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Pregnant and herbal tea

  1. Herbal tea is a tasty and healthy drink because herbal tea contains no sugar. In addition, herbal tea does not contain caffeine and some herbs have medicinal properties. Still, it is wise not to just drink any herbal tea during pregnancy. Some varieties can be harmful to pregnant women, especially if you drink several cups a day. That is why there are different advice for pregnant women when it comes to certain types of herbal tea.

Herbal tea

  1. Herbal tea is made by infusing herbs in warm water. These can be all kinds of different herbs, so there are many different flavors of herbal tea. Because pure herbal tea does not contain tea leaves from the tea plant, herbal tea is actually not a real tea. There is also real tea with added herbs, such as green tea with ginseng or cinnamon tea. Which herbs are used in herbal tea is indicated on the packaging.

Different types

  1. Well-known herbal teas are rooibos tea, chamomile tea and star forest tea. Other herbal teas include mint tea, valerian tea, cinnamon tea, ginseng tea, hibiscus tea, ginger tea, lemon balm tea, elderflower tea, lemon grass tea, and licorice tea. Herbal teas also often contain a blend of different types of herbs.

Benefits of herbal tea

  1. Some herbs have a certain medicinal effect. For example, chamomile tea can help with a cold and nettle tea can improve circulation. An additional advantage of herbal tea is that, unlike black and green tea, it does not contain caffeine. Herbal teas that also contain tea leaves do contain caffeine.

Dangers during pregnancy

  1. Some herbs can be dangerous during pregnancy because they contain harmful substances. The main harmful substances that can be contained in herbal tea are allyl alkoxybenzenes, coumarin, glycyrrhizin and verbenine. There are also certain herbs that you should not take during pregnancy, such as senna, ginseng and valerian.


  1. Allylalkoxybenzenes are flavorings found in some herbs. Allylalkoxybenzenes come in different forms, namely estragole, methyl eugenol, safrole and myristicin. These substances are also called plant toxins. Of the four plant toxins listed, estragole, methyl eugenol and safrole are mainly dangerous.


  1. Coumarin is found in cinnamon and provides the specific taste of cinnamon. Coumarin can cause headaches, liver damage and kidney damage by reducing blood clotting. With prolonged use it can even be carcinogenic. Although the effects of coumarin during pregnancy are still unclear, it is recommended not to drink too much cinnamon tea during pregnancy.


  1. Licorice tea or herbal tea with licorice extract contain glycyrrhizin. Glycyrrhizin ensures that you retain more water and can increase your blood pressure. High blood pressure during pregnancy can cause the blood supply to the baby to decrease. Because glycyrrhizin can increase blood pressure more quickly in pregnant women, it is better not to drink too much licorice tea during pregnancy.


  1. Verbenine is a substance that stimulates the contraction of the smooth muscle cells of the uterus. Verbenine is contained in verbena, also known as verbena, verbena or venus herb. During pregnancy, this herb can stimulate contractions and thus initiate labor prematurely. Verbena tea should therefore not be drunk during pregnancy.


  1. Senna is an herb that is used as a natural laxative. The anthracene derivatives from senna namely promote intestinal peristalsis. It is made from the leaves or pods of the shrubs Cassia senna and Cassia angustifolia. Senna is often used in herbal teas that promote bowel movements or in slimming tea with the aim of emptying the bowels and thus losing weight. Senna can induce contractions during pregnancy by activating the intestines. This chance is especially present in the last months of pregnancy.


  1. Ginseng comes from the roots of an ivy-like plant from Asia. Ginseng is sometimes recommended to pregnant women as a remedy for morning sickness. The ginseng root contains ginsenosides, which is very similar to the structure of the female estrogen hormone. There are suspicions that ginseng during pregnancy can potentially lead to birth defects in the baby. That is why the use of ginseng during pregnancy is not recommended for the time being in 2018.


  1. Valerian is often used as a sedative. Valerian tea can, for example, be drunk during stress or insomnia. However, valerian is not recommended during pregnancy, because the effects of the herb have not yet been sufficiently tested and the risks in a pregnancy in 2018 are still unknown.

Herbal tea during pregnancy

  1. Herbal tea is a healthy low-sugar drink for pregnant women. However, it is not wise to drink too much of certain types. In the table below you can find which teas should not be drunk or in limited sizes during pregnancy. If you are unsure whether an herbal tea is suitable during pregnancy, first check the label on the package to see which herbs are in it. When in doubt, it is better to choose another tea.

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