Herbal teas are made using the leaves, roots, berries, flowers and seeds of various plants. Unlike actual tea, herbal teas are caffeine free. The herbs used to create them are often used as remedies for a wide variety of ailments. Some are used as tonics during pregnancy, while others are to be avoided. Which herbal teas are safe to drink while pregnant? Is herbal tea safe to drink during pregnancy? In this article, we will explore this question.
Best herbal teas to drink during pregnancy
When you go tea shopping, you may notice quite a few “pregnancy teas” on offer. These are teas that are intended to provide extra nutrition and enhance your experience during pregnancy and delivery.
The vast majority of pregnancy teas are made with raspberry leaf, which is a time-honoured pregnancy tonic. It is rich in iron and can improve your experience of pregnancy in many ways. Benefits include:
- Helps keep the uterus healthy during pregnancy
- Decreases morning sickness
- Eases labour pains
Regularly drinking a pregnancy tea containing raspberry leaf may prevent complications such as:
- Early labour
- Delayed labour
- Lengthy labour
- Postpartum Hemorrhage
Easier delivery means less chance of needing intrusive interventions or a cesarean delivery.
Recovery is quicker after an easy delivery, and regular consumption of raspberry leaf tea helps keep the muscles of the uterus in tone for quicker and more complete recovery. You can continue to drink raspberry leaf tea after delivery to enhance milk production.
Consult your health professional
Overall, raspberry leaf tea is entirely beneficial, but some doctors and midwives believe that it should only be used during the second and third trimesters. Talk this over with your health professional to determine what will work best for you.
Herbs must be properly prepared
Stinging Nettle is another herb that is often used in pregnancy tea. This herb is very beneficial and delivers a healthy dose of iron, potassium, calcium and vitamins A, C and K.
If stinging nettle is a component in a commercially prepared tea, it should be safe. If you plan to prepare it yourself, be sure to consult your doctor or midwife. The part of the plant that is used makes a difference in regards to its level of safety. Additionally, it is important not to overdo use of stinging nettle tea.
7 herbs that may benefit pregnancy
Here are 7 more herbs you may find listed as ingredients in pregnancy teas:
1. Ginger Root relieves morning sickness and upset stomach.
2. Rose Hips provide lots of vitamin C, which is an excellent immune system booster.
3. Peppermint leaf can help relieve morning sickness and reduce problems with flatulence.
4. Dandelion root and leaves are good sources of iron, calcium and vitamin A. This herb is a good liver tonic and can help relieve swollen ankles.
5. German Chamomile is a good source of magnesium and calcium. It can help reduce swollen joints and it’s a good nerve tonic. A cup of chamomile tea before bedtime can help you get a good night’s sleep.
6. Alfalfa tea is a good occasional tonic during the third trimester. It is rich in vitamins A, D, E and K. Be sure to get plenty of vitamin K late in your pregnancy to reduce the chance of hemorrhage.
7. Yellow Dock contains a lot of iron, calcium and vitamins A and C. It is especially good if you are having problems with anemia. It can also act as a laxative, but be sure to talk with your doctor or midwife before using this herb for that purpose.
Choose your herbal teas wisely
The majority of commercially prepared herbal teas are safe for anyone to drink at any time in moderation. If you purchase your herbal tea from a major company (e.g. Celestial Seasonings) you have some guarantee that the herbs used in preparation are harmless.
If you make your own teas using large amounts of herbs, you can run into trouble. That’s why it is always a good idea to discuss any changes or additions to your care routine with your doctor or midwife.