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List Of Safe Herbal Teas For Pregnant Women

In almost every part of the world, the use of herbal medicines during pregnancy has become popular with a belief that "being natural is safe". Herbal preparations such as teas or infusions come without or with minimal unwanted effects and also, least interact with the organism at a cellular level to exert any adverse effects on the growing baby.

In a study carried out on pregnant women from 18 countries, it was found that around 28.9 per cent of them use herbal medicines considering them as "safe". However, it is to be noted that excessive consumption of some herbs in the form of teas can be really unhealthy for pregnant women, considering their preparation, purity and time of use. [1]

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Experts suggest using hot-water extracts of dried herbs rather than capsules or alcohol extracts as the prior contain least compounds with low concentrations compared to the latter which is high on compounds along with alcohol content. Also, it is always good to consult a medical expert before usage.

In this article, you will find a list of safe herbal teas for pregnant women. Take a look.

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1. Peppermint tea

Peppermint is a great herb to relieve flatulence, vomiting and a number of morning sickness symptoms such as nausea and headache due to its antispasmodic effects. Peppermint is beneficial for women especially during the first trimester and no harmful effects of the tea have been shown to the mother or foetus in a proper amount.

However, its excessive use can sometimes stimulate menstruation in early pregnancy.

2. Ginger tea

In early pregnancy, a majority of women rely on ginger tea as a herbal tea that effectively helps fight morning sickness, vomiting, nausea, headache, motion sickness, indigestion and mood swings. A study has shown that ginger is considered harmless and an effective alternative to women who have high episodes of nausea and vomiting due to the presence of gingerol. [2]

It is to be noted that high consumption of ginger in the form of powder or tinctures can increase the risk of bleeding and stomach acid production.

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3. Green tea

Green tea is considered a health-promoting drink and if consumed in limited amounts, it can be great during pregnancy. It has numerous potent antioxidants that prevent damage to the foetus and mother due to oxidative stress and improves blood circulation in the body. Green tea may also help reduce high blood pressure and weight gain. However, excessive consumption of green tea can be unhealthy as it prevents the body from absorbing iron and folic acid. [3]

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4. Chamomile tea

Chamomile tea helps ease gastrointestinal irritation, joint pain and insomnia during the pregnancy period. A study talks about the anti-inflammatory activity of chamomile along with its phenolic compounds such as flavonoids and coumarins that effectively help the mother and foetus. [4]

Some studies have also shown that regular consumption of chamomile tea during the third trimester can cause pre-term delivery and low birth weight.

5. Tulsi (basil) tea

Tulsi tea has many therapeutic actions such as anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory actions. However, the efficacy of basil during pregnancy is contradicting. Some studies say that basil leaves as a superfood due to the presence of vitamins such as A, E, C, B1 and B2 and minerals like magnesium and zinc; while other studies have shown that basil leaves can cause contraction of the uterus and cause miscarriage.

Therefore, minimal or moderate consumption of tulsi tea can be beneficial.

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6. Red raspberry leaf tea

This tea is labelled under the "use with caution in pregnancy" category. Red raspberry leaf tea is mainly known to stimulate labour to achieve a vaginal birth. It is also associated with reducing glucose levels during gestational diabetes. However, it is a dose-dependent herb and its large consumption is not suggested for pregnant women.

7. Fennel seed tea

Fennel tea made from dried ripe fruit or seeds is known to cause favourable effects on hormonal disorders which are common during the pregnancy period. The tea may help enhance lactation and is also known to improve fertility. The anti-spasmodic effect of fennel tea can help reduce prolonged labour and lead to faster and effective dilation of the cervix. [5]

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8. Thyme tea

Thyme is considered a commonly used herb among pregnant women from the Middle East. Thyme tea may help relieve bloating and stomach ache across all the trimesters.it is also considered beneficial to prevent urinary tract infection and the common cold during pregnancy.

Thyme tea should be consumed in a very little amount due to its abortion-causing effect when consumed in a larger dose.

9. Anise tea

Anise tea is considered beneficial for postpartum healing and better lactation. In a normal dose, anise tea is safe and effective to be used in pregnancy. It is not recommended for women who are on warfarin, an anticoagulant drug as it may increase the action of the drug.

10. Quince tea

Quince tea is a traditional Korean tea prepared from powdered dried quince fruit infused in hot water. It is considered good for treating mild nausea and vomiting without any adverse side effects. Quince tea also helps treat stomach ache and pregnancy diarrhoea. It can be consumed in a moderate amount during pregnancy. [6]

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To Conclude

Herbal teas may help treat a range of mild pregnancy symptoms such as nausea and vomiting and is also beneficial for the growing foetus due to the presence of vital phytochemicals. However, as we know, the consumption of herbs is dose-dependent and therefore, they must be consumed after consulting a medical expert.