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Sage Tea & Pregnancy

By Adrienne Weeks

As an expectant mother, you may ponder the safety of drinking herbal teas during your pregnancy. Commonly used to flavor culinary dishes, sage has been used as an herbal remedy for various health conditions for centuries. Although the spice is generally safe to consume during pregnancy, concentrated amounts found in tea and supplements may be unsafe for expectant mothers. Consult your midwife or obstetrician before drinking sage tea or any other herbal tea while pregnant.

Proposed Benefits

Sage has been used for many centuries to treat a variety of ailments. Mediterranean cultures used the herb to increase fertility, improve memory, reduce engorgement while weaning and relieve symptoms of arthritis. Proponents of sage tea claim the herb works as a gargle for cough, sore throat or laryngitis and can treat anxiety and excessive sweating. More scientific research is necessary to determine the validity of these claims. Do not use sage tea to treat any of these conditions during pregnancy without first consulting a knowledgeable health care provider.

Herbal Teas

Although herbal teas, such as sage tea, provide essential nutrients, including iron, calcium and magnesium, they may not be suitable for consumption during pregnancy. As a caffeine-free beverage, herbal teas seem like a safe alternative to non-herbal teas and coffee during pregnancy. The concern, however, is not caffeine, but the lack of scientific evidence on herbal teas and their effects on fetal development. The American Pregnancy Association states that herbal teas made with concentrated amounts of the herb are considered unsafe and should be avoided during pregnancy.

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Potential Side Effects

Sage tea, like other herbal teas or supplements, may cause certain side effects. Reported adverse effects include dry mouth, inflammation of the lips and oral irritation. Consuming excessive amounts of sage tea may cause severe side effects such as abdominal pain, dizziness or vomiting. In rare cases, high doses of the herb may cause seizures or damage to the liver. Seek immediate medical care if you experience severe side effects.

Warning

According to the American Pregnancy Association, sage, when consumed in concentrated amounts, could be harmful during pregnancy. More scientific research is necessary to determine the safety and efficacy of sage tea during pregnancy. As of publication, recommended doses of the herb for pregnant women have not been established. Avoid sage tea if you have diabetes, kidney disease or epilepsy. Always consult your physician before drinking sage tea.

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