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Is it safe to drink herbal tea while pregnant
Herbal teas during pregnancy and breastfeeding
Many women choose to drink herbal tea to help with annoying symptoms when they're pregnant or breastfeeding. Some herbal teas are safe to drink while you're pregnant or breastfeeding, as long as you limit it to 1 or 2 cups a day and check with your doctor or midwife first.
Are herbal teas safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding?
Even though herbal teas contain natural ingredients, that doesn’t mean they are necessarily safe. The amounts of substances they contain may vary, and they may also contain ingredients that aren’t listed on the label. These ingredients may pass on to your baby, or they may interfere with other medicines you are taking.
Like other complementary medicines, herbal teas are not studied scientifically like other medicines and they aren't regulated in Australia, so it’s good to use them with caution.
There are mixed opinions on the safety of herbal teas, for both pregnant and non-pregnant women.
Most commercial brands of herbal teas are thought to be safe for anyone to consume in reasonable amounts. The herbal teas that are considered unsafe are those that are not made commercially, those made with excessive amounts of herbs (amounts larger than those found in common foods or drinks), and those made with herbs that are known to be toxic.
It's always a good idea to talk to your doctor and midwife before you take any natural therapy, including herbal teas.
About herbal teas
Some teas claim to soothe an upset tummy, calm you down if you have anxiety, prepare your uterus for labour, or help you sleep. Some teas are prepared especially for pregnancy, and claim to help with complications like pre-eclampsia and prepare your body for labour.
Herbal teas are made from the roots, berries, flowers, seeds, and leaves of plants. Unlike black or green tea, they don’t contain caffeine. They can be bought from supermarkets and health food stores.
Drinking herbal tea safely during pregnancy and breastfeeding
The best advice is to only drink 1 or 2 cups of herbal tea a day. Different teas contain different ingredients, so mixing up the flavours and drinking different types of tea on different days will limit the substances that your baby is exposed to. Don't drink the same herbal tea continually throughout your pregnancy.
If you're breastfeeding, keep an eye on your baby for any unusual side effects. If you notice anything that worries you, talk to your doctor or maternal child health nurse.
It's always a good idea to check before you take any herbs while you're breastfeeding, especially if you are also taking prescription medicine.
Which herbal teas to choose during pregnancy and breastfeeding
As a general rule, choose teas that are made from fruits and herbs you would use in cooking. Never make your own herbal tea from plants you've collected while you're pregnant or breastfeeding.
Large amounts of some herbs may possibly start contractions and increase your risk of preterm labour, or they may affect your baby.
Likely or possibly safe herbal teas
Peppermint tea: Peppermint is one of the most commonly used herbal medicines in pregnancy. Studies have shown it doesn’t harm the mother or baby, although you should avoid very large amounts and avoid in the first trimester because it can promote menstruation.
Red raspberry leaf tea: Some women drink raspberry tea during the last trimester to help them prepare for the birth. It should be safe in pregnancy, but some studies have shown it can stimulate contractions so it’s a good idea to be cautious during the first trimester.
Ginger tea: Ginger can help relieve nausea. It should be safe in moderation while you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Green tea: Green tea isn't a true herbal tea. It contains caffeine, so you should limit how much you drink during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Chamomile tea: A cup of chamomile tea before bed may relax you, but again, avoid drinking large quantities. There is a suggestion it could stimulate the uterus or lead to circulation problems in your baby.
Teas where there is insufficient information about safety
Rose hip tea: There isn't enough information on rose hip tea to know whether it's safe in pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Dandelion tea: There isn't enough information on dandelion tea to know whether it's safe in pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Lemon balm: This tea is considered possibly safe and commonly used to relieve anxiety, irritability and insomnia. However, no study could be found to support these uses, and its safety hasn’t been studied in pregnancy
Which herbal teas to avoid during pregnancy and breastfeeding
Sage tea: It’s OK to use sage in cooking, but you should avoid sage in concentrated forms during pregnancy such as in teas. It’s been linked to miscarriage and high blood pressure.
Parsley tea: Avoid parsley tea during pregnancy. If you drink large amounts, it may increase your risk of miscarriage and affect how your baby develops.
Where to get more information
For information on prescription, over the counter and herbal medicines, call the NPS Medicines Line on 1300 MEDICINE (1300 633 424)
Call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby on 1800 882 436 to speak to a maternal child health nurse.
Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.
Is Tea Safe During Pregnancy?
Tea is one of the most popular beverages worldwide — and one that many women continue to enjoy during pregnancy.
Some drink it to simply decompress or help meet the increased fluid needs of pregnancy. However, a proportion of women appear to use tea as a natural remedy for pregnancy-related symptoms or as a tonic to prepare for childbirth in the last weeks of pregnancy (1).
