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Peppermint Tea and Pregnancy

written by: Diana Cooper • edited by: Lisa Lambson • updated: 9/15/2010

Drinking peppermint herbal tea when pregnant is considered safe and offers many benefits. Learn what the advantages are, what precautions should be taken, and how to make a refreshing cup of peppermint tea.

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    Is Peppermint Tea Safe for Pregnant Women?

    Peppermint (Mentha piperita) According to Tieraona Low Dog, M.D., director of Botanical Medicine for the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona School of Medicine, there is no reason why a woman should not drink peppermint herbal tea when pregnant and drinking two to three cups a day is fine. Drinking peppermint tea during pregnancy has advantages but certain precautions should be taken.

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    Advantages

    Peppermint tea has many benefits and is commonly used to soothe an upset stomach. It can be very helpful in treating morning sickness and indigestion, two common problems pregnant women encounter. It calms stomach muscles and improves the flow of bile (aids in the digestion of fats). This speeds up the passage of food through the stomach, thus preventing indigestion. Peppermint tea also relieves gas and may be helpful for women who suffer from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).

    Peppermint contains menthol, a natural decongestant. Therefore, it can benefit colds and the flu. It has mild expectorant properties and can loosen and expel mucus from the respiratory system (inhale the steam for best results). It can also calm a dry cough and soothe a sore throat. Peppermint tea also strengthens the immune system so the body is better able to fight off an illness or infection.

    Another advantage from drinking this wonderful herbal tea is relieving stress. Its refreshing aroma can calm the mind and body, relieve a headache, and promote a good nights sleep.

    When used externally, it can treat skin problems, including burns and rashes. It can be applied topically as a warm compress or it can be added (four cups of strong tea) to bath water.

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    Precautions

    Excessive amounts of tea can cause heart palpitations and diarrhea.

    If the symptoms of indigestion are related to GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease - gastric acid flows from the stomach into the esophagus), do not drink peppermint tea.

    Women with diabetes and/or high blood pressure may want to avoid drinking peppermint herbal tea when pregnant because according to test tube studies, peppermint may lower blood sugar and according to animal studies, it may lower blood pressure.

    If taking medications, consult with your health care provider before drinking peppermint tea.

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    Preparation

    Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 teaspoon of dried peppermint leaves, cover, steep for 10 minutes, and strain.

    When buying, it is best to choose organic to ensure the tea is not tainted with chemicals.

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    Sources Used

    Andrew Weil, M.D.: Is Peppermint Safe During Pregnancy? - http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA366713/Is-Peppermint-Safe-During-Pregnancy.html

    Mountain Rose Herbs: Peppermint Herb Profile - http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/learn/peppermint.php

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    Photo Credit

    Image courtesy of http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Koeh-095.jpg

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    Disclaimer

    Please read this disclaimer regarding the information contained within this article.


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