Herbal medicine is specific category of health-care. Many herbs, including essential oils, are safe and beneficial during the childbearing year, while others can be dangerous. Pregnant women must be cautious with any remedies, especially during the first trimester when the fetus is most vulnerable. There’s a lot of misinformation concerning herbs. Here are lists of commonly used herbs that are considered safe and unsafe through pregnancy and postpartum.
Women have consumed infusions (tea) of Red Raspberry leaf and Nettle leaf through the ages for a healthy childbearing year, healthy reproductive organs at any stage of life, and to keep their skin soft and supple. This blend is very high in easily absorbed minerals. If no milk or sugar is added then this drink counts toward your daily water intake.
Drink 1-3 cups of Pregnancy Tea, hot or cold, daily through first 2 trimesters, and 3 cups during last trimester.
Combine these teas in any ratio you wish, but the general recipe is:
- 2 parts Red Raspberry Leaf
- 2 parts Nettle Leaf
- 1 part Horsetail Leaf (added for calcium & strong bones)
- Optional: 1 bag or small scoop of lemon, berry/fruit teas (ensure no licorice), mint or lemongrass to change up the flavour.
A batch can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Red raspberry (Rubus idaeus)
- Most commonly used and well-known pregnancy herb
- Tones female reproductive system; also pelvic and uterine muscles
- High amounts vitamin C, easily assimilated calcium and iron
- Also vitamins E, A, B-complex, many minerals inc phosphorus and potassium
- High mineral content helps tissues stretch, decreases stretch marks, helps prevent anemia
- Lower rates of miscarriage and postpartum hemorrhage
- Prepares body for labor. Therefore decreases pain and length of labor. Doesn’t strengthen contractions but makes them more efficient.
- Help expel placenta
- Good for morning sickness
Nettle (Urtica dioica)
- High amounts of virtually all mineral & vitamins needed for health
- Especially high in A,C,E,D,K, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, sulfur
- High amounts of chlorophyll (for energy and nutrients, vitamin K)
- Nourish and strengthen kidneys; gently dislodge and dissolve any mineral buildup
- Relax leg cramps and muscle spasms
- Prevent hemorrhage after birth due to high vitamin K
- Strengthens blood vessels, therefore good for hemorrhoid prevention
- Astringent for hemorrhoids
- Increases quality of breast milk
Other herbs high in easily-assimilated vitamins and minerals (alone or added to the above teas) include Horsetail a.k.a. Shavegrass (very high in calcium), Alfalfa and Kelp.
Several other herbs are safe during pregnancy and are tasty e.g. mint. Some aid pregnancy related issues such as nausea, heartburn, cramping, and constipation to name a few. These include but are not limited to ginger, chamomile, slippery elm bark, and fennel. Consult a qualified herbalist with knowledge of pregnancy herbs before taking any.
By the way, this tea is healthy for the males in your life too, and is safe for all ages from infancy on. It’s a lovely, mildly flavoured drink for the whole family.
Prefer pre-packaged tea? Health stores and quality Mama/Baby stores sell pregnancy tea, e.g. Earth Mama Angel Baby “Third Trimester Tea” (which you can take in any trimester).