Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist, dietician, or herbalist. Always consult with your healthcare team before taking any kind of herbal supplementation, especially while pregnant.
There is so much chemistry within nature that is beneficial for our bodies. The better nourished our bodies, the better they perform. For life, for birth, and everything between. As a preventative health person, herbal teas are a good preventative health approach.
Even though they aren’t regulated by the FDA, plants are becoming topics of scientific study. Yay for botany and medicine joining forces!
Herbal teas can provide pretty essential nutrients like calcium, iron, and magnesium. These nutrients can be a natural fertility aid too.
Many women limit their caffeine intake while pregnant. But there's still craving to holding something warm and cozy. Holding a nice, freshly steeped brewed loose leaf herbal tea can add be soul-boosting.
As with anything, though care must be taken to respect the power of natural substances. Careful dosage is important. Just because something is “natural” doesn’t mean it isn’t potent. Especially in high doses or, over time. Every study I’ve read recommends no more than 2-3 cups a day of herbal tea while pregnant.
It’s also important to make sure that any tea leaves you purchase are responsibly sourced, dried, and packaged. My favorite supplier is Mountain Rose Herbs.
Add 3-4 tablespoons of the herb tea to 1 quart of boiling water.
Let steep for 2-4 hours.
You can then keep your batch in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Many pregnancy teas contain red raspberry leaves. This herb promotes uterine health during pregnancy. Red raspberry leaf can be used to induce labor.
A, C, E, Iron
This is one of the safest pregnancy herbs. But, there’s still some debate about if it should be used throughout pregnancy or just in the 2nd and 3rd trimester. Many health care providers remain cautious. They only recommend using it after the first trimester. Here’s a link to an Australian study about red raspberry leaf safety during pregnancy.
Red raspberry frozen chips sucked throughout labor can facilitate placenta expulsion. It can even prevent hemorrhage.
This study shows that women who ingest raspberry leaf might be less likely to receive an artificial rupture of their membranes. AKA they're less likely to require a cesarean section, forceps, or vacuum birth.
This study talks about the bioactive benefits of berry leaves. This is similar to the fruits themselves. They have rich sources of phenolic acids, esters, flavonols, anthocyanins, procyanidins, and chlorogenic acid. These have all demonstrated antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective, and neuroprotective properties.
Do not confuse red raspberry leaf with red clover. Red clover is considered “likely unsafe” during pregnancy. It can act like estrogen and disturb hormone levels.
A, K, D, E magnesium, iron, beta karatean.
This is a good one (like everything—in small doses!) for later stages of your pregnancy and postpartum. Vitamin K is particularly good later in pregnancy to prevent postpartum hemorrhage. It also helps with breastmilk production!
Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Chromium
No drug interactions or side effects have been reported with oat straw. But some people with allergies or severe gluten sensitivity should avoid it.
Oats were originally cultivated by Romans for horse feed.
A, C, D, K, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, sulfur
Nettle can have a stimulating effect on the uterus. Drink in moderation during your 2nd and 3rd trimester.
I found a recipe for Nettle Omelets!
Calcium & Antioxidants
Drink in moderation throughout your pregnancy
This is actually in the legume family!
Here are some additional resources if you’d like to continue reading more:
The Natural Pregnancy Book by Aviva Romm
Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year, by Susun Weed
I can’t help but love that her last name is a weed when so many tea leaves are often considered pesky yard weeds.
Many of these teas, especially in combination, taste pretty earthy. If you're new to tea, remember they can an acquired taste.
Like most preventative approaches, things work better in small consistent doses over time.
Limited data exists on women's use of either herbal or vitamin supplements during pregnancy. A study done in Australia reported that anywhere from 7-96% of pregnant women use herbal supplements during pregnancy. The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology shows the prevalence to be closer to 10% in the US. Little is known about potential risks.
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