Herbal Teas During Pregnancy

QUESTION

Dear Nutritionist,
Just wondering is it safe to drink herbal teas while pregnant. My friend finds peppermint tea a great relief for morning sickness.

ANSWER

At this time there is not enough scientific information and/or evidence about the safety of various herbs and herbal products, including herbal teas, to recommend their general use during pregnancy and lactation. Some herbal teas and other herbal products can have toxic or drug-like effects on the mother or developing baby.

At the present time, there is a lack of clinical research findings to determine the safety of chronic or long-term use of herbal teas. The composition and preparation of herbal products vary, which adds to the difficulty of assessing their safety. Presently there are no labeling requirements by the FDA for herbal products that would clearly indicate to pregnant or lactating women which ones to avoid.

Peppermint tea is probably safe but you should ALWAYS consult with your healthcare provider first to ask what he/she recommends.

-- Kimberly, RD LD

Kimberly Tessmer

Kimberly A. Tessmer, RD LD has been a registered dietitian since 1992 and is also an Ohio licensed Dietitian. Her educational achievements include a Bachelor of Science in Technology (Dietetics) from Bowling State University in Bowling Green, OH. She currently owns and operates a consulting business called "Nutrition Focus" www.nutrifocus.net, in which she specializes and offers services in the areas of weight management, general nutrition, authoring, menu development and a variety of other services.

To date Kim has authored three books including "The Everything® Nutrition Book", "Tell Me What To Eat If I Have Celiac Disease", and "The Everything® Pregnancy Nutrition Book". In addition, Kim has written numerous articles for various health/nutrition web sites and magazines including Bally Total Fitness Magazine, Well and Healthy Women Magazine and Healthology.com, Inc as well as continuing education courses for www.care2learn.com. She is a member of the American Dietetic Association and the ADA Practice Group, Nutrition Entrepreneurs.