May 20

Herbal Incense While Pregnant: Not a Good Idea, Doctor Says

Smoking herbal incense while pregnant could increase the risk of eclampsia (high blood pressure).

Smoking herbal incense while pregnant could increase the risk of eclampsia (high blood pressure).

The terrifying new trend of smoking herbal incense while pregnant could pose a serious risk to the health of the mother and the unborn fetus, according to a pair of doctors out of California.

Although neither of the doctors provided statistics about rate of use or the prevalence of what they are implying is a trend, the idea of smoking herbal incense while pregnant is a frightening one.

Most herbal incense brands contain unregulated synthetic research chemicals which have not been adequately tested for safety and dosage in adult males, let alone in pregnant females. Pregnancy presents a unique physical environment for drug interactions and side effects. Many main-stream medicines and even herbal remedies can be dangerous or downright deadly during pregnancy. It turns out that herbal incense should likely be added to the list thanks to its possible association with an increased risk for a common pregnancy killer. 

According to a brief report in The Bakersfield Californian, two Californian doctors gave a presentation about using herbal incense while pregnant at a conference in New Orleans.

The work of two Bakersfield physicians should help increase awareness in the wider medical community of a troubling, and possibly unrealized, practice that threatens pregnant women and their unborn children: the use of legal but potentially dangerous drugs…Their presentation underscores what has long been a concern among health professionals: Many unregulated drugs are sold over the counter, marketed as safe, or not as drugs at all, but may carry serious health threats. Most users of these substances have no idea of their potential dangers and believe they are purchasing safe products.

As far as the actual danger posed by herbal incense while pregnant, statistics remain unavailable, but the doctors in question claim they were able to find a correlation with one of the most deadly pregnancy complications.

At a meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in New Orleans, Drs. Cindy S. Lee and Sally Nalesnik highlighted the case of a local woman whose use of an herbal incense called “Spice Gold” may have resulted in eclampsia, a potentially life-threatening seizure that affects pregnant women. Spice Gold is often smoked for its marijuana-like high.

Using a single person’s drug abuse as an example to be extrapolated across a large population is ridiculous and poor science at best. Given the ethics of pregnancy research, little credible information is likely to be available any time soon.
Of course, the sad irony to this whole story is the fact that there is little, if any, credible scientific information that shows that marijuana (the product herbal incense is supposedly a legal alternative to) is even as harmful as tobacco during pregnancy. Women hoping for the relief marijuana could impart to a variety of pregnancy-related ailments are instead turning to an unknown blend of research chemicals that produce different results and may be quite harmful indeed to the developing fetus and the mom’s health.

Pregnant women should, as always, err on the side of caution and avoid herbal incense, synthetic drugs, and smoking altogether while pregnant.


Source: The Bakersfield Californian


1 comment

  1. fred lincoln

    Spices deadly

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