‘Chyawanprash‘, which is derived from two terms, ‘Chyawan‘ meaning sage and ‘Prash‘ meaning healthy food, is an Ayurvedic food supplement containing herbs, minerals, and herbal extracts. A variety of health problems have been treated with it for thousands of years. A Chyawanprash can be beneficial for boosting immunity and improving general health. With the advent of modern medicine, Chyawanprash has fallen out of favor for a long time. Nevertheless, it is on its way to finding a place in the health care system. Ayurveda acharyas were used to prepare it in ancient times. Nevertheless, Chyawanprash is being sold as a dietary supplement by many manufacturers these days. The question now is, how safe is Chyawanprash during pregnancy?
Nutritional Profile Of Chyawanprash
In order to formulate Chyawanprash, 50 medicinal herbs are processed, including Amla (Indian gooseberry), which boasts the highest concentration of vitamin C in the world1. Different formulations use different amounts and types of herbs. There are, however, 12 essential ingredients that are used in almost all formulations. The 12 ingredients include Ashwagandha, Amalaki, Terminalia Arjuna, Brahmi, Tulsi, Neem, Pippali, Safed Chandana, Elaichi, Kesar, Ghrita, and Shahad. Despite all these amazing herbs and spices, this formulation contains zero percent cholesterol, no trans-fat, and even calories derived from fat are surprisingly low.
Is Chyawanprash Safe During Pregnancy?
Chyawanprash has superb health benefits due to its high amounts of vitamin C. It holds the health benefits of honey, Amla, sesame oil, Ghee, sugar, and many other ingredients, thus making it a must have on the list of pregnancy superfoods. Not only does it supply necessary nutrients to a pregnant woman, but it also supplies nutrients to the growing fetus. Pregnant women may also like its sweet, sour, and spicy flavor. Before taking any supplements during pregnancy, it is imperative to consult a medical professional. Make sure you know the appropriate dosage as well.
Benefits Of Eating Chyawanprash During Pregnancy
It is well known that pregnancy comes with cravings. Oftentimes moms crave sweet food and sometimes sour food, but what if they want both? Well, one can satisfy both sweet and sour cravings with Chyawanprash. Nevertheless, that is not the only reason to consume it during pregnancy. It contains proteins and is loaded with vitamins like vitamin C, A, and E as well as minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. It is a good source of fiber. Thus, Chyawanprash provides multiple benefits to expecting mothers.
The following are some of the benefits of eating Chyawanprash during pregnancy:
1. Strengthens the immune system
Due to the high amount of vitamin C, it has a positive effect on strengthening the immune system by aiding in the production of hemoglobin and white blood cells. Chyawanprash has a detoxification property. It naturally boosts your immune system during pregnancy by eliminating toxins from your liver and blood and increasing the production of Ojas2.
Moreover, it is a powerful antioxidant that will guard the cells against all damage. The antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties of Chyawanprash make it highly effective in treating diseases such as fever, common colds, sore throats, and other respiratory illnesses during pregnancy3.
2. Promotes digestion
According to Ayurveda, digestion begins with taste, and Chyawanprash is composed of five of the six tastes (it is devoid of salt taste). A further benefit of Chyawanprash is that it kindles Agni without aggravating Pitta. As per Ayurveda, Agni is responsible for digestion. Chyawanprash also facilitates the healthy movement of gases through the digestive system. As a result, bloating, flatulence, and abdominal discomfort that is common during pregnancy can be reduced when taking this supplement. Since it is high in fiber, it aids digestion and prevents constipation during pregnancy.
The antacid property of the herbs in Chyawanprash prevents the formation of excessive acids in the stomach thereby reducing acidity. They also enhance nutrient absorption in the body. The gastrointestinal tract is both stimulated and gets toned by Chyawanprash, improving metabolism4.
3. Reduce the risk of anemia
Many ingredients like Ashwagandha in Chyawanprash are an excellent source of iron. Chyawanprash is well known and is found effective in countering iron deficiency5. Thus, intake of Chyawanprash during pregnancy will help in increasing the hemoglobin level in the blood. Furthermore, it initiates the production of blood, which is beneficial for the fetus.
Related Reading: 7 Safe And Natural Ways To Speed Up Labor
4. Improve respiratory health
During the fall and winter, pregnant women are more susceptible to lung infections, both bacterial and viral. This can result in dry coughs and colds. Chyawanprash is an excellent respiratory tonic. Pregnant women can reduce the risks of respiratory issues in winter by consuming Chyawanprash, which nourishes the mucous membranes and promotes a healthy respiratory tract.
Chyawanprash also strengthens the trachea-bronchial tree when taken regularly. Respiratory infections, allergic cough, asthma, rhinitis, bronchospasm, seasonally or non-seasonally-related respiratory disorders, and frequent colds during pregnancy are relieved by taking it6.
