Basil is considered as one of the most common and hence, one of the most beneficial herbs. Which are known to humanity? It is a staple food for people living in Italian and South-East Asian cuisines. It is also used as a seasoning or flavouring in some dishes, ranging from various bread-based items to dishes like rice and pasta. Basil contains many medicinal properties, which therefore makes it a perfect addition to the group of food and beverages. It is known for being beneficial for treating coughs and colds. And, is also found eating basil during pregnancy has a lot of benefits. In this article, we will discuss the fact that whether eating basil during pregnancy is Ok or not.
What is Tulsi (Holy Basil)?
Tulsi or Holy Basil is a herb which is a part of the excellent mint group. It is made up of green leaves, which tend to have a distinct aroma, which is a combination of both sweet and spicy. Tulsi is also used in different soups and salads as a topping because of the flavour it imparts to the dishes. It can be found e in Asia, Australia and other different parts of the world. Basil can also be used as a home remedy for various ailments in Indian households like eating basil during pregnancy, cough and cold and other such conditions for numerous years.
Is Basil Safe During Pregnancy?
Many contradictory views exist towards the intake of holy basil during the pregnancy period. I can frequently see this query being posted on various pregnancy forums- “Can I eat basil while pregnant? “. Well, now to answer this question, you need to research a bit. Now, to do that let us scroll down to understand the various aspects of the advantages of consumption of basil during pregnancy.
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Benefits of Basil During Pregnancy:
There are several benefits to consuming basil during pregnancy. While many are well known, let us see a few common and best benefits one can get through the consumption of basil.
- Basil has rich and multiple contents of vitamin K. This vitamin helps greatly to prevent blood clotting and hence also reduces, in turn, the risks of excessive blood loss during delivery.
- Basil also has Manganese. This helps greatly to develop bones and cartilage in the fetus within the womb. Manganese has antioxidant properties, which also further help to minimise cellular damage, which can take place in expecting mothers. Hence nothing like basil, one can go ahead and consume during pregnancy.
- Further, Basil also has several minerals and nutrients inbuilt within it, such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, and so on. They help in building a great immune system which can help both mother and the development of the fetus in the womb.
- While pregnant women mostly suffer from Anemia, basil helps greatly to improve the count of red blood cells and maintain required haemoglobin levels. Hence they can be easily reduced by eating basil during pregnancy.
- Basil also has Vitamin A, which helps to develop and growth of fetal organs in the expecting mother. Hence it ensures a healthy newborn baby after birth.
- Whatnot, Basil also contains Folate. This helps in the supply of blood and also prevents risks of prenatal defects in the fetus. Given the benefits mentioned above, you can easily go ahead and have basil during pregnancy.
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Risks of Basil during Pregnancy:
- Do not consume basil seeds during pregnancy, however. This is advised against by many gynaecologists and doctors as they can have uterine contractions, which can further result in miscarriage. Further, the seeds can also increase the flow of blood and hence stimulate menstruation.
- In case you are taking anticoagulant drugs, basil should be avoided as they have blood-thinning agents.
- Eugenol is present in basil, and this can trigger heart rates, mouth burns, and giddiness and also can lead to culminate coma. Hence take doctors’ advice always before having this regularly.
- Do not have basil leaves, at least two weeks before a Caesarian delivery or surgery.
- Excess intake may bring down blood sugar, which is not good. The low blood sugar levels in case detected in pregnant women should avoid having this basil herb for the health of both mother and fetus.
Basil, in general, is safe to be taken during pregnancy in moderate amounts. You can use it as a mild seasoning to flavour your food. However, makes sure to wash basil properly before consumption.
Precautions to Take While Consuming Basil During Pregnancy:
If you would like to avail the various health benefits of holy basil during the pregnancy period and make it a part of your diet, then you will be needed to undertake the following precautions to ensure safety for both you and your baby.
- Do not consume it in excess. The Herbalists suggest the consumption of only 115 ml of decoction of the herb three times a day.
- Wash the herbs thoroughly before use to wash out the bacteria, and parasites, which may lead to food-borne infections like toxoplasmosis and listeriosis.
- Always consult a doctor before you make tulsi leave in the pregnancy diet.
