A question I get asked is if it is alright to drink herbal tea when pregnant
Although non-herbal tea is assumed to have great health benefits due to the antioxidants, it also contains caffeine, pregnant women are often encouraged to eliminate or cut down on during pregnancy. The average cup of non-herbal tea contains about 40-50 milligrams of caffeine. Decaffeinated non-herbal tea does still contain a bit of caffeine, however the amount is usually only about .4 milligrams.
Caffeine does cross the placenta and reaches your developing baby, and the baby cannot metabolize caffeine like an adult can. For this reason, there is much controversy on how much caffeine is safe or if it should be avoided altogether. We know that the less caffeine consumed, the better it is for your pregnancy.
Herbal teas are naturally caffeine free, so caffeine is not an issue. The concern with consuming herbal teas during pregnancy is the lack of data available on most herbs and their effects on a developing fetus. There are mixed opinions on the safety of herbal teas.
There are a number of teas which are considered to be good for pregnancy. The following is a list of the teas I recommend in my practice:
- Red Raspberry Leaf – Rich in iron, this herb has helped tone the uterus, increase milk production, decrease nausea, and ease labor pains.
- Peppermint Leaf – Helpful in relieving nausea/morning sickness and flatulence.
- Lemon Balm – Has a calming effect and helps relieve irritability, insomnia, and anxiety.
- Chamomile (German) – High in calcium and magnesium, also helps with sleeplessness and inflammation of joints.