We usually consume spices in a variety of forms. Many herbs and spices deliver potential health benefits, while some spices and herbs present health risks for individuals with specific health conditions, such as pregnant women. So it’s important to know which spices are safe and which are unsafe to consume during pregnancy. Turmeric is one of these spices used for cooking from time to time. Hence it might come to your mind whether consuming turmeric is safe during pregnancy.
But first, learn why it is good to have turmeric in everyday food.
What are the benefits of turmeric?
Well-known for its bright yellow color and unique flavor, turmeric is primarily used in Indian kitchens. It has become popular in recent years due to its potential health benefits, thanks to the inflammatory and antioxidant properties of curcumin, a compound found in turmeric. Some potential health benefits of consuming turmeric include the following:
Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory effects: Apart from protecting the cells from free radical damage, turmeric may also be helpful for reducing inflammation in the body.
Pain relief: Turmeric may have been used traditionally to prepare cuisine, but some studies have shown that it may be effective in reducing pain due to inflammatory conditions such as osteoarthritis.
Digestive health: Turmeric may be supportive of good digestive health and help manage digestive disorders such as bloating, gas, and indigestion.
Brain health: Some research suggests that turmeric may help improve memory and reduce the risk of brain-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Can You Take Turmeric during Pregnancy?
Spices are normally considered safe; turmeric is no special case here. A good rule of thumb is to consume it in small amounts as a spice in drinks and food. But in case you are planning to consume turmeric as a supplement during your pregnancy, you have to be cautious, as the potential risks are yet to be fully understood.
Turmeric during pregnancy becomes unsafe when taken in medicinal amounts.
According to some reports, regular intake of small amounts of turmeric causes no harm to the developing fetus. However, experts usually advise against consuming high doses of turmeric or using turmeric supplements during pregnancy, as high doses of curcumin on a regular basis can lead to miscarriage and early labor.
Read Also: Green Tea in Pregnancy- Is It Safe to Drink?
Is Turmeric Tea Safe to Drink In Pregnancy?
While turmeric is typically consumed as a spice in food, many are habituated to turmeric tea made with either turmeric root or turmeric powder. Low in calories and caffeine-free, pregnant women might be tempted to try a cup of warm and soothing turmeric tea blend for the evening hours. But what do experts recommend about drinking turmeric tea while pregnant?
The amount of turmeric used to prepare a cup of turmeric tea is very small, making it a safe tea to consume during pregnancy. If you’re having a high amount of turmeric with your regular herbal tea, you would like to change the ratio during pregnancy. For instance, if you usually mix one teaspoon of turmeric with your traditional ginger-turmeric tea, you should reduce it to ¼ spoon.
Like turmeric, spices like ginger and cinnamon are also popular as herbal tea among health-conscious people. These teas are considered beneficial and safe to take from time to time during pregnancy. However, you should be mindful of some spices, such as nutmeg, parsley, and sage. These spices are best avoided in any form throughout pregnancy. If you are a fan of parsley or sage herbal tea, try substituting them with some safer herbal tea alternatives while pregnant.
It is important to note that while turmeric may have potential health benefits, more research is needed to understand its effects and safe limit for pregnant women fully.
As with any herbs and spices, it is always best to be cautious and consult with a healthcare provider before adding turmeric to your pregnancy diet.