Chamomile is a herb that comes from the daisy-like flowers of the Asteraceae plant family. It has been consumed for centuries as a natural remedy for several health conditions. The flowers are dried and infused into hot water to make chamomile tea.
It is a refreshing herbal tea people consume to relax their bodies and mind. Besides being caffeine-free, it has certain bioactive compounds that can boost health over time, so you might want to consume chamomile tea during pregnancy.
But is chamomile tea safe for pregnant women and their babies? Knowing this is vital to avert the risks that chamomile tea might pose for expectant mothers and their unborn babies. So, keep reading as we tell you all about the safety of chamomile tea for pregnant women, including its possible health benefits and risks and precautions to observe when drinking it.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is Chamomile Tea?
- 2 Benefits Of Drinking Chamomile Tea During Pregnancy
- 3 Side Effects Of Drinking Chamomile Tea During Pregnancy
- 4 Precautions To Take While Drinking Chamomile Tea
- 5 How To Make Chamomile Tea At Home?
- 6 Key Points To Note
What Is Chamomile Tea?
Chamomile tea is made of flowers of two common herbs German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) and Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile). The flowers are sun-dried, crumbled, and stored in an air-tight jar.
The crumbled flowers are added to boiling water to make the tea, which has been a traditional medicine for inflammation, immunity, insomnia, menstruation, and gastrointestinal problems. Since the tea is made of flowers, it has a beautiful aroma that soothes both the body and the mind.
Chamomile tea could be safe during pregnancy if it is in moderation. There are few studies on the safety or efficacy of herbal teas, including chamomile tea, during pregnancy. However, it is included in the Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) category by the US FDA.
Chamomile may increase the tone of the uterus during pregnancy.
How Much Safe Chamomile Tea Is During Pregnancy
Cut down your consumption to one cup a day. If you want to have it multiple times a day, divide that one cup of tea into multiple portions and drink it throughout the day, or dilute the content by adding more water. An occasional cup of chamomile could be good for you.
Benefits Of Drinking Chamomile Tea During Pregnancy
1. Improves Sleep Quality
Having a cup of chamomile tea before bedtime soothes your nerves, and helps you sleep better. The sedative nature of the herb can help treat insomnia.
2. Boosts Immunity
Chamomile tea can improve immunity and support fighting infections. If you have a slight fever and a runny nose, a cup of freshly brewed tea may help.
3. Soothes Muscular Pain
Chamomile tea can relieve muscle pains and spasms associated with gastrointestinal inflammatory disorders. It can also increase glycine levels in the body to provide relaxation to the muscles and nerves.
Chamomile may be high in calcium and magnesium, which could have some anti-inflammatory effects on joints.
4. Chamomile Cures Mouth Ulcers
Chamomile tea can be used as a mouthwash to soothe uncomfortable mouth ulcers and sores. Use strong tea or diluted tincture three to four times a day to rinse your mouth for relief from the ulcers.
5. ItProtects From Cancers And Heart Diseases
Chamomile tea contains polyphenols that can protect your heart. Its antioxidant properties may also lower the risk of cancers.
6. Treats Indigestion And Relieves Morning Sickness
The anti-inflammatory nature of chamomile helps alleviate digestion problems such as constipation, gas, and bloating. The fruit aroma and tantalizing flavor also soothe nausea and morning sickness.
Chamomile tea may also help manage heartburn and headaches during pregnancy.
Despite these healthy reasons, you need to drink chamomile tea in moderation because it could have some side effects too.
Side Effects Of Drinking Chamomile Tea During Pregnancy
You are likely to have the below effects on drinking the tea in excess amounts.
- Taking excess chamomile tea might increase the risk of a miscarriage. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this. Probably, the relaxing property of chamomile tea may induce uterine contractions leading to a miscarriage.
- Chamomile tea may cause drowsiness because of its sedative nature. Therefore, do not take it in large quantities.
- If you are allergic to flowers such as daisies, ragweed, asters, and chrysanthemums, then you might be allergic to chamomile as well, leading to skin rashes and bronchial constriction. However, this is a rare occurrence.
- Chamomile might interact with anesthetic medications leading to adverse effects. Therefore, avoid drinking tea before your C-section.
- Various forms of chamomile extracts and supplements may also react with medications such as painkillers, sedatives, and antimicrobial drugs which you might be taking during pregnancy. Therefore, talk to your doctor if drinking chamomile tea and taking medication.
- Chamomile has blood-thinning properties. If you already have this problem, you might want to restrict the consumption of this tea.
- If you love the aroma and taste of chamomile tea and do not want to give it a miss, then drink it but take some precautions.
Precautions To Take While Drinking Chamomile Tea
Here is what you can do:
- Consult your healthcare provider before including it in your pregnancy diet.
- You may ask the doctor about the safe quantity of chamomile tea you can drink daily.
- Use the dried flower heads and not the leaves for making the tea. Leaves would taste bitter.
- Buy the tea from a reliable brand to avoid harmful additives in it.
How To Make Chamomile Tea At Home?
Follow these simple steps to steep a perfect cup of tea:
- Boil one cup of water.
- Transfer the boiling water into a mug, and add chamomile-dried flower extract or tea bag.
- Allow it to steep for five to ten minutes depending on how concentrated you want it to be. Cover the mug so that the aroma remains.
- Strain the tea to remove the chamomile extract or remove the tea bag.
- You might add a teaspoon of honey to enjoy the freshly brewed chamomile tea. Chamomile tea is a herbal beverage that you may enjoy during pregnancy. Due to its medicinal and healing properties, consuming chamomile tea during pregnancy may help you manage your morning sickness, improve immunity, and soothe muscular pain. However, extra care needs to be taken while consuming anything when pregnant. So, be careful to not drink too much of it, but stick to the recommended amount. Moreover, given there is a possibility of side effects, you should consult your ob/GYN before consuming anything to avoid complications.
Key Points To Note
- Chamomile tea is safe for pregnant women if consumed in moderation (one cup per day).
- Drinking chamomile tea during pregnancy has health benefits, including improved immunity, better sleep, relief from muscle pain, and protection against cancer.
- Consuming too much chamomile tea during pregnancy may increase the risk of miscarriage and cause fatigue.
- Chamomile tea can interfere with anesthetics and other medications.
- Pregnant women with a flower allergy or those taking medication should avoid chamomile tea or seek medical advice before consumption.