Herbal Teas During Pregnancy – Which are Safe?

HERBAL TEAS DURING PREGNANCY

Many women prefer drinking herbal teas whenever they crave for a warm soothing drink or when they are trying to lose weight. But during pregnancy, they might wonder if they should drink herbal teas or not. Pregnancy is one of the most important phases of a woman’s life but it does bring with it certain restrictions. And herbal teas are one of them. Drinking certain herbal teas during pregnancy is considered safe, provided that you drink them in limited amounts.

What Is Herbal Tea?

Herbal tea is made from the roots, flowers, seeds, berries, and leaves of a variety of plants and are used for medicinal purposes. Herbal teas also do not contain caffeine, which makes them a popular and healthier choice.

Is it Safe to Drink Herbal Tea During Pregnancy?

Drinking herbal tea during pregnancy is safe as long as you drink it in limited amounts. Just because herbal teas contain natural ingredients that you can drink them as much as you want. Certain types of herbal teas should be completely avoided during pregnancy. If a box of herbal tea claims that it is ‘natural’, it does not make it ‘safe’. Many herbs are known to cause harm to the foetus. For example, drinking raspberry leaf tea or peppermint tea is  good during pregnancy but drinking them in large amounts can lead to contractions and increase the risk of preterm labour. Hence, you should check with your doctor first before starting with any herbal tea.

Benefits of Having Herbal Teas During Pregnancy

Drinking some herbal teas during pregnancy can be beneficial for your health as well as your baby’s health. They can also provide you with essential nutrients that you require during pregnancy. Read on to know how herbal tea benefits your health.

  • Consuming herbal teas during pregnancy can help you stay hydrated. If you don’t drink plain water, the taste of herbal tea could help keep the water intake normal.
  • Certain herbal teas contain a good amount of nutrients that can actually benefit the body during pregnancy.
  • The best thing about herbal tea is that it does not contain caffeine. Hence, it is an ideal replacement for tea or coffee.
  • Drinking herbal tea can have a soothing and calming effect on your body. It can also help lower stress and anxiety.
  • For pregnant women who have severe levels of morning sickness, the taste and smell of herbal tea can provide relief to an extent.
  • One of the rare known benefits of herbal tea is that it can assist the uterus during labour.

Which Herbal Teas Are Safe for Pregnant Women?

There is no specific study that proves that a specific herbal tea is good for pregnant women. However, on a general level, most herbs that are deemed fit to consume can be used to make herbal teas.

Most herbal teas are safe to consume as long as you drink them in moderation. Moderation is always the key. Most herbs such as peppermint and thyme do not pose any harm, and consuming normal amounts of herbal tea prepared using them should be fine. The concentration of their constituents undergoes a significant increase when prepared in the form of a tea, so their consumption should be regulated accordingly.

Herbal Teas That Are Safe to Consume During Pregnancy

Mentioned below are some herbal teas that are safe to consume during pregnancy. However, it is suggested that you consult with your doctor before consuming them.

1. Lemon Balm Tea

Lemon balm tea also has a soothing and calming effect on the body. It helps lower anxiety levels and stress. It also helps in digestion. Drinking lemon balm tea can also make you sleep better.

2. Rooibos Tea

Also known as red tea, this tea proves to be a blessing for women who have digestion problem or even acid reflux during pregnancy. It contains magnesium and calcium, and is a good source of antioxidants. It is also caffeine-free and can be tried during pregnancy.

3. Peppermint Leaf Tea

Peppermint herb is good for the stomach. And drinking peppermint leaf tea can provide relief to the stomach muscles. It also helps ease nausea, morning sickness, and gas. However, it should be consumed in moderation as it may worsen the problem of heartburn in some women.

4. Ginger Tea

Ginger Tea

Ginger tea doesn’t need any introduction. Drinking ginger tea alleviates morning sickness and anxiety levels. This tea also provides relief from digestion problems and strengthens the immune system. Drinking one to two cups of ginger tea can be beneficial for pregnant women. However, this tea too should be consumed in moderation.

