Saffron is a spice known to human for its exotic and expensive availability. It has a characteristic auburn color and a sweet taste. This rare spice is found in filaments of the flower of Crocus sativus plant.
It has numerous health related benefits because of its rich composition. It has a variety of nutrients like Vitamin A, folic acid, calcium, iron, zinc, riboflavin and thiamine. It also consists of oil soluble pigments like lycopne, alpha carotene, and beta carotene.
Consumption of Saffron in food and beverages like Tea improves digestion and relieves gas. It also is found to be effective against acidity. Its carminative properties help reduce flatulence and soothe abdominal cramps. What’s more: Saffron tea is super quick to make. Just boil water with a pinch of Saffron in it and add honey or any natural sweetener as per your liking.
Saffron has been found as an excellent sleep inducer, calming the nerves and mind, thereby treating insomnia. It is used extensively in form of Saffron milk in the Indian subcontinent for its mild sedative effects. This magical and totally natural recipe can be made by just soaking a strand or two of Saffron in warm milk for 4-5 minutes. You can add some raw honey to make it sweeter. This drink is most effective when taken right before bedtime.
Saffron inhibits the deposition of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain. A study published in 2006 demonstrated that Saffron effectively worked in the treatment of mild- moderate Alzheimer’s disease and because of its antioxidant and antiamyloidgenic properties. Saffron also has a therapeutic effect on people suffering from memory loss, poor concentration and slow learning.
Saffron has been found to treat anxiety. It exerted antidepressant effects in various clinical and non clinical studies, thus representing a safe course of treatment with negligible/ no side effects (unlike harsh medication). Infact, a study published in 2005 claims it to be as effective as Prozac, a drug used to relieve mild to moderate form of depression.
A study conducted in 2009 at the university of Sydney claims that Saffron has significant control over genes that regulate the function of vision cells present in the eye, also known as photoreceptors. Saffron prevents any damage to these photoreceptors and helps slow down and often reverse age related blinding, macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa.
According to a study conducted in 2008, published in the international Journal of obstetrics and gynaecology, female participants reported significant relief in symptoms of premenstrual syndrome(PMS) after consuming saffron. A daily intake of 30 mg of saffron extract is permissible only after due consultation from your physician. This can help soothe symptoms like bloating, cramps, mood swings, irritability, acne, breast tenderness and fatigue.
Saffron additionally improves the overall cardiac health. Studies have found that it lowers cholesterol levels and brings blood pressure down to normal limits, thus keeping arteries and blood vessels declogged and healthy. It also shows antiinflammatory properties. Adding Saffron to your daily diet could boost up your heart health. However, if you plan on taking a supplement for the same, make sure to consult a doctor first.
Respiratory diseases like asthma cause the aiways to narrow down and thus it becomes difficult for one to actually breathe properly. Saffron has anti inflammatory properties which reduce inflammation in the lungs thus opening up the airways. This reduces the severity of asthmatic attacks too. If you have been diagnosed with asthma, saffron tea might be just the right supplementary medicine for you.
Saffron consists of skin lightening agents that can help you get fairer even-toned skin that looks healthy and radiant. For preparing a face mask to get these results, soak a few saffron strands and 1 tsp sandalwood powder in 2 tsps of milk for about 20 mins. Add some honey if you want some extra softness and apply the mixture for 20-30 mins.
Antioxidants are known to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals that leads to premature ageing of skin. And Saffron has antioxidants in abundance! Saffron is also effective in treating blemishes, acne and age spots. For getting the best results, make a paste with a pinch of saffron and some raw papaya pulp, and apply on your face and neck just a few minutes before taking a shower. You can also use strands of saffron mixed in milk to massage your face to get rid of skin deformities.