Saffron (Kesar) is rightly called the king of spices owing to the multiple health benefits it offers to all, especially the pregnant women. It is commonly used as a spice in the traditional cuisine to give a royal touch to the dish. It is also used as a health supplement. It is usually recommended for the pregnant women to maintain their health and to ensure proper growth and development of the baby.
What are benefits of using Saffron (Kesar) during pregnancy?
The health benefits of this wonder-spice are discussed beneath in detail:
Controls Blood Pressure
A rise in blood pressure is a common complication, which can lead to a life-threatening situation for the mother as well as the baby. This complication is more likely to occur in the third trimester. Crocetin and Potassium present in Saffron play a role in lowering the blood pressure and thus, help to prevent the complications caused due to pregnancy-induced hypertension. (1)
Protects against heart diseases
The risk of certain heart disorders is higher in pregnant women due to the hormonal changes. The tendency to consume a higher amount of fats during pregnancy can also have a detrimental effect on your cardiovascular system. Thankfully, antioxidants, Crocetin, and potassium present in Saffron can protect you from heart diseases. It works by reducing the levels of triglyceride and cholesterol in the blood. This action of Saffron is also beneficial for your baby’s heart.
Relieves Morning Sickness
Morning sickness, contrary to its name, does not affect the pregnant women only during the early hours of the day. It can occur at any time during the day. Most women complain of nausea and vomiting sometimes even at the sight or smell of food in the first trimester of pregnancy. It is one of the most annoying symptoms of pregnancy that can take away the joy from the beautiful thought of expanding your family. Women suffering from severe morning sickness are advised to consume Saffron to get rid of this symptom. There is evidence to prove that Saffron-infused tea can help to reduce nausea and dizziness.
Prevents mood swings
Most women experience mood swings during pregnancy. The cause of these symptoms can either be the hormonal changes occurring during the period, or even the fears or anxieties about the health of the baby and the challenges of the motherhood. Consuming Saffron provides a natural way to get rid of these annoying symptoms. It prevents the hormonal surges and produces a positive effect on your moods, making you less cranky, impulsive, or teary-eyed in this most joyful period of life.
It possesses anti-depressant properties, which help to elevate the mood and allow you to feel happy and good about yourself. (2)
Constipation, bloating, and gas are common symptoms during pregnancy. These symptoms occur due to the pressure exerted by the growing fetus on your digestive tract. Saffron can help in preventing these symptoms by boosting the blood flow to the digestive system and enhancing your metabolism.
Relieves cramps in legs
As the third-trimester approaches, women start complaining of cramps in the legs and abdomen. They may also experience pain in the joints. These symptoms occur because your muscles and bones try to stretch and shift to accommodate the growing baby. Saffron offers an effective and natural way to relieve this symptom. It acts as an anti-spasmodic agent and reduces excessive contractions of the muscles in the legs and the abdomen thus providing relief from the cramps. It also possesses analgesic properties, which help to soothe these cramps and allow you to enjoy your pregnancy.
Reduce hair fall
The hormonal fluctuations occurring during pregnancy can adversely affect your hair, resulting in severe hair fall. Saffron can be used to prevent the pregnancy-linked hair fall. Applying a paste prepared by mixing a few strands of Saffron, milk, and licorice on the scalp can prevent the hair fall and stimulate a lustrous hair growth.
The requirement of the body for minerals like Iron is higher during pregnancy. Most women are at a risk of iron deficiency anemia as they do not increase their intake of iron-rich foods to meet the increased demand. This can affect the growth and development of the baby. Saffron can help in preventing iron deficiency anemia and ensure proper growth of the baby. It contains a high amount of iron, which can boost the hemoglobin levels thereby maintaining your health and your baby’s health.
Recommended Dosage (quantity)
125 mg twice daily or 250 mg once a day is best suitable, well-tolerated and safer dosage of Saffron (Kesar) for pregnant women.
How to Take Saffron
- Add a few strands of Saffron in the warm milk.
- Stir it and leave the milk with saffron for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Then, drink this saffron milk and eat saffron strands.
Alternatively, you can also take a saffron powder (Kesar Churna) with milk in a dosage of 125 mg twice daily.
Is it safe to take saffron (Kesar) milk during pregnancy?
Yes, saffron is likely safe to take during pregnancy. It does not have any harmful effects on a pregnant woman and developing baby. However, saffron should be used less than 250 mg per day during pregnancy. It is safer quantity to be taken during pregnancy.
Using more than 500 mg saffron twice a day (1 gram per day) may reduce your blood pressure. If you already suffering from hypotension (low blood pressure), then you should not exceed its dosage more than 250 mg per day.
Saffron (Kesar) can also affect uterine contractions in larger dosage (i.e. more than 2 grams per day). Therefore, it should not be taken more than recommended quantity (dosage).
The use of Saffron goes beyond just flavoring Biryani or festive dishes like Kheer. It has earned a rightful place in the health kit of pregnant women thanks to the unique medicinal properties of this herb. Pregnant women are advised to use Saffron for a smooth and healthy pregnancy.