Many may believe that tea is probably safe to drink while pregnant because it’s natural. In reality, women may benefit from reducing their intake of certain teas, while completely avoiding others throughout their pregnancy.
This article discusses the safety of tea during pregnancy, including which teas pregnant women may continue to drink, and which they may want to avoid.
Black, green, white, matcha, chai, and oolong teas are all sourced from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. They contain caffeine — a natural stimulant that should be limited during pregnancy.
They each provide approximately the following amount of caffeine per cup (240 mL) (2, 3, 4, 5, 6):
matcha: 60–80 mg
oolong tea: 38–58 mg
black tea: 47–53 mg
chai: 47–53 mg
white tea: 25–50 mg
green tea: 29–49 mg
Caffeine can easily cross the placenta, and your baby’s immature liver has difficulty breaking it down. As such, infants are more likely to experience side effects from amounts of caffeine that would otherwise be considered safe for adults.
Research suggests that infants exposed to too much caffeine during pregnancy may have a higher risk of being born preterm or with a low birth weight or birth defects. High caffeine intake during pregnancy may also increase the risk of miscarriage or stillbirth (7, 8, 9).
These risks appear minimal when pregnant women limit their caffeine intake to a maximum of 300 mg per day (8).
However, some women’s genetics may make them more sensitive to the ill effects of caffeine. For instance, research suggests that this small proportion of women may have a 2.4 times higher risk of miscarriage when consuming 100–300 mg of caffeine per day (8).
Caffeinated teas contain less caffeine than coffee and are generally considered safe to drink during pregnancy. However, their intake may need to be limited to avoid consuming too much caffeine per day (10, 11).
Black, green, matcha, oolong, white, and chai teas contain caffeine, a stimulant that should be limited during pregnancy. Although they’re generally safe, women may benefit from limiting their daily intake of these caffeinated teas during pregnancy.
Herbal teas are made from dried fruits, flowers, spices, or herbs and therefore contain no caffeine. However, they may contain other compounds considered unsafe during pregnancy, which may result in risky side effects.
Miscarriage or preterm labor
Teas that may increase your risk of miscarriage or preterm labor include (11, 12, 13, 14, 15):
frankincense (in large amounts)
chamomile (in large amounts)
Teas that may stimulate or increase menstrual bleeding include (12, 16, 17):
Teas that may increase the risk of birth defects include (12):
Other side effects
Moreover, in rare cases, eucalyptus tea may cause nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. What’s more, a case report suggests that regularly drinking chamomile tea during pregnancy may result in poor blood flow through a baby’s heart (1, 12).
Certain herbal teas may also contain compounds that interact with medications. Therefore, pregnant women should inform their healthcare providers of any herbal teas they are currently consuming or planning on consuming at any time during pregnancy (1).
Keep in mind that, due to the limited amount of research on the safety of herbal teas, a lack of evidence of negative side effects shouldn’t be seen as proof that the tea is safe to drink during pregnancy.
Until more is known, it may be best for pregnant women to remain cautious and avoid drinking any teas that have not yet been shown to be likely safe during pregnancy (18).
Certain herbal teas may be linked to a higher risk of upset stomach, menstrual bleeding, miscarriage, birth defects, or preterm birth. Pregnant women may benefit from avoiding all teas not yet deemed as likely safe for pregnancy.
Teas are not strictly tested or regulated. This means that women may be inadvertently drinking teas contaminated with unwanted compounds, such as heavy metals (19, 20).
For instance, one study tested common off-the-shelf black, green, white, and oolong teas. It found that 20% of all samples were contaminated with aluminum. Moreover, 73% of all samples contained lead levels considered unsafe during pregnancy (21).
In another study, women with the highest intake of green and herbal teas during the first trimester of pregnancy had 6–14% higher blood lead levels than those who drank the least. That said, all blood lead levels remained within the normal range (20).
Due to the lack of regulation, there’s also a risk of herbal teas containing ingredients not listed on the label. This increases the risk that pregnant women end up inadvertently consuming a tea tainted with an undesirable herb, such as the ones listed above.
It’s currently impossible to eliminate this risk. However, you may somewhat minimize it by only purchasing teas from reputable brands.
What’s more, it’s likely best to avoid purchasing teas in bulk, as they have a higher risk of becoming mixed with tea leaves that may be contraindicated during pregnancy from adjacent bulk bins.
The manufacturing of teas is not regulated. As a result, teas may become tainted with unwanted compounds, such as heavy metals or herbs that have been linked to poor pregnancy outcomes.
Most caffeinated teas are considered safe to drink during pregnancy, as long as they do not cause a woman’s total daily caffeine intake to exceed 300 mg (8, 11).
Women who are particularly sensitive to caffeine may benefit from aiming for a maximum of 100 mg of caffeine per day (8).
When it comes to herbal teas, there’s not a lot of research regarding their effects during pregnancy. As such, most health professionals advise pregnant women to avoid consuming any herb in amounts greater than you would find in foods (1, 12, 18).
