Herbal teas may not be the safest beverage choice while you're pregnant. Make sure you have the facts.

Herbal teas have a reputation for being soothing, caffeine-free, and perfectly safe. However, a label that says "herbal" or "natural" is no guarantee of safety. Herbs have been poorly studied, so no one knows exactly how they act or whether they cause harm. Large amounts of certain herbal teas have been shown to cause uterine contractions and may increase the risk of miscarriage or preterm labor. It's best to steer clear of herbs and herbal teas during pregnancy, especially peppermint, red raspberry leaf, black or blue cohosh, ephedra, dong quai, feverfew, juniper, pennyroyal, Saint-John's-wort, rosemary, and thuja. If you have other favorites, ask your provider before using them.

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

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