While we should always take the best care of ourselves, lots of soon to be mamas want to only put gentle and natural remedies in their bodies when they know they have a little one on the way. Our first general message to everyone reading this blog post is that you should always follow airplane rules! "Apply the oxygen mask to yourself FIRST!" Many people are interested in exploring herbs while starting a family but don’t quite know where to begin. Thats where we come in! Put the kettle on, baby mama, because these herbal tea recipes are a wonderful delivery method for gentle, nourishing herbs that are safe to consume during pregnancy, lactation, and the postpartum period.
Herbs have helped people on their journey from trying to conceive through postpartum (and beyond) for centuries. How did western medicine step so far away from these natural options? We'll never really understand. Liane Moccia RH(AHG) is a clinical herbalist specializing in fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum, and her recent article in The Herbarium (From the Herbal Academy) includes a dozen easy, accessible herbal tea recipes to nourish and support you on your parenting journey! In this blog post, we’ll share a few of Liane’s favorite tea blends that she relies on regularly to help support clients. All of the herbs in these recipes are dried (make sure to check details in recipes - some herbs need to be fresh for certain steeping reasons) unless otherwise noted.
Good Morning Liver Tea Blend
The liver is the bodies' processing plant. The coffee filter of all coffee filters! The housekeeper of a lifetime! Not only does it metabolize our hormones, but it also removes toxins from the body. A healthy, strong liver and regular bowel movements are crucial to hormonal balance, which helps optimize fertility. Fortunately, we can enlist alterative and tonic herbs to help optimize liver function and support elimination of metabolic waste products and hormones. We also highly recommend lymphatic drainage treatments and foot soaks to draw out toxins from the body in combination with this lovely herbal blend. This first blend of our herbal tea recipes is meant for use during the preconception period.
1 part dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) root 1 part burdock (Arctium lappa) root ½ part nettle (Urtica dioica) leaf ½ part cinnamon (Cinnamomum spp.) bark chips ½ part ginger (Zingiber officinale) rhizome
Mix all the herbs together and store them in an airtight container in a cool and dark place. (Choose the “part” based on the size of the batch you would like to make—one part can be 1 teaspoon or 1 tablespoon for a single serving or two, or 1 cup for a larger amount so you have the tea blend on hand.)
To prepare your tea, combine 2 tablespoons of tea blend and 4 cups (32 fl oz) of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and then immediately reduce the heat and continue to simmer, covered, for 20-30 minutes, keeping an eye on it to be sure the water level doesn’t get too low—the goal is to end up with 2 cups of tea. (Alternatively, pour 2 cups (16 fl oz) boiling water over the herbs, cover, and let steep for 1 hour.)
Strain and enjoy.
Don't be afraid to add a little honey - dandelions can be a little on the bitter side.*
Ginger Lemon Tea
The first trimester has entered the chat. Congratulations, mama! Nausea in the first trimester is one of the most common pregnancy complaints. Ginger rhizome is well studied for easing nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. It can improve sluggish digestion and gently warm the digestive tract. While modest amounts are considered safe during pregnancy, do not exceed 2 grams of the dried herb per day (Gardner & McGuffin, 2013). Lemon (Citrus x limon), while usually thought of as a food rather than an herb, also plays an important role in this tea. Many people find the sour flavor can help decrease nausea. Lemon, while usually thought of as a food rather than an herb, also plays an important role in this tea. We're here for you and your rollercoaster of nausea shivers!
½ teaspoon (0.9 gram) dried ginger (Zingiber officinale) or 1 teaspoon fresh ginger rhizome, chopped or grated Juice from ½ lemon (Citrus x limon)
To prepare your tea, combine 1 teaspoon fresh ginger (or ½ teaspoon dried ginger) and 2 cups (16 fl oz) of water in a saucepan.
Bring to a boil and then immediately reduce the heat and continue to simmer, covered, for 20-30 minutes, keeping an eye on it to be sure the water level doesn’t get too low—the goal is to end up with 1 cup of tea. (Alternatively, pour 1 cup boiling water over the ginger, cover, and let steep for 20 minutes or longer.)
Before drinking, add juice from ½ lemon.
Limit to 2 cups of tea per day (if desired, you can double the batch above to prepare 2 cups of tea).
New Parent 'Hug in a Mug' Blend
It's 2023 and postpartum still isn't talked about enough. Women (especially in America) are expected to bounce back from pregnancy almost immediately rather than being given time to heal, balance themselves, and carry the reality of their new normal. During the postpartum time, the body is going through a lot of changes while there are many demands placed upon the new parent, both physically and emotionally. While time and grace are the two best things for a new mama, this blend of gentle nervines is designed to help new parents with stress, energy, and mood support during the postpartum period.
2 parts linden (Tilia spp.) aerial parts 1 part chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) flower 1 part lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) leaf ¼ part lavender (Lavandula spp.) flower bud
Mix all the herbs together and store them in an airtight container in a cool and dark place.
To prepare your tea, combine 1 tablespoon of tea blend with 1 cup (8 fl oz) of boiling water.
Cover and steep for 10-20 minutes.
Strain and enjoy.
Take time to inhale the aroma of the tea before drinking to fully enjoy the moment.
While almost every pregnant mama or future mama is familiar with the use of Red Raspberry Leaf Tea during the end of the third trimester, these tea recipes are wonderful herbal support systems before, during, and after. After all, we need to always remember to help ourselves first. Once we help ourselves, we can HEALTHILY help those around us.
If there's one message you take away from this blog post, we want it to be this;
As women, we are held to a different expectation. We are expected to perform, provide, care, and uphold standards set by society. Before you attempt to meet any of those ridiculous items on a checklist, give yourself grace. Allow yourself to heal, reset, rebuild, and thrive in a healthy and solid manner before you attempt to care for anyone else. The more sturdy your foundation, the more you can carry. Be well, stay healthy, and care for your mind, body, and soul.