Tea – What’s Safe and What’s Not

Hi everyone; it has been way too long since I’ve found the time to write a post.  As you all know, I started this blog during my maternity leave and since I’ve been back to work (albeit working for myself freelancing at home) I’ve really struggled to find anytime to sit down and write. So, today in true form to the post I am writing, I’m sat at my desk with a cup of peppermint tea whilst my sixteen-month old naps. The Monty Python team once declared’ Make Tea, Not War’ Great advice, I mean who doesn’t love a cup of tea? We are, after-all a nation of tea drinkers and with that in mind; the topic we’re covering today is ‘which teas are safe to drink during pregnancy and which teas should be avoided?’ image Tea is broken down into herbal and non-herbal with the non-herbal variety including the likes of green tea and black tea and these are the ones that are made by fermenting tea leaves, meaning they contain varying amounts of caffeine.  Don’t be fooled by the decaf versions either, they still contain small levels of caffeine and should be enjoyed sparingly.  The existing advice is that pregnant women should limit caffeine intake to less than 200 mg per day. So, before I start; if the idea of herbal tea is not for you, and to be fair they’re not everyone’s cup of tea (yes that pun was totally intentional) please remember to consult with your Doctor or Midwife for a professional confirmation about what is a safe quantity of non-herbal tea to consume. In comparison to drinking caffeinated beverages, herbal teas certainly are the safer option.  They’re great at hydrating the body, they are loaded with antioxidants and some are even known to reduce stress and anxiety.  A great example is Ginger Tea and Peppermint tea which has been shown to reduce morning sickness.  Then there is Raspberry Leaf Tea which has been shown to prepare the uterus for labour and is often recommended by midwives for consumption from the second trimester onward as it is  thought to decrease the chances of preterm labour.image The following are considered safe to drink; however, caution still needs to be taken and as mentioned above; if you have any doubts ( all pregnancies are different ) please do contact your health care provider. Rooibos Tea: Rooibos tea is often suggested for use in pregnancy. I drank gallons of the stuff during my second pregnancy.  It is completely caffeine free, and has a beneficial effect on your digestive system.  It can also help to settle colic and reflux. Amongst an abundance of antioxidants, it also contains calcium and magnesium.  I prefer my teas without milk, but this is equally delicious served with milk and if you need your tea sweetened, honey is a great addition without the added refined sugar. image Ginger Tea: Ginger Tea has been known to ease the digestive system and reduce morning sickness.  Less sugar than ginger biscuits too! Nettle Tea Provides high levels of iron, magnesium and calcium, However, make sure any nettle tea you drink uses dried leaves and not the root; the label should state that it is made with the leaf and the existing guidelines recommend sticking to one cup a day from the second trimester onward. Raspberry Leaf Tea: Raspberry Leaf Tea has been suggested to prepare the uterus for labour, prevent preterm labour and reduce the risk of post pregnancy haemorrhaging.  It’s safe to drink from the second trimester onwards. Peppermint Tea:  Again this was a lifesaver during the early months of pregnancy, its great at settling a squiffy stomach as it relaxes the stomach muscles, reduces nausea and sickness Dandelion Leaf Tea: Dandelion leaf tea is great at reducing the fluid retention often present during those last few months of pregnancy as it has a mild diuretic effect. The following is a list of teas that should be avoided during pregnancy, herbal teas are not regulated by the FDA and there is much controversy surrounding the following.  This list is not extensive so if there are teas you wish to drink that are not listed please consult your doctor or midwife
Alfalfa Fennel (medicinal amounts) Mayapple
Aloe vera Fenugreek Mistletoe
Anise Feverfew Motherwort
Autumn crocus Gentian Mugwort
Barberry Ginkgo Nutmeg
Basil Ginseng Oregano
Bayberry Goldenseal Osha
Bearberry Gotu kola Parsely (medicinal amounts)
Celery seed Guarana (contains caffeine) Passion flower
Chamomile Hawthorne Pennyroyal
Chasteberry/ vitex Hibiscus/rosemallow Peruvian bark/cinchona
Chicory root Hoodia Pleurisy root
Cinnamon Horehound Poppy (avoid completely)
Cohosh, blue or black Hyssop Pulsatilla
Coltsfoot Juniper berry Red clover blossom
Comfrey Labrador tea Rhubarb
Damiana leaf Lemongrass Rosemary
Devil’s claw Licorice root Rue
Duck root Lovage Sage
Eucalyptus Mallow Sassafras
Turmeric root Saw palmetto Woodruff
Valerian Senna leaves Wormwood
Vervain Tansy Yarrow
Vetiver Thyme
Wild yam

The information on this website is for general information only and is not intended as, nor should it be a substitute for visiting your GP, healthcare professional or midwife.  If you have any concerns we advise you to seek professional medical advice. 

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