Monday, February 18, 2013

Tea Time!

Although non-herbal tea is assumed to have great health benefits due to the antioxidants, it also contains caffeine, which pregnant women are often encouraged to eliminate or cut down on during pregnancy. The average cup of non-herbal tea contains about 40-50 milligrams of caffeine. Decaffeinated non-herbal tea does still contain a bit of caffeine, however the amount is usually only about .4 milligrams.

You can do-it-yourself a decaf tea!
Caffeine is the first substance released into the water during steeping (this occurs within the first 25 seconds). To decaffeinate your favorite tea, steep the leaves or bag for 30 seconds, dump the water, then refill your cup with hot water and steep again. Most of the caffeine will be removed.

Herbal teas are naturally caffeine free, so caffeine is not an issue when consuming this type of tea, but some herbal teas are still unsafe when you’re expecting; these include PMS, diet, cleansing and detoxification teas, as well as those with the herbs black cohosh, blue cohosh, dong quai and others.

Here is a list of recommended safe teas during pregnancy: 

Nettle Leaf (also known as stinging nettles) is an herb commonly found in pregnancy teas and recommended by many herbalists and midwives. It’s a fabulous source of vitamins and minerals, including iron, vitamins A, C and K, and potassium. However, make sure any nettle tea you drink uses dried leaves, not root (the label should list nettle leaf), and don’t drink too much, especially in the first trimester, because of its stimulating effect on the uterus. However, it is safe to drink throughout the second and third trimesters. You can steep your own by adding an ounce of dried nettle leaf to a quart of boiling water.

Lemon Balm Has a calming effect and helps relieve irritability, insomnia, and anxiety.

Red raspberry Leaf Tea is a common tea consumed by pregnant women. Most of the benefits that are attributed to Red Raspberry Leaf tea are traced to the nourishing source of vitamins and minerals found in the plant and to fragrine (an alkaloid which gives tone to muscles of the pelvic region and the uterus itself). It is safe to drink throughout the second and third trimesters, though there is some contention as to whether it is completely safe during the first trimester.

Ginger Root and Peppermint Leaf are helpful in relieving nausea/morning sickness and flatulence.

Always check with your doctor before drinking any herbal teas.

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