Thanks to parsley tea’s impressive vitamin profile and anti-inflammatory properties, it has been associated with several health benefits.

Many pregnant people include herbal teas in their diet to help alleviate some of the discomforts of pregnancy, such as nausea, as well as ease labor pains and even induce labor (1).

This article explores the safety and potential risks of drinking parsley tea during pregnancy.

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Parsley is an herb that originates in the Mediterranean region. It’s commonly used in various types of cooking for flavor, but it also comes with quite a few health benefits.

Parsley contains flavonoids, as well as vitamins A and C, both of which have strong antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help protect the body from damage caused by oxidative stress.

As such, foods containing them — like parsley — have been used to help treat and prevent many health conditions, including hypertension, cardiac disease, diabetes, and even some cancers (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).

The anti-inflammatory properties of parsley may help lower your risk of developing kidney stones. It may even help treat urinary tract infections by promoting a healthy urine pH and healthy blood pressure, though the research on this is mixed (9, 10).

Parsley may also serve as an antimicrobial agent to help fight harmful bacteria in the body. It may also alleviate itching from insect bites (11, 12).

Additionally, parsley is high in vitamin K, which is important for blood clotting and bone health. However, this means anyone taking blood thinners should moderate their intake of parsley, as vitamin K may interact with this type of medication (13, 14).

Lastly, parsley contains myristicin and apiole, two compounds that increase estrogen production. Therefore, they may be beneficial during menopause (12).

Parsley tea may seem like a natural remedy for some of the discomforts of pregnancy, especially because of its anti-inflammatory properties. However, at higher doses, it has been shown to cause complications (12, 15).

Myristicin and apiole are two compounds found in parsley that may cause uterine contractions and even lead to miscarriage when consumed in high doses. Additionally, parsley is known to decrease milk supply, so people should use the herb in moderation while breastfeeding (12).

Another area of concern with parsley tea during pregnancy is the potential for heavy metal toxicity, though the research on this topic is mixed.

Heavy metal toxicity may be an issue with parsley, specifically, due to the herb’s resorption of heavy metals from the soil during irrigation. However, while studies related to parsley intake have found heavy metals in blood samples, they did not reach toxic levels (16, 17).

While no data confirms that parsley is toxic during pregnancy, some evidence suggests it may increase your risk of miscarriage. Consuming parsley tea while pregnant is not recommended, and you may consider limiting other herbal teas, too (12).

Consuming large amounts of parsley or parsley tea should likewise be avoided during lactation, as it may hinder milk production (12).

Many women assume herbal teas are natural and safe during pregnancy, but there isn’t much research on the matter. Despite the lack of evidence, most resources consider herbal teas to be safe to drink in moderation while pregnant (1, 18, 19, 20).

Herbal teas are not held to the same regulatory standards as foods and medications, so they may contain unwanted ingredients, including heavy metals.

Due to the lack of regulation, herbal teas can not only become contaminated with heavy metals but also other herbs that are known to be unsafe during pregnancy (17, 20, 21, 22).

Research on your risk of consuming heavy metals from drinking herbal teas is mixed.

One particular study found that women who drank a lot of green and herbal tea in the first trimester had higher levels of lead in their blood than women who drank less tea, though blood lead levels never reached toxicity in either group (16).

On the other hand, there have been reports of lead poisoning related to herbal teas (20, 22).

Some herbal teas may interact with some medications, such as blood thinners and diuretics. Pregnant or not, people taking these medications should speak with their doctor before trying any herbal remedies, including tea (12, 18).

Lastly, there have been reports of other adverse events, including hyponatremia (when sodium levels in the body become too low) and perinatal stroke, related to drinking herbal teas (20).

Pregnant people should use caution and consider avoiding herbal teas due to the lack of evidence confirming their safety.

While herbal teas have been generally considered safe during pregnancy, there’s a lack of evidence surrounding this. Parsley tea, specifically, has been shown to cause uterine contractions and even miscarriage when consumed in high doses during pregnancy.

Pregnant people should use caution with herbal teas and first talk with a healthcare professional before adding them to their diet.

During pregnancy or otherwise, if you take medication, it’s important to run any herbal remedies by your doctor in case interactions may occur.