Mint, and in particular peppermint, can have benefits for common pregnancy complaints, so it’s understandable if you reach for a soothing cup of peppermint tea.
Drinking mint tea or eating mints is safe during pregnancy. It’s a good idea to check if there are other herbs or additional ingredients in mint tea blends.
There are some periods in pregnancy where mint can be particularly helpful, too.
Is Mint Tea Safe to Drink When Pregnant?
Generally speaking, it is safe to drink mint tea when pregnant, as mint is not on the list of herbs that are considered unsafe to consume while pregnant (Source: UTEP).
When choosing herbal teas, check the label to make sure the ingredients are all safe to consume. Many herbal teas have blends of more than one herb. Also, choose organic where possible, as you can avoid the pesticides that have been used in growing the tea plants.
Here are some specific types of mint tea that you are likely to come across, along with specific recommendations.
Peppermint tea is one of the most popular herbal teas for expecting mothers as it is safe to drink when pregnant.
Peppermint leaf can be helpful for morning sickness and for problems with flatulence (Source: APO).
It’s the most common type of mint made into tea, but it’s also safe to drink spearmint or water mint too.
Jade Citrus Mint Tea
Popular at Starbucks, this tea contains green tea, lemon verbena, lemongrass and spearmint.
Lemon verbena is classified as having insufficient evidence to know for sure whether it is safe to consume during pregnancy (Source: IJPR).
Lemongrass didn’t show any toxic properties when administered to pregnant rats in one study, but there is not enough evidence on human subjects to say for sure if it is safe to consume or not (Source: ScienceDirect).
In the absence of any further information, it’s probably fine to drink Jade Citrus Mint in moderation.
Another popular Starbucks tea, Mint Majesty has spearmint, peppermint, and lemon verbena.
As with the Jade Citrus tea above, you may want to stick to small amounts of this tea, as there is not enough evidence to know for sure if lemon verbena is safe when pregnant (Source: IJPR).
Honey Citrus Mint Tea
Honey Citrus Mint Tea contains Jade Citrus Mint Tea along with a touch of honey and Peach Tranquility herbal tea. Because of the Jade Citrus, the same caution applies because of the lemon verbena.
Moroccan Mint Tea
This tea is made by steeping fresh mint leaves in hot water, and is safe to drink when pregnant.
Mint is the umbrella term for peppermint, spearmint, orange mint and more, and peppermint has been shown to be safe to drink while pregnant (Source: FP).
The mint leaves should be washed thoroughly before steeping, to remove traces of bacteria.
Can I Eat Mints or Mint Leaves During Pregnancy?
Mint comes in several forms besides tea, most of which are fine to consume while pregnant.
- Eating mint leaves. Eating fresh mint leaves is fine provided you are not eating excessive amounts. Small amounts of mint sprinkled on salads or put into drinks is fine – just make sure they’re thoroughly washed!
- Mint sauce. Mint sauce is fine to eat during pregnancy, but be aware of sugar levels and other additives. Check the label before consuming.
- Eating mints. Mints are considered safe to eat during pregnancy, but as with mint sauce, consider the sugar levels and any other additives.
- Packets of Mints: Popular brands are Polo mints, Life Savers, Mentos, Altoids and Tic Tacs, all of which are fine when pregnant.
- Peppermint candy. Peppermint candy is safe to eat when pregnant, but be aware that any candy is likely to be high in sugar.
- Mint chocolate, including mint hot chocolate. Mint chocolate is also safe to eat in pregnancy, so you can enjoy your chocolate treats guilt-free!
Once again, anything high in sugar, though, is best consumed in moderation. You should also check the caffeine content of chocolate as it might count towards your daily total.
Is It OK to Have Mint Gum When Pregnant?
Mint gum is fine to chew when pregnant, but be aware of the sweeteners and additives used. Do check the label before purchasing.
Sweeteners that are considered safe to consume in pregnancy are aspartame, stevia, xylitol, mannitol, and sorbitol (Source: AP).
There are no studies that show any particular benefits of chewing mint gum while pregnant, although gum chewing has been shown to potentially reduce stress (Source: Hindawi).
We have a dedicated article on gum during pregnancy, as well as information on accidentally swallowing it.
Is Mint Good for Morning Sickness or Nausea?
The smell of peppermint – such as smelling the essential oil – has been shown to be effective in reducing nausea and vomiting during pregnancy (Source: JFMPC).
You may want to give this a go to see if it helps you. In the study, women smelled four drops of peppermint oil on a piece of cotton wool twice a day for seven days.
The cotton was placed in a glass vial (you could use a jar) and women breathed in the aroma for 20 minutes. Definitely worth a try!
The only contraindications were if women noticed anything unusual, such as a runny nose, headache, burning eyes or a skin rash. This is rare, but if you experience any unusual symptoms, then ask your healthcare provider.
If you’re suffering from nausea often, you should check out our article on foods that can fight pregnancy nausea, too.
Overall, mint is not only safe during pregnancy, but can also help with digestion issues and pregnancy nausea. It’s also a soothing, caffeine-free hot drink to enjoy at any time of day.