Teas That Are Safe for Pregnancy

Rooibos tea, safe for pregnancy and breast feeding, high in vitamin c and anti-oxidants.I was recently asked what teas are appropriate to drink while pregnant and nursing. There was a four-year period during which I was trying to become pregnant, so I had a lot of time to research this. Throughout that whole portion of my life, I lived as though I were pregnant – just in case. *smiles*

I’ll begin with the things one shouldn’t drink so we can end on a positive. *grin*

The big thing to avoid in beverages while pregnant is caffeine. That eliminates all black, oolong, and green teas – you know, real tea that comes from the Camellia sinensis bush. Also, steer clear of anything from the cocoa plant and any tea with maté (yerba maté). Both of these contain a lot of caffeine.

There are a few herbs not recommended during pregnancy that should be avoided in both teas and as rubs or flavorings in cooking.

  • chamomile
  • ephedra
  • licorice root
  • raspberry leaf
  • anise
  • sage
  • rosemary
  • hibiscus
  • lemongrass
  • sassafras
  • nettle leaf
  • fennel

Fret not. There are oodles of wonderful teas and herbs you can drink with impunity. I often made my own chai tea blends with peppermint, ginger, lemon zest, peppercorns, and finished with a shot of almond milk. The peppermint and ginger might even help with nausea in the first trimester. Just be sure to read the labels of any blended or bagged tea you may buy.

Another whole group of safe herbal drinks are the Rooibos teas, also known as African Red Bush tea or Honeybush tea. It is naturally decaffeinated, full of Vitamin C and anti-oxidants, and naturally sweet. If you buy a flavored variety of Rooibos, just make sure it doesn’t contain any of the herbs on the Not Recommended list. I was thrilled with the Orange Blossom Rooibos, myself.

As with everything in life, extremes are less than optimal. I understand that caffeine is not advised while pregnant, and I intentionally avoided it when I could yet, given the amount of water I drink, I felt that small amount of caffeine was negligible. Caffeine, and any other stimulants, raise the heart rate and could possibly stunt fetal development, so they are best avoided, yet I refused to panic over small amounts. Just remember to keep off the espresso and chocolate as best you are able. The same applies to the other herbs on the No-no list. If someone cooks an amazing dinner with a tablespoon of rosemary flavoring all the stew, I wouldn’t panic.

The best and most important beverage anyone can consider during pregnancy and breast feeding is an excellent quality water – and plenty of it. When someone is properly hydrated, it goes a long way toward washing the system of anything less than optimal. The best idea is to drink no more than 2-3 cups of tea or juice per day and let the rest be water.

Does anyone have any tips or tricks they’d like to contribute? I’d love to hear what you drank during your pregnancy!

Breathe deeply,
Laugh with abandon,
Love wholly,
Eat well.

MiLady Carol
Dazzling jewelry that reflects sparkling personalities!

7 comments to Teas That Are Safe for Pregnancy

  • Hi Carol,

    Great post! I must, however, respectfully disagree with the banning of red raspberry leaf and nettles during pregnancy. The studies showing red raspberry leaf starting contractions were done with extract, not tea, and the extract was applied directly to uterine muscle tissue, not ingested. This study, done in the 1970s I think, has been responsible for many women missing out on the wonderful benefits of this most feminine herb.

    Both herbs are recommended during pregnancy by Susun Weed, author of the Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year. Both herbs are useful in promoting fertility and as tonics to support the pregnancy.

    Red raspberry leaf is good for preventing miscarriage and hemorrhage, easing morning sickness, reducing pain during labor and postpartum, helping to release the placenta after birth and in producing milk.

    Nettles help the kidneys deal with the extra work during pregnancy, ease leg cramps, ease pain during and after birth, prevent hemorrhage, reduce hemorrhoids, supply baby with vitamin K naturally and increase milk production.

    Looking forward to seeing you soon! 🙂

  • Thanks for your input, Toni! As I researched this, I saw it repeated so many times that I thought I should keep the raspberry leaf on the list — just in case.

    The moral of the story is that we should always check in with a naturopath, nutritionist, or other professional before adding or banning anything. We’re all different. My naturopath had me drinking nettles and red raspberry leaf to encourage conception, so I thought it strange to keep them on the naughty list.

    You’re an awesome font of knowledge. I was hoping you’d comment. *hugs*

  • Marilyn

    Thank you so much Carol! I too was confused about the whole Raspberry leaf tea thing. When I was pregnant with Lindsay I drank towards the end of the pregnancy like my last month to assist in getting my labor going. My doctor recommended it. Alas it never worked…but maybe it helped in ways that I wasn’t aware of.

  • I already know that tea also safe for pregnancy. This is useful article about tea.

  • Rachel

    Thank you so much for this blog post!!! Marilyn referred me over here and this was exactly the information I was looking for! 🙂

  • I’m glad I helped! Congratulations on your pregnancy. I hope all is smooth and easy and full of health and happiness.

    Breathe deeply,
    Laugh with abandon,
    Love wholly,
    Eat well.

    MiLady Carol
    Dazzling jewelry that reflects sparkling personalities!

  • Nice. Thanks for posting this. Its always great to see someone educate the public.