Is eating turmeric good for pregnant women?
Turmeric is a common spice that is used in almost every Indian household. Apart from being used as a common culinary spice, turmeric is well known for its numerous medicinal properties and is an important ingredient in Ayurvedic medicine. Various parts of the turmeric plant are dried and made into teas, extracts, capsules, tablets or topical pastes. Because of its multiple health benefits, many recommend the use of turmeric during pregnancy as well. However, let us find out if consumption of turmeric is actually safe and beneficial during pregnancy.
What are the health benefits of turmeric?
Turmeric is also known as the golden spice due to its bright yellow colour and its varied health benefits. Turmeric helps in healing wounds as it is antibacterial and antiviral in nature, which means that it kills bacteria and viruses. It is also an antiseptic which means that it protects wounds from infections. Turmeric is well known for its anti-inflammatory effects. It is also said to help in stopping the growth of tumours. It enhances heart, kidney and liver health. It is also used in cosmetics and is said to help with skin conditions.
Eating fresh turmeric during pregnancy can help. Here are the reasons -
Pain relief: Curcumin, a substance found in turmeric that gives it a yellow colour, is said to reduce swelling as well as joint and back pain in pregnant women.
Helps in digestion: It helps in relieving constipation and aids in smooth digestion, besides having a soothing effect on the digestive tract.
Builds immunity: Turmeric also helps pregnant women in building immunity as it fights against common cold and allergies.
Prevents depression: Turmeric is also said to prevent depression which often accompanies pregnancy.
Others: It also helps in regulating blood sugar levels and is used in Chinese medicine to prevent pregnancy gingivitis.
How much of turmeric should one take?
Turmeric can be taken in the form of supplements or consumed through food. During pregnancy, it is better to avoid supplements as they contain large doses which can actually be harmful rather than beneficial. Turmeric is safe when included as a spice while cooking regular meals. The application of turmeric on the skin is considered to be safe too. Applying turmeric on the skin helps in preventing stretch marks that occur during pregnancy.
However, it’s important to note that when taken in large doses, turmeric can have some side effects during pregnancy.
Let’s read about that
- Turmeric might cause a miscarriage when taken in large amounts as it increases uterine contractions. The increased uterine contractions can lead to bleeding, which in turn can lead to a miscarriage.
- High levels of curcumin can bring about serious damage to the foetus, leading to birth defects. A regular amount of turmeric helps in foetal development though.
- Turmeric hinders the production of clotting factors and also prevents the platelets from clustering together. This may lead to increased bleeding in individuals with bleeding disorders.
- Turmeric, when taken in doses much more than what is found in food can sometimes interfere with medicines like blood thinners and even acid blockers.
- High amounts and long term use of turmeric can even cause gastrointestinal problems.
Is the consumption of turmeric during pregnancy safe?
Turmeric milk, also known as golden milk, is said to help ease nausea as well as reduce the aches and inflammations that can come with pregnancy. It also aids in digestion. However, remember to have turmeric milk during pregnancy only in moderation.
Whether you prefer to use fresh turmeric or dried and powdered turmeric, the health benefits and side effects remain the same. Fresh turmeric can be used just like ginger, when added to food. The best way to take turmeric during pregnancy is through a regular and balanced diet. The amount of turmeric that is found in food is actually helpful and beneficial for pregnant women.
A pregnant woman can enjoy all the above-mentioned health benefits of turmeric without actually taking extra doses of it. It is also better to consult with a doctor before taking any kind of supplementation. One must also make sure to eat a healthy diet that contains a variety of different foods in order to get good amounts of essential nutrients.