Friday, June 13, 2008

Research: Herbs II

I am going to digress from my digressions, for a moment, and take a little time to finish posting my research on herbs for hyperemesis. I have been meaning to do it for ages, so here goes. I think that my research is finished - or at least, my preliminary research is finished. My main problem is that there are so, so many herbs that I have discovered, that I don't know where I would start. That's where further research will come in.

Of course, as always, one of the main problems with herbs (and other remedies for morning sickness) is that they often just aren't powerful enough for hyperemesis. A "gentle soothing tea" for mild morning sickness isn't going to do an HG mum one bit of good. However, some of these herbs do hold great promise, and, as always, I prefer to try natural remedies over pharmaceuticals.

I am going to repost my original entry on herbs, and then just add in my additional material - that will save me a lot of time looking back and forth to avoid duplications. Here goes!

ALFALFA

I don't have any research to back this up - this was just testimonial evidence from a woman on the Arizona Birth Network who said that she used it to tame severe morning sickness. Alfalfa is very high in vitamin K, so that might perhaps have something to do with it. Whatever works!!

Recommended personally by Jessica Wild, doula & student midwife

ANISE

"Anise infusion makes a great morning tea that also curtails morning sickness."
- Jaqulene Harper-Roth, "The Pregnancy Herbal," p. 58

BASIL

"After trying every antinausea drug she could find, she tried a tea of basil leaves - and her vomiting ended. Since I wrote that article, I have heard of numerous doctors who recommend basil to stop vomiting."
- Kathi Kevill, "Herbs for Health and Healing," p. 94

BLACK HOREHOUND

"This herb has a good reputation as a treatment for the nausea of motion sickness. I believe it's also useful as a treatment for vomiting due to pregnancy or nervousness. Try black horehound alone or in this combination: one part black horehound, one part camomile, and two parts meadowsweet. Meadowsweet contains an aspirin-like compound, so if a little aspirin upsets your stomach, you might replace this herb with ginger and/or citrus rind. Try a cup or two a day."
- "The Green Pharmacy," James A. Duke, Ph.D., p. 401

"Black horehound in tincture form can help prevent vomiting. Add one half teaspoon to one cup of hot water and sip two to three times a day."
- "Hey! Who's Having This Baby, Anyway?" Breck Hawk, RN & Midwife

CABBAGE

"Raw or cooked cabbage, cabbage juice and/or sauerkraut are old-time remedies for stomach distress. Sauerkraut juice in particular is reportedly soothing to the overactive intestines that contribute to morning sickness."
- "The Green Pharmacy," James A. Duke, Ph.D., p. 401

CHAMOMILE

"Herb teas to try: peppermint, chamomile, and red raspberry."
- Shonda Parker, "The Naturally Healthy Pregnancy, p. 170

"German chamomile reduces the feeling of nausea and calms the stomach. It can be taken in tincture form - five to ten drops in hot water - or as an infusion, one cup before getting out of bed in the morning. Do not exceed this amount per day."
- "Hey! Who's Having This Baby, Anyway?" Breck Hawk, RN & Midwife

CHINESE HERBS
These really should be in a whole category by themselves, as they really are a discipline distinct from traditional herbalism. I know absolutely nothing about them; however, I have heard them repeatedly mentioned in the quest for morning sickness herbs. Can't hurt to give it a try!

GINGER

This is the main herbal remedy for morning sickness, so I'm going to devote an entire blog entry to it later.

LAVENDER FLOWERS

"Prepare nausea-preventing tea infusions like ginger rhyzome, lavender flowers, peppermint leaf, peach leaf and/or wild yam root."
- Christopher Hobbs, L.Ac., "Herbal Remedies for Dummies," p. 240

LEMON JUICE

"Drinking water with a wedge of lemon squeezed in it is refreshing and liver cleansing."
- Shonda Parker, "The Naturally Healthy Pregnancy," p. 171

MILK THISTLE
Have seen several references for this - it seems to be mainly preventative. I've been taking it myself for several months as a preventative.

"I have found milk thistle (standardized to contain at least 70 - 80% silymarin) to be invaluable in preventing morning sickness. I began taking 2 tablets each day two months prior to this pregnancy and increased to 3 tablets daily when our pregnancy was confirmed. Milk thistle is liver supportive and protective. I feel this is why it worked so well to prevent the nausea and vomiting I have had with every other pregnancy. This would be especially helpful for those moms who vomit bile during pregnancy."
- Shonda Parker, "The Naturally Healthy Pregnancy," p. 171

PEACH LEAF

"Dried peach-leaf tea relieves nausea and morning sickness as well...."
- Jaqulene Harper-Roth, "The Pregnancy Herbal," p. 58

Recommended personally by Jessica Wild, doula & student midwife

"The Chinese use the laves and Europeans use the bark of the peach tree to make a tea for morning sickness. The leaves contain the compound benzaldehyde, which should be of some help in relieving this condition. If you opt for bark, don't use more than a teaspoon."
- "The Green Pharmacy," James A. Duke, Ph.D., p. 401