That said, according to a few studies, herbal teas containing the following ingredients may be safe to consume during pregnancy:
Raspberry leaf. This tea is considered likely safe and believed to shorten labor and help prepare the uterus for birth. Research shows that it may shorten the length of the second stage of labor, but only by about 10 minutes (11, 22).
Peppermint. This tea is considered likely safe and commonly used to help relieve gas, nausea, stomach pain, or heartburn. However, no studies could be found to support these benefits (12).
Ginger. Ginger is one of the most studied herb remedies during pregnancy and considered possibly safe. Research suggests it reduces nausea and vomiting but, when consumed dried, should not exceed 1 gram per day (1, 12).
Lemon balm. This tea is considered possibly safe and commonly used to relieve anxiety, irritability, and insomnia. However, no study could be found to support these uses, and its safety hasn’t been studied in pregnancy (11).
Although generally considered safe, raspberry leaf may promote uterine contractions while peppermint may stimulate menstrual flow. Therefore, there’s some controversy regarding whether these teas are safe during the first trimester of pregnancy (12, 23).
Therefore, it may be best to avoid drinking these two teas in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Herbal teas considered to be possibly safe or likely safe during pregnancy include raspberry leaf, peppermint, ginger, and lemon balm teas. However, it may be best to avoid raspberry leaf and peppermint teas in the first trimester of pregnancy.
Despite their widespread popularity, not all teas are deemed safe for pregnancy.
Caffeinated teas like black, green, white, matcha, and chai teas are generally considered safe. However, their intake may need to be limited to avoid ingesting excessive amounts of caffeine.
Most herbal teas should be avoided. Raspberry leaf, peppermint, ginger, and lemon balm tea are the only ones currently deemed as potentially safe. However, women may benefit from avoiding the first two during their first trimester of pregnancy.
90,000 tea recommendations for expectant mothers-DW-18.11. 2018
November 18, 2018 9000,0002 A fragrant tea cup not only quenches thirsty but also helps to relax. What types of tea and types of medicinal herbs do experts from Germany recommend for pregnant women?
Contrary to popular belief that pregnant women should eat and drink " for two " , experienced doctors and midwives advise otherwise. According to gynecologist Christian Windelen from Cologne, one and a half to two liters of fluid a day is enough. It is better to drink boiled water, berry, fruit juices and drinks, various teas.
But tea is different for tea, so the choice of a healing drink should be treated very carefully. A detailed study of the use of herbs for the prevention and treatment of various diseases is carried out by a special area of medicine - herbal medicine. Unfortunately, it is quite difficult to thoroughly study the effect of herbal drinks on the body of pregnant women for ethical reasons, the German gynecologist explains.
Herbal teas are also medicine Photo: picture-alliance/dpa/imageBROKER
However, based on years of observation, doctors recommend certain types of herbs during pregnancy. Moreover, herbal infusions can and should be used as a medicine, emphasizes Christian Vindelen. But black or green tea should not be carried away. The reason lies in theine, the so-called tea caffeine. With excessive use, it, like caffeine, can provoke a slowdown in intrauterine development of the fetus.
During pregnancy, no more than three cups a day
Based on the latest research on the benefits and harms of caffeine for pregnant women, the German Nutrition Society (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung) recommendations suggest limiting the invigorating drink to three cups ( black, green tea or coffee) per day. Christian Vindelen advises his patients during pregnancy to replace black tea with herbal infusions that can have a similar invigorating effect - for example, rooibos.
Midwife Martina Höfel from Minden has been advising expectant mothers for many years. Her favorite is herbal infusion made from raspberry and blackberry leaves. Tea has a mild stimulating effect on the walls of the uterus. It is better to drink it warm, not hot, starting from the 37th week of pregnancy, and no more than three cups a day.
Don't get carried away with such favorite herbal teas in Germany as mint, hibiscus or ginger root. All of them can contribute to premature uterine contractions, explains Martina Höfel. Drinks from plants with pronounced abortive properties should be completely excluded. These include verbena, rosemary, parsley, calendula, oregano, sage. It is better to refuse from such herbs widely used in folk medicine as St.
The best recipe - variety
Linda von Glahn, consultant of the UGB Healthy Food Association in Berlin, believes that the secret to the correct use of herbal drinks during pregnancy is simple: they need to be rotated more often. The recipe is not new at all, but effective. An ecotrophologist and expert in baby and pregnancy nutrition offers a range of well-known and undeniably useful plants to choose from.
These include, for example, fennel, chamomile, lavender and lemon balm, which have a beneficial effect on the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. Chamomile and lavender have bactericidal and anti-inflammatory properties, help to relax. After a cup of this tea, it is easier and faster to fall asleep.
