original 5 gift basket

I’m Pregnant, Is Your Tea Safe?

The Fall and Christmas 2019 Craft Fair season is behind us, and what a season it was! We sold 55 teas, some selling in groups as people bought more than one together or came back to buy more. We were asked where people could find us as the craft fairs came and went and brochures flew off the table at every fair.

We were asked about plants that we have not yet discovered in the local area. Considering there are well over 300 wild edible plants in Okanagan and in 4 years of foraging we have only made positive identification of under 100, there is definitely room to grow in our local knowledge and locations of where to find these plants.

One such plant is known quite literally as Labrador Tea. Apparently this grows up in Joe Rich not far from the Big White turn-off, as well as in places in Alberta. Another is Bergamot. I was not aware until Ashley went combing through our field guide, that it too is known to grow in BC. As yet it is only known that we’ve seen it in private gardens, but it may be possible to find it wild.

At least three times this fall, I was asked at some of the fairs if we had pregnant-friendly teas. As noted in my article on the Ponderosa Pine, conifer needles are wise to stay away from if their status regarding astringent compounds is not known. Ashley and I will revisit various topics at times in order to answer specific questions such as this desire for a wild tea a pregnant woman can safely enjoy, so this issue of safety led us to deeper information in the world of conifer needles.

Two conifer needles are considered safe for pregnant women to ingest in moderate amounts: Fir and Spruce. Any teas we have with Ponderosa Pine must NOT be ingested by a pregnant woman or a woman desiring to become pregnant as the astringent properties will abort efforts to conceive or risk aborting the growing pre-born child. In small quantities, Fir and Spruce do not have this warning attached.

Spearmint and Field mint must also not be ingested by a pregnant woman. Other members of the mint family are perfectly fine, such as catnip, horsenip and others. This warning came as a surprise to me as I have visited with pregnant women enjoying a cup of mint tea.

Yarrow, Nettle and Hawthorn are also on the naughty list for pregnant women. Yarrow’s astringent nature is so strong that women have reported having a daily tea of it after giving birth to successfully shrink their womb back down to normal size. These three herbs are great for the rest of the population including the formerly pregnant woman, but not while she is pregnant, nursing, or wanting to get pregnant. Nettle is particularly good for older women, and Hawthorn is a great cardiovascular regulator. It is so strong on the regulation front that if a person is already taking heart medication, they should not consume Hawthorn as well.

After revisiting all this information, we can now say that three of our teas are safe for pregnant, nursing, and soon-to-be (want-to-be) pregnant women:

Sun Drop, Rail Trail, Vally Hills and Stamina Potion Lite are not advisable for pregnant women to consume and if our teas do not state this yet, they will on future labelling and our website tea descriptions.

Our two tea baskets going for $75 each, include Warm Hug. If purchasing this basket for a lady who fits the pre/current/post pregnant (and nursing) status, advise her to wait on the other 4 teas in the basket until her nursing days are finished.

Merry Christmas everyone, and hope to see you all in the New Year!