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Are Herbal Teas Safe During Pregnancy?

4 min read

Herbal tea in pregnancy
Pregnancy makes you crave for weirdest stuff at odd times. There is nothing wrong with that, to be honest. Of course, you can have a restricted amount of caffeine like tea, coffee, or soft drinks. If you are fond of herbal tea, then it is time to think about it. Your restriction on caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol is a must, but when it comes to herbal teas, you need to understand the side effects and safety. You are good when you drink one or two cups in a day, but more than that could do more harm than good.

What Is A Herbal Tea?

Herbal tea is a beverage made from decoction of herbs and spices, which does not contain caffeine. It is usually made from leaves of tea plants like Assamica, Jasmine, and Chamomile, Sage, Thyme, or ginger. Most of these herbs are originated in China. The same herb, from which tea is made, can be used for cooking purposes. But when it comes to tea, the process of brewing tea concentrates on the chemicals of the herbs. Hence it should be consumed in a limit.
If you like herbal tea and have been drinking even before getting pregnant, then it is the time to control your urge. Medically, teas which are made from some herbs excluding one or two) and fruits are considered safe, but not much research has been carried on the subject. Though herbal teas do have healing properties and can be good sources of calcium, magnesium, and iron, yet the lack of evidence on being safe scientifically, and hence the ingestion, should be cautious.
Herbal tea

Are Herbal Teas Safe In Pregnancy?

Research on the subject indicates herbal teas are safe in pregnancy, and they are better than drinking caffeine loaded beverages. Herbal teas also hydrate the body. Though herbal tea is considered safe for consumption, it is always better to take them in moderation especially when you are expecting
However refrain from drinking sage or parsley tea, and here is why:

  1. Sage tea in pregnancy: Sage is an extremely useful herb. It is used for digestive problems, loss of appetite, flatulence, gastritis, hot flashes, night sweats. While having so many useful and medicinal purposes, it is still considered harmful while being pregnant or nursing. It is linked to miscarriage and high blood pressure as it contains a chemical called Thujone, which is dangerous if taken in high doses. Thujone tends to get back your periods, which you would not want in pregnancy. Also, it is believed to reduce milk supply when you are nursing your baby. Many countries have regulated the usage of Thujone in food and drinks
  2. Parsley tea in pregnancy: Considered as the world’s most popular herb, it has its share of side effects. Parsley has lots of medicinal benefits like treating urinary Tract infection, kidney stones, constipation, and jaundice, among others. Worldwide, for centuries, it has been used to flavor and garnishing purposes. Parsley causes your period to come back, leading to abortion. A Chinese herb named An-Tai-Yin, when mixed with parsley, is a deadly dangerous combination. Research has proved that when taken during the first trimester can cause serious birth defects in the baby
  3. Ginger Tea in pregnancy: Many pregnant women resort to ginger and its supplements to deal with nausea and morning sickness. Though it is effective, yet research indicates that excessive consumption of ginger tea can impact fetal sex hormones adversely. Ensure to weigh the risks and benefits of ginger tea before you drink it

Asian herbal tea

Which Herbal Teas Are Safe In Pregnancy?

A question arises in your mind as to which herbal tea is safe and which is not. Well, the answer is almost all Herbal teas are safe in pregnancy, barring sage, parsley, anise, hibiscus, stinging nettle leaf, ginger, and raspberry leaf. They are good for your body and your system, but when taken in moderation. There are lots of herbal teas available in the market, which are safe to drink though you need to ensure that you steer clear of unfamiliar ingredients. We have been using ginger tea in our day to day life. It helps to stop morning sickness, aids digestion, and stomach issues. But again, ginger is believed to a heat-producing herb, and hence should be consumed in moderation. Herbal teas are better than caffeine but don’t go overboard with herbal tea, especially when you are pregnant. Except for sage and parsley, which cause miscarriage and ginger to some extent, as it may have adverse effects on baby’s sex hormones, rest are safe when consumed in limited quantity. Rosemary tea is also known to induce labor and hence, is preferred only during the end of pregnancy.

Effects Of Excess Herbal Tea In Pregnancy

Ever since research has proved that herbal tea is good for your overall well being, there is a lot of awareness for these teas, including green tea. But also consider the side effects of drinking herbal tea. No doubt, these teas are full of medicinal benefits, only if taken in moderation. Excessive drinking of herbal tea can be detrimental to your and baby’s health. Since some teas may contain excessive caffeine and chemicals, which can indirectly damage the baby’s system. If possible, stay away from herbal teas for at least nine months.
Drink whatever suits your body. Listen to your body and always consult with your gynecologist about any product you are not sure about. Please make sure you read the label and do your research before consuming any herbal tea.
Read more about green tea during pregnancy here, and chamomile tea here.

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