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took pau d' arco and sassafras before knowing I was pregnant

Last post 04-21-2009 1:50 PM by RobsGirl. 3 replies.
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  • 04-17-2009 5:08 AM

    took pau d' arco and sassafras before knowing I was pregnant

    Hi ladies,

    This past month, on day 4 of what I thought was a new cycle, I started a detox cleanse using a kit from a local herb company. Cleanse consisted of drinking a tea blend twice daily and using 3 different tincture mixtures 3xs/day and following a diet that eliminated wheat, dairy, eggs, animal products, caffeine, alcohol, plus a few other random things. Before I started the cleanse I took a pregnancy test. Even though I had just gotten my "period" my basal temps were higher than usual for pre-ovulation and I just wanted to double-check before beginning the cleanse. Test came out negative.  1 1/2 weeks into the cleanse my temps are still high and the entire time since getting my "period" I was spotting brown, so I took another test. This time it came out positive. There's no way I became pregnant in what I though was this new cycle, so it means I conceived before beginning the cleanse. I immediately ceased taking all the herbs and had HCG levels tested. Serial HCG testing shows my levels doubling as they should in an early pregnancy. I've gone ahead and looked up all the herbs in this kit and have concerns about the following:

    Bladderwrack: This was in one of the tinctures I was taking 3xs/day. Web says heavy metals can concentrate in kelps and that this could be bad for fetal development.

    Pau D' Arco bark: This is first ingredient listed in the tea blend I was drinking 2xs/day. It's not recommended in pregnancy because it targets quickly reproducing cells. Normal fetal development relies upon a lot of quickly reproducing cells...

    Sassafras bark: This was the last ingredient listed in the tea blend I was drinking 2xs/day and by far has the most negative reputation on the internet of any of the herbs I researched. In fact, everything I read says it was banned by the FDA for human consumption, so I'm not quite sure how this herb store was able to sell it as a tea blend, something clearly intended for consumption. Everything about this says it's bad, bad, bad for babies--causes defects and death.

    I experienced an early-loss back in December and given all the bleeding and spotting thus far in this pregnancy I'm really on pins and needles. Anyhow, does anyone have any advice for me? How worried should I be?

    Thanks for reading.


  • 04-18-2009 8:20 PM In reply to

    • midwifea
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-12-2009
    • Kailua Kona, HI
    • Posts 475

    Re: took pau d' arco and sassafras before knowing I was pregnant

    Evergreen girl,

    Worry will not help, you know that.  What's done is done and now you should concentrate on eating healthy, drinking plenty of water and giving the rest up to the universe.

    We've all known women who've done some pretty heavy toxin ingestion before knowing they were pregnant.  Babies are smart, they are resilient and strong.  They can usually figure it all out before we do.

    Our native ancestors probably used these herbs without any side effects or internet warnings to scare them.

    Now you know better so you'll do better.  Focus on and visualize a healthy pregnancy and fabulous baby and if you need reassurance seek that when the time is right.



    "The Voice

    There is a voice inside of you
    That whispers all day long,
    "I feel this is right for me,
    I know that this is wrong."
    No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
    Or wise man can decide
    What's right for you--just listen to
    The voice that speaks inside."
    — Shel Silverstein
  • 04-20-2009 9:39 AM In reply to

    Re: took pau d' arco and sassafras before knowing I was pregnant


    Thank you for the reassuring words. Now that a few days have past and I've gotten over the initial shock surrounding the whole situation, I feel much calmer and less worried. You're right, there's nothing I can do now. It is what it is.

  • 04-21-2009 1:50 PM In reply to

    • RobsGirl
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-04-2009
    • Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    • Posts 364

    Re: took pau d' arco and sassafras before knowing I was pregnant

    Oh honey, I know that pins and needles feeling.  I've had losses too and am super careful about what I ingest even if I COULD be pregnant.  But April is right.  I really wouldn't worry about it.  In the early stage its more of an all or nothing situation anyway (as in, you lose the baby or the substances in question have absolutely NO effect on the baby at all), so if the baby's still hanging in there, and your hcgs are doubling as you said, I'd say you're in great shape!!  Think positive thoughts.  Listen to your gut...what's it telling you?

    RobsGirl, 31
    Wife of one fabulous guy (34)
    Mommy of 3 awesome boys, ages 11, 8, and 4, and a precious 2 year old daughter.

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