What Is Saffron
Saffron is the dried stigma of Crocus Sativus flower, i.e. the thread like part at the center which contains pollen. Only three strands of saffron are obtained from a single flower! Saffron traditionally involves a great deal of human labor thus making it one of the most popular and expensive herb across the globe. In India, this golden herb is produced in the Kashmir valley and has always been in high demand. It is often regarded as the ‘king of spices’ and commands a huge price.
Does Saffron Influence Your Child’s Complexion?
With traditions, come myths and one around saffron advocates its consumption during pregnancy leads to fairer complexion of the baby. Stop! Don’t gobble those precious strands! Are you aware that over consumption of saffron – merely more than 10 gm a day can be fatal for you and your baby? There has been no research that proves having saffron and milk regularly in pregnancy leads to having a fairer baby, though saffron does have other benefits during pregnancy. Moreover, the complexion of the baby is in no way dependent on the intake of saffron by the mother. Excessive intake of saffron in during pregnancy can cause other complications and even miscarriage. A child’s complexion is determined by hereditary factors and the genes, and anything you eat or drink will not have any effect on him or her. Since our country has always been obsessed with being ‘fair’ and having a light complexion, many women consume saffron hoping the child will be fair. The fact is that saffron does have a lot of medicinal benefits for pregnant women and can be consumed in moderate amounts. Though saffron can influence the skin color when used as a beauty agent, and applied on the skin, the same does not hold true for an unborn baby
Is It Good To Drink Milk With Saffron (Kesar) During Pregnancy?
It is safe to add a little amount of saffron or kesar to milk and drink it during pregnancy- but in moderation. Because saffron is an exotic spice and has many health benefits, many people recommend drinking saffron milk during pregnancy. Milk, again, is a great source of calcium – that you need a lot of – when you are pregnant. Adding a strand or two in your glass of milk can relax your muscles, heal you internally, improve and boost digestion, and soothe you.
Advantages Of Saffron During Pregnancy
- Busts mood swings: Hormonal surges during pregnancy can make you cranky and impulsive. Saffron acts as an anti-depressant for those teary, gloomy days by boosting blood flow to brain which produces serotonin, a hormone which will definitely raise your spirit. Next time you feel jittery about your body image, grab a bite of saffron-dashed snack!
- Reducing blood pressure:Just 3 to 4 stands of saffron in milk would help to reduce the blood pressure in pregnant women. Saffron relaxes the muscles and acts as a uterine stimulant
- Aids digestion:Constipation, gas and bloating are very common complaints during the gestation period. Saffron promotes blood flow to the digestive system and increases metabolism. Milk is recommended for high protein and calcium, but may not be easily digested by everyone. Saffron helps in digesting milk too
- Curbs morning sickness:These exquisite strands fight nausea and dizziness – your daily fiends during pregnancy. So ditch your usual English Tea and start sipping the amazingly flavored Saffron Tea!
- Soothing:Our very own Kesar is a natural painkiller and has anti-spasmodic properties. It relaxes muscles and relieves joint/stomach pain. Say bye bye to those pesky cramps!
- Combats anemia:Most women are anemic. Saffron is loaded with iron and essential for formation of red blood cells. Regular intake of saffron in the food will boost hemoglobin in blood
- Keeps heart diseases at bay:With those untimely hunger pangs and food cravings for ultimate junk like cheese burst pizza or double chocolate Belgian ice cream – you cannot ignore the tons of calories and fat going in the tummy! With high antioxidants, potassium and crocetin contents, saffron protects you and your baby’s heart by reducing cholesterol and triglycerides. In short, keeps your arteries free from fat deposits
- Promotes sleep:Those are the nights spent tossing and turning or watching TV to sleep. Try having a warm cup of saffron milk or tea before bed. It works as a mild sedative
- Relieves sore gums:With your body becoming sensitive with pregnancy, brushing can become a daunting task. Grind the saffron strands and massage it on your gums to relieve pain and avoid any more blood with the brush
- Fights allergies:You are more prone to allergies during pregnancy. Saffron infused milk will soothe cough, asthma, allergies and relieve congestion. Applying the paste of sandalwood and saffron is said to bring down fever. Go natural!
Side Effects Of Saffron During Pregnancy
- Miscarriages:Doctor’s advise against over 10 gm consumption of saffron per day. Saffron increases body’s heat which may lead to abortive conditions. It also triggers movements of the baby which are usually felt after the second trimester. It’s better to consult your obstetrician before consuming saffron. Yes, it’s that serious!
- Allergies:If you experience dry mouth, anxiety, headache and nausea then you may be hypersensitive to saffron. These are simply going to complicate pregnancy
- Vomiting:Forced throwing up of food leads to acid disturbance in stomach and contractions
5 Quick Tips for Choosing And Storing Saffron
- Opt for packaged Saffron:Local kiryana shops often sell these precious strands, but because pregnancy is a delicate matter, opt for saffron that comes packed. Always buy saffron that is packaged properly, is from a good manufacturer and carries an ISI mark. It has to be approved by the government and should be of a good brand
- Check the labels:Never forget to read the label and the expiry date
- Look for deep red color:When shopping, opt for saffron that looks deep red and dark. The darker the color, more aromatic the spice
- Fresh saffron:Go for fresh saffron strands and stay away from powders- they are much less pungent and lose their antioxidant properties
- Airtight containers:Always store saffron strands in airtight containers wrapped tightly in aluminium foil to keep the spice fresh for long
Saffron Flower In Pregnancy
Saffron flower and milk together cannot aid in having a fairer baby, but can certainly aid digestion in pregnant women, which is slow during pregnancy. Pregnant women often suffer from gas and bloating and other problems with digestion. Saffron helps in forming an extra layer so as to soothe the gastrointestinal acidity.