Last Updated on April 15, 2021 by Ines
Lemongrass and Pregnancy
Questions about food safety are one of the most common topics during pregnancy. There are a lot of questionable foods, but I want to focus on lemongrass for this article. Is lemongrass safe during pregnancy? Can you drink lemongrass tea in pregnancy? This article will answer all your questions regarding consuming lemongrass during pregnancy.
A healthy diet significantly affects our well-being and health. But there are specific stages in our lives when eating healthy food is especially important, and pregnancy is definitely one of them.
Some foods are very beneficial for pregnant women and even contribute to a proper fetus’s growth and development. But there are foods you should avoid during pregnancy. While some cause only minor problems such as reflux, others contain certain substances that can be harmful to a pregnant woman and her baby.
Is lemongrass safe for pregnant women?
Although lemongrass in small amounts, such as in Thai recipes, is considered safe during pregnancy, it’s advised not to consume it concentrated. That’s why it is better to avoid lemongrass supplements or lemongrass tea, where it’s present in higher concentrations.
Lemongrass has many active ingredients with a positive effect on human health. But it also contains certain substances such as myrcene, which could cause potentially harmful effects in pregnancy. Of course, I am talking about high doses! Myrcene, when consumed in high doses, affects proper fetus’s bone development and can even result in a miscarriage.
Potential lemongrass side effects in pregnancy
These are “only” potential side effects in pregnancy, as studies on humans have not been done yet. Lemongrass’s effects on reproduction have been conducted only on animals, more specific, on rats.
So, these are only logical conclusions obtained from animal studies, which do not always give the same results as human studies. We can only assume that lemongrass has the same side effects on human reproduction too.
Lemongrass may cause the following side effects to a pregnant woman:
1. A sudden decrease in blood sugar levels:
Drinking a lot of lemongrass tea can cause a sudden drop in blood glucose, which can cause tiredness and dizziness. Pregnant women with gestational diabetes should not drink lemongrass tea or take any lemongrass supplements!
2. Lemongrass can trigger allergies:
You probably already know if you are allergic to lemongrass. If you don’t know yet, don’t try it while pregnant for the first time. Common allergic reactions vary from mild itching to more severe reactions, like swollen throat, shortness of breath, and chest pain.
3. Lemongrass tea stimulates menstrual flow:
Women with irregular menstruation often drink lemongrass tea, as it stimulates the menstrual flow. Therefore, drinking lemongrass tea during pregnancy is not recommended. It’s believed that high doses of certain compounds in lemongrass could cause tears to the fetal membrane and trigger a miscarriage.
Possible side effects on the fetus:
- abnormal bone development
Can I use Lemongrass Oil while pregnant?
Lemongrass is a well known natural insect repellent, which repels mosquitoes and flies. There is no problem with using dilutes lemongrass oil for spraying around your home. If you are not allergic, adding a few drops of lemongrass oil to your bath shouldn’t cause problems as well.
But avoid applying the undiluted lemongrass oil directly to your skin, because it can burn or irritate your skin. Always dilute it with a carrier oil, such as lavender, rose, or geranium oil.
Lemongrass is not a lemon!
Lemongrass and lemons are two completely different plants. While lemon oil is considered safe, you should be extra careful if using lemongrass oil during pregnancy!
Yes, you can use small amounts of diluted lemongrass oil for pain relief, but take a skin patch test first.
There are many other natural remedies, like peppermint oil, for headache relief that are considered safe during pregnancy, so I don’t see why you would use lemongrass oil anyway.
What is lemongrass?
Lemongrass can grow to a height of almost two meters. It has dark green leaves with sharp edges that are brighter and thicker towards the roots. It thrives in sunny, warmer areas and does not tolerate low temperatures.
It is widely used as a spice in cuisine. Many people also drink lemongrass tea or use its extract (lemongrass essential oil).
Lemongrass is a popular natural remedy for various health issues:
- Regular consumption stimulates the maintenance of optimal levels of triglycerides in the blood and reduces bad cholesterol in the body.
- Lemongrass has diuretic properties, so it helps cleanse toxins from the body.
- It is effective in mild forms of gastrointestinal problems. Lemongrass tea helps with diarrhea, mild gastritis, and nausea.
- Its tea helps with stress and insomnia.
- Lemongrass relieves headaches.
- Due to its high content of vitamins, Ayurvedic medicine use it to treat colds, coughs, and asthma problems.
Scientific studies regard the lemongrass effects on human reproductions had not have been done yet. However, there were few studies on animals, from which healthcare providers concluded that it’s better to avoid lemongrass, especially in the concentrated form like in lemongrass tea or lemongrass supplements.
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