I could have sworn a pregnant and herb-savvy friend was just recommending fennel tea the other day and saying it has made her latest pregnancy the easiest so far but now that I went out a bought some, everything I'm googling seems to say it is not safe at all. I know that at least one of you ladies knows all about it so I thought I'd ask here. Also, I am getting sick of ginger, so what herbal teas do you recommend, etc?
Which herbal teas are safe???
I don't know, a lot of these "unsafe in pregnancy" herbs just haven't had any testing done to determine if they're safe or not. I would assume that most- unless they're known for things like causing uterine contractions, etc- would be safe in small quantities. I'm really into lemongrass tea these days, which is untested for pregnancy so I just drink small amounts (1-2 cups a week tops).
You can try red rooibos tea (I can't STAND it, but a lot of people love it) because it's considered useful in pregnancy.....can't remember why, though. Even other fruity blends- blueberry, lemon zinger, raspberry thriller, etc. I'm really loving my decaf chocolate mint tea and my cinnamon vanilla spice tea. I love chai (decaf or otherwise!) with lots of steamy milk. A lot of tea companies (like Stash- do you have that there?) have come out with their seasonal teas, some of which are really really lovely. Sugar plum spice is amazing and I buy like, 10 boxes during the holidays to last us through the rest of the year. Also can't go wrong with staples like peppermint.
You could brew your own teas with nettles, alfalfa, of course red raspberry leaf, maybe a bit of lemon balm or peppermint leaves thrown in for flavor. Rose hips are a mellow almost berry-like flavor that I find very nice and I think they're high in vitamin C to boot.
Just find your favorite health food store and browse their tea section. Ask in the supplements section what is afe and what isn't, they'll have lists there. That's what I do :)
I actually was hoping more for teas that are specifically beneficial to pregnancy but I talked to the same friend and she swears by strong brews of nettles, which I have also read can cause contractions and are therefore not recommended until the end of pregnancy. Same for raspberry leaf. I guess the moral of the story is that the interwebs can't even agree with themselves. I am waiting until I can jusify a trip to the expensive health food store because the thrifty one didn't have any pregnancy teas.
You aren't going to find any FDA approved teas for pregnancy - almost every thing a pregnant woman can use comes with a CYA (cover your arse) policy attached to it. It is totally annoying...
The medicinal tea company (grr, can't think of the name. Google Pregnancy Tea) makes a specific tea for pregnancy.
Nettle tea, RRL, Alfalfa tea - all good tea for pregnancy. Personally I drink a mixture of RRL, Nettles, Alfalfa, and oatstraw (with sugar. I drink it iced) - I feel great and no problems.
You're also missing out on a lot of teas that are really really good for you- and a flavor change from water, blah!- if you're waiting to find one that has been proven good for pregnancy. Vitamin C, iron, and other good things are hiding in a lot of teas.
Even the ones marketed specifically as pregnancy teas- if you look at them- have things you're avoiding (nettles, fennel, RRL) and have not had their claims of safety or efficacy evaluated by the FDA.
There really isn't any money in it for anyone to say "yes, this well-known, common, inexpensive herb is great for pregnancy!" and do the research to back it up, so you might be waiting a long, long time :( Seems to be the sad truth, and why so many doctors can't recommend diet/teas/supplements to help support a healthy pregnancy, because it hasn't been adequately researched (nevermind that half of what they do is lacking research!)
Ugh. I did not say I was looking for FDA approved. I know rosehips, etc, have vitamin C and other good stuff. But it just looks like even trained herbalists disagree on whether fennel and raspberry leaf are safe before the last months of pregnancy. Yes, they have huge health benefits, but they also cause uterine contractions. Ideally, I was hoping someone here could recommend other specific herbs with benefits for pregnancy because I know there are some out there. In Germany, I was prescribed valerian during my last pregnancy, and I know that in other countries, many herbs HAVE been studied enough to determine safety and efficacy so the information must be out there. I am just not sure where the best place to look is, and FWIW, I think taking herbs that are specifically used to bring about uterine contractions is a very very bad idea for anyone with a history of spotting or miscarriage in the early months of pregnancy. That just seems pretty common sensical.
Don't apologize! I'm extra-crabby these days from being sick on top of being pregnant. I remembered one at the store today that I am 99% certain is safe: nettles. They didn't have any in the bulk section or the tea section though so I am going to have to hunt online. I am throwing loose rosehips in with everything in the meantime because they are an excellent source of vitamin C for winter. The kids and I used to drink that stuff religiously when the fruit selection in the store ran low and I think it's time to start living seasonally like that again. I can't wait to chug fennel and raspberry tea in the last trimester, but don't want to risk it now.
LOL Sorry also Layne. I thought you were looking for teas that were approved safe during pregnancy. The only place I know of that approves safety in the US is the FDA. Hence, my comment about not finding FDA approved teas.
I have never heard of nettles being a uterine stimulant - but that doesn't mean anything.
This is the tea I was talking about
Off the subject but on (haha) - valerien gives me terrible head aches. Only ever had it in tincture form, but it did. Yowch.
I hope you are feeling better with the pnuemonia and every thing!
Ok, I checked out the Yogi tea one and it had fennel and raspberry leaf. Nettles are safe, but fennel and raspberry leaf cause uterine contractions in large amounts, I drink tea in LARGE AMOUNTS so I think I am saving those for the third trimester. Nettles are supposed to be like a supervegetable and all full of nutrients so I am going to keep looking for them in the meantime. Looks like it's lemon and ginger and rosehips for me until I find them.
I think I may have actually snarled at dp yesterday, so I know I was coming across as way more angry than I meant to.
Most of the teas that are good for pregnancy you probably won't find anywhere but health food type stores. Things like oatstraw, red clover and the others mentioned won't be in most conventional teas. Tulsi tea is good - I get that at our large supermarket type store. But there again you will find conflicting advice - in the U.S. they will often say "it is not tested for safety- don't drink it!" but they have been drinking it in India specifically FOR pregnancy for eons. If you are worried about the red raspberry don't drink as much of it, I realize you say you drink alot of tea, but can you vary what you drink throughout the day? I like to mix peppermint with red raspberry leaf, because I really don't like the taste of it by itself and then i often make it into iced tea so it gets diluted even more - you could really drink a lot of "tea" that way and not be getting too much of the raspberry leaf tea itself. Many herbs that one uses during pregnancy would not be good in excess, but are excellent when used in normal amounts, variety will round out nutrition and avoid over exposure to a single herb.
I came across this article today - if you are still looking into what is not safe, what is good for pregnancy. The book that this is derived from "Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year"is also good and way more comprehensive.