Hello, I have a question about the safety of drinking red clover tea during pregnancy. I am 26 weeks pregnant but have recently been diagnosed with lichen sclerosis. It is a condition of the skin in the vulva that causes itching, burning, extremely fragile skin that tears easily, and some other symptoms I don't have. I have been dealing with this for two years, thinking it was recurrent yeast infections, so I know exactly how thin and fragile things get. I am worried about giving birth and having hundreds of micro tears in addition to a large one. I found this article written by a nurse who has this condition and has used red clover tea to great effect: http://www.wholewoman.com/library/content/articles/LSRemedy.pdf
In her article she states red clover is contraindicated during pregnancy, and I have seen this in other places as well. I have Aviva Jill Romm's book, The Natural Pregnancy Book, and she does not list red clover in her list of herbs to avoid. I would really like to try to take care of the situation naturally (conventional medicine uses powerful corticosteroid creams to treat this, and my doctor said we'd have to wait until after this baby is born), and be able to birth this baby myself, rather than having a c-section, which is the alternative that's been suggested. I would prefer to save that for a life/death situation myself.
Is there a dose of red clover tea that would be acceptable during pregnancy and breastfeeding? I am also going to try emu oil, since a lady on a forum for lichen sclerosis said that has helped her and I can't find anything saying emu oil is harmful for pregnancy. I want to try and make the area as irritation-free and supple as possible. I am due in late September.
Thank you in advance for your help,
You will find some people that do not recommend the use of red clover during pregnancy due to the phytoestogens it contains. Susun does not list it as an herb to avoid during pregnancy and many have drunk the infusion throughout their pregnancy (myself included). But one must always listen to your own particular body and what it is saying to you.
If you feel uncomfortable taking it internally, perhaps you can find some other options to treat the lichen sclerosus. Below are some links that you may find useful: http://www.wisewomantradition.com/healingwise/2007/11/lichen-sclerosi.html
Do you have Susun's book for the Childbearing Year? Learn more at: www.childbearing-year.com
order online at: http://www.herbalmedicinehealing.com/store/item_view.asp?estore_itemid=1000019.
You will find help there for the tears as well. Perhaps infusing the oil you are using with herbs such as plantain and/or comfrey leaf and the use of sitz baths as well.
Also remember if you decide to discontinue red clover for the time being, definitely feel safe in drinking it once you've given birth. Great for a good supply of rich breast milk.
Hope this helps,