Rosehip decoction - a healthy drink for expectant mothers Photo: imago/imagebroker/Kröger
Rosehip decoction, like various fruit teas, is rich in vitamins and minerals. Freshly brewed infusions of fruits and berries strengthen the immune system. But the absolute favorite of ecotrophologist Linda von Glahn is rooibos (rooibos) tea. A drink made from the leaves of an African bush contains an impressive amount of antioxidants and various minerals. It is able to weaken the action of the stress hormone cortisol and positively influence the work of the happiness hormone serotonin. This is a real elixir of good mood, emphasizes Linda von Glahn. The Berlin expert once again reminds: infusions and herbal teas are medicines that should be used in moderation and better after consultation with an expert.
See also: 10 things that affect your health
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Is it possible to drink tea during pregnancy and which varieties to pay special attention to - an article on the TCHK
During pregnancy, women have many questions about what they can and cannot do. Including many, it is important to know how to build their relationship with tea during an interesting situation. What is the best tea for pregnant women? How much and when? In this article, we have collected all the most important information regarding this issue.
Classic tea during pregnancy (black, green, pu-erh, etc.)
If you like to drink black tea, during pregnancy you should remember that this drink contains caffeine, and the norm of this substance for a pregnant woman is 200-300 mg per day. Of course, no one carries a special tea calculator in their pocket, and calculating exactly how much caffeine you get with each cup is quite difficult. That is why it is better to brew black tea weakly (by pouring for 10-15 seconds) or diluted with more water (if you prefer this method of preparation).
The same rules apply to those who like to drink green tea, as well as white, yellow, oolong and pu-erh. There is no less caffeine in these types of tea than in classic black (and even more in matcha). General medical advice for healthy women comes down to the advice not to drink more than 3 cups of regular tea made from the leaves of the tea bush.
Caffeine can easily cross the placenta and the baby's immature liver has difficulty breaking it down. Thus, infants are more likely to experience side effects from amounts of caffeine that would be considered safe for adults.
It is important to remember that caffeine is also found in many carbonated drinks, chocolate, cocoa and coffee itself. Therefore, when measuring for yourself the allowable amount of tea, consider other products that you consume per day.
If you can give up traditional tea without loss of quality of life and mood, look at other types of drinks.
The undisputed leader in this hit parade is rooibos - tisane, which does not contain caffeine and is allowed for both pregnant and lactating women, as well as children. Hibiscus, kuqiao, anchan and ivan tea are also considered safe, but, like any herbal drinks, these tisanes should be alternated without getting carried away by any one type.
Herbal teas for pregnant women (herbal teas)
Although it is commonly believed that herbal teas are more beneficial for pregnant women than classic ones, this is actually a very controversial issue. As with the traditional tea leaf, a pregnant woman should use any herbal drink in moderation, as even the safest plants in large quantities can harm the baby.
The most useful herbal tea for pregnant women
You may be surprised, but this tea is made from raspberry leaves. Medical studies have shown that red raspberry leaf can be safely consumed during pregnancy. Many midwives and herbalists believe that regular consumption of raspberry leaf tea can help prevent pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia, preterm labor, prolonged labor and postpartum hemorrhage, as well as reduce the duration of labor and the number of interventions used, including caesarean section. . In addition, raspberry leaf helps prevent too early or too late delivery.
Teas for toxemia
For many women in early pregnancy (and sometimes longer) it is very important to find their own way to cope with nausea caused by toxemia. Properly selected tea can be a good way to solve this problem.
Tea with mint
The fresh cool aroma of mint becomes a real salvation for many pregnant women during toxicosis - the essential oils of this plant can alleviate the symptoms of the disease. Not recommended in the first trimester.
Ginger root helps to relieve nausea and vomiting, and is also considered the first aid in toxicosis. Use with caution if you have stomach problems.
Chamomile tea is also good for women suffering from toxicosis, and in addition, it has a positive effect on the nervous system and helps with thrush. Despite the fact that it is considered useful for pregnant women, you should not get carried away with it - an overdose can have an abortive effect.
Healthy supplements for tea
It is very important for a pregnant woman to get the maximum amount of nutrients per day (without fanaticism, of course). That is why adding a little honey, berries or fruits to your tea can be a good idea.
Tea with lemon
This tea is worth drinking to prevent the symptoms of toxicosis and overall strengthening of the immune system. Not recommended if a woman has stomach problems (gastritis, heartburn, etc.).
Tea with honey
A spoon of honey will always make your drink better and healthier (at least if you are not allergic to honey components). It is a good source of antioxidants, natural prebiotic and antibacterial.
Tea with berries
Raspberries, cranberries, sea buckthorn, currants, strawberries - you can continue this list according to your taste. By adding berries to tea, you enrich it with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
These plants have abortive properties or can harm the child (delayed development, risk of intrauterine defects).
*This article summarizes the best studies of evidence-based medicine over the years.