5. Raspberry Leaf Tea

A little peculiar in its form, this tea should generally be consumed when you are into six months of your pregnancy or even later. This tea is usually consumed in the second and third trimester of pregnancy. Raspberry leaf tea is high in calcium, magnesium, and iron. This herbal tea also strengthens the uterus, preparing it for labour. It can also prevent haemorrhage after delivery.

Herbal Teas to Avoid During Pregnancy

The following herbal teas should be used with caution during pregnancy or after consulting with a doctor. However, avoiding them would be a better option.

1. Chamomile Tea

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile herb is known to induce sleep and provide relief from stress. Drinking chamomile tea can provide relief from joint pain during pregnancy. The two elements calcium and magnesium present in it are also good for the health. Drinking a cup of chamomile tea once in a while is fine and won’t affect your pregnancy but drinking it regularly or in large quantities might. So you should drink it with caution or avoid it completely.

2. Nettle Tea

People have different opinions on consuming nettle leaf tea during pregnancy. As nettle leaf tea contains magnesium, calcium, and iron in high amounts, it is considered as a safe beverage for pregnant women, especially in the first trimester. Drinking nettle tea made using dried leaves is deemed safe; however, nettle tea made from the root may lead to uterine contractions or even miscarriage. The use of nettle tea is quite controversial hence it is best avoided.

3. Dandelion Tea

A quite popular herb, dandelion has a peculiar effect on the body. Dandelion is high in Vitamin A and calcium. It also contains potassium in high amounts, which makes it a potent diuretic for the body. Drinking dandelion tea can help reduce swelling during pregnancy but it should be used with caution.

4. Pennyroyal Tea

Any herbal tea prepared using pennyroyal herb should be avoided completely during pregnancy. This herb is known trigger uterine contractions and cause menstruation. Hence, it should be avoided.

5. Licorice Root Tea

This herbal tea should be completely avoided during pregnancy. Licorice root is a herb that can cause premature labour, hence it is best avoided.

6. Sage Tea

Although sage is a well-known herb, one of the constituents it contains is thujone. This element can elevate the blood pressure of pregnant women and, in certain cases, could even lead to a miscarriage.

7. Parsley Tea

This herb is widely consumed nowadays but consuming herbal tea made from parsley is not the best idea during pregnancy. Parsley tea is known to hinder with the foetal development and can result in a miscarriage.

8. Slippery Elm Bark Tea

There are two variants of these. Using the inner bark of the elm tree can provide relief from nausea but the outer bark can affect the uterus and lead to a miscarriage. Since the source of the bark cannot be confirmed in the tea, it is best to avoid this tea in the first place.

9. Chicory Root Tea

Chicory Root Tea

This herbal tea is one of the most harmful teas for pregnant women. It poses a great risk as it can trigger menstruation cycle and could even cause miscarriage.

10. Alfalfa Tea

There are many health benefits of consuming alfalfa in various forms. But consuming it in the form of herbal tea is not safe. If consumed in excess, it can be harmful to the body.

11. Yellow Dock Tea

This herb is rarely used, but herbal tea prepared using it is known to act as a laxative. Therefore, it may not always be beneficial to be consumed.

What Is Non-herbal Tea?

There are three types of non-herbal tea: green, black, oolong. Non-herbal tea is made from the leaves of the tea plants. Non-herbal teas are rich in antioxidants but they also contain caffeine in high amounts. The caffeine content of a particular type of non-herbal tea primarily depends on the oxidation time of the leaves.

Can You Drink Non-herbal tea During Pregnancy?

Non-herbal tea is high in antioxidants but it also contains caffeine, which is bad for a pregnant woman. During pregnancy, women are suggested to cut down on caffeine or to avoid it completely. Hence, it is best to avoid non-herbal tea while pregnant.

While some herbal teas are safe to consume in moderation, avoiding them would be a better option. By consuming nutritious foods, you can stay healthy during pregnancy. Before steeping and consuming any tea, learn about its benefits then drink. Better yet, check with your doctor before consuming.

Also Read: Green Tea during Pregnancy