I’ve been sniffing and snipping teas all day, with my super-pregnancy-senses, to give you this break down of potential ingredients for a pregnancy tea recipe.
I originally made up a big mix of all these herbs into a tea without tasting them individually first. And it’s not a bad tea, but definitely on the medicinal side - it is better labelled a tonic more than simply a herbal tea after all.
But it definitely tastes very green; my first suspect was the oat straw - it seemed like a potentially obvious culprit for that slightly grassy taste. But turns out most of the green, leafy herbs in this tea have at least some degree of that distinctly ‘leafy’ taste, and a slightly bitter after taste at the very least, so a grassy tea may just be unavoidable.
So I don’t promise this pregnancy tea is going to be the best thing you’ve ever tasted. But it isn’t bad, it grows on you, and it’s highly beneficial. You can have it hot or cold - and with honey added it's quite sweet and pleasant.
All together, this combination of herbs provides benefits that include:
- Toning the uterus for more effective contractions & labour
- Healthy circulation
- Reducing chances of excess bleeding or hemmorage
- A powerhouse of vitamins and minerals for both mother and baby
- Relaxation and nervous system balancing
- Detoxification and liver support
- Immune support
- Hormone support and balancing
The combination provides a well rounded mix of vitamins and minerals that work together for the better absorption and efficacy of each other.
You don't have to use every single one of these herbs. And some may be more or less suitable to your particular needs.
But I hope this round up of the top herbs you can use for pregnancy tea - what they do, how they benefit you, and what they taste like - will be a good starting point if you want to make your own tea blend.
The key two are Raspberry Leaf & Nettle - the rest are optional extras for various vitamins, minerals and other active components, as well as taste.
I've also included a few additional uses, as many of these can be used individually for certain purposes, or even in a post-birth herbal bath to aid healing.
So even though you may end up with a lot of leftover herbs, as herbal places often sell them in bigger quantities than you'll need for just the tea, there are plenty of uses for them and dried herbs last a long time.
Making the Tea
For the purposes of this taste testing, I only brewed each one for about 5 minutes.
But when making the actual tea, it is best to let it brew for longer. Minimum 10 minutes. Good for earlier in pregnancy.
But in later pregnancy, I suggest infusing for at least several hours - even overnight.
I made up a bulk lot of all the herbs mixed together, then daily brew up a pot of several cups worth to drink throughout the day.
(In second trimester, start with a less strong tea and just a cup per day. By the time you're into your 3rd trimester, that's when you want to drink several cups & a more concentrated tea.)
Dried or Fresh?
I bought all of my herbs dried, but for many of them you can use the fresh herb or leaf too, if you have it in your garden and want to make tea out of certain ones individually. Using dried is a lot easier to make up a ready to go mix, however, for ongoing use.
Are they Safe for Pregnancy?
These are the herbs I have researched and used in my tea, and feel totally comfortable and confident in their use for myself.
When you look into these herbs for yourself, take into account dosages and quantities too - as taking therapeutic amounts of something in pill form or concentrated extracts, vs small amounts in leaf form in a tea has very different effects. This applies any time, and with any ingredient, food, herb or other.
I think this is where some of the fear or warnings about certain herbs comes in. It's understandable to be extra cautious while pregnant. But while always potent, and so not to be used willy-nilly, from what I can tell all of these herbs when used in normal amounts for tea during pregnancy should have no ill affects for otherwise generally healthy pregnancies - and plenty of benefits.
And as with anything like this, please do your own research, and don’t take any of this as personal or medical advice, and you always need to listen to your own body & take into account your own personal situation.
The Two Powerhouse Herbs for Pregnancy Tea
Raspberry Leaf and Nettle Leaf are the two foundational herbs most common in pregnancy tea recipes. You could just use these two alone, and get a lot of the main benefits you are looking for in a pregnancy tea - uterus toning, plus an abundance of vitamins and minerals.
But on their own, they can also be two of the most 'herbal' tasting ingredients on this whole least. (Read: green and leafy tasting and potentially a little bitter - especially when brewed for a long time, as recommended for this tea.)
So most tea recipes using them also use at least something else for a different flavour. (But there are also many benefits from the additional herbs as well, not just taste.)
Herbal and earthy tasting but a little bit of sweetness to balance it, slightly bitter aftertaste. Not horrible to drink alone, but not the best either. Better mixed with some fresher, sweeter tastes to improve it.
Benefits & Uses of Raspberry Leaf
Astringent, Tonic, Refrigerant, Parturient, Uterine Stimulant.
Most known and used in pregnancy for helping tone the uterus, preparing for more effective contractions and labour.
Also contains vitamin C, vitamin E and the easily assimilated calcium and iron. As well as vitamins A and B complex and minerals, including phosphorous and potassium.
Also Good For:
Adding to a herbal bath to aid healing after birth. (For the post-partum herbal bath, use the herbs listed in the chart at the end of this post for bath + calendula, comfrey & lavender.)
This one is not too bad, almost pleasant tasting I found, mild, a well rounded flavour, not bitter. A good one to even drink on it's own as a general herbal tea, even when not pregnant. But still herbal and 'green' tasting, and brewed for a long time, you might lose some of the pleasantness.
Benefits & Uses of Nettle Leaf
Astringent, Diuretic, Tonic, Nutritive, Stop Bleeding, Circulatory Stimulant, Promotes Milk Flow, Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
This one has some all-round benefits for pretty much the entire body.
Very nutritious, with high levels of iron and calcium, folic acid, and more, nourishing to both mother and baby. Strengthens the vascular system, which may help with circulatory related issues, haemorrhoids, fluid retention, leg cramps etc.
