Drinking Turmeric Milk During Pregnancy – Health Benefits & Risks

Drinking Turmeric Milk in Pregnancy – Health Benefits & Risks

Medically Reviewed By
Megha Mukhija (Paediatric Nutritionist)
View more Paediatric Nutritionist Our Panel of Experts

Congratulations! You are pregnant. The pregnancy news must be slowly sinking in, but you must have already thought twice about your diet. Whatever you eat during pregnancy will affect your health and your baby’s health. And you might doubt even the healthy spices, which otherwise you’d have added generously to your vegetables and dals. Today, we will talk about one particular spice – turmeric – Indian saffron, which has a long history of medicinal use, dating back nearly 4000 years, is “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) as a food ingredient by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It offers a host of benefits to a pregnant woman, but high doses of it can harm the foetus. Read on to know whether turmeric is safe for pregnant women or not.

Nutritional Value of Turmeric

Turmeric consists of certain bioactive compounds, like curcumin, that give turmeric its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also rich in essential minerals like manganese, potassium, and iron. Plus, it is an excellent source of vitamins like Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C. Being rich in fibre also makes turmeric an extremely useful medicinal spice. And it offers innumerable health benefits, such as improving digestion and liver function, facilitating regular bowel movements, decreasing congestion, etc.

The following table presents a quantitative estimate of the nutritive values of 1 tsp turmeric, ground:

Nutrition Values per teaspoon (grams)
  Protein    0.17 g
  Total lipid (fat)   0.22 g
  Carbohydrate   1.43 g
  Energy   7.79 kcal
  Sugar   0.07 g
  Fibre   0.46 g
  Calcium   4.03 mg
  Iron   0.91 mg
  Magnesium   4.25 mg
  Phosphorus   5.9 mg
  Potassium   55.5 mg
  Zinc   0.1 mg
  Vitamin C   0.57 mg
  Folate   0.86 mcg
  Vitamin K   0.29 mcg

Source: URMC

Is It Good to Have Turmeric in Pregnancy?

Yes, absolutely! Turmeric is safe for pregnant women when taken in small amounts. It is advised to add it in moderate amounts only during pregnancy like you would normally add in curries and other savoury dishes. Something pregnant women should particularly note is to avoid taking medicinal quantities of turmeric or curcumin in the form of capsules or supplements. Capsules or supplements contain high levels of curcumin that can disbalance the hormone estrogen levels in pregnant women and lead to uterine contractions or bleeding. Since little evidence is known about the use of turmeric in greater amounts than what is commonly found in food, it is best to exercise caution when using this spice during pregnancy.

Is It Safe to Drink Turmeric Milk While Pregnant?

Turmeric, the golden spice, when taken with milk, is highly beneficial for health. It provides additional calcium to pregnant women, which is necessary for the growth and development of the skeletal system of the developing foetus. You can have turmeric milk during pregnancy as it offers many benefits. However, make sure that you drink it in moderate amounts, as too much of it can adversely affect the health of the foetus.

So, yes, drinking turmeric milk in pregnancy is beneficial for expectant moms – but yes, with caution!

Benefits of Having Turmeric Milk During Pregnancy

When consumed during pregnancy, turmeric milk can help combat changes like increased water retention and low immunity that occur in a pregnant woman’s body due to hormonal imbalances. It also strengthens a woman during pregnancy, as there is increased pressure on internal organs due to the growing foetus and expanding uterus. Thus, drinking turmeric milk makes pregnancy a comfortable experience by reducing nausea and discomfort.

A pregnant woman with a glass of milk

Following is a list of health benefits conferred upon consumption of turmeric milk during pregnancy:

1. Provides Relief From Pain

The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric provide much-needed relief to pregnant women. During pregnancy, women tend to have swollen feet, and they may also experience joint pain due to water retention and hormonal changes. Turmeric helps in healing symptomatic pain.

2. Helps Fight Infections and Common Colds

The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric help provide relief from colds and flu. Drinking warm turmeric milk is a quick home remedy for a sore throat and a cough with a common cold.

3. Strengthens the Immune System

Turmeric being high in antioxidants, helps boost the immune system by removing free radicals and keeping mild infections at bay.

4. Lowers Cholesterol Levels

Serum cholesterol levels tend to increase during pregnancy. The antilipidemic properties of turmeric keep a check on rising cholesterol levels. Curcumin has beneficial effects on several factors known to play a role in heart disease. It improves the function of the endothelium and is a potent anti-inflammatory agent and antioxidant.

