Is Taking Turmeric Safe During Pregnancy?

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Turmeric is a widely used spice in Indian dishes and is known for its medicinal values. Indians also give it religious importance as it is prominently used during Hindu rituals. Though there are not many research reports to support the value of turmeric, there is a widespread belief in Asia about its healing capabilities.

You may be wondering if you need to increase the consumption of turmeric, or regulate it during pregnancy. Taking your doctor’s advice is the best thing to do, but we will help you with some information on the use of turmeric during pregnancy period.

What Is Turmeric Or Curcumin?

Turmeric is a plant that belongs to the ginger family and is originally from Asia, most specifically India. In scientific terms, it is also known as curcuma longa, orcurcumin.

Uses Of Turmeric

  • Turmeric is a bright yellow root type of spice and is used in a fine bright yellow powder form to provide aromatic flavor and seasoning to foods.
  • In earlier times, turmeric was also used as a natural dye for fabrics.
  • Turmeric is also utilized in the form of capsules or extracts for medicinal purpose and the products are available in medical, health food and grocery stores.
  • The roots of the turmeric plant have been used widely for various medicinal and home remedial purposes through generations.

[ Read: Turmeric Milk During Pregnancy ]

  • Turmeric is also used as an ingredient in curries and other traditional Indian dishes.
  • It is used as a natural food coloring agent and can be found as a part of the ingredient list in mustard, butter and cheese.

Safety Of Turmeric During Pregnant

Your doctor will be the best person to advise you on the use of turmeric during pregnancy. But it is generally believed that eating turmeric during pregnancy is safe, provided you have it in the form of spice. When you are pregnant, you should stay away from trying out any supplements that are made out of turmeric, even if they claim to be good for you and give you the health benefits that turmeric naturally has.

Benefits Of Turmeric During Pregnancy

Turmeric is beneficial for pregnant women but it is always good to inform your doctor before you increase its intake. Once you get a confirmation from your doctor, you can look forward to the following health benefits that turmeric can have on your pregnancy:

1. Protects Your Unborn Baby Against Genetic Damage:

One of the biggest risks that you and your unborn baby can have during the first trimester is the threat of being exposed to genetic damage.

During the first trimester, you will have to go through a series of tests and have some medications and chemicals that may pose a direct threat to your unborn baby. As a result, it could lead to genetic damage in some cases.

Genetic damage could result in a miscarriage, spontaneous abortion (a type of abortion which is not medically induced), different types of birth defects and more. As a would-be mother, your body will do all it can to keep your unborn baby safe and protected against any genetic damage.

While there is not enough medical research or case study to back it up, it is believed that eating some amount of turmeric, especially in the first three months of pregnancy, can protect your unborn baby against the threat of genetic damage.

2. Protection Against Fetal Alcohol Syndrome:

When you are pregnant, your doctor will advise you to completely stay away from alcohol to reduce any risk to your unborn baby. However, it may be possible that you are not aware of your pregnancy and consume alcohol.

Taking alcohol while you are pregnant has a host of adverse effects on your unborn baby. Some of the major complications that it can cause damage to the heart and brain, and complications in your baby’s respiratory system.

While it is not true that you can use turmeric as a shield to protect your unborn baby against the ill effects of alcohol, you can definitely use it to minimize the risk. When you take turmeric as a regular spice in your everyday meals, it will help to form a protective layer for your unborn baby.

Turmeric can also help to protect the destruction of brain tissues which happens when your unborn baby is exposed to alcohol, as a result of fetal alcohol syndrome. Taking Turmeric while pregnant can help to deactivate the genes thus avoiding a condition known as apoptosis in the brain of the unborn baby after you have consumed alcohol. Apoptosis can be referred to a type of cellular suicide.

Your consumption of alcohol can lead to various heart defects in the unborn baby. Eating turmeric can reduce the chances of the same and can help to keep your unborn baby safe. Specifically, it will help to prevent the activation of genes that can lead to defects in the heart.

Taking turmeric while you are pregnant will also help to strengthen your unborn baby’s lungs and keep your baby in good stead especially in case you get into a pre-term labor. In case your baby is born before the full term, such as during the sixth, seventh or even eighth month, turmeric use during pregnancy can help your baby to breathe properly through the lungs that have matured by now, as a result of turmeric consumption.

[ Read: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome ]

3. Additional Benefits:

Turmeric has various anti-inflammatory properties that can help to prevent any pain or swelling that you may experience while you are pregnant.

It also has a host of antioxidant properties that will safeguard you and your unborn baby against any infection and will also boost your overall immunity.

It also helps in digestion and can help to prevent any feeling of being bloated or constipation.

Side Effects Of Turmeric During Pregnancy

The only drawback with the consumption of turmeric is that there is not enough medical data or research to support its benefits. As a result, your doctor may ask you to limit the use of turmeric as a spice or a flavoring agent in regular cooking. He may also advise you to use turmeric as a regular supplement.

Here are a few things you should remember before you consume turmeric:

  • If you have had any gallbladder issues in the past or are going through such health issue, avoid taking any turmeric supplements.
  • If you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes or have a family history of diabetes, stay away from taking any turmeric supplements while you are pregnant.

[ Read: Spices To Eat and Avoid During Pregnancy ]

  • In some cases, eating too much turmeric can lead to blood clotting. As a result, it is important that you cut down or give up on eating turmeric, at least, two weeks before you are due for surgery. If you have been through blood clotting issues in the past, make sure you speak to your doctor and stop having turmeric, at least, three to four weeks before you are due for any surgery.
  • If you take turmeric in large doses, it can also lead to nausea, diarrhea, heartburn or indigestion. While you are pregnant, your body goes through a lot of hormonal changes and imbalance, and you are more prone to indigestion and nausea.
  • While turmeric is known for its health benefits, make sure you consume it only as a spice and flavoring agent in regular food and avoid using it as a supplement while you are pregnant.

Moms, did you regularly take turmeric when pregnant or did your doctor give you any special advice or tips? Do share your experience here to help out other ladies who are pregnant.

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