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Surviving Pregnancy with Tea

Three Tulsi’s Tea Journey Through Pregnancy – and Beyond

Nine months ago, I gave birth to the most beautiful little boy – our second.  He was so fragile and helpless, so tiny and vulnerable.  Now, as I write this, he’s crawling around the living room floor, trying to knock absolutely everything over and stuff it in his aching toothless mouth.

It’s been quite the journey getting to this point – and part of that journey was ‘tea’.  When I became pregnant, I discovered a whole world of tea, herbal and fruit infusions was now off limits.  For instance, I tried drinking a fennel blend to deal with terrible bloating pains in the first trimester.  It worked – but I wound up in hospital that evening for bleeding.  It thankfully turned out to be a false alarm.  However, I learned that fennel is in the parsley family and, as such, has a centuries-old history of being used as a natural abortive.  It’s entirely possible that the fennel was not responsible for my bleeding, but it left me paranoid and I wound up avoiding both parsley and fennel for the duration of my pregnancy.

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T2 Riotous Rose – Anything but Riotous

T2-LogoBrand: T2

Flavour: Riotous Rose

Ingredients: Apple, hibiscus, currants, orange peel, rosehips, rose petals, papaya, pineapple, strawberry, raspberries and flavour

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £7.50

Cups Per Box: 40 (approx.)

Review: A rather predictable blend of ingredients clearly designed to target women (though we’re unsure why papaya is in there).  It smells strongly of vanilla, fruit and rose, and it looks very, very red.

As you would expect, the taste is quite tart, but with a vanilla undercurrent; there is a sharpness at the back of the throat.  Thankfully, the rose flavour is quite subtle, which prevents this infusion from tasting like the perfume section of a department store, like some rose teas do.  The drink is also quite creamy.

All in all, it’s pleasant enough, but not our favourite.  It’s neither interesting nor insane; it certainly isn’t ‘riotous’.  It just sits easily in the middle.  We aren’t saying don’t buy it, but there are better women’s / fruit teas on the market for less money.

Best time of year to drink this: Summer, maybe

Best time of day to drink this: Afternoons


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T2 Ruby Red Rosehip – What Did We Do to Deserve This!?

T2-LogoBrand: T2

Flavour: Ruby Red Rosehip

Ingredients: Rosehips, hibiscus petals, rose

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £7.50

Cups Per Box: 40 (approx.)

Review: Definitely a women’s tea – but not a good one!  It smells and tastes like Heinz tomato soup, but with a strongly floral aftertaste.  The perfume hangs in your mouth like bad potpourri.  It is both annihilatingly tart and painfully dehydrating.  No, no, no.

To sum it all up, we offered it to a friend and she asked, ‘What did I do deserve THAT!?’  Then she gargled with water.

AVOID.

Best time of year to drink this: NEVER

Best time of day to drink this: NEVER


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Heath & Heather Liquorice & Oriental Spices – A Liquorice Tea We Love

heath_heather_liquorice_oriental_spices_tea_20_bagsBrand: Heath & Heather

Flavour: Liquorice & Oriental Spices

Description: To Warm and Uplift Naturally

Ingredients: Liquorice Root (37%), Cinnamon (25%), Ginger (17%), Blackberry Leaves (7.5%), Apple Pomace (5.5%), Aniseed (2%), Nutmeg (1.5%), Clove Buds (1.5%), Pepper (1%), Orange Peel (1%), Cardamom (1%)

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £1-2

Bags Per Box: 20

Review: As you may have noticed, we’re not huge liquorice fans.  It’s nice in small doses, but too much makes a drink sickly sweet.  So, we approached this blend with caution.

The smell is spicy, due to the nutmeg and cinnamon, and makes you think of winter or Christmas.  Happily, the liquorice is actually quite mild, balanced perfectly against the spices to create an ideal combination of flavours.

Drinking it makes you want to curl up by the fireplace, bundled in blankets, and just relax.  It’s so warming.  Better still, the ingredients are traditionally used for everything from healing wounds and soothing the stomach, to taking the edge off mouth pain and easing menstrual pain.  And kids like this one, too – it’s Three Tulsi’s son’s all-time favourite.

For all these reasons, we have marked this a must-have tea we keep in the cupboard at all times.