PEPPERMINT & SPEARMINT

".... a peppermint or spearmint infusion first thing in the morning lifts the spirit and acts as an effective antinausea remedy. Spearment infusion also soothes evening sickness due to hormonal imbalances. Drink 2 cups every 3 hours."
- Jaqulene Harper-Roth, "The Pregnancy Herbal," p. 58

"Several years ago, when I was at a concert, the promoter sought me out and asked if I had anything for nausea - quick. The band was ready to go onstage, but the lead singer was doubled over behind the curtain, vomiting. Fortunately for her and the anxious crowd, I had a vial of peppermint waters with me. This wasn't anything fancy - it was similar to the peppermint flavoring you can buy at grocery stores. The singer took this remedy and in ten minutes, she appeared onstage, all smiles, and went into her first song."
- Kathi Keville, "Herbs for Health and Healing," p. 94

"Herb teas to try: peppermint, chamomile, and red raspberry." - Shonda Parker, "The Naturally Healthy Pregnancy, p. 170

PERILLA
Don't even know what this is - have only seen one reference.

"In Chinese medicine the herb perilla, taken as a tea, is used for morning sickness."
- Christopher Hobbs, L.Ac., "Herbal Remedies for Dummies," p. 240

RED RASPBERRY LEAF
Found a lot of references to this one. It's also a known uterine tonic, known to prepare the uterus for labor and make for easier labor (just for that, I'm planning on downing it by the gallon next time!!).

"Red Raspberry leaf is a classic uterine toner and pregnancy tonic. It prepares the uterus to function at its best. The leaf can ease morning sickness and gently aid digestion."
- "Heart and Hands" by Elizabeth Davis (p. 47)

"Herb teas to try: peppermint, chamomile, and red raspberry."
- Shonda Parker, "The Naturally Healthy Pregnancy, p. 170

"Tea made from raspberry leaves has been widely recommended for curbing the nausea of morning sickness.... the tea has a persistent reputation as a treatment for women's conditions, from menstrual cramps to morning sickness and labor pains. Raspberry leaf is said to contain a constituent, readily extracted with hot water, that relaxes the smooth muscles of the uterus. I'd suggest drinking up to three cups a day. Or combine it with ginger, mint, and a little lemon for a very pleasant antiqueasiness tea."
- "The Green Pharmacy," James A. Duke, Ph.D., p. 401-402

WILD YAM ROOT

"Wild-yam-root infusion or decoction is slower acting, but far safer, than any over-the-counter medications for severe or persistent morning sickness."
- Jaqulene Harper-Roth, "The Pregnancy Herbal," p. 58

YELLOW DOCK

"Yellow Dock: 25-50 mg per day. This is one midwife's first remedy to try."
- "Relief for Morning Sickness" (website unknown - forgot to record it)

RECIPE FOR ANTI-NAUSEA HERBAL TEA

Mix 1 teaspoon each

Fresh ginger
wild yam root
orange peel
lavender flowers

in 4 cups water. Simmer the herbs for a few minutes, then steep the mixture for 20 minutes. Drink 1 cup of the tea 2 or 3 times daily, before meals. If you prefer, mix 2 teaspoon each of the individual tinctures in 1 cup of water and drink 1/2 cup, 2 times daily. Taken from "Herbal Remedies for Dummies" by Christopher Hobbs, L.Ac.

OR

"Mix one part raspberr and peach leaf mixture to two parts peppermint and one half part grated ginger root. Add one quart cold water, heat to simmer, and infuse for twenty minutes."
- "Hey! Who's Having This Baby, Anyway?" Breck Hawk, RN & Midwife

2 comments:

  1. I would just like to thank you for sharing your research. I have 3 children... had severe HG with my 2 girls (not sure why not with the boy- possible because, of course, he's a boy... or because we got pregnant only 5 months after giving birth to the first... helped my hormones maybe?). Anyway, my family recently moved to Germany as missionaries and in March we were excited to learn we were expecting our 4th (& final) child. By April I ended up in the hospital.. but here everything was different. They refused to give me Zofran... until my 3rd week there... and many many pounds lost. They were not real consistent with giving me fluids/vitamins either. Unfortunately then... at 13 weeks, an ultrasound showed no heartbeat. I am convinced it's their lack of understanding of HG and the necessity of fluids! I hate to not try to have another (just for sanity sake) but am tirelessly searching the internet for HELP! Germans are big into Natural Remedies for everything... so as long as I can figure the words out in German, I hope to find them. I also found a site with "candy" type help- Preggy Pops & Queasy Pops. I'm still not sure though that I'm really wanting to put myself, my family, and our new church family in Germany through this- but I will continue to look for helps hoping something will ease my nerves.

    Thanks again!
    Kirsten

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