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Is Saffron Safe During Pregnancy?

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

The other day at a gathering, I found a friend suggesting to another expecting her first baby what she should avoid eating during her pregnancy. I was amazed at the reason she gave for not consuming Saffron.


Well, pregnancy is one phase where you get many tips and suggestions from all your well-wishers. So don't mind the inputs, but get your facts right about certain foods and their myths and facts.


Saffron is what I want to talk about today as some of the questions my patients ask me when they visit include- Is Saffron safe during pregnancy, How much quantity of Saffron is safe during pregnancy and likes!


Hold on, dear readers; I will not answer these questions until the end! Before I answer, I would like to briefly discuss Saffron and its properties. This understanding is essential to figuring out why Saffron is safe or unsafe for you to consume during pregnancy. Read on.


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Saffron, what precisely is it?


Is Saffron Safe During Pregnancy?

Saffron is a spice derived from a plant named Crocus sativus. The vast majority of the world's saffron supply is grown in Iran, although it is also grown in India, Afghanistan, Morocco, and Greece.


Saffron is well-known for its antioxidant properties, other health benefits, and affordable cost. Because of the labour-intensive manner of growing and harvesting saffron, it is sometimes regarded as the most expensive spice in the world.


Uses of Saffron

Saffron is used for the following health benefits:

  • A potent antioxidant. Saffron includes a wide range of plant components.

  • It has the potential to boost mood and treat depressive symptoms.

  • Cancer-fighting qualities are possible.

  • PMS symptoms may be reduced.

  • It has the potential to be an aphrodisiac.

  • It may suppress appetite and help in weight reduction.

  • Simple to incorporate into your diet.


Saffron during pregnancy


Some cultures think that Saffron is good after the first trimester of pregnancy.

Many countries have traditional or cultural taboos about food consumption during pregnancy (and breastfeeding). For example, in some rural regions of India, certain meals are thought to be "hot" and "cold."


Furthermore, because pregnancy is considered a "hot" condition, pregnant women should avoid "hot" foods such as pineapple, papaya, banana, and non-vegetarian food until after delivery.


People are concerned that sure meals can induce miscarriage, difficult delivery, and possibly fetal deformities.


Nonetheless, surveys of women in rural Indian districts have indicated that Saffron is well tolerated during pregnancy. Why? Because it is intended to make, the baby's skin seem lighter or fairer, which is desirable. It is also thought to alleviate several common pregnancy discomforts.


Benefits of saffron during pregnancy


Why pregnant women should use saffron in their diet. Saffron can deal with your mood fluctuations. Women's most prevalent concern throughout these nine months has always been mood swings. It allows you to sleep soundly, cramping is relieved, it lowers high blood pressure, and improves cardiac function and allergies are reduced.


Side effects of saffron during pregnancy


Some pregnant women may be saffron sensitive and have symptoms like nausea, anxiety, parched mouth, bleeding nose, and numbness in the upper eyelids and lips. There is no evidence that it may or may not happen, only due to saffron.


Is saffron safe during all three trimesters of pregnancy?


First trimester: Existing research and a small 2014 study have raised concerns about the safety of saffron consumption during the first trimester of pregnancy. The study reported higher miscarriage rates among female farmers exposed to saffron during this critical period. Additionally, cultural Ayurvedic practice supports the cautionary approach and advises pregnant individuals to avoid saffron during the first trimester. Due to these findings and recommendations, pregnant women should exercise caution and consult with a healthcare professional before considering saffron intake during the early stages of pregnancy.


Second trimester: During the second trimester of pregnancy, consuming saffron in recommended doses can be considered due to its potential benefits. However, it is crucial to consult a gynaecologist before incorporating saffron into your pregnancy diet. Seeking professional guidance is essential to ensure the safety and appropriate dosage for your specific condition. More research is required to fully assess saffron's safety during this stage, reinforcing the need for medical advice before using saffron during the second trimester. Prioritising the well-being of both the mother and the baby is paramount, and seeking expert consultation can provide valuable insights into the appropriateness and potential risks of saffron consumption in the second trimester.


Third trimester: Saffron may offer potential benefits for cervical ripening and labour induction during the third trimester of pregnancy. Also, many women experience muscular cramps in their legs and abdomen and joint pain during the third trimester. Saffron's anti-spasmodic and antinociceptive properties can relieve excessive muscle contractions and relax the joints, alleviating muscular aches and discomfort. However, pregnant individuals should always consult a healthcare professional to ensure safety and appropriateness before incorporating saffron into their pregnancy regimen.


What are the ways to consume saffron during pregnancy?


You can cook with saffron or have saffron milk, but talk to your OB-GYN or midwife first. They may give you permission for a modest amount, but it is always best to discuss it beforehand.


Can saffron change my baby’s skin tone?


People have adopted Saffron because of its supposed influence on their baby's skin tone. Some cultures believe consuming saffron will lighten your baby's complexion. However, there is no scientific proof that ingesting saffron while pregnant has this impact.


Don't worry: your baby will be stunning whether or not you consume saffron during your pregnancy.


Can consuming a lot of saffron induce a miscarriage?


Saffron should be avoided during pregnancy for several reasons.

According to certain studies, excessive saffron consumption may increase the chance of miscarriage. One study, for example, warns that high dosages, such as more than 5 grams per day of trusted sources, should be avoided during pregnancy since they might stimulate the uterus.



Takeaway

Consult the best gynaecologist before using any natural drugs or therapies. Some herbs, spices, and plants may be deemed safe to ingest while pregnant, but it may also depend on how and when you consume them.


Some research, including clinical trials and trusted sources, has suggested that saffron can help reduce premenstrual syndrome symptoms such as cramping. When you're pregnant or considering becoming pregnant, it's no longer just about you. As a result, it's critical to know whether Saffron is safe for you and your kid.


Want to consult the best gynecologist in Pune? Please take a look at the links below.

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About The Author: Dr. Ujwala Patil (MBBS DGO, LCCE )


Dr. Ujwala Patil experienced gynecologist and obstetrician

Dr. Ujwala Patil, founder of Polaris Health Care, specializes in gynecology and obstetrics. With extensive experience and training, she offers expert advice, especially in infertility, cervical cytology, and colonoscopy. Empaneled at Surya and Life point hospitals, she has successfully managed high-risk obstetric cases and conducted over 1000 deliveries, providing compassionate care for women from diverse backgrounds.

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