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Kashmiri Saffron- A Boon or Bane during pregnancy?

kesar, rasayanam saffron

Your culture often shapes the food you choose in ways you might not notice. Your family background can influence the suggestions you receive when you’re expecting a baby and wondering about the best things to eat for your little one. (This might sound familiar if you come from a family with many aunts and great-aunts). So, if your family has roots in places where saffron is a well-loved or frequently used spice, you may have already heard some advice about how beneficial saffron or saffron milk is during your pregnancy. However, it’s equally crucial to understand its potential impact on your pregnancy.

What is Saffron?

Saffron or Kesar, a spice derived from the saffron crocus plant (scientifically known as Crocus sativus), primarily hails from Iran. However, it’s not limited to Iran; saffron is cultivated in various other countries such as India, Afghanistan, Morocco, and Greece.

Saffron isn’t just famous for its unique flavor and health perks, notably its antioxidants. Moreover, saffron holds a distinct title – it’s famous as the world’s priciest spice. Its hefty price tag lies in the painstaking process of growing and harvesting this precious spice.

Saffron during pregnancy

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Saffron, that special spice we cherish, hails from a lovely purple flower called the saffron crocus, scientifically known as Crocus sativus. While this precious spice is cultivated in various corners of the world, its heart truly beats in Iran. However, you can also find saffron cultivated with love and care in places like India, Afghanistan, Morocco, and Greece.

Now, let’s talk about why saffron is so extraordinary. This little wonder adds flavor to your dishes and brings a touch of healthiness to the table. It’s a treasure trove of antioxidants and offers various health benefits. But something else makes saffron stand out, and it’s not just its unique taste and health perks.

What sets saffron apart is its jaw-dropping price tag. In the world of spices, saffron reigns as the undisputed king of luxury. Why is saffron so expensive? The answer lies in the incredible effort it takes to cultivate and harvest this delicate spice. It’s a labor-intensive process that makes saffron worth its gold weight.

Is it okay to consume saffron throughout all three stages of pregnancy? 

Some studies, including clinical trials, have shown that saffron could help ease premenstrual syndrome discomfort, like cramps.

But when you’re expecting a baby or planning to have one, it’s not just about you anymore. Determining whether saffron is safe for you and your little one becomes crucial.

Certain choices become incredibly important during pregnancy, especially in the early stages. While more research would be beneficial, current studies indicate that it might be wise to steer clear of saffron during the first trimester.

The study from 2014 discovered that females who were exposed to saffron during their initial three months of pregnancy experienced higher rates of miscarriage.

Traditional Ayurvedic wisdom also advises avoiding saffron during the first trimester, with most individuals encouraged to incorporate saffron into their routines only after they’ve felt their baby move.

Benefits of Saffron While Expecting a Baby

Saffron, a spice with a long history in traditional medicine, has been trusted for centuries to address various health benefits. Among these, some are particularly relevant to pregnant individuals:

  • Heartburn: Saffron has been a go-to remedy for heartburn, relieving those uncomfortable moments.
  • Digestive Troubles: Regarding digestive problems, saffron has been a time-tested solution, easing discomfort.
  • High Blood Pressure: Managing high blood pressure is crucial during pregnancy, and saffron has been considered a helpful aid.

For those expecting, the idea of consuming 0.5 to 2 grams of saffron per day has surfaced as a way to maintain the flexibility of uterine tissue. However, this recommendation has a significant caveat: it’s advisable only after the first trimester. 

It’s essential to note that despite its historical use, there remains a lack of comprehensive studies on the potential toxicity of saffron for pregnant or nursing individuals. Experts unanimously agree on the necessity for more in-depth research in this area.

As pregnancy progresses and discomfort rises, saffron may become a welcomed consideration. Traditional medicine suggests that saffron can play a role in inducing labor. This is attributed to its effect on smooth muscles, its ability to stimulate uterine contractions, and overall support in the birthing process. Notably, research points towards saffron’s potential in preparing the cervix for labor. 

One notable study involved 50 full-term women in a randomized clinical trial. The findings indicated that saffron appeared to assist in the ripening of the cervix, a promising development. However, the researchers emphasized the need for further investigation into its impact on the actual delivery process.

Following childbirth, saffron could also be a consideration for individuals experiencing postpartum depression. A randomized clinical trial conducted in 2017 involving 60 new mothers showed that saffron might help alleviate symptoms of postpartum depression.

As with any dietary or medicinal changes during pregnancy and postpartum, it’s crucial to consult with your OB-GYN to ensure safety and appropriateness, given that further research is still going on.

People love saffron for a special reason – they believe it can make their baby’s skin look even more beautiful. In some traditions, they say that saffron can make a baby’s skin appear lighter. But here’s the scoop: There’s no solid scientific proof that eating saffron while pregnant will make this happen.

But here’s the good news: Your baby will be incredibly beautiful no matter what. Whether or not you eat saffron during pregnancy, your little one will be a true bundle of joy.

Does Saffron Have an Impact on Your Baby’s Skin Color?

People love saffron for a special reason – they believe it can make their baby’s skin look even more beautiful. In some traditions, they say that saffron can make a baby’s skin appear lighter. But here’s the scoop: There’s no solid scientific proof that eating saffron while pregnant will make this happen.

But here’s the good news: Your baby will be incredibly beautiful no matter what. Whether or not you eat this during pregnancy, your little one will be a true bundle of joy.

Is Excessive Saffron Consumption Risky for Pregnancy?

When it comes to saffron during pregnancy, caution is key.

Recent studies suggest that consuming large quantities of saffron could raise the chances of a miscarriage. For instance, one research paper advises against high doses, specifically those exceeding 5 grams per day. These elevated saffron doses have the potential to stimulate the uterus.

So, if saffron is a common ingredient in your kitchen or you’re contemplating soothing saffron-infused milk, it’s advisable to chat with your OB-GYN or midwife first. While they might approve of a small amount, it’s always wise to have a conversation beforehand.

How to prepare saffron milk

Saffron milk, the delightful concoction infused with saffron’s rich aroma and flavor, is a treat many cherish. This golden elixir is created by delicately steeping a few saffron threads in milk, and some even elevate its taste by adding ingredients like cardamom or the delightful crunch of crushed or slivered almonds.

Commonly referred to as kesar milk or Indian kesar milk, this beverage holds a special place in various cultures. Some traditions even recommend it for expectant mothers. However, before you reach for that saffron-infused goodness, it’s crucial to consider your pregnancy and consult your trusted OB-GYN, especially if you’re still in the early stages of the first trimester. There are some important factors to remember due to the potential effects of saffron during this critical period.

Disclaimer: Kindly consult your doctor before consuming saffron in any form if you are pregnant or allergic to any of its components. 

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