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Is Drinking Ginger Tea During Pregnancy A Safe Option?

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Ginger Tea During Pregnancy

About 4 cups of ginger tea made with 1 gm ginger is safe during pregnancy. But it's best to ask your doctor. This caffeine-free drink can keep you hydrated and ease morning sickness. It can also improve digestion. Avoid ginger tea if you're on medication for high blood pressure, blood sugar, and blood thinning. If you're opting for a C-section, stop taking ginger tea closer to childbirth.

If you are worried about whether drinking ginger tea during pregnancy is safe, let’s put your anxious mind to rest. Ginger tea is safe during pregnancy. Ginger has many benefits during pregnancy, including helping you with morning sickness in the first trimester. Surveys show that a lot of women take herbal medicine products, including ginger, during their pregnancy.1 Just be careful not to overdo it. Limit your consumption to 1 gm ginger a day, and always ask your doctor first.

1. Keeps You Hydrated

One of the most annoying things about pregnancy is frequent urination. Given the number of times you need to dash to the toilet, it’s very important to keep yourself hydrated. You can’t rely on the caffeine-laden coffees and teas and sugar-laden sodas. You can have just 2 cups of coffee or tea a day as too much caffeine raises your blood pressure and heart rate and messes with your and the baby’s sleep cycles.2 3 4 5

You can bypass this problem with herbal teas like ginger tea. Just add a dash of honey and lemon, and you are sorted for the day. But keep the amount of honey very low. Having too much sugar during pregnancy carries a risk of gestational diabetes. Ginger tea is quite low on calories as well. While ginger contains essential nutrients like vitamins B6 and C and magnesium, ginger tea will contain these nutrients in trace amounts.

2. Relieves Nausea

Consuming Ginger Tea During Pregnancy Relieves Nausea

Nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP) or morning sickness is a common feature of the early days of pregnancy, thanks to the rise in the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone. In fact, 50 to 90 percent of pregnant women have nausea, with or without vomiting.6 The hearetening fact is: morning sickness indicates a healthy pregnancy. But it can also be exhausting. So what do you do for relief? Drink ginger tea.

Both traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda honor ginger for its anti-nausea property. It’s all thanks to the active chemicals called gingerols, which change into zingerones and shogaols upon heating. They can relieve not only nausea and vomiting but diarrhea as well.7 Unlike medicines that work on the nervous system, ginger works directly on the stomach to help in digestion.

Vitamin B6 is typically used for pregnancy-induced nausea.8 But ginger is just as effective.9 So if you’re looking for a tastier alternative, ginger tea is your bet.

3. Eases Digestion

Improper or delayed digestion is a concern for pregnant women. In the first trimester, the pregnancy hormones slow down the rate of digestion. They also make the opening of the esophagus into the stomach (lower esophageal sphincter) more relaxed; so food reaches back up to the esophagus easily, causing acid reflux. In the later stages of pregnancy, the growing fetus makes the uterus press on the abdominal wall. This too causes acid reflux and bloating.10 Changes in your estrogen levels may also contribute to those unpleasant feelings.11

Ginger tea can come to the rescue. It works by stimulating the flow of saliva and digestive juices, helping move food right along. It also quickens the pace of gastric emptying or passage of food from the stomach to the intestine.12 13

Have No More Than 4 Cups A Day

While ginger tea is generally considered safe during pregnancy, make sure you have no more than 1 gm ginger a day.14 15

Steep 1 gm ginger in boiling water for a few minutes, enough to make you 4 cups. Drink them at different times of the day. However, it’s best to ask your doctor because some would-be moms are also advised to have ginger tea only when they feel queasy.

Don’t have ginger tea at all if you are on medication for blood thinning, blood pressure, and blood sugar; if you have gallstones; and if you are nearing a surgery, for instance, a C-section. So it is wise to stop taking ginger when you are nearing childbirth.

References   [ + ]

1. Ernst, E. “Herbal medicinal products during pregnancy: are they safe?.” BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology 109, no. 3 (2002): 227-235.
2. Caffeine Intake During Pregnancy. American Pregnancy Association.
3. Problems sleeping during pregnancy. MedlinePlus.
4. Schwab, Karin, Tobias Groh, Matthias Schwab, and Herbert Witte. “Nonlinear analysis and modeling of cortical activation and deactivation patterns in the immature fetal electrocorticogram.” Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science 19, no. 1 (2009): 015111.
5. Morgan, Sara, Gideon Koren, and Pina Bozzo. “Is caffeine consumption safe during pregnancy?.” Canadian Family Physician 59, no. 4 (2013): 361-362.
6, 7, 9, 15. Thomson, Maggie, Renee Corbin, and Lawrence Leung. “Effects of ginger for nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy: a meta-analysis.” The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine 27, no. 1 (2014): 115-122.
8. Quinla, J. D., and D. ASHLEY Hill. “Nausea and vomiting of pregnancy.” American family physician 68, no. 1 (2003): 121-128.
10. Body Changes And Discomforts. Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health And Human Services.
11. Nausea During Pregnancy. American Pregnancy Association.
12. Ginger. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
13. Wu, Keng-Liang, Christopher K. Rayner, Seng-Kee Chuah, Chi-Sin Changchien, Sheng-Nan Lu, Yi-Chun Chiu, King-Wah Chiu, and Chuan-Mo Lee. “Effects of ginger on gastric emptying and motility in healthy humans.” European journal of gastroenterology & hepatology 20, no. 5 (2008): 436-440.
14. Ginger. University of Maryland Medical Center.