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?’

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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

Anise
Aloe vera
Alfalfa
Autumn crocus
Basil
Barberry
Bayberry
Bearberry
Osha
Parsely (medicinal amounts)
Passion flower
Pennyroyal
Peruvian bark/cinchona
Pleurisy root
Pulsatilla

Celery seed
Chamomile
Chasteberry/ vitex
Chicory root
Cinnamon
Coltsfoot
Cohosh, blue or black
Comfrey
Damiana leaf
Devil’s claw
Duck root
Turmeric root
Thyme
Valerian

Eucalyptus
Fenugreek
Fennel (medicinal amounts)
Feverfew
Gentian
Ginkgo
Ginseng
Goldenseal
Gotu kola
Guarana (contains caffeine)
Hawthorne
Hibiscus/rosemallow
Vervain
Vetiver
Wild yam
Tansy

Hoodia
Horehound
Hyssop
Juniper berry
Labrador tea
Lemongrass
Licorice root
Lovage
Mallow
Mayapple
Mistletoe
Motherwort
Mugwort
Nutmeg
Oregano

Poppy (avoid completely)
Red clover blossom
Rhubarb
Rosemary
Rue
Sage
Sassafras
Saw palmetto
Senna leaves
Woodruff
Wormwood
Yarrow

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