Nourishing Tea for Pregnancy and Lactation
and All Women in their Childbearing Years
NORA tea is an herbal tea that consists of nettles, oatstraw, red raspberry leaf, and alfalfa. Traditionally recommended in pregnancy by midwives, it has many healthful benefits and preventative properties. The herbs in NORA tea are specifically chosen because their nutritive content and herbal actions are so beneficial to women in their childbearing years. Many women choose not to continue taking prenatal vitamins after committing to drinking quantities of this tea every day. It is that complete!
NORA tea stimulates your system to optimal health, optimizes mineral absorption, guards against anemias, and maximizes the health of the liver, thereby helping to prevent many common pregnancy complaints, or minimize them. In my experience, it prevents possible complications during the birth by helping to promote proper contractibility of the uterus, the release of the placenta, and by doing so it prevents hemorrhage and because of the health of the tissues, it reduces tears and the degree of them. After your baby is born, it will help your milk come in quickly, and the amount of production to stabilize. Also, it will help reduce the amount of time that you have a lochia flow postpartum. That said, it is not a miracle substance and is simply a preventative measure. Please read the following information about the nutrients in these herbs and I think you will agree.
NORA Tea consists of four ingredients: Nettles, Oat Straw, Raspberry Leaf, & Alfalfa. Midwives recommend women begin to drink NORA Tea after the 16th week of pregnancy. They also recommend trying to drink a quart daily, since then it will become a daily habit to prepare the tea. If you find it difficult to drink it daily, it is important to drink it at least 4 times a week, or half a quart daily to maintain nutritive and preventative benefits.
Mix 2 parts (8 oz.) Raspberry Leaf and Nettles to 1 part (4 oz.) Alfalfa and Oat Straw. Mix well and place in a ziplock baggie. A large plastic Rubbermaid-type container works well for mixing it. You can also add either Peppermint, Spearmint, Lemon Balm, or Rose Hips (a sour taste) for flavor. Buy small amounts at a health food store, in order to try them.
To Prepare: (In the Evening) Place half an inch of the herb in the bottom of a quart-size canning jar (a handful or two). Experiment with the amount of herb and strength of the taste to find what works for you. But please make sure there is at least approximately ½ an inch in the jar. Fill the jar to ½ to ¾ of an inch from the top with boiling water. Stir the herbs down into the water so that they are all wet and mixed in and not floating. Cover the jar with a lid or small plate to retain the essential oils and let sit overnight. In the morning, strain using a small mesh strainer into another canning jar and your “tea” (technically an infusion, a concentrated tea) is now ready. Since this is a highly nutritious drink it is also strongly flavored. Some women love it and cannot get enough of it!! Some tolerate it and others have a difficult time. These suggestions are offered to help you maximize the amount you do drink. Feel free to experiment, so that you are sure to drink it frequently. Some women like to make a gallon or more at a time and store it in the fridge. This way they can make it 1-2 times a week. This is easier for some women and they end up drinking the recommended amount.
Add the above-recommended herbs for a more dominant flavor.
Add Honey, blackstrap molasses (source of iron), molasses, sorghum, or maple syrup to sweeten.
Mix with half and half (or the desired quantity) with fruit juice.
Add a squeeze of lemon, or lime, especially nice with Lemon Balm.
Cut half and half with water.
Cut half and half with an herbal tea such as a Zinger.
Please do NOT use artificial sweeteners in this tea.
Nettles- Scientific Name: Urtica Dioica
Active Ingredients: Histamine, Tannin, Saponins, AcetylcholineFormic Acid, Sterols, Chlorophyll, Glucoquinine, Serotonin, Iron, & Vitamin A, C, D, and K in an easily absorbable form, very high in minerals, including silicon.
Actions: Astringent, diuretic, nutritive, detoxifier, galactagogue, decongestant, hypoglycemic & tonic. Astringent means it reduces discharges. Galactagogue means it supports the production of breast milk.
Nettle’s is one of the most widely applicable plants we have. It strengthens and supports the whole body. It is one of the most powerful plants we have to deal with allergic rhinitis or more commonly known as pollen allergy or hay fever. Studies are also showing that it has a broad range of anti-inflammatory usage, so is useful with migraines, arthritis, lupus pain, etc. It is an extremely nutritive plant, high in vitamins and minerals, particularly iron, silica, and potassium, and is showing broad antifungal effects as well. Thru its diuretic effect, it promotes detoxification and works to prevent bladder infections. It also strengthens the kidneys and adrenals, an important function during pregnancy with their increased workload. The readily assimilated high calcium content helps to diminish muscle pain in all areas of the body during pregnancy including the legs, round ligaments, cervix, back, and also during labor as well. With its high Vitamin K content, it also is proactive in preventing excessive bleeding after birth. Because it strengthens the blood vessels and maintains arterial elasticity it helps prevent hemorrhoids and varicose veins, because of this, it also helps to maintain normal blood pressure. After birth, it helps in the production of breast milk making it nutrient-rich for
Oatstraw-Scientific Name: Avena Sativa
Active Ingredients: 50% starch, proteins, alkaloids, saponins, flavones, sterols, Vitamin B, silica, & calcium, magnesium, silicon, potassium, & iron.
