Saffron Milk during pregnancy: benefits, side effects and everything else you want to know

Pregnancy means you have to suddenly start having a number of things that you never even considered before. Milk becomes a very important part of your diet, unless you are dairy-intolerant, and there are a hundred different things that your mom or MIL wants to add to the milk. One of the most popular additives is saffron. But how does saffron milk affect you during your pregnancy?

What is saffron milk?

Before anything, let’s first talk about what saffron milk is. Saffron (or zafran/kesar, as we know it in India), is a part of a flower that is dried and used as a flavouring or colouring agent. You may have seen it in use your mother’s kitchen when she made pulao or kheer. Saffron, when mixed with warm milk, is saffron milk. 

What are the benefits of saffron milk?

Saffron milk has a lot of benefits for a pregnant mother. However, don’t start having saffron milk without consulting your doctor. 

Improves immunity and energy levels: During pregnancy, a woman’s immunity levels weaken. The carotenoids present in saffron have an immunomodulatory role that can really benefit a mom-to-be. 

Improves digestion: Saffron has a great deal of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that can help with improving digestion in a pregnant woman. In fact, a lot of people have trouble digesting milk, but saffron added to milk makes even that easy to digest. 

Reduces nausea and dizziness: Morning sickness is a major problem for most pregnant women. But saffron milk is believed to combat both nausea and dizziness. 

Manage blood pressure: When a woman is pregnant, her heart rate increases by 25% but lesser blood is pumped through the body. This can cause major fluctuations in blood pressure, an issue that can also be dealt with by saffron. In fact, saffron contains crocetin and potassium, both of which are proven to be effective against blood pressure. 

Manage insomnia: While there is limited proof of this, it is believed that saffron can help with insomnia in pregnant women. Lack of sleep plagues a lot of pregnant women and having a glass of warm saffron milk aids in falling asleep faster by acting as a relaxant. 

Helps with cramps: Saffron has natural painkiller and anti-spasmodic properties that can really help with the occasional cramping all pregnant women experience

Helps baby move: Saffron milk increases body temperature mildly and this can cause the baby inside to move every so slightly. If you thought being pregnant was wonderful, wait till you feel your baby’s movements! 

Helps with asthma: Being pregnant can cause a lot of respiratory distress. Asthma is a common occurrence at this time but saffron milk is known to have known benefits on respiratory troubles. 

Improves skin tone: Pregnancy can cause a lot of skin issues, including dullness, dryness, acne and blemishes. Saffron can be used in a lot of facial masks and packs that, when applied, can improve skin tone and rejuvenate complexion. 

Helps with depression: Saffron has carotenoids and Vitamin B that help in releasing serotonins that can really help with depression. Pregnant women are prone to long spells of depression and mood swings and regular consumption of saffron can help with this. 

Side effects of having saffron milk

Saffron milk has a lot of benefits but there are significant problems with consuming it too. Before you start having saffron milk, please check with your doctor. 

Miscarriage: Doctors advise not to consume over 10 mg of saffron because it increases body heat which can lead to abortive conditions. 

Allergies: Dry mouth, anxiety and headaches are typically symptoms that you are allergic to saffron. You must stop and see a doctor immediately if you experience these symptoms. In fact, there might be other symptoms too that may not seem like allergy, such as numbness or blood in urine. In such cases too, stop having saffron milk and see a doctor. 

Saffron milk will not give a fair baby!

Sorry but being blunt was the only way to say that! Even now, a lot of people believe that drinking saffron milk during pregnancy will make their babies fairer, but no, that is not true. A baby’s complexion, like a lot of other things, depends on the genetic composition passed on by both parents to the child. In addition, a child’s complexion changes from the moment he is born to the next two weeks to a few months when he gets his permanent complexion. Saffron milk plays no role in giving you a fair baby! 

How to make saffron milk?

Heat one cup of milk and as it begins to heat up, add a few strands of saffron and sugar (if you want it). Let the milk come to a rolling boil and then bring it to a simmer. The milk will turn golden yellow from the saffron. Now switch off the gas and pour out the milk. Do not strain the saffron strands; saffron is perfectly edible. Cool it to a comfortable temperature and drink! 

You can also add chopped almonds or ground cardamom to this for additional flavouring. 

When should you start having saffron milk?

It is better not to have saffron milk in the first trimester. In fact, even in ancient Ayurvedic texts, saffron milk is only advised from the fourth or fifth month onwards. 

How much saffron should you have daily during pregnancy?

Usually, adding a few strands of saffron in your milk is more than enough. The quantity can increase if you are making a saffron pulao, but that is only a marginal increase. 

Saffron is never used in spoonfuls because it can overpower the food if used too much. In addition, saffron is probably the most expensive flavouring agent/spice in the world and using it in high quantities is also a matter of poor economy. 

In addition, it is believed that overuse of saffron can cause uterine contractions and induce labour in pregnant women. Also, it can reduce blood pressure below normal and cause mood swings if taken more than the recommended amount. Play safe and only use a few strands (4-5 maximum) of saffron when you are making saffron milk

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