After storing, strain and discard herbs.
- Bottle liquid and label it.
- Take 3-6 droppers daily with food!
- Place all herbs in glass jar.
- Cover herbs with hot water.
- Cover and let sit overnight.
- Strain out herbs.
- Drink throughout the day for iron boost!
Lowered Immune FunctionBoosting the immune system is one of the most important things you can do for your health, and the health of your baby, during your pregnancy. The immune system is naturally repressed during this time, so your body needs all of the outside help it can get! While pregnant, you want to avoid antibiotics, and really any medications, if possible- these all can effect the baby in various ways. Instead, try to treat things naturally, and only turn to medications if necessary. But first, take preventative measures! This immunity-boosting beverage is just the ticket: Immunity Boosting Beverage 3/4 in chunk of ginger, peeled and cut into slivers 1-2 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed with the side of a knife Juice and pulp of 1/2 a lemon 1-2 T raw honey As much cayenne pepper as you can stand! 1 T Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (optional)
- Put all ingredients in a glass jar.
- Top ingredients with hot (but not boiling) water.
- Let steep for 10 minutes or until drinkable.
- Drink 1-3 times daily- more often if you are actually sick!