A friend of mine recently became pregnant, and asked me what herbal teas are safe during pregnancy, such as chamomile and lemon balm. During my pregnancy two years back, I pretty much avoided all herbs for fear they might have adverse reactions since there were so many contradicting sources online. There were sites saying dandelion, for instance, was dangerous, which confused me since I assumed dandelion was a plant one could eat in large quantities like a salad. Needless to say, I only drank ginger and mint tea, and then raspberry and nettle in my last trimester, because I was so afraid (I had miscarried 6 months before my pregnancy). Anyway, she really loves to drink tea, and so I was wondering what teas your recommend or think are safe during pregnancy.
That's the herbal portion of my new book is all about! I got so tired of all the misinformation that doctors and the media handed out that I put everything together... the herbs that are safe and why and the herbs that should give pause and why for preconception, pregnancy and lactation. Needless to say, it is a long list so I'm not going to be able to list them all. I'll just address the ones in your message. Ginger is fine in small amounts but if you use it on a therapeutic level (three times a day ongoing) it can act as an emmenagogue- it will bring on a cycle. Peppermint, Spearmint, Raspberry leaf and nettle are all fine and should be enjoyed throughout pregnancy. Dandelion is also just fine. Lemon balm can be fine as long as she does not have hypothyroidism. Chamomile is also safe.
I like a combination of raspberry leaf, alfalfa or oats, nettle, chamomile mint and rose hips as a daily tea throughout pregnancy.
Thank you for your response. It's good to know the chamomile and lemon balm are safe (our thyroids are normal). I'll have to tell her about the alfalfa , oats and rose hips, too! That's interesting about the ginger. I drank a lot of it (1-3 cups a day, I think) because I was so nauseous throughout my pregnancy... and my son ended up being two weeks late! It reminds me of what one of my doctors said, that a miscarriage early on will either happen or not, and herb/food don't really make a difference; if there was a food that would cause a miscarriage, people would use it all the time to cause them. I didn't really believe the doctor, though, as doctors often do not think about the effects foods have on a body, let alone herbs...
As for the red raspberry tea, when I miscarried very early in my first pregnancy (found out I was pregnant, then started miscarrying), I bled for over 30 days. The doctor I visited said he could either do a D&C or I could take some herbs to help cause contractions. One of the herbs was red raspberry leaf. I drank a ton of it, and the bleeding stopped (come to find out, I bled so long because I had polycystic ovaries). Could red raspberry tea cause a miscarriage? I avoided it out of that fear for my first two trimesters, maybe I shouldn't have?
Oh! I was wondering if you knew if there are any differences between blackberry leave tea and raspberry leaves? I don't have any red raspberries, but I do have blackberry, blackcap raspberry, and golden raspberry. Could I use those in place of red raspberry leaves?
black raspberry leaf and red raspberry leaf aren't similar enough to be used in the same way. It really needs to be Rubus idaeus.
No, red raspberry does not pose a threat for miscarriage. It has received a misunderstood reputation in the medical community because of a lack of understanding. This is an amphoteric herb. It either strengthens contractions when that is needed or relaxes the uterus when that is needed. It's action is in toning the muscle of the uterus. It does not "cause" contractions. It won't help folks go into labor and it should not be avoided by pregnant mothers. It is a very important health tonic during pregnancy.... especially for those who lack tone in the muscle of their uterus and those who may have had a previous miscarriage.
Thank you so much for info on black versus red raspberry! I'd searched online for quite a while, but could find no answer. I guess I just need to hunker down and buy more raspberry plants so I can stop buying the tea, sigh, I guess I'll just have to eat more raspberries . Thank you, also, for the clarification on how red raspberry leaves work. That's good to know! Does nettle work the same way?
Nettle builds the blood. It is a powerful nutritive that supports the health of the cardiovascular system. It doesn't have anything really for muscle tissue, so it doesn't have anything in common with red raspberry beyond their similar vitamins and minerals.
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