Now that I’ve had my baby, I want to share my recipe for pregnancy tea. I believe that this tea played a big part in the speed and effectiveness of labor and birth (read our home birth story here!). I drank one to three glasses of this tea throughout pregnancy, except when morning sickness prevented me. I used a mesh tea ball and a 1/2 gallon mason jar for steeping and then just put the jar in the fridge. This tea is delicious as an iced tea and I don’t think it needs any sweetener, but you can add a little raw honey.
- 4 parts Red Raspberry Leaf: This is THE herb for pregnancy! Not only is it full of vitamins and minerals, it also has a toning effect on the uterus. It strengthens the uterine muscle to make contractions more effective, and it also helps to prevent hemorrhage.
- 3 parts Nettle Leaf: One of my favorite herbs for a nutritional boost! Nettle is wonderful at any time, but during pregnancy it can be especially useful for getting a strong concentration of easily absorbed vitamins and minerals. It supports the kidneys, which are working very hard during late pregnancy. It is helpful for reducing swelling and because it is high in iron, it can help prevent anemia.
- 1 part Oatstraw: Yep, this is the straw from the plant that oats come from! It is a wonderful real food source for calcium and magnesium, which our muscles need to contract and relax properly. Leg cramps, which tend to occur more often as pregnancy progresses, can be reduced by regular consumption of oatstraw tea. (Note: You may also need to supplement with magnesium, due to the mineral depletion of the soil.)
- 1 part Peppermint: Not only is it delicious, but peppermint helps digestion and, for some women, reduces nausea from morning sickness (read about other natural morning sickness remedies!).
- 1/2 part Rose Hips: These are a good source of vitamin C, which is important for the circulatory and immune systems.
- Mix the herbs well and store them in an air-tight container. I reused an old tea tin, which has the added benefit of keeping out the light.
- Fill a small or medium tea ball with the herbal mix and hang it in the mason jar.
- Fill the jar with boiling water, set a small plate on top and allow to steep until cool enough to put in the fridge.
I like to add one or two bags of rooibos (red tea) for extra antioxidants and an amazing naturally sweet flavor! My favorite kind is the Madagascar Vanilla Rooibos by Celestial Seasonings, if you’re wondering. The other addition I like is to toss in a cinnamon stick (the “sweet” cinnamon is the BEST cinnamon I’ve ever tasted!). Cinnamon has many health benefits and tastes delicious! During pregnancy, I like to have cinnamon daily to help keep blood sugar levels smooth. I would not recommend “Cassia” cinnamon, especially during pregnancy, due to the high levels of coumarin, which can be hard on the liver and kidneys. “Sweet”, “true”, “Sri Lanka” or “Ceylon” cinnamon (cinnamomun verum) doesn’t have high levels of coumarin. That’s the only kind we ever use.