Not many things can compete with a kitchen full of herbs. The fragrances, the blossoms and the play of colors are intoxicating. Herbs take a central place in many kitchens and every culture has its own range of favorite ones. Living in the city or the countryside, everyone can grow their own herbs. Freshly picked or bought, herbs make every dish taste better. It is often said that certain herbs, tasted by a longing palate, might bring the toughest man to tears, remembering his mother’s cuisine.
Pregnant women should consider everything they eat. As wonderful as they are, herbs sometimes hold components that should not be consumed while pregnant. Here are four common ones, found in almost every kitchen:
- Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) – Although parsley originates from the Mediterranean and naturalized in Europe, it is grown almost all over the world. Parsley leaves are often used in salads and cooked dishes. Parsley is also known for its medicinal benefits. Medicinally, it is said to stimulate menstrual flow and might provoke a miscarriage.
- Sage (Salvia officinalis) – Used for tea, salads and many cooked dishes, sage is a key ingredient in many kitchens. Being an evergreen perennial shrub makes it a favorite in many gardens. Sage is best known for its medicinal use as a natural remedy for disorders in the digestive system. In pregnancies, sage has been linked to miscarriages and high blood.
- Basil (Ocimum basilicum) – Basil is best known for its use in the Italian cuisine. Spread with a loving hand, every salad becomes fresher with some basil leaves. Alas, basil is used for producing Estragole, a substance used in the perfume industry and for food flavoring. Avoid consuming the oil while pregnant.
- Oregano (Origanum vulgare) – Used in many dishes and salads, oregano is a very popular herb. It is native in Europe, the Mediterranean region and Asia but grown all over the world. It is said to be safe to use in small quantities in the kitchen. Oregano’s medicinal uses are numerous but for pregnant women it may cause miscarriages and premature labors as well as uterine stimulation.