Curious about the health benefits of saffron? We’ve got it all covered! Find out how saffron can help fight cancer, enhance eyesight, and cure insomnia in this ultimate health guide.
Wondering how saffron can benefit your overall health? Well, this article is for you! Apparently, saffron is chock full of unique compounds that offer wonderful health perks. From improving digestion to healing wounds to fighting cancer growth, saffron proves to be a worthy kitchen investment.
Find out everything nice about this wonder spice, and discover how consuming saffron can help treat arthritis, cure insomnia, and boost brainpower among its generous wellness benefits.
We’ve also included tips on how to add saffron to your diet!
Saffron is a spice obtained from the flower Crocus sativus, otherwise called the “saffron crocus”. Its threads are gathered and dried for culinary purposes, mainly for food seasoning and coloring. It is thought to have originated in or near Greece. And from there, it spread throughout Eurasia, and parts of North America, North Africa, and Oceania.
Saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world.
Saffron: Interesting Facts
What are the Health Benefits of Saffron?
Saffron’s medicinal and healing properties provide several health perks. Some of the most prized ones include its ability to prevent cancer, treat arthritis, insomnia, and even depression. Read on as we take a closer look at these impressive saffron health benefits.
One of the most prized benefits of saffron is its ability to reduce the risk of cancer. Several studies revealed that saffron has cancer preventive properties that help fight the development of the chronic disease. One research particularly found that cancerous rats experienced an improvement in their condition after being treated with saffron aqueous extract.
The anti-cancer effects of saffron were attributed to its natural carotenoids, crocin and crocetin. Crocin, in particular, was found to inhibit the growth of colorectal cancer cells without affecting normal cells. Researchers, thus, suggest the use of crocin as an agent for fighting cancer.
Studies also discovered saffron’s potential in treating atherosclerosis and arthritis. Its unique compound, crocetin, was found to enhance cerebral oxygenation, assisting in the treatment of the joint disease. The research also found that crocetin inhibits skin tumor growth, fights oxidative stress, and protects the bladder against toxicity.
The natural compounds contained in saffron were also found to prevent vision loss and retinal degeneration. A research discovered that one of the unique compounds of saffron called safranal, works to preserve photoreceptor morphology, visual response, and the capillary network.
Another study found that saffron supplementation had positive outcomes for patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The research suggests that the daily intake of 30 mg of saffron for six months may significantly improve the retinal function in AMD sufferers.
Saffron was also used to treat sleep problems like insomnia and other diseases of the nervous system. Another research examined the sleep-promoting activities of both crocin and crocetin contained in saffron. The study found that both carotenoids increased non-rapid eye movement in laboratory mice, and did not have negative effects like rebound insomnia after the mice was sleep-induced.
Another research discovered that saffron supplementation helped improve depression symptoms in adults with major depressive disorder (MDD). However, follow-ups are needed to be conducted before a solid conclusion is made on the safety and effectiveness of saffron for treating depression.
Several studies also showed that the antioxidants contained in saffron help to boost brain function and prevent cognitive decline. Animal studies revealed that the antioxidant reinforcement enhanced the learning and memory of saffron-treated laboratory rats. A separate research also showed that saffron’s crocin component helped weaken symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, and even schizophrenia in animal models.
Thanks to its rich antioxidant properties, saffron benefits the heart as well. It helps to keep the blood vessels and arteries thriving. Research found that saffron helps to promote a healthy heart and reduce the risk of cardiac problems by strengthening the blood circulatory system. The heart health-promoting effects of saffron are attributed to its rich amounts of thiamin and riboflavin.