Chamomile Tea While Pregnant: How Safe Is It to Drink?
People mostly know chamomile through the famous herbal beverage, chamomile tea. It is usually mistaken for daisies as they look similar and belong to the same family, Asteraceae.
Chamomile is one of the oldest and extensively used medicinal plants around the world for its anti-inflammatory aids. It is widely used in popular culture as well. Other than tea, it is used to make beer and ales.
Why should You Consume Chamomile?
It is a safe plant that can be used as a mild sedative for stomach ailments. Chamomile can also be combined with other plants for more benefits, but it’s quite unsure if it will be effective as much.
Chamomile has numerous medicinal uses as follows:
- Eases upset stomach
- Sore mouth
- Skin irritation
Also, other conditions like anxiety, insomnia, haemorrhoids, and diarrhoea in children can be treated with chamomile.
As chamomile is a medicinal herb and has medicinal properties, you should consult a doctor if you plan on consuming it for a long time. Mostly, people consume it in the form of tea or drink, and they drink around 3-4 cups daily. Chamomile products such as tea bags and flowers are available in the market which can be used to make chamomile tea.
To make chamomile tea, dip chamomile tea bag or flowers in hot water for 10-12 minutes and cover it with a lid and wait till the colour of the water changes. After the colour of the water has changed and has cooled to the point it is safe to drink – you can consume the infusion. You can ask a doctor for any additional advice.
Risks and Side Effects of Consuming Chamomile
Overall, Chamomile is safe for consumption. If taken in large doses, it can cause drowsiness and vomiting. Reactions to chamomile are rare, but they can trigger allergic reactions in people who have plant-related allergies. Skin creams that have chamomile percentage in them can cause skin irritation and eye irritation for some people, although their long-term effects are unknown.
Chamomile contains little amount of coumarin, which has very mild blood-thinning effects but only if taken in large doses. Experts suggest avoiding the intake of chamomile two weeks before any surgery as the fusion of coumarin and anaesthetic drugs could be concerning.
Chamomile can also interact with blood thinners, aspirin, naproxen, ibuprofen and other drugs. So it’s recommended to suggest a doctor before consumption of Chamomile/ chamomile supplements.
Remember, all the above information also stands true for pregnant women who are thinking of consuming chamomile.
Is Chamomile Tea Safe to Drink While Being Pregnant?
Some herbal teas assert to help with insomnia, soothe stomach problems, treat anxiety etc., but not all herbal teas are safe for everyone. Herbals teas are made from plant leaves, seeds, roots, berries and flowers, and most of them don’t contain caffeine. They are made from all-natural ingredients, but nature can be harmful to some folks.
The number and names of substances that the products contain are not always mentioned on the label. This can be alarming for pregnant women, and if consumed in an unsafe quantity, it can pass on to the baby or may interact with the medicine prescribed by your doctor.
There are mixed opinions on the safety of herbal teas for both pregnant and non-pregnant women.
The best advice would be to not drink the same herbal tea throughout your pregnancy phase. But if you’re planning to drink almost every day, then don’t drink more than 1-2 cups of herbal tea. Whatever you drink, your baby is going to be exposed to those substances, so mixing up the flavours and ingredients of different teas might intensify the presence of strong agents that might cause an adverse effect on your body.
Breasting feeding women should keep an eye out for their babies for any unusual side effects. Consulting a doctor before consuming anything during pregnancy and breastfeeding is a good idea, especially if you’re on prescription medicines.
Herbal teas are made from fruits and plants that you use for cooking, but they’re also often processed. It’s not something that you picked up from your garden and made something savoury out of it. Keep in mind, consuming a large amount of herbal tea can induce contractions and sometimes risk early labour.
Chamomile tea can rarely be dangerous during pregnancy as it contains anti-inflammatory agents, which can be harmful to the mother and baby.
Chamomile also contains caffeine like green tea and black tea does but in a smaller amount. Intake of chamomile tea in large amounts can increase the level of caffeine in your body, which can harm the pregnant woman and her fetus.
Drinking of chamomile tea should be limited during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Some experts say that it could stimulate the uterus or lead to circulation problems in the baby.
Chamomile is one of the herbal teas that doctors warn about in the early trimester of pregnancy as it can induce menstruation during pregnancy. This can lead to miscarriage or premature labour.
Herbal teas to avoid during pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Parsley tea: Increases risk of miscarriage and development of a baby.
- Sage tea: Increases risk of miscarriage and high blood pressure.
Safe herbal teas during pregnancy and breastfeeding:
- Ginger tea: Relieves nausea.
- Red raspberry leaf tea: This should be taken during the last trimester as it helps prepare for birth. At the same time, it should be avoided during the first trimester as it can induce contractions if taken in large amounts.
- Peppermint tea: Widely used herbal tea during pregnancy and has not shown harm to the mother or her baby. But should be avoided during the first trimester as it can induce contractions if taken in large amounts.
- Green tea: It isn’t exactly a herbal tea but should be taken in limited amounts as it contains caffeine.
- Chamomile tea: Relaxing but should not consume in large quantities as it can stimulate the uterus or lead to circulation problems in your baby.
Here are some herbal teas with an insufficient amount of information about safety during pregnancy and breastfeeding:
- Lemon balm tea: Helps with anxiety, irritability and insomnia. Inadequate safety information.
- Rosehip tea: Inadequate safety information.
- Dandelion tea: Inadequate safety information.
Bonus Read: Foods to avoid during pregnancy.
Chamomile tea is safe to drink while pregnant and breastfeeding, only if consumed in small quantities. If a pregnant and breastfeeding woman wants to drink chamomile tea, then she should consult her doctor before doing so. Because putting a mother and her baby in danger is something that nobody wants.
July 29, 2021 Sam Bell