There are many saffron benefits associated with this wonderful ancient flower. Saffron is uncanny in its classification as a spice since saffron’s nature rather resembles that of an herb. Unlike other spices, it is neither gleaned from seeds, barks, roots, or any other hard or seemingly impregnable plant matter. Rather it is comprised of the dried stigmas of the saffron crocus (Crocus sativus). Typically characterized by their deep crimson appearance, the stigmas of the ivory-white and purple crocus flower are harvested by hand during blossoming.
Saffron, the exotic golden spice, can do more than just add color and flavor to your dishes.
Moreover, it has been valued in traditional Asian medicine for its incredible health benefits. Modern science has also begun to recognize the power of saffron’s bioactive compounds such as crocin, crocetin, picrocrocin, and safranal.
More Saffron Benefits
Saffron can treat gastric disorders, lower depression, improve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, reduce insulin resistance, and protect the heart.
Saffron belongs to the iris family, and has had a plethora of saffron benefits throughout millennia. As far back as the writings of Galen and Hippocrates, saffron was mentioned as a medical treatment for coughs, colds, stomach ailments, insomnia, uterine bleeding, scarlet fever, heart trouble, and flatulence.
Naturally, one of saffron’s first uses may have been for dyeing textiles, since a single grain can color 10 gallons of water with a distinctive yellow hue. More than a grain is used, however, to color the bright orange robes worn by Buddhist priests in India. Three wispy saffron “threads” can be gleaned from each delicate crocus, which, ironically, is lavender-purple in color.
As a spice, saffron is known for what it does to energize dishes with a pungent, earthy essence.
Why so expensive, you may ask? Because the cultivation and harvest is still performed as it was since ancient times: by hand. Elderly village women are usually set on this task of removing the saffron “threads.” It takes 4,500 crocus flowers to make up one ounce of saffron spice.
Top 10 Saffron Benefits
Aside from the pungent spicy flavor it adds to dishes, there are many saffron benefits. Below is a list of some of the ways the chemical compounds found in saffron can produce medicinal saffron benefits.
The NYU Langone Medical Centre explains that saffron is good for treating depression. Its beneficial when long-term treatments are required to cure depression as it does not have known any side effects.
Saffron has anti-cancerous properties which make it useful for preventing cancer. Saffron contains crocin and safranal that inhibit the growth of tumors.
Helps with PMS
A study conducted in 2008 found that 76% of women who consumed saffron experienced 50% drop in PMS symptoms such as fatigue and mood swings. Saffron milk also helps relieve menstrual cramps.
Saffron is used as a toothache remedy for teething babies. You can make a natural lotion by mixing honey with saffron. You can massage the gums with a ring coated with this antiseptic lotion. It also helps reduce soreness and inflammation in the mouth..
Prevents Vision Lost
According to a study by Professor Silvia Bisti at ARC Centre of Excellence in Vision Science and University of L’Aquila in Italy, it was found that saffron can slow down vision loss associated with aging. It alters the genes responsible for fatty acid content of vision cell membranes.
Saffron is a mild sedative which helps treat insomnia. If you have insomnia you can try milk with a pinch of saffron in it before going to bed. This will help with insomnia and other sleep disorders.It regulates sleep hormones which leads to sound sleep.
Due to the compound crocin in saffron, its also useful for reducing fever. Have saffron milk if you’re suffering from fever and it will help lower your fever.
Saffron contributes to reducing the inflammation of arthritis and is beneficial for joint pain. Its also useful for easing fatigue and muscle inflammation in athletes, it helps the tissues to get rid of lactic acid which builds after exercise.
Saffron is useful for skin health. Saffron helps show radiant skin when used as a face pack. It also helps your skin look fairer and is beneficial for treating acne.
This is a common benefit that I am sure each one of you is aware of. We have used saffron as an ingredient in different kinds of face packs to get clear and beautiful skin. For those of you who don’t know how to use it, here is quick recipe.
Add some saffron strands to milk and apply it all over your face. Wash it off with cold water after 10-15 minutes.
In addition, you can check out some other uses of saffron articles here.
You can also check out some of the saffron that we sell right here at Mom’s Saffron.