Enjoying tea is pretty much part of Chinese culture and now I can probably say it has gotten so common everywhere around the world that you will be overwhelmed by what kind of tea to get and to drink to promote health or just for enjoyment.
I’m almost towards the end of eighth months of pregnancy. Okay, what does that have to do with this post ?
My mom called me the other day and asked me if I have any Red Dates in my pantry. I normally use Red Dates for cooking Chinese traditional herbal soup, so the answer was YES. I was informed that now, at around 34 weeks of pregnancy, is the perfect time to start drinking Red Dates Tea 2-3 times/week.

The Chinese believes that Red Dates tea has a “tonic” effect to the liver for pregnant woman at this stage of pregnancy (not earlier than 34 weeks) and also to the baby. Please don’t ask me for any systematic review of scientific datas to support this as I don’t have it 😉 I just ride along with the Traditional Chinese belief and I don’t see any harm in doing this either. As a matter of fact, I think it’s fun to take part in this process during pregnancy.

This Red Dates tea is also going to be my best buddy from now on until 1 month post pregnancy with an exception that post-pregnancy, there will be few more herbs added to the red dates tea and I will be drinking it everyday as much as I can (almost replacing water completely). Why ? It is also believed that post-pregnancy, the body loses “heat” or the Chinese often call “Qi”. So, the Red Dates tea and among many other foods specifically prepared for pregnant woman, will help to restore the heat and help the body to recover after labor and delivery.

This specific many foods are often called in general as “CONFINEMENT FOOD” or “CONFINEMENT DIET” I will write more about that when the time is closer as I will be practically and literally CONFINED for one month inside the house postnatal, no out and about during that one month, both mama and baby. So, don’t be surprised if you don’t see us out there lol, We’re not missing, We’re inside the house for full one month! That’s what my mom is here for as well, to help out with preparing and cooking confinement food for full one month as I nurture this body. I will share with you guys when the confinement food is on my menu 😉

Okay, way off the track, now back to the Red Dates Tea. It has to be prepared in specific way, specific amount and specific time and even though it is called Red Dates Tea, there is no tea leaves or tea of any kind involves in this. Huh?!? it is called Red Dates Tea because it looks like the color of tea.

RED DATES TEA (2 servings)
What you will need:
  • 7 dried red dates
  • 13.5 fl oz (400 ml) of water
  1. I will be drinking this in the morning 1-2 hours after breakfast, so, I gotta prepare this the night before I go to bed.
  2. Rinse the dates cleaned with water. Take each date and use a pointy scissors and make 7 snips around the edge on one of the ends. My mom specifically emphasize 7 snips, not 8, not 6. Okay mom! This helps the dates to release the "good" stuff
  3. Soak it in 13.5 fl oz (400 ml) of hot water until the next morning
  4. Transfer this to a small sauce pan/pot and let it boil on a very very low heat for one hour. The heat has to be super low or you will end up with no water at the end of one hour. The idea is to let it cook slowly and release whatever the red dates need to release into the water and this will be your tea
  5. Let it cool down and ready to drink. If you are drinking this for "fun", you can add sugar

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17 thoughts on “RED DATES TEA

  • Susi

    Fascinating and incredibly interesting post! I grew up in Germany and there are a lot of “home remedies” that my mom and grandma used. Best of luck for your last few weeks and I can’t wait to read more about your confinement diet!

  • M. Goh

    Susi: Thank you. I will be learning about this whole Confinement Diet along the way from my mom as well, so it will be interesting.

  • Crystal

    Hi…can we drink red dates tea from 10 weeks of pregnancy onwards?

  • What To Cook Today Post author

    Hi Crystal,

    My mom told me that usually this red dates tea is consumed from 34 weeks onward and not earlier to get the “tonic benefit”. Honestly speaking I can’t tell you for sure whether it will make much difference whether to consume it as soon as you know that you are pregnant or at much later time. As you know with Chinese herbs, there are not much written scientific evidences you can count on and most of them are just “what you heard from someone” I would imagine, it should be okay to drink the red dates tea at 10 weeks too, probably the recommendation from 34 weeks onward has something to do with the benefit only, but I don’t think it will do any harm to drink red dates tea at 10 weeks. Definitely check with your doctor if you are doubtful. Sorry I can’t give a clear answer on this topic.

  • Sam

    I had red date tea too after the 2st trimester but with additional 2 items, dang shen & gou qi zi. These are all to be boiled with water on stove for 2 hours. I had my baby boy out with rosy cheeks!

  • What To Cook Today Post author

    Ic, I should try that next time, thanks for sharing :)

  • christine

    When the red dates are in the water either simmering or boiling, after some time, a white “powder” appears. What is this and should I filter it before drinking?

  • What To Cook Today Post author

    Hi Christine,

    Hmm…I’ve never seen this before actually, so I can’t really tell you what it is. There shouldn’t be any “powder” or residue in the tea. Make sure the red dates you are using are clean because these are “sun-dried” I believe.

  • christine

    Thank you for replying!
    I started acupuncture and the acupuncturist told me to make this tea to help with anxiety. Is this something the tea is for?
    He just said to put the dates in boiling water for awhile (not many details!). So that’s what I did and got the powder floating on the top. I am making it again now and incorporated some of what you said. I soaked them for awhile (not overnight). I also made 7 snips in them like your mom said! (not 6, not 8 lol). They’ve been simmering for more than 40 min. So far no powder. I let them simmer so long because the color of the water is still quite clear, not brown like tea usually is. My acupuncturist said it should be brown in color. It looks a little lighter than the tea in your picture. Is that the normal color it should be?
    Thank you so much for your help!!

  • What To Cook Today Post author

    Well, my mom said it’s more for “tonic” purpose than anxiety. I soaked the red dates overnight in the water and then being simmered for 1 hour after that, so maybe that’s why mine is much darker in color.

  • Laila

    I must thank you for sharing this. I was looking for ways to prepare red dates tea, since I’m nursing my baby and Red dates is said to be a milkbooster. Tried it this morning, followed each and every step you shared. Thanks again

  • What To Cook Today Post author

    Hi Laila,

    You are welcome. I’m not a nursing expert, but based on experience, nursing my daughter exclusively for 14 months and then now still nursing my baby boy (going to be 8 months), nursing on demand (not on strict schedule) helps to boost supply. I have oatmeal every morning too. As oatmeal is also help to increase supply :) Happy nursing

  • Caroline

    Thanks for your recipe. I’ve been wanting to make red date tea for months and now I am, thanks to your recipe! Your blog is lovely.