In honor of the Great Mother and all mothers, I present this to you.
Many herbs common in studies and magical practice are dangerous to use during pregnancy. Mugwort tea, for example, part of any standard divination ritual for many practitioners, will cause miscarriage (even late in pregnancy) and subsequent bleeding. Fortunately, most herbs are safe to handle in small amounts, such as charging and placing in spell bags, sprinkling around a ritual circle, or garnishing candles. Essential oils, frankincense, stains, consumption, and magical baths are of great concern, as they all involve contact with the skin, mucous membranes, and greatly alter individual chemistry.
Perfectly safe when done OUTSIDE and in small doses! Sitting in a smoky room is unhealthy (carbon monoxide), so it is generally contraindicated to stain during pregnancy. Prolonged staining without adequate ventilation is a recipe for miscarriage. If you are looking to cleanse your aura and prepare for the ritual, salt baths are lovely, however many essential oils should be avoided in your blends.
An oil diffuser is a great way to enjoy the aromatherapy and magical properties of plants, especially as a healthy alternative to incense for those in poor health or with a smoke allergy. For the anal retentive, yes, it still corresponds to the Air element. Add a pen if you need more visual aids.
All essential oils are contraindicated during the first trimester (and should be avoided entirely in high-risk pregnancies); however, if you lose your favorite scent, floral waters (hydrosols) are widely available and can be safely used as they are not. almost as concentrated as pure essential oils. After the first trimester, most citrus oils are considered safe, including bergamot, at a dilution rate of 1 to 50%; Evergreen oils like cedar (Atlas, Virginia, and Texas cedars inclusive), as well as pungent or irritating oils (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice) should be avoided entirely. The following list is far from complete, and some herbalists are much more conservative than others, and opinions, experience, and science influence the vote in one way or another. Avoid the following or do more research on dilution rates.
Allspice (Pimenta officinalis)
Anise seed (Pimpinella anisum)
Balsam, Peru (Myroxylon balsamum)
Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Bay (Pimenta racemosa)
Bay laurel (Laurus nobilis)
Bergamot mint (Mentha citrata)
Cajeput (Melaleuca minor)
Camphor (Cinnamonum camphora)
Carrot seed (Daucus carota)
Catnip (Nepeta cataria)
Cedar wood, Atlas (Cedrus atlantica)
Cedar Wood, Virginia (Juniperus virginiana)
Celery seed (Apium graveolens)
Cinnamon (C. zeylanicum)
Citronella (Cymbopogon winterianus)
Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)
Clove (Eugenia aromatica)
Copaiba Balm (Copaifera officinalis)
Coriander seed (Coriandrum sativum)
Corn mint (Mentha arvensis)
Dill seed (Anethum graveolens)
Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus, E. citriodora)
Sweet fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
Galangal (Alpinia officinalis)
Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
Grapefruit, white (Citrus paradisi)
Ho wood (Cinnamomum camphora)
Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)
Juniper berry (Juniperus communis)
Labdanum (Cistus ladaniferus)
Lavender, Spike (Lavendula latifolia)
Lemon (Citrus limonium)
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus)
Lemon myrtle (Backhousia citriodora)
Lime skin (Citrus aurantifolia)
Celery (Levisticum officinalis)
Tangerine, Red (Citrus reticulata)
Sweet marjoram (Marjorana hortensis)
Wild marjoram (Thymus mastichina)
Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)
Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)
Myrtle (Myrtus communis)
Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans)
Opopanax (Commiphora guidotii)
Orange (Citrus sinesis, C. aurantium)
Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
Parsley seed (Petroselinum sativum)
Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris)
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Sage (Salvia officinalis)
Salty, winter (Satureja montana)
Fir (Tsuga canadensis)
Tagetes (Tagetes minuta)
Tangerine (Citrus reticulata)
Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus)
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Ylang-Ylang (Cananga odorata)
Wondering what you CAN use? Actually, quite a few of the oils listed above are safe, but only under the guidance of an experienced aromatherapist. For example, many pregnant women do not have a negative reaction to ylang-ylang, however if you also have liver damage or suffer from epilepsy and severe migraines, it could cause a problem. This is not something I can help you with over the net, so I tend to go wrong on the cautious side!
The following are considered safe by most aromatherapists; however, ALWAYS dilute your essential oils in a base or carrier oil (jojoba and sweet almond are fine), DO NOT, under any circumstances, take essential oils internally, and when in doubt ask your herbalist, midwife or obstetrician / gynecologist.
Benzoin, Bergamot, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Neroli, Orange, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Spearmint, Tea Tree, and Vetiver.
Rose, Jasmine, and Clary Sage can be helpful during actual labor.
Don’t eat mugwort, wormwood, yarrow, prickly ash, slippery elm, chaste berry, motherwort, parsley, and any of the poisonous herbs, OBVIOUSLY. Some people do not recommend ginger during pregnancy, as it is considered a mild stimulant, but it is the most helpful treatment for morning sickness. Just cut some of a fresh ginger root, cover it with almost boiling water, and let it steep for about five minutes. Drink it slowly; you’ll feel better in a few moments. This really needs to be done with the fresh root, as powdered ginger is terribly acidic.
This has by no means been exhaustive! Keep researching, keep learning. If you need more information, feel free to contact your OB / GYN as more doctors in this field are educating themselves on the benefits and dangers of alternative medicine.