Nurturing life Your reference in perinatal nutrition, from pregnancy to childhood

Is it safe to drink flavored tea or herbal tea during pregnancy?

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By : Nurturing Life's Nutrition Team | Montreal Diet Dispensary
— Updated on :

For some yes, for others no! Many types of tea and herbal tea can be consumed in moderation during pregnancy; about 2 to 3 cups a day. On the other hand, certain plants contain substances that can be harmful to the fetus.

Some of these can poison the baby, cause congenital defects or even provoke a spontaneous abortion.  Therefore, before consuming any flavoured tea or herbal tea, it is important to read the label and identify which types of herbs are contained in each infusion.

Herbs to Avoid:

Litte Known Effects

Known Undesirable Effects 

  • Burdock
  • Hop
  • Rooibos Tea
  • Linden
  • Valerian
  • Wild Yam
  • Japanese Mint
  • Fennel
 

  • Aloe
  • Black cohosh with blue or black leaves
  • Buckthorn
  • Calendula
  • Chamomile
  • Chaste Tree or Monk’s Pepper
  • Coltsfoot
  • Comfrey
  • Chinese Angelica
  • Joint Fir/Pine
  • Primrose
  • Ginkgo
  • Ginseng
  • Juniper
  • Kava
  • Licorice
  • Labrador Tea
  • Lobelia
  • Passionflower
  • Sage
  • Sene
  • St John’s Wort
  • Tea Tree
  • Thuja or Cedar
  • Bearberry

Certain plants are safe to consume, but in moderate quantities, a maximum of 2 to 3 cups a day: 

  • Orange or citrus fruit peel
  • Echinacea
  • Peppermint
  • Red raspberry leaves
  • Briar
  • Rosemary

If you have any doubts on certain plants, avoid their infusion since their effect on pregnancy may not have been verified yet. Remember that fluid intake is very important during pregnancy.  Drink milk, water and juice to ensure adequate hydration.

References

  • Dietitians of Canada. What herbal supplements are safe to take during pregnancy and lactation? In PEN: Practice-based evidence in nutrition®. Last updated: 2012-09-14. Access only by subscription.

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The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the official views of the Public Health Agency of Canada.