5. Help with fetal growth and development
The Chyawanprash contains all the necessary nutrients, which are beneficial for the healthy growth of the fetus. A major ingredient of Chyawanprash is Amla, a rich source of vitamin C. Vitamin C plays an important role in collagen synthesis and bone formation7. Thus, Chyawanprash during pregnancy helps with fetal bone development. Additionally, Chyawanprash contains protein, iron, and calcium. These nutrients aid in fetal growth and development.
6. Enhances pregnancy glow
During pregnancy, the skin can be very sensitive to the effects of hormonal changes. Dry skin, pigmentation, etc., are more common in pregnant women. In addition to being rich in phytonutrients, Chyawanprash is rich in vitamin C. Consuming Chyawanprash on a regular basis during pregnancy decreases the risk of dry skin and improves the complexion. It helps enhance the pregnancy glow by providing glowing, clear skin.
7. Promote overall health of the mother
By enhancing calcium absorption in the body, Chyawanprash strengthens bones and teeth. Low calcium intake during pregnancy can lead to dental problems. Furthermore, it increases the risk of osteoporosis down the road. Also, despite containing only a small amount of proteins, it promotes protein synthesis in the body. The benefit is increased muscle strength and flexibility. The consumption of Chyawanprash during pregnancy is therefore beneficial to the mother’s overall health.
Related Reading: Top 10 Calcium Rich Foods For Pregnancy
Chyawanprash Risks And Side Effects
- Chyawanprash, though extremely beneficial in treating a wide range of health conditions, should still be taken in the prescribed amount. When it crosses the limit, eating Chyawanprash can cause loose stools, indigestion, abdominal bloating, flatulence, and abdominal distension
- A number of companies add gold or silver to their Chyawanprash formulas to make them stand out; however, these metals are potentially toxic if ingested in large amounts. Always ensure your Chyawanprash contains the right ingredients!
- Chyawanprash can increase body heat. So, it is better not to eat Chyawanprash during the first trimester of pregnancy
Chyawanprash Quality: What Can I Do To Ensure It?
Pregnant women need to consume Chyawanprash that is of good quality and pure. Testing the product is the easiest way to determine this. Consistency is vital. Chyawanprash should have the consistency of jam. Chyawanprash that is too solid or too liquid is not of high quality.
To test it first, simply smell it. Typically, high-quality Chyawanprash smells of cinnamon, cardamom, and long pepper. Next taste it. Chyawanprash of good quality will have a spicy and sore taste. It will also taste sweet, but its sourness will prevail. You can then conduct a water test. Put a small piece of Chyawanprash in water. Good quality Chyawanprash sinks instead of spreading.
Is Chyawanprash Safe For All Pregnant Women?
Although Chyawanprash has numerous benefits during pregnancy, it should be avoided if the mother is suffering from certain medical conditions.
- If you have uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, you should avoid Chyawanprash because it contains a lot of sugar
- In the event of diarrhea, do not take it
- If you have digestive or abdominal problems, you should not take Chyawanprash
- Although Chyawanprash is effective at preventing constipation, it should never be taken while experiencing chronic constipation
- Don’t take it if you suffer from digestive issues such as slow digestion, diarrhea, or abdominal gas
When Is The Right Time To Eat Chyawanprash During Pregnancy?
The timing of consumption depends on the ingredients of Chyawanprash. Chyawanprash is recommended to be consumed during the cold and rainy seasons, as most herbs present are known to induce heat in the body; thus, it should not be consumed during the scorching summer months. Under the supervision of an ayurvedic doctor, one can begin Chyawanprash in the second trimester of pregnancy. To reap maximum benefits, Chyawanprash should be taken before breakfast. Minerals and herbs are better absorbed by the body when Chyawanprash is consumed on an empty stomach. However, follow the advice of a medical professional when deciding when to consume Chyawanprash during pregnancy. This is because your body is particularly vulnerable during pregnancy.
Related Reading: The Top 10 Precautions To Take In The Second Trimester Of Pregnancy
Taking Chyawanprash During Pregnancy- Dosage, And Ways
Chyawanprash dosage varies from person to person depending on several factors. For instance, digestive strength is an important factor to consider. It is strongly suggested to consult an ayurvedic doctor or practitioner since he or she would evaluate the pregnant woman’s medical conditions and prescribe an appropriate dosage.
Usually, it is consumed on an empty stomach in the morning followed by a glass of warm milk. For vegan people, it can also be taken with warm almond milk.
When pregnant, it is best to consume pure Chyawanprash. Bhasma, minerals, or ingredients such as Makardhwaj should not be present in it.
When purchasing a supplement, you should always examine the ingredients and opt for the normal Chyawanprash over any of the special mixes that are now available.
Pregnant women can take pure Chyawanprash from the second trimester. Generally, you should avoid it during the first trimester, but if you must include it in your diet, check with your doctor first.