Saffron, scientifically known as sativus flower, is a thread-like flower grown in India, Middle East, and the Mediterranean regions. In India, saffron is commonly known as Kesar or Zaffran.
This flower is also known as The Golden Spice that is well-known for its aromatic flavours.
It is safe to consume during pregnancy especially when it's the 5th month and the pregnancy is stable.
Health benefiting properties of Saffron:
Saffron contains volatile active components, most importantly safranal, such as cineole, phenethenol, pinene, borneol, geraniol, limonene, p-cymene, linalool, terpinen-4-oil, etc.
It also has non-volatile active components, most importantly α-crocin which is a carotenoid compound, and others such as zeaxanthin, lycopene, α- and ß-carotenes. (Nutrition and You)
It even contains various vitamins such as folates, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin A and C.
Minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium and zinc are also present in saffron.
Health Benefits of Using Saffron During Pregnancy:
- Helps In Managing Blood Pressure
It is very normal for a woman’s blood pressure to go up and down during pregnancy.
Heartbeats can go up to 25% high as a woman’s body has to work twice. However, it is important to manage blood pressure during pregnancy.
Saffron contains potassium and crocetin that can help lower blood pressure and calm your heart and mind. Due to its calming effect, it can also calm your mind.
- Reduces Severity of Morning Sickness
Saffron contains unique calming components that calm morning sickness that involves nausea, vomiting and dizziness.
Saffron is very soothing for your digestive system and saffron-infused tea can instantly reduce nausea and vomiting caused during morning sickness.
You may normally have saffron milk too.
- Reduces Digestive Disorders
Pregnant women experience slow digestion and it is a very common thing in every pregnancy.
Stomach aches, nausea, and mild cramps can also be common symptoms of digestive disorders during pregnancy.
The digestive system requires some stimulating agents to speed up the digestive processes.
Saffron increases the blood flow towards the digestive system and improves your metabolism.
Some women even tend to have acidity when pregnant, this may further lead to nausea and vomiting.
Consuming saffron is the key to solving a majority of such disorders. It reduces gastrointestinal activities, bloating and many such digestive health issues.
- Reduces the Severity of Cramps & Pains
A woman’s body accommodates a baby for nine months and there are several ways the muscles, bones and tissues stretch.
These can produce pain and cramps too. Some women complain about pelvic floor cramps and pain across the abdomen.
Since saffron is a natural painkiller, you can have its tea or have it mixed in the milk. This reduces the severity or intensity of the cramps and pains.
- Prevents Cardiovascular Diseases
Pregnancy can make you very hungry as your appetite increases to grow your baby.
However, this makes women eat a lot of fat-rich foods. Eating so much fatty food can harm your heart health.
Animal studies have shown saffron to lower cholesterol by as much as 50%. Saffron has antioxidant properties; it is, therefore, helpful in maintaining healthy arteries and blood vessels.
Saffron is also known to have anti-inflammatory properties, which are beneficial to cardiovascular health.
- Benefits the Respiratory System
Saffron has many respiratory system-benefitting properties such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidants.
Asthma, cold, cough and fever can happen commonly in pregnant women. To strengthen the respiratory tract and remove any blockage, plaque deposits and inflammation, saffron should be consumed on a daily basis. It is beneficial for your lungs as well as the trachea.
- Improves the Quality of Sleep
A pregnant woman must sleep well before delivering a baby as she has to keep awake after delivery to nurse her baby.
However, most pregnant women experience insomnia, trouble sleeping, anxiety, stress or discomfort when they try to fall asleep.
Saffron-infused tea or milk should be consumed every morning or night (based on preferences and suitability).
This contains sedative properties that can help a woman sleep better despite cramps, discomfort and hormonal changes.
- Good For Skin
Some women experience acne and pimples break out during their first trimester as their body produces new hormones.
Other skin problems are also common during pregnancy such as dryness or oiliness of the skin, rough patches or itching of skin.
Saffron has blood-purifying properties that increase the rejuvenation of cells and helps in renewing skin cells. Saffron helps your skin glow up during pregnancy.
- Reduces Hair Fall
Pregnancy can bring in so many hormonal changes that some women may struggle with hair fall for a few months.
This is a very common thing but needs to be dealt with in the early stages itself.
Saffron contains various antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that can fight hormonal imbalances and strengthen your hair strands.
- Healthy For the Baby
Some women experience difficulty in understanding or feeling/sensing how their baby is moving in their womb.
This is a very special feeling and mothers should not miss out on this. Consuming saffron milk can improve the heat in your body and help you experience the growth and movement of your baby in your womb.
Some myths also claim consuming saffron can make your baby fair.
Side-Effects of Saffron During Pregnancy:
Although Saffron is a safe herb for pregnancy, most women should not take it very early in their pregnancy as it increases heat in their bodies and it can harm the growing fetus.
Once they’re in the second or third trimester, they should consult their doctor and then consume saffron to avoid side effects.
Some side effects of saffron during pregnancy include:
Consuming saffron very early in the pregnancy can lead to miscarriage.
It can even lead to hypersensitivity in some women which may lead to anxiety and headaches.
If you are allergic to saffron, it may cause nausea and vomiting which is very harmful to your baby.
There’s a rare thing called saffron poisoning, so talk to your doctor before you consume it.
Saffron is a beautiful herb known for its therapeutic benefits during pregnancy; however, it is always advised to consult your doctor before you continue or begin its consumption.