And may help with good milk supply after birth too.
Also Good For:
Post-birth herbal bath to help stop bleeding & wound healing. Drink for boosting milk supply.
Other Pregnancy Tea Herbs for Benefits & Taste
Not like dandelion root, which gets used roasted as a coffee substitute, and is quite dark and strong. Brewed for a short time, this was very mild, not much taste at all on its own, so it wouldn’t contribute much flavour-wise to a mix of teas.
Benefits & Uses of Dandelion Leaf
Diuretic, Cholagogue (liver/bile health), Anti-rheumatic, Laxative, Tonic
Dandelion is especially known for liver support and body detoxification, and also contains a variety of vitamins and minerals (A,C, K and B-vitamins, magnesium, zinc, potassium, iron, calcium and choline.)
You can also eat Dandelion Leaf in other ways, such as fresh in salads etc.
Also Good For:
Liver detox & digestive support. Nutrition. Fresh leaves can be eaten in salads etc.
It does smell a little reminiscent of a bale of hay, and has that slight aftertaste too, but surprisingly not too bad. Less bitter and herbal than the others. (So I don’t think this is my grass-tasting culprit like I thought it might be.)
Benefits & Uses of Oatstraw
Nervine Tonic, Anti-depressant, Nutritive, Demulcent (anti-inflammatory), Vulnerary (wound healing.)
Rich in calcium and magnesium, two extremely valuable minerals at any time, but especially in pregnancy. They work together in the body for both toning and relaxing all systems, especially muscular and the nervous system. Helps relieve anxiety and restlessness.
Also Good For:
Adding to herbal bath to help wound healing. Calming and anti-anxiety.
The smell of this herb was an interesting kind of nutty scent, but one of those ones where it kind of confuses your senses - do I like this or not? is it appealing or repellent?
Conclusion: not a great scent, but that could be my sensitive pregnancy nose talking. (Though, if you’re looking for a pregnancy tea recipe, you likely have one of those too!)
But the taste itself is not bad. Quite mild, still slightly on the ‘savoury’ side as herbs go, but mixed in with other herbs, it’s going to add an undertone it's not a dominant flavour or scent I can detect in the finished tea.
Benefits & Uses of Alfalfa
Tonic, appetite stimulant, diuretic, said to lower cholesterol levels, rich in chlorophyll, vitamin K and carotene..
Alfalfa as a plant as a deep root system, which means it draws up a wide range of nutrients into the leaves, which you get to benefit from. In particular, Vitamin K - which, along with Raspberry Leaf and Nettle, helps to decrease the chance of excessive bleeding or haemorrhage.
It is also beneficial for increasing or supporting good milk supply.
It's not recommended for people with heart conditions.
Also Good For:
Post-birth herbal bath for stopping bleeding. Drinking to help boost milk supply.
Definitely my favourite smelling of all these herbs. And not too reminiscent of chewing gum. Refreshing and minty. Would make a great iced tea.
So in addition to having its own benefits, it’s a great addition to this pregnancy tea for its flavour, to uplift some of the heavy tastes of the other herbs.
Benefits & Uses of Spearmint
Stimulant, anti-spasmodic, digestive.
Hormonally balancing, may help with nausea. May help open up your sinuses if you’re getting congested, which can happen in pregnancy. Spearmint is high in vitamins C and A. Similar to Peppermint tea overall, so could be used interchangeably.
Too much of either Peppermint or Spearmint has been suggested to affect milk production, so don’t use in large quantities, or avoid altogether if you are currently or potentially concerned about milk production issues - as in not producing enough.
In my last pregnancy, I didn’t experience any issues or find anything that particularly affected my milk supply, so I don’t currently feel any reason to be concerned about this for myself.
Also Good For:
Refreshing & cooling. With Elderberry & Rosehips, Spearmint or Peppermint are both good for fever relief - make an infusion frozen into ice-blocks for kids. But both Spearmint & Peppermint may affect milk supply, so avoid if struggling, or until milk is well established.
They give quite a fresh, tangy and almost fruity flavour to the tea, so even just for taste alone, I recommend adding them. The sweeter, brighter taste helps freshen up this tea which is heavy on the leafy green herbs.
But Rosehips have their own benefits too, and is a ingredient I keep on hand anyway for using in a variety of herbal tea concoctions, not just for pregnancy.
They come in a kind of 'granule' form. So when added to your tea mix, may settle out to the bottom of the jar, so you may want to give it a stir or a shake up every now and then to make sure you're still getting them in each batch of tea you make up.
Benefits & Uses of Rosehips
High in vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C and K.
The main key benefit of rosehips is that they are very good source of Vitamin C, and so help boost the immune system.
Also Good For:
Immune boosting - makes a tangy, fruity tasting tea on its own that is high in Vitamin C.
Or Rose petals. Mostly added for the floral flavour. Adds a bit of feminine energy to this tea - and they look pretty! But roses do have their own benefits too.
Benefits & Uses of Rose Buds or Petals
Sedative, antiseptic, anti-parasitic, anti-inflammatory, laxative, cholesterol-lowering, heart-supportive properties.
They in antioxidants, so good for overall immunity support, uplifting and relaxing. Potentially inflammation reducing properties as well.
(I know Rose Oil is really great for my skin and helps soothe my rosacea, and I imagine tea made form rose petals would afford some similar anti-inflammatory effects)
Also Good For:
Calming. Immune boosting. Anti-inflammatory & antiseptic, so good to add to herbal post-birth bath.
PIN this chart for easy reference!