Saffron, also known as the “Sun Spice,” a fascinating plant known for its herbal properties. For ages, Saffron has been used by many cultures and recently it has become famous for its many therapeutic benefits and many recent scientific research studies confirm the abundance of health-promoting ingredients within this amazing spice. Historical evidence suggests that saffron was first used for medicinal purposes in Greece. It was popular among people for its many benefits such as emotional enhancement, memory enhancement, and other vigor improving properties. Today, Saffron cultivation is done in many parts of the World, including Kashmir which produces one of the best saffron in the world.
According to several advanced chemical studies on Saffron, it has been shown that the therapeutic benefits of the saffron increase in the presence of various fragrant and stable chemicals such as picrocrocin, safranal, crocetin, etc. Saffron is also rich in many macro-micro nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, copper, iron, zinc, and manganese, and is rich in vitamins such as vitamin A, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin C. All these powerful components make saffron one of the most expensive and sacred spices in the world.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF SAFFRON
1-Improves Immune system
Saffron contains complex compounds such as crocin, crocetin, safranal, and kaempferol, which are proven antioxidants, as they protect the cell from oxidative damage. Over the past decade, studies have shown that increased inflammation and weakened immune systems play a key role together in the pathophysiology of various conditions such as cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, asthma, and allergies
The anti-inflammatory effect of saffron is found to be related to its potent antioxidant and radical-scavenging properties. In other words, with the help of saffron, there are a few molecules around that that cause inflammation and many molecules around those that reduce inflammation. Therefore, saffron’s protective properties may be effective in preventing and treating inflammation.
2- Anti-Cancer Properties
Crocin is a water-soluble compound found in saffron that has been found to cause apoptosis (programmed cell death) in many types of human cancer cells. Both animal models and studies of enlarged cells have provided abundant evidence of anti-tumor, carcinogenic properties of saffron and its components, showing the effects of saffron protection against viruses such as leukemia, ovarian carcinoma, colon adenocarcinoma, lung cancer, and others.
3- Mood Enhancement properties
In several placebo-controlled trials, saffron has been found to have significant therapeutic effects in reducing stress, with similar efficacy compared with current anti-depressant medications. It is suggested that this is due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective benefits.
In some studies, it was found that taking 30-50 mg of saffron daily was as effective as taking standard medications, which are the most common forms of depression treatment. These neurotransmitters come with a long list of potential side effects, including weight gain, memory loss, insomnia, anxiety, suicide, and depression, and saffron is extremely safe to use, non-toxic to both clinical and experimental studies.
- Reduce Premenstrual Symptoms
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a very common health problem found in about half of all women who give birth Symptoms may include headache, increased pain, anxiety, irritability, and insomnia.
One study showed that 14 mg of saffron given twice daily for 28 days improved sleep quality in patients with autoimmune insomnia, most of which occurred during the first week of saffron supplement. It has also been found that saffron scents reduce stress hormones in women, giving another reason for using saffron to treat PMS. Finally, parts of the saffron plant have significant nociceptive anti-inflammatory properties.