You may have heard that ginger tea can help with the nausea common to early pregnancy. In fact, this is quite true -- chemicals in ginger help reduce feelings of queasiness. Furthermore, ginger is safe to use during pregnancy, as a tea and in other forms. As such, you may wish to try ginger tea either for the flavor or to reduce discomfort.
While you may simply enjoy the flavor of ginger and want a hot cup of ginger tea for reasons that have nothing to do with discomfort, one of the most common reasons that pregnant women use ginger tea during pregnancy is to reduce nausea. Early in pregnancy, rising hormone levels can cause you to feel queasy from time to time. These symptoms may last for weeks or months, and can be very uncomfortable. Ginger helps reduce symptoms.
The reason that ginger helps you to feel less nauseated -- whether you're pregnant or are simply nauseated due to some other cause -- is that it confuses your brain. The active chemical in ginger, called zingerone, overwhelms brain cells, explain Drs. Penny Le Couteur and Jay Bureson in their book "Napoleon's Buttons." Your brain can't simultaneously process the hot flavor of the ginger and the sensation of nausea, so you temporarily stop feeling sick.
In their book "What to Expect When You're Expecting," authors Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel recommend ginger in any form during pregnancy. You can try adding it to foods in either its fresh or dried form, you can suck ginger candies or you can consume ginger tea. Because many women find tea soothing anyway, ginger tea may help to settle your stomach more than ginger-containing foods. You can either purchase premade tea at the grocery store or you can brew it yourself from fresh ginger.
Some ginger teas contain other herbs in addition to ginger. Many of these, while they're perfectly safe for nonpregnant women, aren't safe to use during pregnancy. You should check with your doctor before using any tea that contains herbs other than pure ginger to ensure that there are no harmful ingredients in the tea. Generally, pure ginger teas are safest to use during pregnancy.
Use of Ginger Tea
It's safe to consume ginger tea as often as you like, note Drs. Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz in their book "You: Having a Baby." Not only will the tea help reduce nausea, it will also keep you hydrated. You may wish to add a little lemon or honey to the tea -- many women find lemon also helps to reduce nausea, and the honey can improve the taste and may also soothe your stomach.
- "Napoleon's Buttons"; Penny Le Couteur and Jay Bureson; 2004
- "What to Expect When You're Expecting"; Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel; 2008
- "You: Having a Baby"; Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.; 2009