Topical and Dietary Turmeric for Pregnancy Ailments

If you're pregnant you should always consult with your own personal doctor or health practitioner first before taking supplements or making any dietary changes

Medical experts do not recommend taking medicinal doses of turmeric while pregnant(x.79)

However, dietary and topical turmeric may be beneficial both pre- and postpartum. For example:

  • Topically, turmeric can alleviate some discomfort related to pregnancy. (x.80)
  • Traditional herbalists use topical turmeric to help prevent stretch marks. (x.81)

Recent lab studies also suggest turmeric contains compounds with properties that may help prevent preterm labor and reduce risk factors for pre-eclampsia. (x.466282)

Of course, if you're pregnant you should always consult with your own personal doctor or health practitioner first before taking supplements or making any dietary changes.

Topical Turmeric for Common Pregnancy Discomforts

Ayurveda medical practitioners, herbalists, and recommend the following:

Table X.13: Herbal Remedies for Pregnancy Care
Complaint How to Prepare and Use

Swollen Feet and Ankles

Mix equal parts of turmeric and red sandalwood powders with water to make a paste and apply to swollen area. Be sure to avoid getting paste into the eye because it can cause irritation. (x.80)

Perineum Tears

In Malaysia, women apply a mixture of coconut oil, manjakani, nutmeg, and turmeric topically to the area to help heal tears in the perineum after childbirth. Manjakani extract can be purchased online(x.81)

Hemorrhoids

Apply a paste of mustard oil, juice from an onion, and turmeric. (x.83)

Stretch Marks

In Malaysia, women use homemade herbal ointments after childbirth to help restore the uterus to pre-pregnancy size and reduce stretch marks. The most effective of these contain a mix of turmeric, tamarind juice, nutmeg, galangal root, ginger (red and white), betel leaf, and black cumin seeds. (x.81)

According to celebrity makeup artist Shalini Vadhera, women from India apply a turmeric paste on the stomach during pregnancy to help prevent stretch marks. You can try making your own at home. Simply mix a tablespoon of turmeric with a cup of plain yogurt, apply to the stomach, and rinse after 10-15 minutes. (x.84)

Preventing Preterm Delivery

Could anti-inflammatory turmeric compounds help prevent preterm childbirth? According to recent lab studies, it's possible. (x.82)

Obstetricians believe that a large number of preterm births are caused by infections. Bacteria from the infection cause inflammation, which triggers uterine contractions: (x.82)

Figure X.2: Bacterial Infection & Infection Causes Preterm Childbirth

Figure X.2: Bacterial Infection & Infection Causes Preterm Childbirth

Lab studies show that turmeric's curcumin compounds block activation of NF-κB transcription factor proteins in the placenta and fetal membranes. In turn this reduces the cytokine proteins and MMP enzymes that cause labor-inducing inflammation. (x.82)

Turmeric also contains compounds that chelate iron (e.g., curcumin and quercetin). Excess iron is thought to contribute to pre-eclampsia, a risk factor for preterm delivery. (x.4662)

Also known as oak galls. (x.81)
Santalum album(ii.15)
The innermost seed from the fruit of the evergreen tree Myristica fragrans(ii.15)
The innermost seed from the fruit of the evergreen tree Myristica fragrans(ii.15)
Zingiber officinale(ii.15)
Alpinia galangal(ii.15)
Tamarindus indica(ii.15)
Areca catechu(ii.15)
Nigella sativa(ii.15)
First responders that trigger gene activity. (iii.2)
Small proteins produced as part of the immune system response to illness or injury. (iii.5-632-36)

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