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Herbal Tea Safety During Pregnancy

Written by Lou on April 12th, 2013.      0 comments

Prattys Tea


We've added the fabulous range of Prattys Pregnancy Teas to Belly Beyond including Yummy Mummy To Be, Ease the Quease, Chilled Out Mama and the amazing Gift Pack which includes all three plus Don't Stress Babe for once bubs is here AND a Mesh Infuser Ball to boot.

MummyTummy Pregnancy Tea



Herbal Tea Safety During Pregnancy

Otherwise known as infusions or tisanes, herbal teas are actually the most common and oldest form of herbal medicine and a wonderfully pleasant way to gently improve your health. Herbal tea is made when you pour hot water over leaves, flowers, ground roots or seeds and ‘infuse’ for 10-15 minutes. The hot water extracts all the essential oils and valuable nutrients into the tea.

During pregnancy herbal teas are extremely nourishing and a relatively safe way to get benefits from herbs. This is great news, as the safety of taking herbs during pregnancy is of high concern to all expectant parents. It is the simplicity of herbal teas that makes them so s

 

afe. Only elements like essential oils are extracted using hot water, whereas many of the more potentially stronger compounds in herbs, such as alkaloids, need alcohol to be extracted so these wont end up in your cup.

In saying this however, it is always wise to be cautious of anything you take during pregnancy and herbs should be included in this. Unfortunately most available information on herbal teas, their uses and safety during pregnancy is often varied, confusing and in many cases completely wrong.

It is important to ask the best qualified person for advice and this might not be your GP, obstetrician or even your midwife. They are not trained in the area of herbal medicine and will usually tell you to not drink any herbal teas at all to be safe, which is a shame as you will miss out on all the wonderful benefits. So talk to a trained herbalist or naturopath about the herbs you are taking or ensure you are purchasing herbal teas from a reputable advice based source.


So how do you know which ones aren't safe?

All the tea products on this website have will have an icon just under the ingredients list that will tell you if this tea is safe during pregnancy.   Of course this is providing you follow recommended dosages of course! If there is no icon, then you can assume it might be best to avoid it during pregnancy.  Some of the reasons for this might be:

    It contains a laxative, like senna, which are contraindicated in pregnancy.
    It contains caffeine - now this is where you make up your own mind.   Mild caffeine consumption in pregnancy has been found to be safe, but high caffeine consumption is not recommended.   So up to 3 cups of black tea a day is fine, more of green or white tea.
    It contains Licorice:  We have left the 'Safe during pregnancy' icon off any of our teas or herbal infusions that contain licorice in order to be overly cautious.

It is traditionally noted that licorice is contraindicated during pregnancy due to the possibility of it increasing blood pressure.  However there have been studies on licorice where a number of women have become or were pregnant and there were no health problems or side effects encountered, blood pressure or otherwise. And these studies were using high doses of licorice, more than what you would get in a herbal tea if taking the recommended dosages. However if you are suffering from High Blood Pressure, it is wise note to take licorice unless supervised.

The reason for any concern is an active ingredient in licorice, glycyrrhizin, in very high doses can affect the mineral balance in your kidneys and lead to sodium and water retention.    So it kind of acts in the same way as a very high salt diet would! 

 

Blog post from Leanne Pratt - the Tea expert and founder of Prattys

Leanne Pratt
Topics: Prattys, Pregnancy, tea
 

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