I Accidentally Drank Hibiscus Tea While Pregnant

You may have accidentally consumed hibiscus tea while pregnant and are now worried about the potential health risks. Hibiscus tea is a popular drink known for its tart flavor and vibrant color. However drinking herbal tea is also known to have certain health benefits and risks, especially for pregnant women.

During pregnancy, it is essential to be mindful of what you consume, as it can affect your health and that of your baby. Hibiscus tea is known to have a high concentration of antioxidants, which can be beneficial for your health.

However, it also contains compounds that can cause contractions and lead to miscarriage or preterm labor. As such, it is recommended that pregnant women avoid consuming hibiscus tea or any other herbal tea without consulting with their doctor first.

The Role of Hibiscus Tea in Pregnancy


Introduction to Hibiscus Tea


What is Hibiscus Tea?

Hibiscus tea, a refreshing drink, is brewed from colorful hibiscus flower petals ( hibiscus extract). This tea, steeped in rich tradition, has been used as a healing drink in many folk medicines around the world.

Is Hibiscus Safe In Pregnancy?


While hibiscus tea is known for its health benefits, it’s generally recommended to avoid during pregnancy. Its potential to stimulate menstruation and induce labor can lead to complications.

In addition, its effects on blood pressure and hormonal balance can impact the pregnancy adversely. Always consult a healthcare provider for personalized advice. Safe herbal tea alternatives like ginger tea or chamomile tea could be used instead.

It’s crucial to monitor your dietary habits during pregnancy to ensure the health and well-being of both mother and baby.

Hibiscus Tea

The Accidental Consumption


How did it happen?

You may have accidentally drunk hibiscus tea while pregnant due to its delicious taste and potential health benefits. It’s a common ingredient in many herbal tea blends, so you might have consumed it unknowingly.

Research on Drinking Hibiscus Tea During Pregnancy

If you accidentally drank hibiscus tea while pregnant, you may be concerned about the potential effects on your pregnancy. There have been studies conducted on the effects of hibiscus tea on pregnant rats and pregnant women.

Studies on the Effects of Hibiscus Tea on Pregnant Rats

A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that pregnant rats that were given hibiscus tea extract had increased fetal resorption and decreased fetal weight. Fetal resorption refers to the spontaneous loss of a fetus before it is able to survive outside the womb. The study concluded that hibiscus tea extract may have a negative impact on pregnancy outcomes in rats.

Another study published in the Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine found that pregnant rats that were given hibiscus tea extract had increased oxidative stress in the placenta. Oxidative stress is an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the body’s ability to neutralize them. The study concluded that hibiscus tea extract may have negative effects on the placenta during pregnancy.

Studies on the Effects of Hibiscus Tea on Pregnant Women

There have been limited studies on the effects of hibiscus tea on pregnant women. One study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that pregnant women who consumed hibiscus tea had a higher risk of preterm labor and low birth weight babies. However, it is important to note that this study was small and further research is needed to confirm these findings.

Another study published in the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics found that pregnant women who consumed hibiscus tea had a higher risk of miscarriage. However, this study was also small and further research is needed to confirm these findings.

Overall, there is limited research on the effects of hibiscus tea on pregnant women, but the studies that have been conducted suggest that it may have negative effects on pregnancy outcomes. If you accidentally drank hibiscus tea while pregnant, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider about any concerns you may have.

Effects of Drinking Hibiscus Tea


General Health Implications


Hibiscus Tea and blood pressure

Hibiscus tea has been known to help with high blood pressure. However, consuming hibiscus tea while pregnant should be done with caution due to its potential effects on the baby.

Hibiscus Tea and liver health

Hibiscus tea may have some benefits for liver health, but its impact during pregnancy remains uncertain.

Hibiscus Tea and body weight

Hibiscus tea can aid in maintaining body weight, but its influence on body weight during pregnancy needs more research.

Hibiscus Tea and aiding digestion

Hibiscus tea is also known for aiding digestion. However, it’s crucial to consult with your healthcare provider before consuming it while pregnant.

Pregnancy-Related Effects


Is Hibiscus Tea Safe In Early Pregnancy

During early pregnancy, it’s recommended to not drink hibiscus tea due to its potential to stimulate menstruation. During early pregnancy, this could potentially lead to spotting, cramping, or even miscarriage in the worst scenarios. Additionally, hibiscus tea may affect hormone levels which are very delicately balanced in this early stage, and any disruptions could lead to complications.

Furthermore, research on the safety of hibiscus tea during pregnancy, particularly the first trimester, is limited. It’s therefore advisable for pregnant women to err on the side of caution and not drink hibiscus tea during this critical period.

Always remember, when you are pregnant, what you consume doesn’t just affect you, it could also potentially impact the development of your baby. If you are in doubt about consuming any food or beverage during pregnancy, it is always best to consult your healthcare provider or a nutrition expert.

Hibiscus Tea and first-trimester

In the first trimester, hormonal changes can be affected by drinking hibiscus tea, potentially causing unwanted complications. The first trimester of pregnancy is a crucial period during which the foundations of your baby’s development are laid. It’s also a time of significant hormonal changes as your body prepares to nurture the growing fetus.

Hibiscus tea is a beloved herbal tea, recognized for its tangy flavor and potential health benefits. However, it might not be your best choice during this delicate phase of pregnancy. Hibiscus tea contains bioactive compounds that can potentially influence hormonal balance.

