Medical Q&As


I am 15 weeks pregnant and while recently watching a television programme, there was mention of a natural root that induced miscarriage. As I cook with mainly natural ingredients, I was quite concerned that I may be inadvertently using it. Could you please tell me the name of the root so I can avoid it in future?

I did not see the programme that you referred to but I wonder was the programme actually referring to wild mushrooms. I am not aware of any root vegetables that can induce miscarriage. Rye and barley can be contaminated very rarely with a fungus that produces ergot, which can induce miscarriage if ingested in massive quantities. This is extremely rare and I underline the fact that the quantities that need to be ingested are way beyond normal domestic consumption. If my suspicions are correct and the programme was referring to wild mushrooms, some of which can look like a root, this serves to underpin the message that you should not pick mushrooms in the wild unless you know exactly what you are picking.