Can I drink chamomile tea during pregnancy? Is one of the most frequently asked questions on many health websites. Herbal tea has a plethora of health benefits. However, not all herbal teas are safe during pregnancy. Certain ingredients in these teas can interfere with the healthy progress of the pregnancy. The one too many health benefits and soothing effects of chamomile tea make it a popular herbal tea. However, women need to exercise caution while consuming chamomile tea during pregnancy.
What Is Chamomile Tea?
Chamomile has been used as a medicinal herb since ancient times. The dried flowers of chamomile are steeped in hot water to make chamomile tea. The strength of the tea is determined by how long it is steeped and how it is processed. Chamomile contains flavonoids, which are naturally occurring plant pigments found in many fruits and vegetables. Foods’s rich in flavonoids have a number of health benefits.
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Nutritional Value Of Chamomile Tea
According to a source, one cup of chamomile tea carries around 2 calories. It contains 4.74 mg of calcium and 0.5 grams of carbohydrates. It also contains traces of pantothenic acid, iron, manganese, zinc, and copper. Chamomile tea is an excellent source of magnesium, beta carotene, potassium, folate, and Vitamin A. Chamomile tea is rich in flavonoids that possess antioxidant and anti-microbial properties.
Is It Safe To Drink Chamomile Tea During Pregnancy?
As long as chamomile is used in small amounts (as in tea), it is likely to be safe1. However, using it in concentrated forms as in medicines is not safe during pregnancy. It is impossible to say with certainty whether or not chamomile is 100 % safe during pregnancy. The effects of chamomile tea on pregnancy are not well studied, so it is best to proceed with caution.
The use of chamomile tea during pregnancy has been linked to both miscarriage and premature labor. So, it is recommended to not use it in large amounts or medicinally during pregnancy without first speaking to your doctor.
How Much Chamomile Tea Can I Drink While Pregnant?
Generally, chamomile tea can be consumed during pregnancy, but it is recommended to limit it to one or two small cups per day. A study was conducted to find out the risks of herbal products on pregnancy and neonatal outcomes. It is found that the regular consumption of chamomile tea during pregnancy third trimester increases the risk of preterm delivery and lower birth weight.
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Benefits Of Drinking Chamomile Tea During Pregnancy
According to studies, chamomile tea has antioxidant, astringent, and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties of chamomile have made it popular as a medicinal herb for centuries. While pregnant, drinking chamomile tea can be beneficial in a number of ways provided you do not exceed the limits.
1. Relieves sleeplessness
According to studies, chamomile tea has been used for centuries to treat insomnia and induce sedation. This tea has a calming effect on the nervous system. Chamomile tea is a good choice to treat sleeplessness during pregnancy due to its mild sedative effect. Drinking chamomile tea before going to bed can improve the quality of your sleep. However, you should seek a doctor’s permission before consuming it regularly.
2. Chamomile tea improves resistance and immunity
The antibacterial properties of chamomile tea help boost immunity during pregnancy by fighting harmful bacteria. Chamomile tea consumption was associated with an increase in urinary hippurate levels, a component associated with antibacterial activity. Therefore, drinking chamomile tea during pregnancy helps to boost immunity and prevent germs from entering the body2.
3. Reduces the risk of cancer and heart disease
According to studies, flavones can potentially reduce blood pressure as well as cholesterol levels, both of which are crucial to heart health. Chamomile tea is rich in flavonoids3 . Further, chamomile tea is rich in antioxidants that can reduce the risk of developing different types of cancer.
4. May help to reduce anxiety
Chamomile is widely used as a natural remedy for reducing anxiety and stress4 . Despite the fact that chamomile extracts are too strong for pregnant women, you can still reap the benefits of chamomile by drinking a small cup of warm chamomile tea. Tea made from chamomile flowers has a calming effect and is a natural sedative and therefore excellent in combating anxiety issues during pregnancy.
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5. May help in combating gestational diabetes
Chamomile tea lowers blood sugar levels if consumed along with a meal. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Studies suggest that chamomile tea can potentially suppress blood sugar levels and increase liver glycogen storage. It can also potentially inhibit the accumulation of sorbitol in human erythrocytes. Therefore, the consumption of chamomile tea with meals could contribute to dealing with gestational diabetes.
6. Chamomile tea reduces muscle pain
Chamomile can potentially increase the urinary levels of glycine, an amino acid that helps to relax muscles. Chamomile tea helps the body produce more amino acid glycine, thus relieving muscle pain and cramps during pregnancy. The tea is also known to calm nerves and relieve stress5.
*Interesting fact: Both hippurate and glycine levels were still elevated two weeks after the person stopped drinking the tea. Thus, even if a habitual chamomile tea drinker stops drinking the tea, these compounds may remain active for some time6.
