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Food and nutrition are extremely vital for everyone’s overall well-being. And if you are a pregnant woman, your nutrient requirement needs to be met completely, not only for your health but for an all-round development of the child as well. However, there are always contrasting views as to what a pregnant woman should eat or drink because there are certain food types that can have an adverse effect on the body. One such food is nettle tea, which is prepared using nettle leaves from the shrub of stinging nettle plant (Urtica dioica).
Nettle tea is quite popular among the Western Herbalists (Northern Europe) and the nettle lead is a heart-shaped leaf, generally used to prepare juices and teas.
“It is a nourishing for the blood and is commonly used for seasonal rhinitis. There are several studies that have proposed the use of nettle leaves for treatment of inflammatory disorders and diseases like osteoarthritis, asthma, prostatic hypertrophy and diabetes. However, these facts have not been confirmed by sufficient clinical trials,” Sharanya Shastry, Chief Clinical Nutritionist, Apollo Spectra hospital, tells Health Shots.
The risk in pregnancy is unknown for 91.2 percent (as per a study) of the approved medications prescribed to pregnant women. Hence, consumption of nettle tea being safe during pregnancy is a tricky one too.
“Natural remedies are of course gentler in pregnancies, but it’s important to incorporate only the ones that are evidence-based and safe while being nourishing for the mother and the child. In case of nettle leaves and the tea made from it, as per naturopathic studies, it is advisable to use only the ‘dried nettle’,” Shastry adds.
According to Shastry, “Special attention has to be paid when it comes to the usage of ‘fresh nettle’ as it has a uterine stimulant action, which can cause contractions in the uterine muscles leading to abortions. Hence, it is contraindicated in pregnancy, especially in the early stages, and even if you’re planning to conceive.”
Only 3 to 4 tablespoons of dried nettle, in the later stages of pregnancy, in the form of juice or tea, is advisable. Also, if you are consuming dried nettle, make sure that you know that it is coming from a reliable source.
Wishing you dear moms-to-be a safe and a healthy pregnancy!