Parsley And Other Herbal Dangers
If you've always followed a healthy lifestyle, you may be surprised to find that some of the wonderful green seasonings you've made a habit of adding to your salads are downright dangerous for pregnancy. Take a simple herb like parsley, for instance. Parsley, in particular the parsley seeds, should be avoided during pregnancy, since the herb may lead to birth defects and abortion. In essence, all the parts of the parsley plant should be considered as a potential danger to the developing fetus.
Parsley is a powerful muscle stimulant. Since the uterus is a muscle, parsley can cause a fetus to abort. Of course, some herb practitioners state that the herb is only dangerous in its concentrated oil form, or eaten fresh or cooked in large amounts—and that the modest amount used in cooking or salads is harmless to both the pregnant mother and her developing fetus.
On the other hand, traditional folk medicine uses parsley as a treatment for postpartum women. Parsley's tendency to cause strong muscle contractions can help the uterus contract and return to its normal size after birth. Since this type of uterine contraction is related to prolactin hormone production which in turn is necessary for lactation, parsley is considered beneficial in developing the milk supply for new mothers.
Parsley has also been used as an herbal alternative for aborting a pregnancy. The general practice is to have a woman insert sprigs of parsley into the vagina every 12 hours, and to accompany this by drinking a parsley infusion four times a day. This is meant to induce a miscarriage within three days. This is not a safe practice to try at home, since abortions must be supervised by a health care practitioner. If the pregnancy should be an ectopic pregnancy, causing an abortion could prove to be fatal to the pregnant woman.
Parsley, of course, is not the only herb that a pregnant woman should avoid during pregnancy. While this is not meant to be a complete list of contraindicated herbs to be avoided during pregnancy, here is a list of herbs which bring on contractions and bleeding:
Black cohosh-safe during the final two weeks of pregnancy
Blue cohosh- safe during the final two weeks of pregnancy