A gentle way into life on earth: plant-based medications during pregnancy

The first nine months of life, which the child spends protected in his mother’s belly—symbiotically connected with her, both physically and mentally—are also a very special time in a yet unknown state for the child’s mother. The physical and mental changes that she is experiencing, and her responsibility for the life and well-being of another human being, present her with unprecedented challenges. Her constitution of body and soul, firmly joined until now, loosen its connections, she falls into a rather dreamy state of mind, and life’s many practical demands can often be overtaxing. Whereas pregnancies used to be experienced often, embedded in an extended family and carried by the knowledge and wisdom of previous generations, this has changed a lot today. Pregnancy care has been transferred to the medical field, where checking and monitoring the pregnancy usually stands in the foreground. Instead of feeling strengthened in their ability to trust in the outcome, mothers today often experience fear of complications. This fear, together with the feeling of being over-taxed, can affect the child growing in the mother’s body and make it difficult to build a good bond. Here below are some anthroposophic medications that have proven their effectiveness. They are based on the view that pregnancy is an intrinsically healthy state that requires special care.

Nausea, Hyperemesis gravidarum

Nausea is a possible expression of the loosening described above. If this is too strong or if the organism cannot adequately process influences from the environment, appropriate slight morning sickness can become stressful and debilitating. Nausyn® (WELEDA), as well as bitter substances of different strengths—with the active plant ingredients of yellow gentian, wormwood, nux vomica and dandelion—draw the soul back into the body and counteract nausea by reviving and relaxing the metabolic system. Ginger is also helpful in a wide variety of preparations. Its warming penetration of the body renews the mother’s ability to experience a sense of well-being. Acupressure, eurythmy therapy and painting therapy are also based on this idea.

  • Nux vomica D6 drops, WELEDA, or pill., WALA: 4 x daily to ½-hourly 7–12 drops or 5 pill. dissolved in water, especially for stress-associated nausea.
  • Nausyn® tabs., WELEDA, or Cocculus comp. tabs., WELEDA: 3 x daily 2 tabs., especially for exhausted women.
  • Gentiana comp. (also available as Gentiana Magen Globuli, WALA): 3 x daily 10 pill., up to every 2 hours 5–10 pill. 
  • Bitter elixir, WALA: 3 x daily 1 tbsp. with meals.
  • Amara drops, WELEDA: 3 x daily up to every 2 hours 10 drops

Premature labor and preterm labor tendencies

Premature labor mainly occurs in stressed, overstrained and physically weakened women. The woman’s body signals a need for rest and for protection against external influences. This is the basis for therapy: quiet, protection, removal from work processes, with support at home—possibly from the woman’s partner—and nourishment and strengthening for her body.

Treatment with Bryophyllum is central (1). When administered, Bryophyllum creates an abundance of life forces into which the soul can exhale and relax. The mother-to-be sinks as if dreaming into a lush shelter. Bryophyllum belongs to the stonecrop family and represents it well. The plant pours its moist green substance into its unarticulated, rich green leaves, which are only notched slightly. Over and over again it produces simple pairs of branching leaf stalks that extend out opposite each other. The green leaf substance is held by a leathery sheath, almost dammed up. And the plant can reproduce from this substance—small, complete breeding plants in the form of a seed leaf appear in the leaf notches, then initial pairs of leaves with root hairs, which detach from the mother plant and colonize the soil. This inexhaustible, swelling growth power has a healing effect on an exhausted and overly toned body.

  • Bryophyllum 50% trit., WELEDA: 3 x daily ½ tsp. or
  • Bryophyllum comp. Globuli, WALA): 3 x daily 10 pill.,
    better suited in cases of mental strain, with fears and problems.

Recurring vaginal infections with or without premature birth tendencies

These are premature birth tendencies by infections, which do in fact often lead to premature birth. Bacterial infections can enter the body when the mother’s warmth sheath is opened downwards. In addition to antimycotic and antibacterial substances,

  • Majorana Vaginal gel, WALA or
  • Majorana/Melissa Vaginal tablets, WELEDA

contain active plant ingredients that support the lower part of this warmth sheath and thus provide lasting protection against infections and any premature start to the baby’s life.

