Learn how to make the nutritious and popular NORA tea for pregnancy and postpartum. If you have wondered: “What is NORA tea good for?” or “When should I start drinking NORA tea?” then this post is for you!
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What is NORA Tea?
I have been drinking nettle and red raspberry leaf tea during and outside of pregnancy for over a decade now, but I recently added oatstraw and alfalfa to my blend after learning about the added nutritive benefits of these two herbs.
My kids also really enjoy this delicious tea blend and I love that they can enjoy the ritual of tea drinking with me.
If you are new here, welcome! I’m a homeschool, homebirth, homemade mom of 5 boys. Check out my about page to meet me and my family.
What is an infusion?
For this specific tea, my midwife taught me to brew it as a herbal infusion.
An infusion is similar to a herbal tea but with a longer steep time. Either brewing as a tea or as an infusion extracts the beneficial properties of herbs, flowers, or other plant materials by steeping them in hot water.
What are the benefits of drinking NORA tea?
NORA tea is made of a blend of nourishing herbs. It is a specific blend of pregnancy tea. Pregnancy teas, are herbal blends specifically formulated to provide support and promote well-being during pregnancy.
The benefits of NORA tea include:
- Nutritional support: NORA tea often contains herbs that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that can support maternal health and provide essential nourishment during pregnancy.
- Hydration: Staying hydrated is important during pregnancy, and drinking NORA pregnancy tea can contribute to daily fluid intake. Proper hydration supports various bodily functions and can help prevent common pregnancy discomforts such as constipation and urinary tract infections.
- Relaxation and stress relief: Some pregnancy teas include herbs that have calming properties, such as chamomile or lemon balm. These herbs may help promote relaxation and reduce stress or anxiety, which can be beneficial for overall well-being during pregnancy.
- Digestive support: Certain herbs commonly found in pregnancy teas, such as dandelion root, fennel, ginger or peppermint, can help alleviate digestive issues like nausea, bloating, or indigestion, which are common during pregnancy.
- Uterine tone and preparation for labor: Red raspberry leaf and nettle support uterine tone and assist in preparing the uterus for labor.
- Improve the strength of the amniotic sac: Many of these teas include vitamin C, bioflavinoids and zinc which are all important for a strong amniotic sac and decrease the likelihood of PPROM.
- Breastfeeding: NORA tea can continue to be consumed during the postpartum period and while breastfeeding, providing gentle hydration and support for lactation.
- Cost efficiency: Prenatal supplements can get pricey, especially if you choose to buy a more high-quality supplement. Many women choose to stop taking their prenatal and replace it with this bio-available and natural NORA tea.
- Self-sufficiency: Each of the four ingredients in the NORA tea blend can be grown or foraged then dried, making this a nutritional supplement that you can totally DIY.
NORA: N is for Nettle
Stinging nettle, or Urtica dioica is a a perennial plant that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine and cuisine. A classic “nutritive” herb, which means that it is very nourishing. The name Urtica comes from the Latin urere, which means “to burn,” and if you have ever touched the little spiky hairs that grow all over the leaves and stem, you will know that it is true to the name. Thankfully, as soon as the leaves are cooked or dried, they no longer sting you, so it is easy to enjoy the amazing health benefits of this herb.
Nettle infusion has a grassy, earthy taste on its own. I really like it, but it is also nice to enhance the flavor by adding a squeeze of lemon juice or a drizzle of honey if desired. Adjust the taste according to your preference.
- Nutritional support: Stinging nettle is rich in vitamins such as A, B, C, and K and minerals such as iron, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, boron, strontium, silica. It also contains important phytonutrients – chlorophyll, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, quercetin, rutin.
- Diuretic properties: Stinging nettle has diuretic properties, which means it may help promote urine production and reduce fluid retention, prevent bladder infections and promote detoxification.
- Uterine tonic: Stinging nettle is believed to have a toning effect on the uterus and supports uterine health.
- Galactagogue: Stinging nettle is traditionally used to support milk production during breastfeeding. Nettle is often regarded as a galactagogue and may help stimulate milk supply and enhance milk flow.
- Anti-inflammatory: The bioactive compounds found in stinging nettle, such as flavonoids and lignans, have been shown to possess anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce inflammatory conditions like arthritis, allergic rhinitis, migraines, etc.
- Potential anti-diabetic effects: Some research suggests that stinging nettle may have anti-diabetic properties.
- Strengthens kidneys and adrenals
- High calcium content helps with leg cramps, round ligament pain, etc.
- High vitamin K content may prevent excessive bleeding during and after labour.
- Strengthens blood vessels and helps prevent hemorrhoids and varicosities.
