The pleasures and benefits of ‘real’ tea

pratty

Who doesn’t love a decent cup of tea?  Tea purists would likely say loose-leaf is the best variety for flavour.  I couldn’t claim to be a tea purist myself, but I do drink a few cups of flavoured green tea and fruit teas a day. I was pretty happy to receive some stunning new teas on the market for me to try out.  Keep reading for your own opportunity to try the tea out too.

Created by Naturopath and Herbalist Leanne Pratt, Pratty’s extensive range of teas come under the headings ‘healing teas’, ‘fruit teas’, ‘flavoured black teas’ and ‘herbal infusions’.  Sold as loose leaf teas, they need to be brewed using an infuser (either ball or infusing teapot).  The brand was formerly known as ‘Aaah Tea’ but has now taken on the name of the woman who brought her vision for healthy and delicious brews to life.

The product is packaged beautifully, in little tins some of which have shakers in the top to shake down small particles of ingredients, gradually adding them to the rest of the tea.

My favourite of those sent to me was the Apple Crumble fruit tea.  It smells amazing, and leaving it to infuse for several minutes, the taste won’t disappoint either.

I asked ‘Pratty’ to give me a run down on the benefits of tea for those who are pregnant or breast feeding, and this is what I learnt:

Pratty, why did you decide to develop pregnancy and breastfeeding teas?

Primarily because of the demand for them!  I started with the Pregnancy Formula (Yummy Mummy 2 Be) and then after getting requests I developed the Breastfeeding formula (Chilled Out Mama) and then the Morning Sickness Blend (Ease The Quease).

Women are often much more focused on good health and ensuring they are getting optimum nutrition during pregnancy.  It can be a time when they are eating healthier than they ever have and taking extra supplementation.

Herbal teas are an extension of this and are something women can drink safely during pregnancy and breastfeeding for those extra nutrients and health benefits.  Many herbs are naturally full of trace amounts of vitamins and minerals in easy to absorb forms and are a great way to increase your fluid intake.

Then of course there are the specific health benefits they can provide like improving energy, reducing stress, helping to relax or sleep.  Taking your herbs in a tea or infusion form is also a lovely way to take a ‘medicine’.  Many pregnant women find it difficult to swallow pills or nasty tasting liquid herbal formulas, whereas a nice tasting herbal tea is a much more pleasurable way to gain the benefits.

Drinking Herbal Infusions during pregnancy is actually one of the oldest forms of herbal medicine and is also a pleasant way to improve the health of a pregnant woman.

How did your research lead to developing Yummy Mummy To Be Tea? 

There are many considerations when formulating a herbal tea for pregnancy.  The tea needs to taste great, use herbs that are safe during pregnancy and each herb needs to be within it’s ‘therapeutic window’ so you will actually get a health benefit from it.

So I follow the ‘less is more’ principle, meaning it is better to use only a few carefully selected herbs, rather than using 10 or 15 herbs which is more of a shotgun effect, but means you can’t get enough of each herb to have specific benefits.

Using the ‘Yummy Mummy to Be’ formulation as an example, there are only 3 herbs in this blend.  Each one carefully chosen so that the tea can have multiple health actions, but there is enough of each herb to have the desired health outcome.  It is designed with herbs that are known for their high nutrient levels, like nettle, and also with herbs like Raspberry that traditionally help with actual childbirth.  There is some research to back up this up for Raspberry, so it was a must in my pregnancy blend.

Have you witnessed the positive effects of this tea on the ailments associated with pregnancy?

We do get a lot of feedback about our pregnancy tea, many women saying it tastes great, which I think they are surprised about this as they expected it to taste grassy and not pleasant.  But it’s important that a herbal tea is going to taste good, or you won’t drink it no matter how good it might be for you.

Other feedback we have had on this blend is that they feel they have more energy. It has also helped women who suffered from digestive problems like nausea, heartburn and constipation.

What types of benefits might a pregnant woman see from drinking your pregnancy teas?

A great reason for drinking herbal teas during pregnancy and even more so when breastfeeding is that they provide you with extra hydration.  They don’t contain caffeine so they actually add to your daily fluid intake and it is often nicer for women to drink herbal teas than lots of plain water.

Both the ‘Yummy Mummy To Be’ and the ‘Chilled Out Mama’ help keep mums feeling energised and able to carry on with their daily tasks more easily.  This is partly to do with the extra nutrients, like iron, that are found in this blend, and also to do with peppermint which is a great energising herb.

Many side effects of pregnancy can also be helped with these blends.

  • Peppermint in the pregnancy blend is great for helping with nausea, constipation and heartburn that are common during pregnancy.
  • The raspberry in the pregnancy blend is also helpful for reducing excessive bleeding post birth.
  • Nettle is very rich in natural non constipating iron so this also helps with reducing tiredness and is great to replenish iron levels after childbirth too.

So collectively when they are blended together you get a synergistic effect which means you get many benefits from one cup of tea!

How can products in a tea assist breastfeeding?

Herbal Teas are excellent for breastfeeding women for many reasons.  Aside from the specific health benefits each herb brings, the most important thing a herbal tea can do is make mum stop, sit down brew a cup of tea and take a minute to sip and relax.  And this is the one thing that breastfeeding mums find difficult to do.

The relaxing quality in ‘Chilled Out Mama’ is very important.  The blend contains the herbs Chamomile and Lemon Balm, both known to reduce stress, calm and relax.  It is a very stressful time for a new mum and any stress can affect breastfeeding function and can also lead to problems sleeping.  So by drinking this tea you relax and then milk flow is easier and you generally feel calmer.

The tea also contains Galactagogue herbs like Fennel.  These herbs are known to traditionally improve the quantity and the quality of milk, so can help those mums who are struggling with breastfeeding.  The added benefit of a herb like fennel is it is also known to help with colicky digestion, so by drinking this the baby gets through the milk the benefits of this calming digestive function and this may help prevent colic and reflux.  Having a calm mum can also help with this too!

Finally ‘Chilled Out Mama’ contains nettle which is very nutrient rich, important for mum in building back her vitamins and minerals after pregnancy and childbirth.  Nettle is also a well-known herb for preventing allergies, so can be useful for reducing the incidence of conditions like eczema in babies.

Pratty has been kind enough to give us at Kiwi Families some trial packs of her teas so you can experience the benefits of fresh tea yourself.

We have 10 giveaways of 2 bags of tea on offer.  You can choose the two flavours that you find most inviting from http://www.prattys.co.nz/ and will also receive a mesh ball strainer with handle. Depending on your choice of tea, you will be sent two 50 or 100gram bags valued at around $30.00.

Enter here to be in to win… 

Sally Mangai

Sally is the Community Manager here at Kiwi Families. She fills her time with her handsome, busy boys and her handsome, busy husband; trying out new recipes and researching and writing about family life in Aotearoa.

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Categorised: Grown Ups, Pregnancy

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