Benefits of Basil Tea During Pregnancy:
The name of holy basil also known as Tulsi is a part of the mint family. Which is well-known for its sweet and spicy fragrance which is very close to that of clove. The herb offers us various health benefits and may also help when consumed at the time of pregnancy. However, we cannot use it as a substitute for conventional medicine. Every pregnant woman must take care of her health to ensure that her baby is born without any complications and that both she and her baby’s health is excellent. Most experts recommend that women indulge in activities like healthy eating and drinking. As much as possible and avoid certain foods and beverages, which can cause adverse effects on her health. Hence, one of the most commonly recommended drinks for pregnant women is herbal tea, and the best one is tulsi tea during pregnancy.
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How to Prepare Tulsi Tea?
Preparing a cup of tulsi tea is quite easy. While most Indian families tend to have a tulsi plant in their homes for various religious purposes, those people cannot pick a pre-packaged or dry form of tulsi tea from the market. To make this tea, you need a pot of water to a boil now steep one tea bag of the tulsi tea into it and leave it for about five minutes. You can add sweetness to the tea with honey, or you can add a few drops of lemon juice to taste. In case, you are not using the pre-packaged tea; then you need to shred the leaves and then chop the fresh tulsi leaves during pregnancy. Now cover them with a cup of water. Allow the leaves to stay for two minutes.
Reasons why we should have Basil Tea During Pregnancy:
Tulsi has terrific detoxifying properties which help to keep their heart and lung tissues clean and safe from deadly infections and other health problems.
2. Zero Caffeine:
Can pregnant women eat basil? Well, yes, Pregnant women have been prescribed caffeine entirely from their diet. A precise reason why tulsi tea is proscribed from every pregnant woman’s diet is that it does not have caffeine.
3. Neutralizes free Radicals:
Tulsi tea is made dense with various antioxidants that protect from diseases caused as a result of an overflow of different free radicals in the body. It tries to neutralize the free radicals and thereby, helps to make the immune system stronger to fight off diseases.
4. Helps to Relieve Joint Pain:
Pregnancy comes with a lot of minor aches here and there such as pains in the joints and muscles. However, you need not worry about them because regular consumption of tulsi tea can help you to relieve inflammation and weak bones.
Pregnancy is quite a stressful period in a woman’s life, and every pregnant woman needs to find specific opportunities to relax as much as possible. Hence, one of the best ways in which this can be done is by consuming tulsi tea. On consumption, tulsi tea releases the happy hormone called serotonin throughout the body, thus managing the level of stress. Besides, tulsi tea is famous for its calming effect.
As many ask, is basil safe during pregnancy? Consumption of tulsi during pregnancy is very beneficial, and you can safely enjoy it. However, you must consult your doctor and ensure you don’t take overdose on it as too much of it is very hazardous. Tulsi has several nutritional benefits which make it the best herbal supplement that there is to be consumed during the pregnancy period. Being rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, fibre, and other essential nutrients; basil is considered a modern pregnancy period superfood.
Q1. Can Pregnant Women Eat Basil Leave Directly?
Ans: Basil pregnancy has a lot of benefits that make it an excellent herbal supplement for pregnant women. Although an overdose of it can irritate the uterus, so it is advised for a pregnant woman, not to have more than two basil leaves in a day. Basil being rich in vitamin K, plays a vital role in making sure that your health remains good and your baby is safe inside your womb during the pregnancy period. You can certainly eat basil leaves during pregnancy directly; however, make sure you wash them properly before eating them. The germs present might have adverse effects on your body.
Q2. What are the Types of Tulsi and Which is the Best for Pregnancy?
Ans: There are three different types of Tulsi:
Green leaf or “Rama” Tulsi
Purple leaf or “Krishna” Tulsi
Wild or “Vana” Tulsi or “Forest” Tulsi
Green leaf (Rama Tulsi) is considered the best to be consumed during pregnancy.
Q3. Is it Safe to Use Basil Oil During Pregnancy?
Ans: It is not safe to use basil oil during pregnancy. It is so because it is thought that basil oil contributes to abnormal cell development, which makes it hazardous for the fetus. Eugenol, which is the oil present in the basil leaves, tends to have dangerous effects on the health of the developing fetus. The oil in the herb can lead to an increase in your heartbeats and causes throat and mouth burn, shallow breathing, seizures, dizziness, blood in the urine, and come in some extreme cases. Hence you should avoid the consumption of basil oil during the pregnancy period.