Known as the Queen of Spices, turmeric has a number of powerful medicinal benefits. The golden, pungent spice has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral, antidepressant, anti-aging and anti-carcinogenic properties. But is it safe for pregnant or breastfeeding moms?
Scientifically known as Curcuma Ionga, turmeric root has been used in India as a medicinal component in Ayurveda, which has been around for around 5 000 years. More recently, scientific studies have been done on curcumin, the main bioactive ingredient in tumeric.
According to tumericforhealth.com, oral turmeric supplements are not considered to be safe during pregnancy, as it could stimulate the uterus, which could increase the risk of miscarriage.
However, University of Maryland Medical Center states that turmeric in low doses as a spice is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women to consume, and has a number of health benefits. Do not use this spice if you are prone to bleeding disorders, or are allergic. Speak to your doctor or caregiver if you are unsure.
Benefits in pregnancy
A dash of turmeric in your food, or in a glass of milk can help:
- Ease joint pain and inflammation
- Help to prevent constipation and maintains healthy levels of bacteria in the gut
- Helps improve immunity
- Helps detox the liver and purifies blood
- Helps maintain healthy blood sugar and lipid levels
Benefits for breastfeeding
A dash of turmeric in your food, or in a glass of milk:
- Acts as an immune booster, as it contains anti-bacterial and antiviral properties.
- Helps reduce the risk of mastitis, as it helps reduce inflammation.
- Helps beat the blues as it works as an anti-depressant. Turmeric improves brain function, improves memory and dopamine levels.
- Helps promote digestion as it helps in the production of bile and keeps gas and bloating in check.
- Is a natural painkiller, so helps to heal your body from the inside out.
- Is used as a galactogogue. Turmeric is widely used in India as it is believed to boost the production of breastmilk. While this has not been scientifically proven, it is believed to help due to its anti-inflammatory and healing properties.
- Helps improve your cholesterol levels, as curcumin improves the lining of your blood vessels, and helps prevent heart disease.
- Helps boost blood circulation and aids in general good health.
Don’t want to eat it? Try these home pregnancy beauty remedies instead:
- Mix turmeric and curd into a paste and apply over your stretch marks. Leave for 15 minutes and then wash off.
- Blend cucumber into juice, add lime juice and turmeric powder to make a paste. Apply to any areas that has hyper-pigmentation. Wash off after 20 minutes. Turmeric is believed to prevent melanin production and helps lighten skin tone.
- A paste of turmeric and water works well on acne-prone skin due to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.
- Drinking a dash of turmeric in milk with a squeeze of honey (every few days or so), helps cleanse impurities in your system and gives a clear complexion.
Kim Bell is a wife, mother of two teenagers and a lover of research and the way words flow and meld together. She has been in the media industry for over 20 years, and yet still learns more about life from her children everyday.