Is rooibos safe to drink when you are pregnant?

A question we get regularly is: Is Rooibos safe to drink during pregnancy? In South Africa we swear by the benefits of rooibos for you, baby and small children during pregnancy, lactation and infancy. But we don’t want you to take our word for it, so do your research and ask your Doctor.
 
But we’ve found a few articles that are informative and give you a broader picture.
 
 
“Because rooibos tea is a commonly consumed beverage in many parts of the world, it’s generally considered safe even during pregnancy, says the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The maximum amount of rooibos that you can consume safely while you’re pregnant or breastfeeding is unknown, however. Keep in mind that no human medical studies have established the herbal remedy’s safety during pregnancy or lactation, warns the University of Michigan Health System. Therefore, you shouldn’t take rooibos tea during pregnancy or while breastfeeding before first talking with your physician.”
 
 
“Unlike herbal teas, which contain only about 0.4 milligrams of caffeine per cup, non-herbal teas (black, green and oolong) contain about 40 to 50 milligrams per cup. Sip four or five cups throughout the day, and you’ve gotten about 200 milligrams of caffeine. A study from Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California Division of Research found that pregnant women who consumed more than 200 milligrams of caffeine daily had double the risk of miscarriage compared with those who avoided the stimulant. However, a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health found no association between intakes of up to 350 milligrams of caffeine and miscarriage.”
 
RIVERTEA blogged about safe teas and their benefits during pregnancy:
 
“As long as you stick with teas on the safe list, you shouldn’t experience any unpleasant symptom. On the contrary, these teas provide several health benefits, so it’s actually indicated to add them to your regular pregnancy menu, as both you and your baby can experience positive effects.
 
Ginger tea for example relieves stomach issues, eases nausea and morning sickness and ensures a healthier digestion.
Raspberry leaf tea provides high amounts of magnesium and calcium, preventing post-partum hemorrhage and preparing the uterus for labor. It’s generally considered safe for pregnant women, although some health care providers only recommend using it after the first trimester.
 
Peppermint tea relaxes the stomach and relieves nausea and flatulence, being considered safe and good during pregnancy. 
 
Dandelion leaf tea is rich in vitamin A, iron and calcium, prevents excessive water retention, keeps the liver healthy and it’s usually considered safe. 
 
Lemon balm tea is recommended to pregnant women thanks to its calming effects and ability to relieve anxiety and irritability.
 
Nettle tea is typically considered a health enhancer, as it provides high amounts of calcium, vitamin A, K, C, iron and potassium. It’s widely used in “pregnancy teas”, but the Natural Medicines Database rates this as likely unsafe during pregnancy, as its health effects depend on the part of the plant that is used for preparing the tea. Overall nettle tea is a good pregnancy tonic, BUT make sure to check with your health care provider and to carefully read the label before consuming it.
 
Rooibos tea is safe in pregnancy: Rooibos tea is perhaps the best for pregnant women, containing lots of calcium and magnesium and high amounts of antioxidants. It’s completely caffeine free and helps with digestion, prevents acid reflux, soothes the body’s reactions to allergens and prevents constipation.
Also, rooibos has beneficial effects relating to depression, the oscillating blood sugar levels during pregnancy, to skin problems, vomiting, heartburn and liver’s function. Still, make sure to always check labels, as some tea blends containing rooibos also incorporate not so safe ingredients.
 
In general, the herbs considered safe as foods during pregnancy are also allowed for tea preparation, but it’s better to check for any contraindication on the label, even when purchasing a tea that’s otherwise considered safe. No FDA regulation specifically addresses herbal teas, hence the health concerns regarding some of these teas.
 
As a conclusion, tea may or may not be safe during pregnancy, depending on the type you choose and on how you prepare it. But as long as you stick with the safe teas, this beverage provides important health benefits, as it’s high in polyphenols that protect the heart, in antioxidants that enhance immunity and lower the risk of inflammations, and loaded with vitamins and minerals that ensure and overall healthier body.
 
Teas can relieve morning sickness, abdominal cramps, swelling of legs due to excessive water retention, and even back pain and migraines that often accompany pregnancy. Make sure to check with your health care provider and get his or her approval to enjoy your favorite beverage, then go ahead and brew a flavorful cup of hot tea, for you and your coming baby.”
 
NOTE: Always consult your health care provider first before consuming any of the above mentioned products during pregnancy and lactation.
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