Best time of year to drink this: Winter

Best time of day to drink this: Afternoon, evening, night


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Heath & Heather Raspberry Leaf – A Winter Warmer

Heath&HealtherRaspberry_leaf-20Brand: Heath & Heather

Flavour: Raspberry Leaf

Description: Invigorating

Ingredients: Raspberry Leaves (30%), Hibiscus (25%), Apple Pomace (22%), Blackberry Leaves (13%), Tartaric Acid (3%), Raspberry Flavouring (2.5%), Maltodextrin (2.5%), Rosehips (1%), Raspberry Fibres (1%)

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £1-2

Bags Per Box: 20

Review: This tea definitely lives up to its name.  The aroma is very tart, as you would expect – just like a crushed, ripe raspberry.  The taste does not disappoint: raspberry and hibiscus, yet only mildly tart (unlike some hibiscus teas you get), and with a mild sweetness, too.

Overall, this is a warming tea we recommend for cold autumn and winter months, either in the morning (to heat you up after you’ve come into work) or in the evening (after you’ve come home).  Drinking it makes you feel nice inside and out.

It’s also worth noting that raspberry leaf has long been used at the end of pregnancy, by women desperate to encourage labour.  It is thought that the leaf tones the muscles of your uterus – though it’s controversial, so be sure to do your own research, if this applies to you, and definitely avoid having lots of it in earlier stages of pregnancy.

 

Best time of year to drink this: Autumn and winter

Best time of day to drink this: Morning and evening


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Pukka Blackcurrant Beauty – An Uninspiring Failure

929_blackcurrantbeauty_enBrand: Pukka Teas

Flavour: Blackcurrant Beauty

Description: ‘Deliciously deep purple organic fruits to help you glow inside and out – good news for wrapping yourself and your skin in pure velvet.’

Ingredients: Rosehip, hibiscus flower, licorice root, fennel seed, orange peel, beetroot, blackcurrant fruit (4%), natural blackcurrant flavour (4%), orange essential oil flavour.

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: 99.9%

Price Range: £2-3

Bags Per Box: 20

Our Review: Beetroot and blackcurrant must have become trendy at some point, because this blend and Twinings’ Intensely Beetroot Burst came on the market at pretty much the same time.  So, we can’t help but compare the two.

Where the Twinings offering smelled earthy, Pukka’s blend smells like hot Ribena.  It’s sickly sweet, like candy floss.

However, the flavour is anything but.  No matter how long you leave it to brew, the taste is mostly hot water, though there is a mild blackcurrant aftertaste.  You can only just taste the beetroot; it mostly tempers the faint sweetness of the berries, licorice and fennel.

We can’t understand why the other ingredients are even on the list.  You can’t taste them.  With hibiscus at the top of the list, you’d expect some kind of tartness, but it’s not really there.

All in all, this is an uninspiring blend that could be described as very mild fennel, a hint of earthiness, and a somewhat sweet aftertaste.  We think Pukka tried to do too much, with this one.  All those different ingredients cancel each other out.  If you’re looking for a beetroot infusion, definitely go for the Twinings option instead.

Best time of year to drink this: No particular season

Best time of day to drink this: Afternoons, simply because we would recommend the Twinings option with lunch


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Twinings Intensely Beetroot Burst – You’ll Love It or Hate It

1-7017715605Brand: Twinings

Flavour: Intensely Beetroot Burst

Ingredients: Beetroot (75%), blackcurrant leaves (24%), natural blackcurrant flavouring with other natural flavourings (1%)

Caffeine Factor: Caffeine-free

Organic Ingredients: 100%

Price Range: £2.49

Bags Per Box: 20

Review: We don’t understand the use of an adverb (‘intensely’) to describe a noun phrase (‘beetroot burst’); and strangely, this blend apparently contains 2 calories per cup.

That said, this is an interesting one.  It smells very much of beetroot, with a sweet blackcurrant under…current (no pun intended), and the taste is similar.  It’s quite earthy, much like the root vegetable, though a bit milder because of the inclusion of berries.

This is one of those ‘Marmite’ blends: you either love it or you hate it.  Three Tulsi doesn’t really like either beetroot or blackcurrant (albeit the blackcurrant isn’t very strong), so she doesn’t like this tea.  Ginger Tea, on the other hand, says this is one of her favourites.

And if you do like beetroot, you’ll get some great health benefits from this brew, as beetroot is a good source of folate and iron (both of which are essential in pregnancy), as well as nitrates, betaine, magnesium and many antioxidants.  For all these reasons, we’re marking this a ‘must-have tea’, with the proviso that it won’t suit all tastes.

Best time of year to drink this: This a good all-year-rounder

Best time of day to drink this: Afternoons – Ginger Tea likes to have this one with lunch


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