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Did you know that turmeric has bioactive compounds in it? It is these compounds that have medicinal properties and help fight off infections. So, if you are suffering from a sore throat, dry cough or have even hurt yourself, then turmeric can come to rescue. Turmeric milk is widely consumed, especially in India, but is turmeric good for you during pregnancy?
MomJunction talks about turmeric, its benefits and dangers, and whether or not you can consume turmeric milk during pregnancy.
Nutrients And Health Benefits Of Turmeric:
Before understanding turmeric benefits, let’s understand what is turmeric. Turmeric, scientifically known as Curcuma longa, is a root used in medicines and food. It is available in extracts, capsules, or powder and is referred to as the “queen of spices” due to its healing powers (1).
One tablespoon, i.e., one serving size of turmeric provides these nutritional values (2):
|Nutrient||Amount per serving|
All these essential nutrients are likely to benefit women during pregnancy. Turmeric:
- Boosts immune functions, and helps in combating infections.
- Supports strong and healthy bone health.
- Increases bile flow which is required for breaking dietary fat during digestion.
- Helps in maintaining healthy bacteria in the stomach thus preventing gastrointestinal issues.
- Helps manage healthy lipid and blood sugar levels.
- Supports liver by detoxifying and purifying blood.
- Curcumin in turmeric is known to prevent abnormal cell growth around the uterus.
Research carried out on curcumin, which is the major component in turmeric, confirm its excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (3).
Is It Safe To Take Turmeric During Pregnancy?
Yes, low levels of turmeric are considered safe during pregnancy (4).
Pregnant women, who regularly took small amounts of turmeric in their food, did not report any adverse effects.
However, health practitioners do not recommend turmeric supplements in food.
Is It Safe To Drink Turmeric Milk During Pregnancy?
It is safe to take a glass of warm milk with a pinch of turmeric once in a few days. Milk is a major source of dietary calcium, which is essential during pregnancy (5), and turmeric being rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components, offers double benefits. However, you should consume it in small amounts.
Benefits Of Turmeric Milk During Pregnancy:
It may not be safe to take turmeric as an oral supplement, but combined with milk, it can do wonders. It can help treat many problems that you experience during pregnancy.
- Treats joint pains: Due to curcumin’s strong anti-inflammatory quality, turmeric treats joint pains and swollen legs (6).
- Constipation: It is a common woe during pregnancy, and turmeric milk does wonders by improving digestion and bowel movements (7).
- Controls cholesterol levels: Cholesterol levels fluctuate a lot during pregnancy. Turmeric milk is known to help maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels (8).
- Cure a sore throat: This is a traditional home remedy and can treat cold, cough, sore throat, and chest congestion (9).
- Boosts immunity: Turmeric has amazing antioxidant properties and helps in removing free radicals and boosts immunity by keeping away mild infections (10).
- Purifies blood: Turmeric milk regulates the blood flow and is known to be a potent blood purifier (11). It improves blood circulation and combats nausea and dizziness.
Before you reap the benefits of turmeric, you might want to know about the fears related to turmeric.
Concerns Related To Turmeric Consumption During Pregnancy
There are a few concerns about the adverse side-effects of turmeric on pregnancy.
- Miscarriage: Turmeric can stimulate uterine contractions and cause bleeding especially before full term (37 weeks). This could increase the risk of miscarriages and preterm births. However, some lab experiments concluded that curcuminoids in turmeric show a relaxing effect on uterine muscles (12).
- Birth defects: The bioactive components in turmeric can affect the fetal development. Scientific evidence showed that there were no long-term DNA or cellular structure effects in laboratory animals (13).
- Aggravates bleeding disorders: Turmeric is known to prevent the production of clotting factor and aggregation of platelets, increasing the chances of bleeding (14).
Turmeric supplements are also known to cause spotting as early as two days after their consumption.
Before consuming turmeric, you might want to take your doctor’s advice. But turmeric is not just restricted to its use in foods. It is good for your external body as well.
Is It Safe To Drink Turmeric Tea During Pregnancy?
Turmeric tea is not safe during pregnancy as the proportions of turmeric are high in it. Excess intake of this root powder can cause uterine contractions and menstrual flow.
Skin Benefits Of Turmeric During Pregnancy:
Turmeric gives a beautiful glow to your skin. Here are some ways you can try to get that smooth and supple skin during pregnancy along with the glow.
- Treats stretch marks: Make a paste of turmeric and curd, and apply over the stomach. Leave for 15 minutes and take a bath. Using it regularly can treat the stretch marks.
- Reduces hyper-pigmentation: Blend cucumber and extract juice from it. Add lime juice and turmeric powder to make a paste. Apply the paste on the intensely pigmented area, and wash off after 20 minutes. Turmeric prevents melanin production and lightens the skin tone.
- Removes pregnancy acne: The highly potent anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties help in treating acne. A paste of turmeric and water on the acne-prone skin will work wonders.
- Gives clear complexion: Drinking turmeric milk along with honey helps cleanse the impurities from the system and gives a clear skin. Also, you can use a face pack made of turmeric, milk, curd, and gram flour.
Turmeric is extensively used in herbal treatments and medicines. In spite of its goodness, do not use turmeric or turmeric milk during pregnancy before consulting your Obs/Gyn. Also, avoid any turmeric supplements.