The Pregnancy Guide: The Best Herbs for Pregnancy

The Pregnancy Guide: The Best Herbs for Pregnancy

Why Pregnancy and Herbs?

Many women discover the incredible benefits of using herbs for pregnancy as an alternative to OTC options. If you’re currently pregnant or you’ve ever been pregnant, then you know that many common drugstore medications are not recommended either due to research indicating harmful outcomes or a lack of peer-reviewed studies. 

So, what’s a mama to do when the aches and pains or the dreaded nausea feel relentless? Use herbs, of course! Herbs have been used for 60,000 years to support humans through the inevitable aches and pains of being human (and pregnant!). 

For many moms-to-be, turning to herbs is  brand new. Using herbs for pregnancy can feel intimidating! Learning about a new way of treating and healing your body can feel overwhelming – especially when growing a human. That’s why we’re here. 

Our herbal pregnancy guide will give you the information you need to seek out the most beneficial herbs for the symptoms you are experiencing. As a note, we are not medical professionals and our recommendations are for support not treatment for these pregnancy-related ailments. This information should not take the place of medical care and advice from your healthcare provider. Additionally, not all herbs are safe for pregnancy. This guide includes the herbs determined to be the safest for use during this time.

We’ve organized this guide by trimester highlighting the symptoms most experienced in each. However, none of these herbs are trimester-specific so you can reach for the herbal remedies that match your symptoms at any point in pregnancy.

Herbs for the First Trimester

During the first trimester, mamas start feeling some of the more intense symptoms that we typically associate with pregnancy. Nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, brain fog, and intense emotions are common pregnancy symptoms due to the rapid hormonal shifts during the first twelve weeks. 

There aren't words to describe how challenging this time can be for many expecting mothers. Fortunately, there’s an abundance of pregnancy-safe herbs. All the herbs mentioned here should be consumed either as dry, loose herbs or as a tincture. 

Nausea and Vomiting

Ginger is incredibly helpful for alleviating gastrointestinal symptoms and of course, nausea. Ginger is also carminative, meaning it relieves gas and bloating making it an excellent second and third-trimester option as well. If using daily for nausea, try to use ginger in a blend to avoid developing an aversion to the flavor.

There are a lot of ginger products on the market but many of them contain negligible amounts that won't have an impact on symptoms. When looking for ginger for pregnancy, you'll want to avoid products that are mainly filler. It’s best to purchase ginger from a reliable source so that you know you are receiving the most potent and effective dose. Speaking of dosage, during pregnancy you shouldn’t exceed one gram of ginger per day if taking capsule supplements

Spearmint and peppermint are also excellent for relieving nausea, indigestion, vomiting, and gas. Oh, the joys of pregnancy! For peppermint, it's important to note that you'll want to stay at a low dose.

Chamomile is one of the most wonderful all-around herbs for pregnancy because it addresses several symptoms – and it smells heavenly!  Chamomile is a nervine meaning it's restorative for the nervous system. Yes, please!  Chamomile is ideal for pregnancy since it’s relaxing, it’s a gentle sleep aid, and it’s a digestion aid. 

Lemon balm is another excellent multi-symptom herb for pregnancy. Like chamomile, it’s a nervine. However, lemon balm has the added benefit of being not just calming but also indicated for nervousness and anxiety. It's also a carminative, meaning it helps reduce gas.

Sunshower Wellness makes Settle Anti-Nausea tea containing ginger, chamomile, spearmint, and peppermint. This soothing combination can be sipped all day long to alleviate symptoms. The ingredients are all organic and thoughtfully blended to support relief from stubborn pregnancy nausea and vomiting.

Nutrient Depletion

One of the main side effects of nausea, vomiting, and GI symptoms is a loss of appetite – and nutrients. Not to mention it’s pretty draining creating a whole human! The first trimester is a crucial time for nutrition so it’s important to find other ways to support the body when you can’t tolerate eating many foods. Herbs are an incredible option for supporting and restoring the body’s nutritive stores.  

Oatstraw is a nutritive herb that’s high in iron, manganese, and zinc. A note: if you’re sensitive to gluten or celiac you’ll want to confirm there’s no cross contamination. 

Nettle is also quite nourishing and known for its high mineral content, particularly iron.

Sunshower’s Nourish Tea contains organic chamomile, nettle, lemon balm, linden, passionflower, oatstraw, plantain leaf, and spearmint to help rejuvenate and nourish your body.

Herbs for the Second and Third Trimester

While nausea resolves for some women during the second trimester, this isn’t always the case (sadly!). If nausea is still an issue, the herbs mentioned above are supportive options that can absolutely continue to be used throughout pregnancy.  

