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 MSc. of Midwifery, Student Research Committee, School of Nursing and Midwifery, 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 Professor, Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Isfahan Medical University, Isfahan, Iran.

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

5 Board of Specialized Gynecology and Obstetrics, Academic Officer of Maternity Ward, Zahraye Marzieh Hospital, 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.

Abstract

Background: Saffron is a perennial plant native to Iran which has been traditionally prescribed to facilitate labor. We aimed to investigate the effect of Crocus sativus (Saffron) on cervical ripening and progress of labor in a sample of primiparous term Iranian women.
Materials and Methods: This randomized double-blinded study, was conducted on 60 primiparous women whose gestational age was 40 weeks or longer and who had referred to Hazrat Zahra Marzieh hospital in Isfahan, Iran. Inclusion criteria were: singleton pregnancy, cephalic presentation of the fetus, lack of uterine contractions, intact amniotic sac and having a low-risk pregnancy. 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.
Results: The mean Bishop score before inclusion in the study did not show significant difference between two groups (P>0.05). However, on third day of study, this score in saffron group was higher than the placebo (Saffron: 3.93±1.10 vs. placebo: 2.52±1.57) (P=0.001). Further, the mean Bishop score in saffron group was higher on third day of study compared to before their inclusion in the study (before: 2.42±1.19 vs after: 3.93±1.10) (P=0.001). But the placebo group did not show a significant difference before and after inclusion in the study (P=0.16). The average length of first and second stages of labor in saffron group was shorter than in the placebo (P>0.05).
Conclusion: It seemsconsumption of oral saffron capsules, affects cervical softening and ripening, and progress of labor.

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