I am happiest in nature, surrounded by plants and herbal allies. As a mom, entrepreneur and nutritionist, I used herbs daily. Plant medicine heals, nourishes and supports our mind, body and spirit. I’m honoured I get to share the magic of herbs with my son, throughout pregnancy and as a toddler. During my pregnancy, I found it challenging to locate a blend that contained all the herbs my body would benefit from. Enter Genuine Tea Co’s new Maternity Tonic! I love this tea so much I served it to my mother when she came over to visit. Nothing is overpowering, I taste refreshing mint with a touch of citrus, earthy nettle and sweet chamomile.
I would like to introduce this blend by exploring the benefits of three all star herbs in detail. Let’s start with nettle, Urtica dioica.
Stingle nettle is a wild weed that may be growing in your neighbourhood. The young leaves, seeds and roots can be used. If foraging, always use gloves as they do sting! Nettle can also be consumed cooked, use as you would spinach.
Nettle is referred to as a nutritive tonic, meaning it helps restore and strengthen the body. It’s rich in B Vitamins, amino acids, silica, chlorophyll, lingans, flavonoids, Vitamin C, iron and calcium. Your needs for B vitamins increase during pregnancy and ensuring you get lots of folate rich herbs, foods and a supplement help prevent spina bifida. Due to increased blood volume during pregnancy, iron levels decrease making nettle a great addition to support blood building and anaemia. Calcium in nettle helps support healthy bones while giving your baby the calcium required to grow. Nettle helps with seasonal allergies as it reduces histamine and also supports edema as it’s a diuretic. . A nice alternative to taking antihistamines when pregnant. In the fourth trimester, I also recommend sipping on this Maternity Tonic as nettle is a galactagogue helping with the flow and richness of milk.
The second plant I’d like to highlight is raspberry, Rubus idaeus, as it’s so beneficial for the female reproductive system. As an astringent, the leaves are great to help tone pelvic floor muscles and strengthen the uterus while also relaxing it*. Drinking raspberry leaf may help reduce postpartum haemorrhage, shorten labour and after labour pains. Like nettle, raspberry leaf is also a galactagogue helping increase the flow and nutrients in breastmilk. You can also enjoy these benefits during your menstrual cycle if you experience uterine cramps or heavy periods. This plant medicine also supports fertility. It’s high in Vitamin C, A, E, B, magnesium, potassium and calcium. The energetics of this herb are grounding, soothing and cooling. It can over-drying by itself due to high tannins so it’s perfect in a blend, such as Maternity Tonic.
“An unexpected finding in this study seems to indicate that women who ingest raspberry leaf might be less likely to receive an artificial rupture of their membranes, or require a caesarean section, forceps or vacuum birth than the women in the control group.”
Lastly, I have to highlight chamomile, Matricaria recutita, my favourite herb. Erin Lovell Verinder describes chamomile as having yin-like energy making it perfect during pregnancy and safe for children. In my herbal training, it’s been referred to as the mother of the stomach. Chamomile is a nervine, meaning it’s supportive of the nervous system and it’s also a mild sedative. It won’t knock you out like passion flower, but it will help relax the mind and ease anxiety. It’s the perfect addition to any maternity blend as it calms indigestion, nausea and bloating. This plant medicine is a carminative as it relaxes the body and reduces gas from higher progesterone levels. I also recommend sipping this plant while nursing as the essential oils enter the breast milk calming your baby and soothing any stomach aches. You will get more essential oils if you steep your tea covered!
I’m so excited for you to try this delicious and functional plant medicine.
* Raspberry leaf tea research isn’t clear on when it is safe to begin taking during pregnancy so we often rely on traditional uses. Some believe it is safe to take throughout and others believe waiting until the second or third trimester is safer due to potential uterine stimulation. Historically and per Science Direct raspberry leaf tea has been used to prevent miscarriage however. Please consult your healthcare provider.