Why does itching during pregnancy happen?
There are a number of different factors that can lead to itchiness in pregnancy. Depending on the nature of the itching and where the itching occurs on the body, itching in pregnancy may be attributed to dry skin, stretching skin, PUPPP (Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy), or cholestasis (reduced bile flow from the liver resulting in the sensation of itching, especially on hands and feet, and in conjunction with other symptoms).
While dry skin can often be managed at home through improved hydration and application of appropriate oils and herbs topically, it is ideal to enlist a trusted practitioner to support with PUPPP and cholestasis.
What can I do to address itching during pregnancy?
Whatever the proximal cause of the itching, there are always foods and herbs you can consume at home to strengthen your baseline health and resilience to these symptoms. Replenishing liquids with something “more hydrating” than water, like an herbal tea, diluted fresh juice, or electrolyte-based beverage is extremely helpful. Tonifying and strengthening the liver with appropriate foods and herbs can be incredibly beneficial. Last, eating foods that support hormone balance can help address the root cause of some unpleasant itching in pregnancy.
What are top foods and herbs to consume to support itching in pregnancy?
Dandelion leaf and root: Dandelion plant has been used extensively to support liver function, which can in turn relieve the burden on the skin to detoxify. Sometimes itchiness is an early sign of cholestasis, and liver support and prevent this from progressing.
Chasteberry: Chasteberry has been used for centuries and more recently researched extensively for its hormone balancing properties, particularly in women.
Flax seeds: Flax contains a type of phytoestrogen called lignans, which support healthy production of estrogen needed. Conveniently, these lignans also protect against building up too much estrogen, which is important in today's world given we are exposed to more environmental estrogen than ever before.
Agni’s Pregnancy box includes Chasteberry and Flax seeds along with 14 other foods and herbs selected to support mama and baby throughout pregnancy. You’ll find Chasteberry in our Ginger Cardamom Tea and flax seeds in our Cinnamon Maca Seasoning.