Pregnancy Articles

Playing it Safe: Herbal Teas and Supplements

Pregnant? Careful What You Sip On

Nonherbal teas are made from the leaves of the tea plant, which contain varying amounts of caffeine. Black is the most common variety of tea, with such flavors as Earl Gray, English breakfast, and Pekoe. The tea leaves are allowed to ferment before drying, giving them a darker, more intense taste. Green tea is made from dried leaves and have less caffeine than black teas. Oolong teas are a mix of black and green tea leaves.

Herbal teas are made from the roots, berries, leaves, and/or seeds of plants, not from actual tea leaves. Most are free of caffeine, and many are used as medicinal remedies. 

Sources: The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. On-line version. (Accessed: October 2015)
Allison Sarubin Fragakis, MS, RD, "The Health Professional's Guide to Popular Dietary Supplements"

Low Dog T, The Use of Botanicals During Pregnancy and Lactation, Altern Ther Health Med. 2009 Jan-Feb: 15(1):54-8.

Holst L1, Wright D, Haavik S, Nordeng H. Safety and efficacy of herbal remedies in obstetrics-review and clinical implications. Midwifery. 2011 Feb;27(1):80-6. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2009.05.010. Epub 2009 Sep 25.

Smeriglio A ,Tomaino A, Trombetta D, Herbal Products in Pregnancy: Experimental Studies and Clinical Reports. Phytother Res. 2014 Aug;28(8):1107-16. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5106. Epub 2014 Jan 7.
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About The Author

Becky Hand
Becky is a registered and licensed dietitian with almost 20 years of experience. She teaches prenatal classes and counsels individuals, helping women eat right and stay fit before, during and after their pregnancies.
Becky Hand

Member Comments

Rosemary Gladstar's "Herbal Healing for Women" is another resource. Report
I'm sorry, but I must correct you. Elderberry, Rose Hips, dandelion, Chamomile, red raspberry leaf, stinging nettle, hibiscus are all safe during pregnancy. There are other herbs that are safe during pregnancy as well. You may want to consult with an herbalist when writing about herbs. Here are some good sources "botanical Medicine for Women's Health" Romm, MD (midwife, MD, herbalist), "American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook 2nd ed." written by Roy Upton, Soaring Bear, David Winston, Daniel Gagnon, Aviva Romm, Tieraona Low Dog, Mary Hardy and Lyle Carter. And "Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year" by Susan Weed. also Rosemary Gladstar is another good source for herbals. Report