Consuming Cloves during Pregnancy – Is It Harmful?
Pregnancy is a special time, and during pregnancy, you would want to be sure of the fact that whatever you are consuming is perfectly safe and will not harm the health and development of your baby in any way. Therefore, it is wise to consider and scan all that you eat.
Clove is an aromatic, flavouring spice popularly used in food preparations like aromatic foods, puddings and baked goodies. It is commonly used for medicinal purposes as well. The various parts and forms of cloves used are the oil, stem, leaves, and dried florets.
Cloves claim to benefit health in many ways, but you may question its benefits and safety when pregnant. It is generally believed that the use of cloves during pregnancy can pose no harm if included in the diet in its spice form. You have nothing to worry if you wish to sprinkle some while cooking something special or use it to flavour your food during pregnancy. Having said that, it is advisable to consume it in moderate quantities and not overindulge it.
Is it Safe to Eat Cloves During Pregnancy?
According to experts, clove, when used as a spice to flavour food, is safe to consume during pregnancy. This means that you can safely add it to your food as an ingredient in small doses. It can be used both in the whole form or powdered form. But the use of clove oil and clove enhancements, when pregnant, may not be safe and is best avoided. You may also want to avoid using cloves for medical reasons like for treating toothaches, cold, and cough.
While eating cloves during pregnancy may not be damaging per se, it is always sensible to consult your doctor first in case of any doubt. Your doctor is in a better position to evaluate your health and suggest accordingly.
Health Benefits of Consuming Cloves During Pregnancy
Cloves, if added to the pregnancy diet in limited amounts, can have numerous health benefits. Some of them are listed below:
Cloves provide a small amount of Vitamin E, which is vital for muscle building.
Cloves supply small amounts of calcium and phosphorus to the body for bone development, which is especially required during pregnancy.
Cloves contain antioxidants, which not only help in activating the cell repair system but also make the immune system stronger by developing the body’s resistance against infections during pregnancy.
Cloves are a good source of minerals like sodium, manganese, and phosphorus which are useful for the proper growth of the baby.
The dietary fibre contained in cloves can help keep your bowels in order and combat digestive issues like indigestion and constipation, which is a common complaint during pregnancy.
Cloves have a lot of omega-3 fatty acids which may be useful in promoting the proper development of baby’s brain and nervous system.
Cloves contain flavonoids, which have anti-inflammatory properties. This can prove beneficial in easing pregnancy-related aches and pains.
Are There Any Side-effects of Consuming Cloves While Pregnant?
While consumption of cloves as a food ingredient is usually considered safe, there may be some side-effects of cloves, especially if used in the form of clove oil or clove supplements.
Clove oil, if ingested in a large quantity, can stimulate the uterus and cause contractions. This can lead to premature labour.
Cloves can cause allergic reactions and this can be dangerous when pregnant.
Over-consumption of cloves may lead to intestinal bleeding, breathing troubles, diarrhoea, seizures, increased mouth sensitivity, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and even liver or kidney failure in extreme cases.
Precautions to Take
Though cloves offer several health benefits it is still best to take certain precautions to prevent any possible pregnancy complications. The following points may be kept in mind:
Applying clove oil during pregnancy on the skin may be avoided. Studies suggest that clove oil can harm skin cells. It can also increase the sensitivity of the skin, resulting in rashes and burns.
Refrain from using clove oil for treating toothaches and other common ailments during pregnancy.
It is wise to consume cloves in limited measures during pregnancy. Overdose should be avoided.
Even during pregnancy, you can benefit from the goodness of cloves by consuming them in moderation. In case of any persisting doubts, it is always sensible to seek medical consultation. After all, It is better to be safe than sorry.
Also Read: Sesame Seeds Intake during Pregnancy