Drinking Rooibos Tea During Pregnancy?
Rooibos, also called redbush, tea has been gaining popularity in the health-conscious community in recent years due to its variety of health benefits and naturally sweet taste. Traditionally, rooibos is a fermented drink made from the Aspalathus linearis shrub native to South Africa. Rooibos tea is usually available in the health and supplements section of major grocery stores, but you may find more variety and higher quality brands in health food stores and specialty tea shops.
Safety of Rooibos Tea During Pregnancy
As of 2015, there have yet to be any clinical trials on the safety of rooibos tea during pregnancy, but the American Pregnancy Association lists most herbal teas as “likely safe” during pregnancy as long as they are from well-known commercial brands and do not contain any known problematic herbs such as blue cohosh, goldenseal, and passion flower. Rooibos is also generally believed to be safe because it is widely used without adverse effects in pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, colicky babies, and young children in South Africa.
Benefits of Rooibos Tea
Rooibos tea is a healthy drink for both adults and children, but it offers some particular benefits to pregnant mothers. Whether you’re looking for a natural way to relieve stomach discomfort or just want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to get the nutrients you need for a healthy pregnancy, rooibos may be able to help.
- Relieves gastrointestinal issues. A 2006 study published in Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology found that rooibos is an effective antispasmodic that may be able to be used to treat various gastrointestinal disorders. Pregnant women often struggle with constipation, diarrhea, and general upset stomach, and consuming rooibos tea daily may help ease these symptoms.
- Increases iron absorption. Many women struggle to get enough iron during their pregnancies, and low iron — also referred to as anemia — is known as a contributing factor to low birth weight in infants and the possibility of preterm labor, according to Mayo Clinic. Rooibos helps the body better absorb iron, which can increase your energy and help protect against postpartum anemia as well.
- Provides calcium. As babies develop in the womb, they need a considerable amount of calcium. During pregnancy, the body takes whatever it cannot get from the mother’s diet from the mother herself. This means that if you don’t take in enough calcium, your body will pull from your bones to make sure the baby has enough, leading to an increased risk of osteoporosis later on.
- Caffeine free. Most pregnant women are cautioned to avoid caffeine during pregnancy, which can be a challenge for those used to drinking traditional teas. Black, white, oolong, and green teas all contain caffeine, but herbal teas like rooibos let you get your tea fix without worrying about possible complications with the baby.
- Calms allergies and skin rashes. Rooibos’ anti-inflammatory properties make it a good choice for those who suffer from seasonal allergies or skin issues during pregnancy, when many OTC and prescription drugs are off limits. For example, drinking rooibos tea may help reduce the symptoms of pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP), a common rash associated with pregnancy and more likely to occur in those pregnant with multiples.
As with any other medication or herbal supplement, it’s important to discuss with your doctor whether rooibos is right for you before adding it to your daily routine. It’s also important to always check the ingredients to ensure the rooibos hasn’t been blended with any other herbs or additives that may cause complications during pregnancy.