Are you a herbal tea drinker? In that case, you’ll be wondering which teas are safe during pregnancy. In this blog I take you through the evidence on 9 different types of herbal tea so that you know which ones are safe during pregnancy, and which ones to avoid…
Herbal tea during pregnancy
Herbal tea is known to have a range of health benefits from reducing inflammation to improving heart health. It’s not only delicious, but medicinal too. Which is why, not all teas are safe during pregnancy.
You see, herbal tea may help ease uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms, such as morning sickness and acid reflux. But, consuming too much herbal tea during pregnancy may have adverse impacts on your baby’s growth and development.
There is a wide range of herbal tea choices. Let’s have a closer look at which are safe, and which are not….
Teas to avoid…
Firstly, unless specifically recommended by your healthcare professional, I’d recommend avoiding chamomile tea and ginseng tea.
Chamomile tea is often consumed to relieve menstrual cramps and stomach aches. During pregnancy, it may be beneficial for easing the symptoms of morning sickness. However, research suggests that chamomile tea consumption during pregnancy has been associated with preterm delivery and low birth weight infants. There have also been a few documented cases of pregnant women experiencing anaphylaxis, so you definitely need to be cautious with it.
Authorities recommend that ginseng should generally be avoided during the first trimester of pregnancy, and used with caution if you choose to use it later in pregnancy as studies show it has been linked with growth restriction, high blood pressure and difficulty sleeping.
Teas to limit…
There is still debate about the following herbal teas during pregnancy, so I’d recommend limiting your intake to no more than one cup per day, or two cups every other day, just to be on the safe side.
Ginger is rich in vitamin B6, which has shown to ease nausea. Consumption of ginger tea during pregnancy may reduce pregnancy-related nausea. However, before consuming ginger tea during pregnancy, it should be noted that there have been studies that suggest ginger tea consumption may result in shorter length of gestation and a reduced infant head circumference so don’t guzzle it down.
Green tea is rich in antioxidants and reduces inflammation. Some studies have shown that the anti-inflammatory properties may reduce fat mass and risks of obesity within offspring. However, Green tea contains caffeine, which means you need to take care to limit your intake. Too much caffeine has been associated with impacting the development of fetal organs.
Hibiscus tea is popular as it has been shown to reduce blood pressure and have a role in improving cardiovascular functioning. However, the impact of hibiscus tea during pregnancy hasn’t been studied, so until there’s more research, it’s wise to be cautious… especially as blood pressure often fluctuates throughout pregnancy.
Although Rooibos tea is low in caffeine, and has been shown to have anti-diabetic properties, no studies have been undertaken to determine its safety during pregnancy, so until it’s properly studied, it’s recommended that it be limited.
Teas that are safe…
Now, if you want to drink herbal tea, these teas are my favourites for pregnancy. Remember, however, that herbal teas are unregulated, so the dose and quality can vary from brand to brand. It’s also wise to read the label to check for other additives. Based on current evidence, up to three cups per day of the following teas are safe.
The limited research available suggests that peppermint tea is one of the safer herbal teas to consume during pregnancy. It has also been found to be beneficial for relieving nausea and preventing vomiting in some women.
Now, let me know in the comments below what your favourite tea is!
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