Is it safe to drink chamomile tea during pregnancy?
You may find a lot of conflicting information about the safety of drinking herbal teas such as chamomile during pregnancy. The controversy in whether or not to you can safely consume herbal teas, seems to lie in the use of herbs as medicinal. Medicinal herbs are typically more concentrated and taken at higher doses then the herbs that are used for tea. Most health practitioners agree that using medicinal herbs during pregnancy should be avoided, mainly because they are largely untested and there is no way to be sure of their safety.
The herb chamomile (or chamomile), when infused in water, makes a soothing tea with a fruity flavor and aroma. It has been used through the ages for its medicinal qualities, including anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties. Chamomile is also often used with peppermint tea to aid in digestion, or along with lemongrass to relax nerves. During pregnancy, chamomile is touted for calming a mothers nerves and is said to aid in sleeping.
Chamomile is part of the Aster family and looks like a bush full of white daisy-type blossoms. The name chamomile comes from the Greek word for ground apple, which can be attributed to the fruity smell of the crushed flowers. If you have an allergy to daisy flowers, ragweed, or the Aster family of plants (Echinacea, feverfew, milk thistle) you may have a cross reaction to chamomile, and should avoid the plant altogether.
Because herbal teas contain small amounts of the herbs blended for flavor, it is probably safe to consume chamomile tea in moderation while you are pregnant. You should avoid using the stronger medicinal version of chamomile, including the concentrated chamomile oil. Chamomile is listed on the FDA list of GRAS (generally regarded as safe) ingredients and is widely recognized as a beneficial and safe herb. It is a good idea to check with your health care practitioner before you drink chamomile (or other herbal) teas. Most likely, they will agree that an occasional cup of hot chamomile tea while pregnant is fine.