Intake of saffron during pregnancy is the most common advice given by elders in the family in Indian homes. According to Ayurveda, daily intake of saffron during pregnancy makes the baby fair. Though a myth, a glass of milk with few strands of saffron mixed in it, is a common drink that is still encouraged to to-be-moms during their pregnancy. It is the most royal spice among all in the world. It is handpicked during harvesting season making it a priced delicacy. Large numbers of saffron strands are needed to form even a small bunch which is why it is priced very high in the spice market.
Saffron, scientifically known as Crocus sativus, are the reddish orange pollen threads of the saffron flower, popularly known as 'kesar'. It is used for adding flavour to various dishes in India and countries all over the world.
Apart from its effects on complexion many researches have proven good effects of saffron when consumed during pregnancy.
(Also read: A Guide For Healthy Eating During Pregnancy)
Benefits Of Saffron During Pregnancy
Role of saffron during pregnancy has always been at the top in the list of its various health benefits on the body.
Saffron during 9th month of pregnancy has a muscle relaxant effect, like the hormone oxytocin, which prepares the mother's body for delivery and aids in easy childbirth.
Saffron helps in controlling cold and cough. It helps in reducing a stuffy nose, which is common during pregnancy.ADVERTISEMENT
Antidepressant action of the saffron helps in calming down mood swings that are frequently seen during pregnancy.
Saffron helps in digestion and improves blood circulation.ADVERTISEMENT
Saffron is rich in various active components like carotenoids, safranal, crocin, etc., mineral, vitamins and antioxidants that boost the immune system of the body, prevent cancer, and act as painkillers and anxiety relievers. They help in controlling diabetes, reducing inflammation and increasing bone strength.
Consuming a small quantity of saffron during pregnancy is safe and beneficial. Too much saffron during pregnancy can cause side effects that can be serious in nature.
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Saffron During Pregnancy Side Effects
Significantly large amount of saffron (more than 0.5 g to 1 g per day) can be injurious to health especially during pregnancy.
Saffron in excess quantity is a stimulant and causes contraction of uterus, which can lead to early onset of labor pain before completion of full term of the pregnancy.
Scientific research showed defects in the young ones of pregnant mice that were fed saffron. This shows possibility of harmful effects of large quantity of saffron on the unborn baby in human beings.
As no definite effects have been seen in scientific studies about the role of saffron in breastfeeding women, it is difficult to comment whether saffron is good or bad during lactation period. However, saffron in very small quantities does not produce harmful effects in the nursing baby.
(Also read: The Importance Of Maternal Nutrition For The Baby)
How To Consume Saffron During Pregnancy?
During pregnancy and also otherwise, 1 to 2 threads of saffron can be added to a glass of milk each day.
Saffron is even added as a seasoning to dishes like biryani, in deserts, etc.
Saffron is one of the common components of supplement pills that are commonly used as herbal supplements. However, these supplements should always be consumed under medical supervision during pregnancy.
When To Eat Saffron During Pregnancy?
Saffron in a small quantity can be started anytime during the pregnancy and continued till the desired time. Make sure you are using the unadulterated form of saffron, not the artificially coloured adulterated versions.
Use of saffron for fair complexion of baby is a popularly accepted fact worldwide. However, there are no research studies that show that consumption of saffron during pregnancy makes the baby fair.
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