Actions: Nervine tonic, anti-depressant, nutritive, demulcent, vulnerary. Demulcent means soothes irritated tissue, and Vulnerary means aids in the healing of wounds. Oatstraw is one of the best remedies for “feeding” the nervous system. It is useful for exhaustion and depression; it strengthens the whole nervous system, making it a preventative and protective herb to enhance your ability to cope with stress. While being stimulating and energy-giving, they are also relaxing and an aid to sleep. Oats is also a uterine tonic and works on strengthening the thyroid and balancing hormone production. It can be helpful for high blood pressure, varicose veins, and hemorrhoids. It is also a soother for the digestive tract. It also lowers blood sugar and is useful for fluid retention. It is one of the best sources of magnesium, helping irritability and calcium absorption.
Raspberry Leaf- Scientific Name: Rubus idaeus
Active Ingredients: volatile oils, pectin, citric acid, malic acid, tannin, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, & zinc, Vitamin A, B, C & E. Has the highest known herbal source of manganese.
Actions: Astringent, tonic, toning, pelvic and uterine relaxant.
Raspberry leaves have a long tradition of use in pregnancy to strengthen and tone the tissue of the womb, assisting contractions and preventing excessive bleeding. Raspberry also tones the mucous membranes throughout the body; soothe the kidneys and urinary tract, and prevent excessive bleeding after birth. Raspberry works on the digestive tract, stabilizing it. It continues its good benefits after birth by working to help milk production and recovery. The tonic and relaxant actions on the smooth muscles of the uterus act to reduce the pain of uterine contractions during childbirth and makes them more effective and productive, shortening the duration of labor. Currently, there is some controversy surrounding the use of Raspberry leaf during pregnancy, which is unfortunate since its use has been associated with pregnancy and birth since ancient times according to their writings. The concern is an early miscarriage. For this reason, I recommend using NORA tea after 16 weeks of gestation, by the obstetric calendar. I sincerely hope this controversy is settled quickly so that women can again enjoy Raspberry’s wonderful help in dealing with the nausea of
pregnancy, without concern for their growing baby.
Alfalfa- Scientific Name: Medicago sativa
Active Ingredients: Vitamin K, iron, chlorophyll, Vitamin A, B-6, E, D, & K, beta-carotene, biotin, folic acid, pantothenic acid, fatty acids, saponins, high in copper.
Actions: bitter, general tonic, alterative, diuretic
Alfalfa has a history going back to ancient times, cherished for its nourishing abilities for people and their animals. It has a deep taproot and grows in rich soils, making it very rich in trace minerals that it pulls up from deep below the surface. It purifies the blood and is a powerful tonic. It balances the blood sugar preventing the swings of hypoglycemia common in pregnancy. It soothes the digestive tract and contains the digestive enzyme betaine, and the saponins balance the intestinal flora.
Peppermint- Scientific Name: Mentha piperita
Soothes the digestive system, and circulatory system and relaxes the nervous system.
NOTE: Discontinue usage of Peppermint after you give birth as it is a lactation suppressant.
Spearmint- Scientific Name: Mentha Spicata
Same usages as Peppermint, it is a different species in a plant family.
Lemon Balm- Scientific Name: Melissa Officinalis
Soothes the digestive system, reduces stress, and has a tonic effect on the heart and circulatory system. Traditionally it has been used to bring the afterbirth. Combats allergies.
NOTE: Using large amounts of Lemon Balm may inhibit the body’s utilization of thyroid hormones. Added as a flavoring to NORA tea, I feel is safe usage of the herb, and not a “large amount”, which would mean 12+ cups daily.
Rose Hips- Scientific Name: Rosa canina
Nutritive, one of the best natural sources of Vitamin C we know of. Excellent tonic, aids the gall-bladder, kidneys and bladder.
Strengthens connective tissue and helps relieve stress.
The Complete Woman’s Herbal, Anne McIntyre
Nutritional Herbology, Mark Pederson
Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year, Susan S. Weed
The New Holistic Herbal, David Hoffman
Principals & Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine, Mills & Bone
Eyewitness Handbook: Herbs, Lesley Bremness
Medical Herbalism, David Hoffman
Compiled by Vickie Liguori of In Due Thyme, 2006