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7. Heals mouth ulcers
According to the studies, hormonal changes can trigger mouth ulcers during pregnancy. By using chamomile tea as a mouthwash, mouth sores and ulcers can be cured . Ulcers in the mouth can be reduced by rinsing with chamomile tea twice a day. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory effects. Alternatively, you can soak a chamomile tea bag in warm water and apply it directly to the ulcer.
8. Promote better digestion
Chamomile is traditionally used to relax the digestive system. Chamomile tea contains anti-inflammatory agents which reduce intestinal inflammation. A number of gastrointestinal disorders have been treated with it, including indigestion, diarrhea, anorexia, motion sickness, nausea, and vomiting7.
During pregnancy, women are prone to constipation, gas, and bloating, which can be eased by chamomile tea. In addition to reducing acidity, it can also relieve heartburn, two common issues among pregnant women.
9. Relieves morning sickness
In addition to soothing upset stomachs, chamomile tea can reduce nausea symptoms. Morning sickness can be relieved with a small cup of chamomile tea8 . Despite its efficacy in treating nausea, pregnant women should consult their doctors before using this remedy.
10. Chamomile tea soothes sore throats
Studies have shown that chamomile tea reduces hoarseness and soothes sore throats. Adding honey to chamomile tea is particularly beneficial, since honey also contains soothing, antimicrobial properties. Thus, chamomile tea with honey while pregnant makes an excellent home remedy for a sore throat.
Does Chamomile Tea Cause A Miscarriage?
According to studies, if you drink chamomile tea regularly, you may have a higher risk of miscarriage, preterm labor, or low birth weight. Furthermore, the first trimester is the most crucial time during pregnancy. It is best to restrict the intake of herbs during this period. Herbal tea may contain excess herbs without one’s knowledge. So, it is better to avoid chamomile tea in early pregnancy.
Related Reading: 10 Common Causes Of Miscarriage
Does Chamomile Tea Help Induce Labor?
It is not yet known for certain if chamomile can induce labor in humans. However, when consumed in large quantities, chamomile can cause contractions that can lead to miscarriages and premature births.
Risks Of Drinking Chamomile Tea During Pregnancy
To reap the benefits of drinking chamomile tea, moderation is key. When consumed excessively, chamomile tea can have unpleasant and even dangerous side effects during pregnancy.
Chamomile tea is unregulated, which is one of the biggest risks. Therefore, the amount of chamomile present in a cup of tea varies across brands. The main risk is that it is really difficult to determine how strong these teas are. Therefore, it can be harder to predict what effect it will have on you. Excessive intake of chamomile tea can have an adverse effect on pregnancy.
Chamomile tea consumption during pregnancy has the following side effects.
1. Possibility of allergic reactions
Chamomile is a member of the daisy family. Chamomile tea may cause an allergic reaction if a pregnant woman is allergic to plants in the daisy family (such as marigolds, ragweed, or chrysanthemums).
Therefore, those who are allergic to these flowers should refrain from drinking chamomile tea during pregnancy. Allergy symptoms include runny noses, watery eyes, nasal congestion, and redness and itchiness in the eyes.
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2. May result in a miscarriage or preterm delivery
3. Chamomile tea may aggravate nausea
Despite the fact that chamomile tea is generally considered safe for use during pregnancy and can soothe morning sickness, excessive consumption can aggravate nausea and vomiting, something no pregnant woman wants to experience. Consume no more than one or two small cups daily in order to avoid this problem.
4. May cause drowsiness
Chamomile is mildly sedative, as explained earlier. Excessive consumption of this herbal tea makes you drowsy.
5. May interact with other medicines
Chamomile interacts with medicines9 . Chamomile can adversely affect the performance of certain antibiotics, sedatives, blood-thinning medications, and painkillers. Chamomile tea can interfere with the performance of these medications if you drink it while taking them.
6. Chamomile reacts with anesthesia during C-sections
Anesthetic drugs can react with chamomile, causing adverse side effects. This means that chamomile tea should be avoided prior to having a C-section.
Chamomile Tea During Pregnancy – Tips
You should consult your doctor before adding anything new to your diet during pregnancy. Here are some useful tips for drinking chamomile tea during pregnancy.
- Use a reputed brand
- To make chamomile tea, use dried flower heads instead of leaves. Using leaves makes the tea bitter
- While making chamomile tea, use no more than 15 grams of chamomile extract.
While chamomile tea is an excellent beverage, it can also be applied topically as relief for a variety of skin issues such as psoriasis and eczema. However, if the safety concerns are bothering you, you can ditch chamomile tea during your pregnancy. After all, there are plenty of other beverages you can try instead.