There really is not a “typical” trajectory of experiences during pregnancy but generally speaking, the second and third trimester bring some additional experiences including insomnia, continued emotional shifts, heartburn, and more aches and pains. Anxiety can also make an appearance as birth and baby begin to feel more imminent.

Insomnia and Mood 

Insomnia is one of the most experienced pregnancy symptoms. Sleep is so important for pregnant mothers and should be addressed. There are several pregnancy-safe herbs for sleep. 

One of these herbs is milky oats. This powerhouse herb is a nervine (restorative to the nervous system), can help fight exhaustion/fatigue and insomnia, and reduces stress, tension, and irritability. 

Reishi is also extremely helpful. This pregnancy-safe mushroom reduces inflammation, supports immune function,relieves symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, and depression, improves energy, and improves cognitive function.

Skullcap is another calming, gentle sleep aid that helps with insomnia and nervous system fatigue.

Some pregnancy-safe floral friends also known for supporting mood and stress: Passionflower is an anti-anxiety bloom with mild muscle relaxant properties (goodbye round ligament pain!), and it helps with insomnia and reduces irritability. Lavender is also an anti-anxiety herb with calming, relaxing, and stress-reducing properties. It’s also a gentle sleep aid that helps with insomnia and it can help with (mild) depression and help reduce irritability.

We created our sleep support product with mamas in mind – it’s pregnancy safe and blended to facilitate restful sleep without drowsiness or grogginess. We source the honey in our Sleepy Syrup from a local Colorado farm. It’s packed with goodness including skullcap, passionflower, lavender, and wildflower honey. We recommend stirring it into tea or dropping it straight into your mouth like a mama bear on the way to your den!

Feeling anxious and on edge during pregnancy is completely normal. However,a regulated nervous system is important for our overall health. Sunshower Wellness makes a truly life-changing pregnancy-safe stress support Restore tincture with milky oats, reishi, and chamomile. 


We recommend using an herbal steam for congestion (it gets right to the source!) with lavender, rosemary, peppermint or spearmint, and mullein. 

To create an herbal steam: 

  1. Add herbs to a tea bag, sachet, or leave loose, and bring water to a low boil to release the volatile oils in the herbs
  2. Reduce the heat, drape a tea towel or hand towel over your head to direct steam into your airways and take deep inhalations to breathe the soothing and relieving properties into your body. 

Aches and Pains

We highly recommend sticking to natural, non-toxic topical products during pregnancy (and always, really!). Our skin is our largest organ and absorbs what we put on it. Our herbal marketplace sources Belly to Baby Balm and it is a must-have in your herbal toolkit for all phases of pregnancy. 

Belly to Baby Balm is a nourishing and anti-inflammatory herbal salve crafted with six traditional herbs used by midwives as well as arnica oil for inflammation support. This beautiful balm is specifically formulated to nurture skin tissues from pregnancy through postpartum (more on that later!). *Adds to cart*

Headaches are one of the more challenging pregnancy symptoms to treat since many OTC pain relievers have been found to have negative effects on developing babies. A lot of traditional "headache herbs" (like feverfew, and willow) are contraindicated in pregnancy. Hydration is crucial to help avoid headaches. Sipping Quench Tea can help! Marshmallow root is the key herb here and it helps seal in moisture to our body. Also, reducing stress and tension in our bodies is helpful for headaches. Herbs like skullcap and lavender are supportive here.

Herbs to Avoid

Some herbs should be avoided during pregnancy but it’s vital to note these are to be avoided in medicinal doses. One cup of tea here and there is not an issue with most of these herbs. Many of these are commonly used in supplements, teas, foods, and drinks. If you are unsure please reach out to get more information and consider an herbal consultation.

Some herbs are safe to use only in culinary amounts or very low doses including sage, turmeric, rosemary, cinnamon, rosemary, and thyme. Otherwise avoid the following herbs during pregnancy:

  • Ashwagandha 
  • Bladderwrack
  • Burdock (avoid in the first trimester)
  • Cannabis (avoid ingestion but topical CBD can be used to your comfort level)
  • Calendula (avoid internally in very high doses)
  • Fenugreek
  • Feverfew
  • Ginseng (best to be used under professional care with a clinical herbalist or health professional)
  • Kava kava
  • Motherwort
  • Shatavari 
  • Schisandra
  • Hops (in high quantities)
  • Valerian (best to be avoided as studies are not clear on the impact)
  • Yarrow (avoid internal use)

Recommended Products

Nourish tea 

Quench tea

Restore tincture

Sleepy Syrup

Belly to Baby Balm

Settle Tea


Botanical Medicine for Women's Health by Aviva Romm MD

Herbal Vade Mecum by Gazmend Skenderi

Christopher Hobbs's Medicinal Mushrooms: The Essential Guide by Christopher Hobbs

Herbal Healing for Women by Rosemary Gladstar

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