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    Sabja Seeds During Pregnancy: Benefits & Side Effects

    Diet & Nutrition

    Sabja Seeds During Pregnancy: Benefits & Side Effects

    Updated on 9 November 2023

    The difficulty of being pregnant becomes all the more prominent when deciding what to eat and what not to eat. The abundance of well-intentioned advice and age-old traditions can make taking a balanced diet all the more confusing. However, some research goes a long way in determining what is best for mamas-to-be. In this article, we will put under microscopic scrutiny one such accompaniments of culinary items in India, basil seeds or sabja seeds, and examine how safe are sabja seeds during pregnancy.

    What are Basil/Sabja Seeds?

    Basil seeds, alternatively known as sabja seeds or tukmaria seeds, have been an integral part of Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines. They are indigenous to the tropical regions of Africa and Asia. Basil seeds closely resemble sesame seeds in appearance, but the former is black. Sabja seeds are usually extracted from sweet basil, which is the plant most commonly used to season foods. Basil seeds cannot be eaten raw, as they are very hard to chew. Instead, they must be soaked in water for at least 15 minutes, after which the seeds produce a gelatinous mass.

    Nutritional Value of Sabja Seeds

    Before deciding whether sabja seeds are safe or not during pregnnacy, it's important to understand their nutritional value. Mentioned below is the nutritional value for every 100 grams of sabja seeds:




    2.65 grams

    Dietary Fibre

    3.9 grams


    177 mg


    462 mg


    3.17 mg

    Total Fat

    0.64 grams


    4 mg


    0.3 grams


    68 ug

    Vitamin B6

    0.155 mg


    0.076 mg


    92.1 grams

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    Is it Safe to Consume Basil Seeds in Pregnancy?

    Although basil seeds are packed with important nutrients, their consumption is not usually recommended during pregnancy. The consensus among the medical community is that basil seeds can decrease the body's estrogen levels, which is a pivotal hormone during pregnancy. The role of estrogen is to assist in the formation of vessels in the fetus and transfer nutrients to the baby. Thus, decreased estrogen levels can hamper the baby's growth and development.

    Furthermore, taking sabja seeds before a C-section delivery may cause excessive blood loss because basil seeds or supplements are known to thin the blood and slow the blood clotting process. Few animal studies show that holy basil supplements may negatively affect sperm and trigger contractions in pregnancy. Thus, it is best to avoid excessive consumption of basil seeds if you are trying to get pregnant or are pregnant.

    Benefits of Sabja Seeds During Pregnancy

    Doctors recommend taking basil seeds in trace quantities, not more than two teaspoons occasionally. Some of the potential sabja seeds during pregnancy benefits include the following:

    1. Blood Sugar Control

    Sabja seeds or basil seeds can be a saviour for pregnant women with type 2 diabetes. Consuming basil seeds before meals can prevent the spike in blood sugar levels.

    2. Curb Constipation

    Needless to say, constipation is a common problem during pregnancy; however, basil seeds can act as a natural remedy. Sabja seeds are high in dietary fibre, which may relieve constipation. Furthermore, some studies show that consuming basil seeds, which are rich in fibre, can also contribute to healthy gut microbiota.

    3. Relief from Acidity

    Another problem that plagues pregnant women is acidity and heartburn. Sabja seeds are renowned for their cooling effect and may provide instant soothing benefits to the stomach's lining and reduce burning sensations.

    4. Instant Coolant

    Since time immemorial, sabja seeds have been used in Ayurvedic and other alternative medicine to pacify the stomach and body heat. Thus, occasionally drinking a basil seed smoothie or falooda can provide relief from the scorching heat if you are pregnant during summer.

    You may also like: Fennel Seeds During Pregnancy: Benefits, Risks & Nutritional Value

    Side Effects of Sabja Seeds During Pregnancy

    Despite their manifold health benefits, basil seeds and related supplements may adversely affect pregnant women. Some of its side effects for mamas-to-be are:

    • Basil seeds may cause uterine contractions and thus are not recommended during the first trimester of pregnancy as they may cause miscarriage.
    • As basil seeds are high in fibre, excessive consumption may cause diarrhoea or abdominal cramps.
    • Basil seeds may slow down blood clotting and promote blood thinning. Thus, you must stop their consumption two weeks before your planned Cesarean delivery.
    • Lastly, sabja seeds may tamper with the estrogen levels of pregnant women, potentially harming the fetus development.

    Thus, the key is in moderation when it comes to taking basil seeds in pregnancy. But, it is always optimal to consult your OBGYN regarding the do's and don't's of taking basil seeds.

    You may also like: Flaxseed in Pregnancy: Is It Safe To Consume During Pregnancy

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. Does eating basil seed affect the fetus?

    Ans. Consuming basil seeds or sabja seeds during pregnancy may reduce estrogen levels. Estrogen is an integral hormone that helps form blood vessels in the fetus and transfers nutrients from mother to child. Reduction in estrogen can detrimentally affect the unborn child.

    2. In terms of pregnancy, are sabja seeds hot or cold?

    Ans. In terms of pregnancy, sabja seeds are cold and can provide relief from body heat and heartburn during pregnancy.

    3. Are basil seeds beneficial during menstruation?

    Ans. Basil seeds may improve the regularity of menstruation while reducing cramps.

    4. Does sabja seeds cause infertility?

    Ans. While sabja seeds/basil seeds are highly beneficial, overconsumption of sabja seeds may lead to infertility in men. They should not be consumed more than the recommended limits.

    Closing Thoughts

    In conclusion, sabja seeds during pregnancy can offer a wide range of benefits for pregnant women. From reducing blood sugar levels to improving digestion and reducing stress and anxiety, these seeds can be a great addition to a healthy pregnancy diet. However, it is important to consume them in moderation and under the guidance of a healthcare professional to avoid any potential side effects. Overall, consuming basil seeds in pregnancy can ensure the well-being of both the mother and baby as long as consumed in moderation.


    1. Calderón Bravo H, Vera Céspedes N, Zura-Bravo L, Muñoz LA. (2021). Basil Seeds as a Novel Food, Source of Nutrients and Functional Ingredients with Beneficial Properties: A Review. Foods.


    Sabja Seeds During Pregnancy in Hindi, Sabja Seeds During Pregnancy in Tamil, Sabja Seeds During Pregnancy in Telugu, Sabja Seeds During Pregnancy in Bengali

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    Written by

    sakshi prasad

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