- Antifungal properties
NORA: O is for Oatstraw
Oatstraw (Avena sativa) is the green, unripened part of the oat plant, and it can be brewed into a nourishing infusion or tea. It is often recommended during pregnancy due to its potential health benefits. Here are some of the reported benefits of oatstraw infusion for pregnancy, supported by traditional wisdom and anecdotal evidence:
- Nourishing and mineral-rich: Oatstraw is known for its high mineral content, including calcium, magnesium, and iron. These minerals are essential for healthy fetal development, maintaining strong bones, and supporting overall maternal health during pregnancy.
- One of the best sources of magnesium
- Nervine tonic: Oatstraw is a nervine tonic, meaning it has a calming and soothing effect on the nervous system. Pregnancy can be a time of increased stress and anxiety, and oatstraw may help promote relaxation and mental well-being.
- Uterine tonic and hormone balancer
- Support for healthy digestion
- Promotes healthy lactation and milk production in breastfeeding mothers.
NORA: R is for Red Raspberry Leaf
Red raspberry leaf (Rubus idaeus) is a popular herbal remedy often consumed in the form of tea or infusion. It has been traditionally used during pregnancy and menstruation as a uterine tonic. It is probably the most well-known of the main four herbs of NORA tea, and is talked about in pregnancy circles as “RRL tea.”
Here are some benefits of red raspberry leaf tea:
- Uterine tonic: Red raspberry leaf acts as a uterine tonic, which means it helps to tone and strengthen the uterine muscles. This supports the uterus during pregnancy and may ease labor and childbirth.
- A study published in the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health found that women who consumed red raspberry leaf products during pregnancy had shorter second stages of labor and a lower rate of pre- and post-term gestation. (Simpson, M., Parsons, M., Greenwood, J., & Wade, K. (2001). Raspberry leaf in pregnancy: its safety and efficacy in labor. Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, 46(2), 51-59.)
- Nutritional support: Red raspberry leaf is rich in various nutrients, including vitamins A, B, C and E. and minerals (such as calcium, magnesium, and iron). These nutrients can support overall maternal health and contribute to the well-being of both the mother and the developing baby.
- Antispasmodic properties: It may help reduce muscle cramps, including those associated with the uterus during pregnancy. This can provide relief from discomfort and promote relaxation.
- Potential hormone-balancing effects: Red raspberry leaf may help balance hormone levels during pregnancy, promoting hormonal health and overall well-being.
NORA: A is for Alfalfa
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) is a nutrient-dense plant that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine.
- Nutritional powerhouse: Alfalfa is rich in various vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. It contains essential nutrients such as vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iron.
- Aids hormone-balance: Alfalfa may help balance hormone levels during pregnancy due to its phytoestrogenic properties. This may aid in regulating hormonal changes and supporting overall hormonal health.
- Digestive support: Alfalfa is used to support digestion and relieve common digestive discomforts during pregnancy, such as indigestion and bloating. It is believed to contain enzymes that can assist in breaking down and absorbing nutrients.
- Potential diuretic properties: Alfalfa has mild diuretic properties, which may help promote healthy fluid balance and reduce water retention during pregnancy. This can potentially provide relief from swelling (edema) that commonly occurs during pregnancy.
Other Herbs and Additions to NORA Pregnancy Tea
While NORA tea specifically is gaining popularity in natural pregnancy circles, there are many other herbs with benefits for this special phase of life. Don’t feel restricted to these specific herbs. You may want to add or take away certain herbs to meet your individual needs.
Here are some other herbs or add-ins you may want to put in your tea blend:
- Rosehips (Rosa canina)
- vitamin C, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory
- Spearmint (Mentha spicata)
- anti-nausea, digestive support, antioxidants
- may exacerbate reflux
- Dandelion Root (Taraxacum Officinale)
- relaxation, stress relief, sleep aid, and digestive support
- ***Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
- may be unsafe in pregnancy but great for lactation
- digestive support, nausea relief, vitamin C, potassium, and a galactagogue
- Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
- relaxation, digestive and immune support, antioxidants
- Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
- relaxation and stress relief
- alkalizing, digestive and kidney support, vitamin C and antioxidants
- Raw honey
- Local is best
- vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, great for cough, allergy relief and sore throat
- Maple Syrup
- manganese, zinc, calcium, potassium, carbohydrates, antioxidants
- TraceMineral Drops
- for if you need to pack an extra trace mineral punch
- Cranberries or cranberry juice
- prevent and treat UTI, high in vitamin C, antioxidants, great for the gut microbiome
Try NORA tea ICED
I love NORA tea with lemon over ice! This tea blend also makes an amazing DIY gatorade or “Labour-Ade” drink with honey or maple syrup!
