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Safe Herbs for Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Safe Herbs for Pregnancy and Breastfeeding - Harmonic Arts

Elizabeth Ferns |

Moms do it all and they deserve the best. Carrying and nurturing a baby from the moment of conception is no easy feat, and that loving care never stops. So much work goes into reading books and researching the healthiest options for a growing family, but don’t forget to take care of you, too!

Kick up your feet and allow us to do some of that work for you. We sat down with Angela Willard, Clinical Herbalist and Co-Founder of Harmonic Arts, to compile a list of safe herbs for pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Disclaimer: Please consult a trusted practitioner before adding any herbs to your routine, especially while pregnant or breastfeeding. Midwives and herbalists can be a great place to start. They will help you find the right herbs and dosage for your unique health needs.


Safe Herbs for Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Research on the use of herbs during pregnancy is limited. Most of what is known is based on historical and traditional use, along with observational evidence and some animal studies.

Because of this, it’s important to focus on herbs that we know are gentle and don’t have cumulative effects. Angela has focused on nutritive and nervine herbs since they are considered safe for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.


Nutritive herbs are nourishing and amplify the health of mom and baby as they are packed with essential antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Working with these herbs in the form of an herbal infusion is a great way to reap the benefits. Steep any of the following herbs for at least 30 minutes to release active compounds, then strain and sip throughout the week. These herbal allies are safe during pregnancy and postpartum and the infusions can be kept in the fridge for 4-5 days.

  • Alfalfa¬†
  • Elderberry¬†¬†
  • Echinacea¬†
  • Ginger Root¬†
  • Nettles¬†
  • Nori¬†
  • Oatstraw¬†
  • Red Raspberry Leaf¬†
  • Slippery Elm¬†


Nervines are known for their affinity to relax and regulate the nervous system. These soothing herbs aid in reducing stress and promoting restful sleep. In a time that can feel uncertain, exciting, and everything in between, nervine herbs can provide a sense of calm. These herbs can be prepared like any other hot cup of tea. Steep for 3-5 minutes, sip and enjoy.

  • Chamomile¬†
  • Ginkgo*
  • Gotu Kola*
  • Lavender¬†
  • Lemon Balm¬†
  • Milky Oats¬†
  • Motherwort*
  • Passionflower¬†
  • Rose Petals¬†
  • Skullcap¬†

*Ginkgo, Gotu Kola and Motherwort are not recommended during pregnancy but are safe to consume while breastfeeding.

1-2 cups per day of nutritive or nervine herbs will provide plenty of soothing and nourishing benefits. Focus on clean and reputable sources to ensure the best quality. Our Dream Artisan Tea is calming and promotes deep sleep. Our Songbird Artisan Tea was formulated with our local midwives in mind! This herbal formula is safe to consume when pregnant and breastfeeding.


Herbs to Avoid

To remove some of the guesswork, we’ve compiled a list of herbs that should be avoided while pregnant or breastfeeding.






Cascara Sagrada 

Castor Oil  







Isoflavone Extracts (i.e. Soy or Red Clover) 




Oregon Grape 







Scotch Broom 









*Oregano and Peppermint are safe for culinary use and flavouring, but not recommended in larger quantities for therapeutic use.


We understand the need to take extra caution while pregnant and breastfeeding. Safety for mom and baby is of the utmost importance. We recommend reading the work of Dr. Aviva Romm for further support and guidance during this precious time. Dr. Romm is an MD, Midwife, and great resource on many Women’s Health topics, especially pertaining to pregnancy and postpartum.


Click here to shop our Botanical Dispensary, where you can find many of the safe herbs mentioned in this blog. We only source organic or wild-harvested herbs to ensure you receive the highest quality and most potent plant medicine.