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Naturopathy/herb safety during pregnancy

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Question
Dr. Conner:

I have terrible insomnia while pregnant from start to finish.  Is there a natural supplement, herbal or otherwise, that I can safely take for sleeplessness/anxiety.  I have used L-theanine with good results in the past but did not know if it is safe during pregnancy. Also, how much ginger can be safely taken for nausea? Thanks!

Lynn

Answer
Hello Lynn,
Theanine is a newer supplement and there's not enough evidence to prove it's safe during pregnancy.  Some herbals are ok during pregnancy for most women in small amounts, such as milky oats, chamomile, and lemon balm.  Teas or glycerin-based tinctures (1/4-1 tsp, depending on strength) are safest and quite effective.  For ginger, the safest and easiest way to take ginger is ginger tea sipped throughout the day or dried ginger (sweetened is more palatable), small bites throughout the day.  A couple cups or tablespoons is safe for most women, but I cannot tell you what's optimal for you, and it can vary on strength of the preparation.  
You may want to try other treatments such as homeopathics, acupuncture, or massage which can be very safe and help with other symptoms as well.  
In health,
Dr Conner

Naturopathy

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Kristina Conner, ND, MSOM

Expertise

Naturopathic Medicine, Oriental/ Chinese medicine, Nutrition, Natural Family Medicine, Detoxification/ Cleansing, Herbal Medicine, Natural Remedies, Acupuncture

Experience

Licensed Naturopathic Physician for 11 years Currently: Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Sciences, National University of Health Sciences, Lombard, IL

Organizations
American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, member Illinois Association of Naturopathic Physicians, member and Secretary

Education/Credentials
Bastyr University, doctor of naturopathic medicine University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine, residency in family and integrated medicine National University of Health Sciences, master of science in Oriental medicine

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