Also known as kola nut, a plant native to areas of West Africa. The plant is not common in the Philippines but cola is an ingredient in many soft drinks. Not only do these soft drinks contain high amounts of sugar, they also have caffeine from the cola. Avoid both excessive sugar and caffeine during pregnancy.
Ephedra (Ma Huang)
While the cure for COVID-19 has not yet been discovered, people have been promoting the use of traditional Chinese medicines. Ma huang, or ephedra, relieves respiratory symptoms like cough, congestion, and runny nose caused by asthma or the flu. Several weight-loss supplements and performance-enhancing products contain ephedra.
Despite its use in traditional Chinese medicine, the US FDA has banned ma huang. Ma huang is a stimulant drug, similar to ephedrine. It is not safe to take while pregnant. Side effects include nausea, increased risk of stroke, heart arrhythmia, and possibly death.
Cinnamon adds flavor and aroma to food and drinks. However, during pregnancy, it should be avoided. Cinnamon essential oils can cause fetal malformation if ingested orally. If you enjoy cinnamon-flavored desserts and drinks, a few sprinkles will not likely cause harm.
Now that you know what herbs are safe for pregnancy, you can start or continue to use these to treat minor ailments. The herbs to avoid while pregnant are only a small fraction of the many substances that are potentially dangerous. All herbs can be toxic in large amounts and you should never intentionally take any herbs to induce an abortion.
This information serves to educate but only a doctor can recommend which herbs are suitable for you during pregnancy.
Learn more about Herbal Medicine here.