Herbs are an age old friend to the midwife and there’s a new trend using them right now and I’m loving it! It’s called NORA Tea and I can’t wait for you to fall in love with it too!
We’ve always known that our bodies are designed to obtain nutrients best from real food, and we agree on this, right? Maybe not-I had a guy shame me on the internet the other day because he “believes the science” that synthetic additives in his sports drink are great. There is no controversy here, I promise, even if internet guy thinks otherwise-when you can, get your nutrition from food, not capsules.
What We Know:
- We know we can’t overdose on nutrients found in our food.
- We know that the other ingredients in real food work synergistically to aid in absorption and function.
- We know that our food supply is not as great for us as it used to be due to depleted soil and that we may need to supplement to have all of our gaps filled.
So let’s “supplement” with real food. A great start is NORA tea. It stands for Nettle, Oat straw, Raspberry, and Alfalfa. Each one of these ingredients has an entire list of benefits-way too many to list here. I borrowed this handout from an excellent midwife in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area to explain all the ins and outs of NORA tea. Really-go read it! I want you just as excited about what it can do for you and your baby as I am!
Some midwives mandate that clients drink NORA tea daily. I shy away from mandates so I’d rather you research it yourself, see the benefits and own it. Literally invest in enough herbs to make it for your pregnancy and postpartum and figuratively own it by knowing why you’re putting this nutritious tea in your body.
Why NORA Tea?
I truly desire all of my clients to drink a quart a day throughout pregnancy. Here’s why (in addition to the reasons in the link above):
- It will prepare you well for labor and postpartum by giving your body all it needs, especially iron and vitamin C. Add rosehips to your herbs to get more vitamin C.
- Vitamin C can help boost your immune system and build a strong amniotic sac (which may mean it doesn’t break prematurely before labor)
- If you have great iron stores then you can lose more blood than someone with low stores without ill effects. It gives you a nice buffer which is important in community based birth (as in not in the hospital). If you start out a little (or a lot) anemic, this can help boost your iron up (we may suggest other supplements as well) which will give you more energy.
- Nettle is a nervine and can help calm anxiety
Where to Buy Your Herbs:
It will take a little bit of work to get NORA tea but its so worth it. As of this writing you can find small amounts for sale on Etsy. This would be good to order to test it out before investing in bulk herbs.
Once you’re ready to buy it bulk check out The Bulk Herb Store, Mountain Rose Herbs, Vitacost and even Amazon (I don’t necessarily trust amazon for supplements or herbs but you can if you want). Buy a large Tupperware style container, equal parts of all the herbs, and make sure you have a fine mesh strainer and large glass jar to infuse them in overnight. This might cost $75-100 but should last you a long time.
Once your herbs arrive, mix them into your storage container. Place at least 1/2” of herbs in the bottom of a glass quart jar, pour boiling water over the herbs, cover with a lid or plate and let it sit overnight. Strain the herbs in the morning. To the “tea” you can add honey, blackstrap molasses or other real food sweeteners Bethany lists in the handout linked above. Do not use sugar or artificial sweeteners. Store your dried herbs in a cool, dark place.
What if I Get Tired of the Taste?
If you tire of the taste, try adding other herbal teas you like, lemon or lime juice, or spearmint (herb) to your mix. Drink it over ice, drink it warm or change it up from day to day. I want you to enjoy it-let me know if you need more ideas to keep it going. I have tried it and actually like it so much that I have my own stash of NORA tea, even though I’m not pregnant.
When Do I Start NORA Tea?
As early as you’d like though there’s some debate about using red raspberry leaf tea early on. I personally feel it’s not a problem but some midwives don’t like that “uterine toning” could mean contractions for some women. Feel free to wait to add RRL until the third trimester. If you’re nauseated and can’t get much food or vitamins down, NORA tea may be a great solution. I told a client this week that if she takes NORA tea, I have no issue with her skipping her prenatal vitamin (which is her desire). You can even drink NORA tea before you conceive to help your body be in great shape nutritionally (of course there’s more it than NORA tea but it’s a great component in your overall plan).
How Long Do I Keep Drinking NORA Tea?
Once your baby is born, it’s great to continue to drink NORA tea to recover from birth. I love it for moms who plan to conceive again soon after birth or who bled a bit and need to rebuild iron. Its a great way for busy moms of newborns to get nutrition in no matter your situation.
Written by: Wendy Fowler