Proper nutrition is essential during pregnancy for the health of both mom and baby. While there is no substitute for a balanced diet, nourishing herbs help to bolster vitamin & mineral intake. Getting adequate nutrients can alleviate a variety of pregnancy woes, as well as more serious complications. It also helps baby to develop optimally, which contributes to better overall health.
Additionally, going into the birth and postpartum time well nourished promotes a more easeful labor, a plentiful milk supply, and better overall resilience to the stresses of caring for a newborn —all of which makes for a much smoother experience for the mother, both physically and emotionally.
This pregnancy tea combines four nutrient rich herbs that have long been used by wise women to support the pregnant body.
Nettle (Urtica dioica) is an incredibly nutritious herb that is rich in protein, calcium, iron, and provides many other minerals, including potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc (Adhikari et al.), as well as vitamins A, D, & K (Weed 204-205).
The high nutrient content in nettles can help to relieve the muscle cramps and spasms that may occur during pregnancy. Additionally, nettle is particularly rich in vitamin K, which increases the availability of hemoglobin and thus, may help reduce the risk of postpartum hemorrhage (Weed).
During pregnancy, the kidneys have to deal with cleansing a significantly increased blood volume. Drinking nettle tea helps promote healthy kidney function and can give them an extra boost during this time (Weed).
Raspberry leaf (Rubus spp.) has a long history of use as a pregnancy tonic. It is rich in antioxidants, minerals — including iron, phosphorus & potassium — and vitamins A, B complex, & C (Nichols; Weed). It also is a source of easily assimilated calcium.
Raspberry leaf contains the alkaloid, fragrine, which helps to tone the uterus and other pelvic muscles. This may be helpful for preventing postpartum hemorrhage and reducing pain during labor and after birth (Weed).
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) leaf a good source of calcium, potassium, iron, choline, and vitamins A, B1, B2, & C (Weed). In addition to providing these essential nutrients, dandelion also helps boost the health of the liver and kidneys, which can be an important part of preventing pregnancy complications, such as preeclampsia (Weed).
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) leaf provides vitamins A, B1, B12, D, E, & K, as well as niacin, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, and other trace minerals. Drinking nutrient-dense alfalfa tea during pregnancy supplies plenty of vitamin K, which boosts availability of hemoglobin, and may help prevent postpartum hemorrhage (Weed).
- 2 parts nettle leaf, dried
- 2 parts raspberry leaf, dried
- 1 part dandelion green, dried
- 1 part alfalfa leaf, dried
Add the herbs in a bowl and mix well. Store in a glass jar.
To prepare a nourishing infusion, pour 4 cups of boiling water over 1oz of dried herb blend and let steep for 4-8 hours to fully extract the nutritive constituents. Enjoy daily during pregnancy.
You can enjoy this tea after giving birth too. This blend of mineral-rich herbs nourishes the postpartum body, promoting a healthy milk supply and helping to prevent nutrient depletion that can be common in new mothers due to the physical demands of breastfeeding and caring for a newborn (Weed).
For more information on proper nutrition during pregnancy, I highly recommend Real Food for Pregnancy by Lily Nichols.
Note: There are mixed opinions about using raspberry leaf during the first trimester. Plenty of herbalists, wise women, and midwives recommend this herb throughout pregnancy and feel that it can help to prevent miscarriage and ease the nausea & morning sickness that is a common part of the first trimester experience for many women. Others, however, feel because of its powerful action on the uterus, that it may cause miscarriage if used too early in pregnancy.
Adhikari, Bhaskar Mani, et al. “Comparison of Nutritional Properties of Stinging Nettle (Urtica Dioica) Flour with Wheat and Barley Flours.” Food Science & Nutrition, vol. 4, no. 1, 2015, pp. 119–124., https://doi.org/10.1002/fsn3.259.
Nichols, Lily. Real Food for Pregnancy: The Science and Wisdom of Optimal Prenatal Nutrition. 2018.
Weed, Susun S. Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year. Ash Tree Publishing, 1986.