Saffron is golden orange colored threadlike strands obtained from flower “Crocus Sativus”. It is used as spice to add flavor and color to cuisines. The threads or stigmas are collected and dried to be used as a final product. The flowers of saffron have a very good fragrance similar to that of honey.
Saffron is one of the costliest spices as they are hand-plucked from individual flowers and involves a lot of manual work. The history of saffron goes back to 3000 years. The word “Saffron” is derived from the Arab word “Zafaran.” It originated in the Middle East but is also famous in Greek, Indian and Spanish cuisines. The health benefits that come along with saffron are tremendous which have made it universally popular.
Saffron Health Benefits for Sleep Disorders
People with insomnia face difficulty in sleeping and staying asleep. Non-Medical therapies are more effective in treating insomnia. Little (approx. 2-3 strands) saffron strands mixed in milk should be consumes at night before sleeping for a good night’s sleep. It boosts the proper functioning of the brain. It also controls the non-rapid eye movement in the sleep.
Saffron Health Benefits for Eyes
Overcoming premature blindness, vision loss, improving macular thickness, preventing photoreceptor damage are some of the benefits of Saffron in improving eyesight. The fatty acid in the cell membrane is regulated by the saffron as it affects the genes and improves the vision.
Saffron Health Benefits for Sexual Health
Saffron is useful in women’s problems. Menstrual cramps and premenstrual symptoms (PMS) are relieved by saffron use. They are effective in treating erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and infertility.
Saffron Health Benefits for Hair
It’s said that saffron treats alopecia i.e. baldness of scalp. It combats hair loss as it is loaded with ample of antioxidants. Hair follicles are repaired and help in hair growth. Saffron is mixed in almond or olive oil and heated on a low temperature for few minutes and then kept for few days before applying. When applied on hair after few days, oil infused with saffron helps in protecting the hair from damage and thus ensures hair growth.
Saffron Health Benefits for Cancer
Crocin, a compound in saffron is said to stop the growth of colorectal cancer cells. It also helps in prostate cancer, hepatic cancer skin cancer pancreas cancer etc., It is rich in carotenoid that has anti-cancer properties. The compound also helps in stopping the growth of cancer stem cell and destroys, thus preventing cancer to return back. Crocetinic acid helps in preventing pancreatic cancer, which is present in the saffron.
Saffron Health Benefits for Heart Patients
Saffron helps in keeping cholesterol levels low. Arteries and blood vessels remain healthy which helps in maintaining cardiovascular health. Lycopene found in saffron is specially an additional protection.
Saffron Health Benefits for Arthritis Pain Relief
As we all know arthritis has become a common ailment in aged as well as in youngsters nowadays. Crocetin present in saffron helps people with arthritis in many ways. Being an excellent anti-inflammatory agent it helps in pain, swelling, warmth and stiffness etc. Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic, lupus are some of the types of arthritis. However pregnant women, elderly must consult doctor before consuming saffron as it is not good for those having bone marrow kidney and liver disorders.
Saffron Health Benefits for Skin
It is used as a cosmetic for ages as it adds to the beauty of the skin by providing radiant glowing skin. Being an excellent skin toner it helps promotes better circulation to the face. It eliminates blackheads and opens the clogged pores. It retained the originality of dried chapped skin as it has the quality of absorbing moisture and provides hydrated glowing skin.
Health Benefits of Saffron for Depression
Depression is one of the mental issues which has been increasing over the time due to stressful life and demanding career. The side effects of depression are treated by consumption of saffron as it consists of crocin and various other components that work as natural anti-depressant.
Saffron Health Benefits for Memory
Studies have shown that effects of saffron on cognition and memory are considerable. Crocin and safranal present in saffron helps in prevent protein aggregation. The extract of saffron helps in improving learning and brain development. Even age related memory loss is controlled by saffron. Parkinson’s disease is related to the inefficient working of the brain resulting in improper movement of the body. Saffron is said to be effective in controlling Parkinson’s disease too.
Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and aggravates over the time. Common Symptoms are memory loss and decline in cognition. Thinking, behavior and memory are slowly affected which goes on aggravating with time. Saffron is used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s in the beginning cases and turned out to be quite effective.
Saffron Health Benefits for Digestive Problems
Saffron improves the digestive system thus taking over digestive disorders. Flatulence, gas troubles, etc. are treated with the use of saffron. Saffron tea in the morning has shown positive effects in gas troubles however avoid drinking saffron milk in case of gas problems as it will add to your problem. Analgesic and Antispasmodic properties present in saffron relaxes the muscle and controls stomach pain. It is good for colic pain and also improves digestion.
Other Health Benefits of Saffron
It is believed that saffron and cardamom are given together to the kids to prevent them from cold and flu. It helps in loosening the phlegm and controls cough. Saffron improves circulation, purifies blood and thins too. Even in pregnancy saffron helps in muscle relaxation. However it is always better to consult a doctor before taking up natural homemade medicines.
Saffron is also said to help in weight loss regime as it curbs the hunger and cravings are reduced considerably. It has many benefits on the mind and body if taken in appropriate amount and by consulting a good doctor.