Turmeric milk in a cup

5. Improves the Health of the Skin

Not all pregnant women have a pregnancy glow; some women even experience a sudden acne outbreak during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester owing to hormonal changes. But including the golden spice in the pregnancy diet can help. The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric help reduce acne and eczema, and its blood-purifying properties give a glow to one’s skin.

6. Improves Sleep

A glass of warm turmeric milk is known to induce good sleep, eliminating the discomfort of pregnant women that deprives them of sound sleep.

7. Treats Constipation

Curcumin in turmeric is an ideal ingredient to relieve constipation,  abdominal pain, and diarrhea caused by irritable bowel syndrome.

Side Effects of Drinking Turmeric Milk During Pregnancy

When consumed in excess amounts, turmeric may be harmful to the health of a pregnant woman and her baby. The following are the risks associated with it:

1. Miscarriage

Having turmeric in excess amounts during pregnancy may contract the smooth muscles, including the uterine muscles. And uterine contractions in the early stages of pregnancy may stimulate labour pain and lead to a miscarriage. Hence, turmeric should be consumed in moderate amounts. It should also not be consumed excessively towards full-term or when a woman is close to 37 weeks.

2. Birth Defects

Curcumin in large doses can lead to foetal defects and hamper foetal development. Since curcumin is a primary ingredient in turmeric, it may pose a risk to the developing foetus. So if you want to consume it, it is suggested that you speak to your doctor or a nutritionist.

3. Bleeding Disorders

Too much of turmeric can increase the chances of bleeding. It may also cause abnormal and excessive blood clotting, leading to further complications. Turmeric supplements can even cause early spotting after consumption.

4. Nausea and Uneasiness

During pregnancy, consuming turmeric in an excessive amount can lead to nausea, diarrhoea, heartburn, and indigestion.

Benefits of Turmeric for Skin During Pregnancy

Drinking turmeric milk in pregnancy or putting turmeric paste on the face is an ancient practice to clear our skin problems and brighten them. Let’s see how turmeric is beneficial for the skin during pregnancy:

  • Reduces Hyper-pigmentation: It is common knowledge in Indian households that turmeric is an anti-pigmentation ingredient. If you didn’t know, now you do. Turmeric prevents melanin production and brightens the skin.
  • Treats Stretch Marks: Turmeric is an ideal ingredient for treating stretch marks. You can make a paste of curd with a teaspoon of turmeric and apply it on the area having stretch marks. Leave it for around 15 minutes and wash it away.
  • Cures Pregnancy Acne: If pregnancy has given you acne, then look no further. Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties will cure acne.


1. Can You Drink Turmeric Tea While Pregnant?

If plain turmeric milk sounds bland, then you can make it better by turning it into turmeric tea. However, it is important to be careful of the dose of turmeric you are having during your pregnancy, as too much of it will only impact you.

Boil milk with cardamom, ginger, black pepper, or any other pregnancy-safe spice you like and add a pinch of turmeric to it for health purposes. When it is boiled properly, add sugar or honey as per your choice and drink warm. 

2. Does Turmeric Cause Weight Loss in Pregnancy?

A recent study in 2019 reported curcumin intake was associated with reduced body weight. However, it is important to consume turmeric in small quantities during pregnancy and after consulting your doctor about this purpose.

3. Can Turmeric Prevent Pregnancy?

Curcumin, the turmeric plant’s main ingredient, has the potential to reduce endometrial cell development and modify oestrogen sensitivity. Although this impact helps alleviate endometriosis, it might interfere with an embryo’s ability to implant. Its ability to kill cancer cells gives it a side effect that could disrupt early embryonic development. Turmeric may perhaps prevent pregnancy, although more research is needed.

4. Can You Drink Turmeric Milk for Treating Cold During Pregnancy?

Yes, absolutely; you can have haldi milk during pregnancy to get relief from the cold. As per Ayurvedic experts, you can boil milk with one teaspoon of turmeric to relieve cough with expectoration of mucous. Be mindful of the dose of turmeric you are having during pregnancy, and if you have doubts, do not hesitate to consult your doctor about this. 

Turmeric milk certainly has health benefits for pregnant women. However, as pregnancy is a state of easy vulnerability to infections and teratogenicity, it is suggested that pregnant ladies take utmost care and seek regular medical advice before consuming any foods (including herbs and spices), other store-bought goods, or medications.


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Also Read:

Consuming Cloves during Pregnancy
Eating Fennel Seeds (Saunf) while Pregnant
Spices You Can Consume and Avoid in Pregnancy

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