Herbal Pregnancy Tea is an awesome way to get nutrients throughout pregnancy and prevent some common pregnancy complaints. When I was pregnant with Scarlett I did drink some nettle, dandelion, and red raspberry leaf tea at the suggestion of my midwife, but I did not realize you could make your own loose leaf pregnancy tea. This time around starting in the second trimester I started making this tea. The first thing I did was to order herbs. I ordered mine from Mountain Rose Herbs which is a very reputable herb company, although I know there are others out there too. I choose Red Raspberry Leaf, Nettle Leaf, Alfalfa Leaf, Oatstraw, and Dandelion root as the herbs I wanted to include in my tea.
Here is the recipe I have made up based on a recipe by Aviva Romm in The Natural Pregnancy Book:
2 cups Red Raspberry Leaf
2 cups Nettle Leaf
1/2 - 1 cup Alfalfa Leaf
1/2 cup Oatstraw
1/4 - 1/2 cup Dandelion Root
I mix all the ingredients in a big air tight container and mix them up. Then I take a handful and put it in a quart sized jar and fill with boiling water. I let mine sit for 1-2 hours than strain out the herbs and store in the fridge.
|What it looks like all mixed up in the container|
|In the jar ready to steep for a couple of hours|
According to The Natural Pregnancy Book written by midwife and herbalist Aviva Romm Red Raspberry leaf, one of the main ingredients in the tea is "rich in vitamins (C, A, B complex) and minerals (phosphorus, potassium iron and calcium) as well as a substance known as fragarine, which tones the uterus muscles". She also goes on to say " this herb is said to nourish the muscles and prevent hemorrhage due to its high iron content and its astringent qualitites". She recommends this throughout pregnancy. I choose to start drinking it my second trimester due to the uterine toning qualities. Surprisingly though for me it has decreased my braxton hicks contractions so far. My midwife recommends to start this herb in small amounts and see how you react. She has only had one woman in all her experience who had increased braxton hicks contractions and chose to stop drinking it. I think as my midwife has said many times, it is all about listening and being attuned to your body.
The second herb included is Nettle Leaf. Nettle is a great source highly useable vitamins and minerals. Again Aviva Romm writes that nettle "promotes healthy kidney function, strengthens the blood vessels preventing varicose veins and hemorrhoids, and decreases likelihood of hemorrhage at birth".
The third herb I chose to include was alfalfa. Alfalfa is an awesome source of protein, vitamins A, D, K, E, and B6, calcium, iron, magnisieum, phosporus, trace minerals, and digestive enzymes. It also contains a large amount of chorophyll (which is actually what you can take if your iron is low to bring it up without causing constipation).
Oatstraw was also included because it is a great source of calcium and magnesium. It helps to prevent leg cramps, insomnia and other related pregnancy discomforts.
Lastly, I included Dandelion root. I love dandelion root and drink the tea even when I am not pregnant. It is great for liver support (which we greatly need when pregnant with the increase in the amount of hormones our body has to process). It is also good for the kidneys and bladder and supports the digestive process. Because it is a mild diuretic it also helps with excess fluid retention. In addition, it supports healthy blood sugar and blood pressure.
Aviva also suggests adding spearmint and rosehips to your tea. I think this helps with the flavor. The tea does take some getting used to but I have come to enjoy it. You can also add things like honey to make it more palatable.
With all this said you should also seek the advice of a qualified herbalist or your midwife before consuming any herbs.
Have you ever made pregnancy tea or taken herbs during pregnancy?