Long life fruit = bad juju for baby?
February 13, 2009 7:15 PM   Subscribe

Luo Han Guo and pregnancy?

Asking for someone else: I am in an extremely early (first month) pregnancy and I drank some Celestial Seasonings tea with Luo Han Guo, whatever that is. According to this, it's "not to be used during pregnancy." So why not, and should she be worried? Yes, I know the "dose" in the tea is probably 0.0001g or some such thing, but I'm wondering why they would warn you off it during being pregnant?
posted by ostranenie to Health & Fitness (5 answers total)
I googled it and it appears that no tests have been done on it. I wouldn't worry too much but stay away from herbal teas for now.
posted by k8t at 7:21 PM on February 13, 2009

Best answer: This is not one of the 450 or so herbs in the standard herbal materia medica. There are basically two reasons to avoid an herb during pregnancy. Toxicity is one. I do not think they would be using toxic herbs to sweeten a tea. The more likely reason is that some herbs are good at moving things downward. Blood moving herbs used to treat pain can cause the body to move a fetus out. From what I have read at your link this herb is more about moving the bowels. This is no longer thought to be a reasonable way to induce labor, though it was popular in the west not so long ago. I think they are covering their butts since in the past it was thought it could promote labor.

Short answer: probably no more dangerous than any other dried fruit.
posted by pointilist at 9:02 PM on February 13, 2009

Welcome to pregnancy1 Being the neurotic husband I am with my wife's first pregnancy I noticed that 90% of all consumer products has a statement that essentially comes down to warning you it will kill your fetus. It doesn't get better once the child comes out....

Ask your doctor if you're concerned. 99% of those things as a CYA for the manufacturer that has no scientific basis.
posted by Octoparrot at 9:48 PM on February 13, 2009

Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS) "is dedicated to providing accurate evidence-based, clinical information to patients and health care professionals about exposures during pregnancy and lactation. The organization serves to provide education, to conduct relevant research and to support teratology information services throughout North America." It doesn't list Luo Han Guo but might be useful for future questions about possible exposures. You can contact them directly for concerns that aren't listed on the site.
posted by beaning at 9:14 AM on February 14, 2009

So far my searches on google and baidu in Chinese suggest that it should be okay. Most people say that its alright to drink luo han guo during pregnancy, as long as it is in moderate amounts (possibly due to its "cooling" nature). It seems to be largely based on anecdotal evidence though, and I can't seem to find anything citing an actual TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) practitioner.

Given that the amount present in the tea is likely to be miniscule though, and that she only drank it once, I think its most likely harmless and not an issue. Its probably also worth noting that luo han guo is a pretty common "herb"; I just drank some tea with it a few days ago that I bought in my office cafeteria.
posted by destrius at 10:32 AM on February 14, 2009

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