Echinacea And Pregnancy – Can I Continue Taking This Supplement?
Even though the herb has been used for centuries, only a few studies were conducted on Echinacea and pregnancy. Hence, the safety of the herb during pregnancy is harder to establish. The few studies that were conducted on Echinacea and pregnancy, reported mixed results.
Echinacea medical plant has been used to as a medicine for treating infections, skin conditions and increasing immune system in humans for more than 400 years. Some Echinacea benefits include relief from cold, flu, upper respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infection and wound healing.
In the recent years the duo of Echinacea and goldenseal as a supplement is increasing in popularity as it causes rare to only mild side effects. The completing properties of both herbs are effective in treating cold, infections, fever and headaches etc.
Although no significant side effects were found by the usage of the Echinacea herb, some of the Echinacea side effects can include abdomen pain, vomiting, nausea, dizziness etc. In rare cases the herb can also cause allergic reactions, especially in people allergic to certain types of flowering plants.
Although a rough consensus of all the studies that focused on Echinacea and pregnancy, concluded that the use of the herb while pregnant did not affect the normal development of the fetus. A research study concluded that the use of the herb will not cause abnormalities in the fetal development during pregnancy, but it is unclear what the effects of the herb will be on the child when consumed while breast feeding. Other study concluded that it is wise to stop the supplement during pregnancy as the herb promoted spontaneous abortions, reducing the number of delivered fetuses.
Studies also found that high Echinacea dosage of certain supplements, containing alcohol, can cause birth defects. Some supplements when tested for quality, were found to be contaminated by lead, which can affect the baby’s brain development. Hence, although there is no significant evidence that report Echinacea and pregnancy complications, the herb must be taken only under medical supervision in recommended doses.