I am now in the third trimester with my 7th child and am reminded that I need to kick up my consumption of this wonderful pregnancy tea. This tea has become a staple for me during pregnancy and often during nursing.
Why These Herbs are So Good for Mothers
Red Raspberry Leaf (Rubus idaeus)
Red raspberry leaf is often considered a “women’s herb”, but this astringent plant can be used to bring tone to many different tissues. It is beneficial to women in all stages of their childbearing years. Red raspberry leaf helps to relieve nausea and morning sickness. It strengthen and tones the uterus, preparing it for an easier and quicker delivery and curtailing afterbirth pains. Red raspberry leaf’s astringent properties help prevent hemorrhaging. For nursing mothers, red raspberry leaf increases the milk supply.
Nettle Leaf (Urtica dioica)
Nettle is one of the most nourishing herbs around. It is rich in vitamins and minerals, especially high in chlorophyll. The high content of iron coupled with the high vitamin C content helps reduce anemia during pregnancy. Nettle has an affinity for the liver and kidneys, increasing both bile production and acting as a mild diuretic. Nettle is a great antihistamine for those allergy sufferers who wish to avoid allergy medicine during pregnancy (or anytime really!). Nettles is also a galactagogue, increasing milk production for nursing moms (although I did read that if mom is producing too much milk, Nettles will act as a regulator and slow milk production. Don’t you just love how God created all the wonderful herbs to work with our bodies and not against them!).
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa)
Alfalfa is another super nutritious plant that is great for expecting moms. Alfalfa is very high in chlorophyll and contains 8 essential amino acids. It also contains large amounts of vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting. My midwife had me take alfalfa to help prevent hemorrhaging. Alfalfa has natural fluorides which reduce and prevent tooth decay. And to top it off, alfalfa aids digestion, keeping things moving along and strengthening the digestive tract.
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Dandelion is one of those herbs that most people consider a weed. When I first started learning about herbs, I couldn’t believe that this pestilent weed was so good for you. As it turned out, I learned that most “weeds” are nutritious, healing herbs. Dandelion is no exception. Their long root system pulls minerals from deep within the soil. Dandelion is considered a diuretic, keeping the urinary system functioning properly and reducing excess water build-up in the body. Unlike most diuretics, dandelion replaces potassium, which most diuretics remove. Dandelion also works to regulate hormone imbalances.
Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
Like I said before, I only add peppermint if I am going to drink the tea hot. You can decide whether or not you want to add it to your tea. Peppermint is a calming nervine, meaning it helps to relax you. I like to drink peppermint tea when I have a headache. It also helps to eliminate gas, bloating, and indigestion. Peppermint is one of my favorite teas, especially in the winter! I drink peppermint tea in place of coffee. It is a great “wake me up and get me going” kinda herb.
Mama’s Pregnancy Tea
Delicious blend of herbs perfect for the pregnant or nursing mother.
4 parts Red Raspberry Leaf
1 part Nettle leaf
1 part Alfalfa leaf
1 part Dandelion leaf
1 part Peppermint (depending on whether or not I am going to drink it hot or cold)
When I make up a batch of this tea, I usually take a gallon size zip lock bag and mix all the herbs in it. I take out the amount I need each day. When I measure the amounts of herbs to put in, I do it in parts so that I can make whatever size batch I need.
Generally, I take a 1/2 cup measuring cup and count the scoops as “parts”, for example, 4 scoops Red Raspberry Leaf, 1 scoop Nettle leaf, etc. If I plan on making a large batch of tea and keeping it in the refrigerator, I leave out the peppermint (I don’t care for it cold). If I am making a hot cup of tea, I like the peppermint added in.
Warning: Some herbalists recommend waiting until after the first trimester to drink red raspberry leaf tea. I personally don’t feel the need to wait and have often drank the tea to squelch nausea, but please educate yourself and decide if this is the right choice for you.