Antibiotics should be used with great caution during pregnancy in all indications, as they damage the developing microbiome, the maternal bacterial flora and the bacteria of the placenta and breast milk, which have great importance for the child’s immune system (2).

Just like the numerous lactic acid preparations available, the vaginal gel also contains lactic acid and it is therefore very well suited to preventing infections.

Gestosis/Pre-eclampsia

Toxemia of pregnancy is a special form of encounter/confrontation between mother and child. Too little space is available for the child, whereby the question of whether the mother cannot give enough space or whether the child itself cannot expand sufficiently into this space has to be considered in a very differentiated way. Among other problems, gestosis often leads to the baby not growing optimally. In this case, we recommend applying

  • Aurum/Lavandula comp. creme, WELEDA (also available as Aurum/Lavender/Rose ointment): 2 x daily to the belly,

the scent of which alone is perceived as beneficial. The mother can apply the ointment in a state of mindfulness towards her baby and thus actively do something therapeutic for her baby herself.  This treatment increases the power of the therapeutic effect and the child can develop more strongly. The gold works harmoniously with the relaxing and warming effect of lavender and the invigorating effect of rose.

With other symptoms of gestosis, such as hypertension, the use of Olivenit aquosum or other copper preparations leads to a loosening of the mental forces that grasp the body too tensely, resulting in a relaxing effect on the muscles and vessels, as well as promoting warming.

  • Olivenite D6, WELEDA: 3 x daily 1 saltsp. trit. or 2–3 x daily 1 amp. s.c.

On the one hand, copper has an active stimulating effect on the warmth organization because of its enveloping properties, stimulating anabolic functions. On the other hand, copper supports catabolic and excretion processes in the kidneys. On a soul level, up-building processes correspond to the ability to experience love and devotion, while catabolic processes correspond to experiences of suffering and purification. Copper has proven itself both prophylactically and therapeutically during pregnancy. In pre-eclampsia, copper loosens the tense, seemingly cramped astral organization (3).

To stimulate the metabolism during gestosis, especially in cases of edema:

  • Equisetum cum Sulfure tostum D6 trit., WELEDA: 3 x daily 1 saltsp.

Gestational anemia

During pregnancy, there is a lower hemoglobin level, which is partly due to an increase in blood volume. The copper level, on the other hand, rises—also for physiological reasons. Iron and copper are opposites, associated with the planets Mars and Venus. If we compare the gestures of the metals: the war god Mars—energetic, willful and assertive, and foam-born Venus: receptive and giving, devoted to what is beautiful—it becomes clear that a pregnancy needs more copper than iron. Consequently, despite slightly lower values, pregnant women often show few clinical symptoms and, at the same time, do not tolerate the administration of iron well.
In addition to recommendations for an iron-rich diet, the following preparations have proven themselves:

  • Kräuterblut Floradix®, with iron (SALUS): 2–3 x daily 15 ml, depending on requirements.
  • Ferrum ustum comp. trit., WELEDA: 2 x daily 1 saltsp.
  • Anaemodoron® drops, WELEDA: 3 x daily 10–20 drops to stimulate iron metabolism.

1 Fürer K, Simões-Wüst AP, Winkler A, Amsler N, Schnelle M, von Mandach U. Die Anwendung von Bryophyllum pinnatum-Präparaten in der Geburtshilfe und Gynäkologie – eine multizentrische prospektive Beobachtungsstudie. Forschende Komplementärmedizin 2015;22:231–236. [Crossref]

2 Bräuer M, Hildebrandt S, Maris B, Ommert I, Soldner G, Stammer G. Schutz des Mikrobioms in Schwangerschaft, Geburt und Stillzeit. Merkblatt der Gesellschaft Anthroposophischer Ärzte in Deutschland, Mai 2018. http://www.gaed.de/informationen/merkblaetter/schutz-des-mikrobioms-in-schwangerschaft-geburt-und-stillzeit.html.

3 Eppel C, Grahlke B, Maaser A, Mijic T, Kuck A, Zimmermann P. Präeklampsie – Prophylaxe und Therapie. Der Merkurstab 2016;69(2):101-109.