Moon tea is made generally by maesters and woods witches out of tansy, mint, wormwood, a spoon of honey, and a drop of pennyroyal. Moon tea is commonly used without issues, but it can also have dangerous side effects.
In 131 AC, Grand Maester Orwyle, disguised as "Old Wyl", mixed moon tea and potions of tansy and pennyroyal for the prostitutes from Mother's, a brothel in King's Landing, to abort unwanted children.
In 282 AC, Lysa Tully became pregnant by Petyr Baelish. Lysa revealed her pregnancy to her father, Lord Hoster Tully, hoping that he would let her wed Petyr. Hoster, who had always felt Petyr was too lowborn, instead forced Lysa to abort the child with moon tea provided by Maester Kym. Lysa nearly died from the effects of the tea, and never forgave her father for it.
A Storm of Swords
As Lord Hoster Tully lies dying, he repeats the words "tansy", "blood", and asks for forgiveness. His daughter Catelyn Stark initially thinks her father is referring to a woman by the name of Tansy, but then deduces that he had forced her sister Lysa to abort a pregnancy.
Sansa Stark overhears Lady Lysa Arryn pleading her love to her new husband, Lord Petyr Baelish, telling him that she gave him her maidenhead and would have given him a son as well, but the pregnancy had been ended by moon tea. Lysa tells Petyr that it wasn't her choice, she never knew what substance her father had given her to drink, and Petyr reassures her that both Hoster and his maester are dead.
A Feast for Crows
A Dance with Dragons
Grand Maester Pycelle feels that Lord Mace Tyrell dislikes him because of the moon tea he provided to Margaery, and says he would not have said anything about it if Queen Cersei had not commanded him.
I would have given you a son too, but they murdered him with moon tea, with tansy and mint and wormwood, a spoon of honey and a drop of pennyroyal. It wasn't me, I never knew, I only drank what Father gave me...
Women only drank moon tea for one reason; maidens had no need for it at all.—thoughts of Cersei Lannister
Behind the Scenes
Moon tea is based on natural herbal abortifacients. According to George R. R. Martin, he added some fantasy touches, as the actual recipe can be very dangerous, and should not be tried in real life.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 80, Sansa VII.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 15, Jon II.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Lysa Tully.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Petyr Baelish.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 43, Cersei X.
- Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - The Hooded Hand.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 68, Sansa VI.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 11, The Kraken's Daughter.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 2, Catelyn I.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 22, Arya IV.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 13, The Soiled Knight.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 39, Cersei IX.
- A Dance with Dragons, Epilogue.
- So Spake Martin: A Myriad of Questions (March 27, 2002)