Parsley tea is known for its numerous health benefits, which is due to its rich vitamin profile and anti-inflammatory properties. Herbal teas are used during pregnancy to get over nausea and to ease labor pain (1).
What is Parsley?
Parsley is an herb that is found in the Mediterranean region and has a strong flavor and aroma. It is used as a flavoring agent in many dishes. Parsley contains flavonoids and vitamin A and C giving it a strong antioxidant property. An antioxidant helps the body against oxidative stress.
The anti-inflammatory properties of parsley can help in preventing the risk of kidney stones and also help in treating urinary tract infections and promoting healthy urine pH and healthy blood pressure (5, 6).
Being an anti-microbial agent it helps in fighting harmful bacteria and alleviate the itching due to insect bite (7).
Parsley is rich in vitamin K that plays a role in blood clotting and bone health. Therefore those taking blood-thinning medication should consume Parsley in moderation as it might interfere with the medication action(8, 9).
Parsley Tea During Pregnancy, Is it Safe?
The compound myristicin and apiole present in parsley can lead to uterine contractions and lead to miscarriage if consumed in large quantities. Myristicin can also increase the heart rate in babies. It may also decrease milk supply and should be consumed in moderation during breastfeeding as well(10).
Parsley can lead to heavy metal toxicity, which is another concern for its consumption during pregnancy. This herb resorbs heavy metals from the soil during irrigation. Study shows heavy metal found in the blood samples on parsley intake(11).
Risks Associated With Drinking Parsley Tea During Pregnancy
Parsley may increase the risk of miscarriage during pregnancy and is therefore not recommended to be used during this period. Also, its consumption may reduce the breast milk supply and should be avoided during lactation as well(10).
Are Herbal Teas Safe During Pregnancy?
Many women take herbal teas considering they might be beneficial, but there is not much research on this matter. Many studies recommend the use of herbal tea in moderation during pregnancy(11). These teas may contain unwanted chemicals and metal that may harm the mother as well as the growing infant.
Not only metals they may contain other herbs which might be harmful to be consumed during pregnancy. Though research is limited on this topic its low consumption advice should be taken into consideration.
Research showed females who consumed a large quantity of green tea during pregnancy have a higher level of lead in the blood compared to the females who drank less of this tea. The level of lead never reached toxicity in either group(11).
Also led poisoning has been reported in those consuming herbal teas (12). Some herbal teas interact with certain medications such as blood thinners and diuretics and alter their function. Therefore pregnant or non-pregnant. one should consume herbal teas in moderation.
Also, there are reports of adverse events such as hypernatremia and perinatal stroke associated with herbal tea consumption.
Herbal teas should therefore be consumed in moderation or should be avoided during pregnancy.
Although herbal teas are safe to be consumed during pregnancy there is no strong research in support. A large amount of parsley is known to cause uterine contractions and should be used with caution.
If planning to start with any herbal supplement or herbal tea, the doctor’s advice should be taken if on any medication. It can help prevent unwanted health effects.