Effect of Crocus sativus (Saffron) on cervical ripening and progress of labor in primiparous term women: A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial

Authors

1 M.Sc. of Midwifery, Student Research Committee, School of Nursing and Midwifery, The International Branch of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Ph.D. student of Reproductive Health, Student Research Committee, Department of Midwifery and Reproductive Health, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Assistant Professor of Biostatistics, Department of Biostatistics, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

4 Assistant professor of biostatistics Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

5 Board of specialized gynecology and obstetrics, Academic Officer of Maternity ward, Hospital of Zahraye Marzieh, Isfahan, Iran.

6 Pharm.D., Ph.D. Associate professor, School of traditional Medicine, Traditional Medicine & Materia Medica Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

7 Ph.D. of Reproductive Health, Associated Professor, Midwifery and Reproductive Health Research Center, Department of Midwifery and Reproductive Health, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

10.22038/ijp.2020.50061.3992

Abstract

Background: Saffron is a perennial plant native to Iran which has been traditionally prescribed to facilitate labor. This study aimed to investigate the effect of Crocus sativus on cervical ripening and progress of labor in a sample of primiparous Iranian women.
Methods: This randomized double-blinded study, was conducted on 60 primiparous women whose gestational age was 40weeks or longer and had referred to Hazrat Zahra Marzieh hospital in Isfahan, Iran. Inclusion criteria were as follows: singleton pregnancy, cephalic presentation of the fetus, lack of uterine contractions, intact amniotic sac and having a low-risk pregnancy. Exclusion criteria were abnormal fetal heart rateand lack of fetal movement. The intervention(N=30) and control groups(N=30) respectively received one saffron capsule (250 mg, the content of total flavonoid in each saffron capsule was calculated 0.13-0.18 mg)) and one placebo capsule for 3 consecutive nights. Bishop scores of the samples were recorded before and after the intervention.Data were analyzed by independent and paired t-test, Chi-square, Mann-Whitney, Fisher’s exact test.
Results: The mean Bishop scores between the two groups were not significantly different before the intervention(P=0.33). However, after the intervention, this score in the saffron group was significantly higher than the placebo group (Saffron: 3.93±1.10 vs. placebo:2.52±1.57) (P=0.001). The average duration of the first and the second stages of labor in the saffron group was shorter than in the placebo group (P=0.03 & P=0.02, respectively).
Conclusion: It seemsconsumption of oral saffron capsules, affects cervical softening and ripening, and progress of labor.

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