How to Brew a NORA Tea Herbal Infusion for Pregnancy
Here’s a step-by-step explanation of how to make NORA tea herbal infusion:
- Choose your herbs: Select the herbs you would like to use for your infusion.
- Measure the herbs: Determine the appropriate amount of herbs to use. Adjust the amount based on your taste preferences and the specific herbs you are using. I use about 1/2 to 1 inch of herbs in my quart size mason jar.
- Boil water: Bring filtered water to a boil. It’s best to use fresh, cold water to preserve the flavor and quality of the herbs.
- Add the herbs: Place the measured herbs into the teapot or container. I use a quart size mason jar.
- Pour the water: Pour the hot water over the herbs in the teapot or container. Ensure that the herbs are fully submerged in the water.
- Cover and steep: Cover the teapot or container with a lid to trap the steam. Let the herbs steep in the hot water for the desired amount of time. The steeping time can vary depending on the herbs used and personal preference. Steep for at least 10 minutes for or as long as 10 hours/ overnight.
- Strain and serve: After the desired steeping time, use a fine mesh tea strainer to separate the liquid from the herbs. Pour the infused liquid into a cup or mug for serving. I like to add a straw to my quart size mason jar and enjoy it that way!
- Enjoy: Sip and enjoy your herbal infusion. You can drink it plain or add honey, lemon, or other natural sweeteners to enhance the flavor if desired. You can place it in the refrigerator or serve over ice too!
Enjoy your homemade NORA tea herbal infusion!
Do I have to use loose leaf tea?
Not at all! While using loose leaf can sometimes be more cost effective, I found good organic bagged teas on amazon that are super easy to use! There are even third trimester tea blends with similar or overlapping ingredients.
When Should I Start Drinking NORA tea?
As you have learned about the many benefits of these herbs, these teas can probably be used safely at any time. As I said, my kids love it! However, since in early pregnancy there is an added risk of miscarriage in general, many people choose to cease drinking herbal teas that have uterine tonic properties (specifically nettle and red raspberry leaf) until second or third trimesters. I personally usually start after my food aversions and nausea end but I drink it daily (or almost daily) in the second half of pregnancy.
Some women find that drinking red raspberry leaf tea increases Braxton-Hicks contractions and choose not to use that herb.
I personally find that not getting enough magnesium increases my normal pregnancy contractions and see no real correlation with Red Raspberry Leaf. In one of my pregnancies, I felt Braxton-Hicks contractions from 5 weeks onward! I also view them as normal, healthy and safe way for my uterus to get some exercise and prep for labour and they don’t worry me.
Books for Further Reading on Herbs in Pregnancy
There are several books available that provide comprehensive information on the use of herbs during pregnancy and postpartum.
Here are a couple I love:
- “Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year” by Susun S. Weed: This book is a classic resource for herbal support throughout pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. It covers a wide range of topics, including herbal remedies, nutrition, and self-care practices.
- “The Natural Pregnancy Book” by Aviva Jill Romm: Dr. Aviva Romm, a well-known midwife and herbalist, provides a comprehensive guide to natural pregnancy care. It covers a variety of topics, including herbal remedies, nutrition, lifestyle considerations, and emotional well-being during pregnancy.
Please note that the information provided here is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified herbalist before incorporating herbal remedies into your pregnancy routine. They can provide personalized advice and ensure it aligns with your specific health needs.
- Dried Nettle
- Dried Red Raspberry Leaf
- Dried Oat Straw
- Dried Alfalfa
- Measure out 2 parts each nettle and raspberry leaf to 1 part each oatstraw and alfalfa. Include any other herbs you'd like to add to the blend.
- Bring filtered water to a boil. It's best to use fresh, cold water to preserve the flavor and quality of the herbs.
- Place the measured herbs into the teapot or container. I use a quart size mason jar and use about 1 inch of herbs.
- Pour the hot water over the herbs in the teapot or container. Ensure that the herbs are fully submerged in the water.
- Cover and steep for at least 10 minutes for or as long as 10 hours/ overnight.
- After the desired steeping time, use a strainer or remove the infuser to separate the liquid from the herbs. Pour the infused liquid into a cup or mug for serving. I like to add a straw to my quart size mason jar and enjoy it that way.
- Sip and enjoy your herbal infusion. You can drink it plain or add honey, lemon, or other natural sweeteners to enhance the flavor if desired. You can place it in the refrigerator or serve over ice too!
Enjoy your homemade NORA tea herbal infusion!
Not intended as medical advice.
Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoy your pregnancy tea and have a healthy and wonderful childbearing year.
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