Ginseng is one of the traditional Chinese medicine herbs that has been used for treating various health conditions. But what about pregnancy? Is the combination of ginseng tea and pregnancy safe for the mother and the growing baby?
With people getting more and more health conscious day by day, they are switching to the ‘natural’ ways of staying healthy rather than going for the chemical based medications. But is ‘natural way of treatment’ always safe? Are there no side effects involved at all? Well, unlike the popular belief that being natural is always safe, the fact is that there are many natural herbs that can prove to be toxic when consumed either too much or along with other medications and herbs.
In fact, there can be various risks involved in consuming certain herbs when you are suffering from certain health conditions. A classic example for the same would be ginseng tea and pregnancy. Though ginseng is a significant ingredient in Chinese tea, and is known to be beneficial in treating various health conditions including morning sickness, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and stress related problems, its usage during pregnancy is still questionable. So, before you go ahead with using ginseng as an ingredient in your herbal tea, you need to go through some facts that are listed in the following section.
Is it Safe to Consume Ginseng Tea During Pregnancy?
Well, pregnancy is that one condition wherein the expecting mother should be extra cautious about each and everything that she does. As it is, she goes through a lot of changes, both physically and emotionally, therefore, anything that is believed to bring complications and troubles in the pregnancy should be highly avoided, ginseng tea being one them.
One of the side effects of ginseng tea is that it leads to vaginal bleeding, which is something that a pregnant woman can’t afford to have as it increases the chances of miscarriage. Therefore, experts suggest that consumption of ginseng tea, or ginseng in any other form should be strictly avoided, at least during the first three months of pregnancy.
Various research and studies have been done, and are still being done, regarding the use of medicinal herbs like ginseng during pregnancy. One of the researches done by Dr. Louis Chan and his team at the Chinese University of Hong Kong states potential risks regarding the use of ginseng during pregnancy. They conducted some tests on rats and found out that ginseng contains a compound known as ginsenoside Rb1 which can cause significant abnormalities in the development of the embryo.
Not only this, it also affects the growth of the limbs, heart and eyes of the embryo. The study also showed that this compound led to malformation of rats and that their body length were shorter than normal. Although more studies need to be done to confirm the effect of ginseng on human embryo, experts strictly advice all pregnant women to stay away from ginseng.
Contrary to the advice, studies also reveal that almost 9% pregnant woman consume ginseng tea during pregnancy, the percentage raises to 10% in Asia. If you follow the Chinese tradition, then moderate amount of herbal tea with ginseng causes no problems, but gives you relief from certain signs and symptoms of pregnancy like morning sickness, nausea and fatigue. While all this stands true, one cannot completely put ones pregnancy under high risk just to avail the benefits of ginseng tea.
Other herbs to avoid during pregnancy, according to experts, are St.John’s wort, dry ginger, blue cohosh, to name a few. However, drinking tea made from fresh ginger roots, raspberry, and lemon balm are absolutely safe during pregnancy and can help relieve pregnancy symptoms as well. For example, tea made from fresh ginger roots can help relieve from morning sickness and nausea. Also, raspberry leaf tea is known to make the delivery easy by boosting up the uterine contractions.
Before you go ahead with the use of ginseng tea, keep in mind what I said before, some herbs are bad for certain health conditions, and some are good, including this one! So, avoid anything that puts you and your baby even in the slightest risk. In fact, research also states that consuming ginseng tea during breastfeeding is also not good. In any case, consulting with your healthcare specialist is a must before taking any step. Take care.