Pregnancy

Can Pregnant Women Eat Basil?

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basil during pregnancy

Basil is a very popular herb and its leaves plus seeds are considered to be valuable with a number of health benefits. This bushy plan normally grows in the hot and tropical lands of India and Iran. Holy Basil, also popularly termed as Tulsi is thought to be a sacred ingredient in several Hindu ceremonies. Holy Basil leaves are used to cure common cold, bronchitis, diabetes, stomach issues, asthma, tuberculosis and various other ailments. You can add the dried and fresh leaves to render your food with a delicious aroma. The several elements present in Basil are believed to relive pain and inflammation. The antioxidant properties of Holy basil seed oil is also used to cure certain types of cancer.

Is Basil Safe during Pregnancy?

There are many contradictory views towards the intake of holy basil during pregnancy. I can frequently see this query posted on pregnancy forums- “Can I eat basil while pregnant? “. Well, to answer this question, a bit of detailed research is required. Let us scroll down to the following sections to have a better understanding about the various aspects of basil during pregnancy.

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Benefits of Basil During Pregnancy:

• Basil is a rich source of Vitamin K that prevents blood clotting. So, it considerably reduces the risks of excessive blood loss during delivery

• Manganese in Basil helps in the strong development of bones plus cartilage in the unborn fetus within the womb. The antioxidant property of manganese also minimizes cellular damage in expecting mothers.

• Anemia is a recurrent problem in pregnant women. Generous quantities of iron in basil improve the RBC count and maintain the adequate hemoglobin levels. Hence, the risks of anemia are considerably reduced.

• Vitamin A in basil aids in the proper development of the fetal organs during the formative period. This ensures a healthy new born baby after birth.

• Basil also contains Folate, which ensures a healthy supply of blood. It also prevents occurrence of several pre natal defects in the developing fetus.

• Basil is also a rich reservoir of minerals and nutrients, such as- vitamin C and E, riboflavin, niacin, zinc, manganese, phosphorus and potassium, etc. These minerals ensure that you have a strong immunity system to combat against infections both for the mother and her womb.

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Risks of Basil During Pregnancy:

• Many doctors advise against intake of basil seeds during pregnancy. They can lead to uterine contractions, resulting in miscarriage. Basil seeds cause increased blood flow in the uterine and pelvic reasons, thereby stimulating menstruation.

• Basil contains blood thinning agents. So, you should avoid it if you are taking anti coagulant drugs. Moreover, stop the intake of basil seeds or leaves, at least two weeks before a Caesarian delivery or surgery.

• The oil called “Eugenol” present in basil results in accelerated heart rates, mouth burns, seizures, giddiness and in extreme cases can culminate in coma.

• Excess of basil intake might also bring down your blood sugar to considerably low levels. Hence, women with low sugar levels should generally avoid the intake of this herb.

Basil, in general, is safe to be taken during pregnancy in moderate amounts. You can use it as a mild seasoning to flavor your food. Another precaution is to wash the leaves properly before eating.

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Unwashed herbs might contain germs and result in food borne diseases. And lastly, always seek the advice of your doctor about the interval and quantity to basil to be consumed. Inform him of any supplement or allergy you have. He will then be able to administer the correct quantity based on your health records and potential risk factors.