When I went to my last doctor’s appointment, my midwife gave me a recipe for “Pregnancy Tea”. Aaron and I have been really busy the last month…so we pretty much failed at going to the store and purchasing all the ingredients for my homemade tea.
When this week rolled around, I decided I should probably start the exercises my midwife wants me to do and purchase all the herbs for the tea. So, Aaron and I FINALLY went to Huckleberries (a local market that sells organic food and dry herbs). As soon as we entered the herb section, we immediately felt like we were concocting a “witch’s brew”. My cute and hilarious husband kept making Homestar Runner references…by saying “witch’s brew” over and over…he sounds just like Homestar Runner (if you want to watch one of the cartoons that references “witch’s brew” visit www.homestarrunner.com and watch this video). Anyway…here is the Pregnancy Tea of anyone is interested. It is really good…
• Red Raspberry Leaf
• Red Raspberry Tea
• Rose Hips
• Red Clover
Buy equal parts by weight (start with 6 oz. of each of the above herbs). Mix all herbs together in dry form and store in a sealable container. To use, mix 1/2 cup of dry herbs into 2 quarts (8 cups) of boiling water (turned off) and steep for 30 mins or so. Strain into a sealable pitcher and add 3 Tbs. of honey or sugar. Refrigerate. Drink 2-4 cups of tea each day, hot or cold.
Most of the benefits ascribed to regular use of Raspberry tea through pregnancy are traced to the nourishing source of vitamins and minerals found in this plant and to the strengthening power of fragrine – an alkaloid which gives tone to the muscles of the pelvic region, including the uterus itself. Of special note are the rich concentration of vitamin C, the presence of vitamin E and the easily assimilated calcium and iron. Raspberry leaves also contain vitamins A and B complex and many minerals, including phosphorous and potassium.
The benefits of drinking a raspberry leaf brew before and throughout pregnancy include:
~ Increasing fertility in both men and women. Raspberry leaf is an excellent fertility herb when combined with Red Clover.
~ Preventing miscarriage and hemorrhage. Raspberry leaf tones the uterus and helps prevent miscarriage and postpartum hemorrhage from a relaxed or atonic uterus.
~ Easing of morning sickness. Many attest to raspberry leaves’ gentle relief of nausea and stomach distress throughout pregnancy.
~ Reducing pain during labor and after birth. By toning the muscles used during labor and delivery, Raspberry leaf eliminates many of the reasons for a painful delivery and prolonged recovery. It does not, however, counter the pain of pelvic dilation.
~ Assisting in the production of plentiful breast milk. The high mineral content of Raspberry leaf assist in milk production, but its astringency may counter that for some women.
~ Providing a safe and speedy pariuntion. Raspberry leaf works to encourage the uterus to let go and function without tension. It does not strengthen contractions, but does allow the contracting uterus to work more effectively and so may make the birth easier and faster.
Less well known as a pregnancy tonic but deserving a kinder reputation and use, Urtica is one of the finest nourishing tonics known. It is reputed to have more chlorophyll than any other herb. The list of vitamins and minerals in this herb includes nearly every one known to necessary for human health and growth.
Vitamins A, C, D and K, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, iron and sulphur are particularly abundant in nettles. The infusion is a dark green color approaching black. The taste is deep and rich. If you are blessed with a nettle patch near you, use the fresh plant as a pot herb in the spring.
Some pregnant women alternate weeks of nettle and raspberry brews; others drink raspberry until the last month and then switch to nettles to insure large amounts of vitamin K in the blood before birth.
The benefits of drinking nettle infusion before and throughout pregnancy include:
~ Aiding the kidneys. Nettle infusions were instrumental in rebuilding the kidneys of a woman who was told she would have to be put on a dialysis machine. Since the kidneys must cleanse 150 percent of the normal blood supply for most of the pregnancy, nettle’s ability to nourish and strengthen them is of major importance. Any accumulation of minerals in the kidneys, such as gravel or stones, is gently loosened, dissolved and eliminated by the consistent use of nettle infusions.
~ Increasing fertility in women and men.
~ Nourishing mother and fetus.
~ Easing leg cramps and other spasms.
~ Diminishing pain during and after birth. The high calcium content, which is readily assimilated, helps diminish muscle pains in the uterus, in the legs and elsewhere.
~ Preventing hemorrhage after birth. Nettle is a superb source of vitamin K, and increases available hemoglobin, both of which decrease the likelihood of postpartum hemorrhage. Fresh Nettle Juice, in teaspoon doses, slows postpartum bleeding.
~ Reducing hemorrhoids. Nettle’s mild astringency and general nourishing action tightens and strengthens blood vessels, helps maintain arterial elasticity and improves venous resilience.
~ Increasing the richness and amount of breast milk
Loaded with vitamins A, D, E, and K, eight digestive enzymes, iron, calcium and numerous trace minerals. It is particularly helpful in late pregnancy because the vitamin K it supplies promotes proper blood clotting, thereby reducing the risk of postpartum hemorrhage.
Hibiscus contains many of the same antioxidant compounds as red wine (including flavonoids, polyphenols and anthocyanins) and is already used in beverages to give colour and flavour; but is now found in a laboratory study to prevent the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins (LDL), or ‘bad’ cholesterol. It is also full of Vitamin C.
The results of the study is suggesting that a dietary hibiscus anthocyanin supplements might be considered as potential protective atherosclerosis (hardening or furring of blood vessels) agents against chronic cardiovascular diseases.
Rose hips are an exceptional source of vitamin C and help fight infection and exhaustion. This herb is also good blood purifer and is considered helpful against all infections, especially those affecting the bladder and kidneys. This herb also eases stress, battles coughs, colds and flu and is very nourishing to the skin.
Red Clover prevents and eases constipation that is so common during pregnancy. It also strengthens the liver and improves appetite, especially when morning sickness is a problem. And it relieves anxiety. Red Clover greatly nourishes the whole reproductive system as well as nourishes and balances the endocrine system. It is rich in calcium, Vitamin A & K, magnesium and trace minerals.