The first trimester is characterized by a surge in hormones like hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin), progesterone, and estrogen, which are essential for maintaining pregnancy and supporting fetal development. Consumption of hibiscus tea, known for its emmenagogue effects (stimulating blood flow in the pelvic area and uterus), could interfere with these critical hormonal changes, potentially leading to complications. These complications might range from mild, such as mood swings, to severe, potentially posing risks to the continuity and health of the pregnancy.

Moreover, consuming hibiscus extract and tea might also stimulate the smooth muscles of the uterus, which could result in contractions. During the first trimester, when the pregnancy is still stabilizing, such contractions could pose serious risks.

It’s important to note that research on the effects of using hibiscus flowers or tea during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester, remains limited. Therefore, it’s advised to exercise caution. If you enjoy sipping herbal teas, consider safer alternatives like ginger or peppermint tea, but always consult your healthcare provider or a dietitian to ensure they fit safely into your pregnancy diet.

Hibiscus Tea and third-trimester

In the third trimester, high doses of hibiscus tea might encourage labor, so it’s advisable to abstain. The third trimester of pregnancy marks the final stages of fetal development and preparation for childbirth.

This period is filled with anticipation as the mother-to-be prepares to welcome her child. However, it also demands particular caution regarding dietary choices, including beverage selection.

Hibiscus tea, despite its various health benefits, is one beverage that should ideally be avoided during the third trimester. The primary reason is that it can stimulate uterine contractions, which, if premature, can pose significant risks for both the mother and baby.

High doses of hibiscus tea are especially potent in this regard and can potentially encourage early labor itself. Early or preterm labor can lead to a variety of complications, including low birth weight and developmental issues in the newborn.

Furthermore, hibiscus tea’s potential effects on hormonal balance might interfere with the natural hormonal shifts occurring in preparation for labor. For instance, it may influence levels of oxytocin, a hormone that plays a vital role in triggering labor contractions.

Hibiscus Tea and the last trimester

During the last trimester, hibiscus tea might lead to preterm labor due to its potential to induce labor.

Safety Measures and Alternatives


Safe Herbal Teas During Pregnancy

Ginger tea

If you really want to drink tea then ginger tea is a safe and healthy alternative that can also help with nausea and morning sickness.

Raspberry leaf tea

Raspberry leaf tea is believed to help tone the uterus and facilitate labor, but it’s best to consult your doctor before use.

Chamomile tea ( Not in the First Trimester)

Chamomile tea can help reduce stress and aid in better sleep, making it a safe choice during pregnancy.

Peppermint tea ( Not in the First Trimester)

Peppermint tea is a great option to soothe digestion and relax your body.

Rooibos tea

Rooibos tea is caffeine-free and rich in antioxidants, making it a great option for pregnant women.

Green tea

Green tea is safe to drink during pregnancy but keep an eye on your caffeine intake as it contains caffeine.

Other Safety Measures


Maintaining a healthy diet

A healthy diet is vital during pregnancy to ensure both your health and the baby’s health.

Regulating caffeine intake

Excessive caffeine intake during pregnancy can lead to problems, so it’s recommended to monitor your consumption.

Staying active

Exercise and staying active can help keep your body strong and ready for the challenges of pregnancy.

Monitoring unusual symptoms

Always monitor any unusual symptoms and report them to your doctor immediately.

Herbal Tea To Avoid During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, certain herbal teas are best avoided due to potential effects on the fetus or the risk of inducing preterm labor. These include:

  1. Hibiscus tea: As discussed, it may stimulate menstruation or cause hormonal imbalances.
  2. St. John’s Wort: This tea may cause hormonal disruptions.
  3. Don Quai: It’s associated with uterine contractions, which can induce preterm labor.
  4. Ginseng: This tea may cause abnormalities in fetal development.
  5. Yarrow, Pennyroyal, and Tansy: These teas can stimulate uterine contractions and should be avoided.
  6. Ephedra and Licorice Root: These may raise blood pressure, posing risks in pregnancy.

It’s crucial to consult with your healthcare provider before consuming any herbal teas during pregnancy to ensure they are safe for both you and your baby.


While hibiscus tea has numerous health benefits, its consumption during pregnancy should be done cautiously, considering potential risks. Always consult your healthcare provider for advice on safe dietary practices during this critical period.


Is it safe to drink hibiscus tea while pregnant?

It’s advised to avoid hibiscus tea during pregnancy due to its potential effects on inducing labor and affecting hormonal balance.

What are the safe alternatives to hibiscus tea during pregnancy?

Safe alternatives include ginger tea, raspberry leaf tea, chamomile tea, peppermint tea, rooibos tea, and green tea.

Can hibiscus tea induce labor?

Some studies suggest that hibiscus tea may encourage labor, especially in the third trimester.

What is the effect of hibiscus tea on blood pressure during pregnancy?

Hibiscus tea may help lower high blood pressure, but its effect during pregnancy is still unclear.

How much hibiscus tea is safe to drink while pregnant?

It’s best to avoid hibiscus tea during pregnancy unless advised otherwise by your healthcare provider.

Does Hibiscus Tea Cause Miscarriage?

Hibiscus tea is thought to stimulate menstruation or blood flow in the uterus, which can potentially lead to complications such as miscarriage, especially in early pregnancy. However, scientific evidence on this topic is limited. Therefore, it’s always best to consult with your healthcare provider regarding your dietary choices during pregnancy.



This post is written and edited by Sandy who is a clinical pharmacist with over 20 years of experience specializing in pre-natal and post-natal care.