Since ancient times physicians and chemists have been impressed by the quality and properties of saffron and their beliefs have been confirmed by modern science.
Saffron is used in various medicines and has traditionally been believed to give one a clear complexion, a sense of well-being and exhilaration, and to increase potency.
Scientific studies have confirmed many properties of this amazing medicinal herb, including its anti-carcinogenic effect, anti-depression, booster of intelligence, and its effect on the body’s resistance to diseases.
Research has indicated that Crocin, Safranal and Picrocrocin from saffron may be involved in ant-cancer activity by inhibiting the growth of human cancer cells in vitro.
Saffron & Heart
In traditional Chinese system, saffron has been used to improve blood circulation and cure bruises. Saffron contains Crocetin, a carotenoid that contributes the most health benefits of saffron. Crocetin has been shown to enhance the oxygen diffusivity through plasma and other liquids, increase alveolar oxygen transport and enhance pulmonary oxygenation. They also lower blood cholesterol and triglycerides in the body and help in the treatment of atherosclerosis and arthritis. In a study of hyperlipemia rats, crocin decreased cholesterol, triglyceride and low density lipoprotein levels, and increased the content of high density lipoprotein.
Historically, saffron tea has been used to treat depression. ingesting large amounts of the tea and spice has been reported to cause feelings of happiness and joy. According to eMedTV, one study suggested that ingesting saffron tea has as much anti-depressant benefits as taking certain over-the-counter medication.
Antioxidant Action and Eye Care
Safranal, a constituent of saffron, exhibits high antioxidant and free radical scavenging activity. Studies show that saffron improves vision and is an effectual weapon to prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is the commonest cause of blindness in the elderly. They are also reported to be good memory enhancers.
Saffron other benefits
In ancient cultures, saffron was used to relieve stomach aches and kidney stones. They regulate the production of stomach acids and promote contractions of the uterine muscles. Saffron is also used to massage the gums in order to reduce inflammation and tenderness. Saffron oil can be used to treat insect bites and stings, heal throat irritation due to cough. It takes more than 4,500 flowers to yield a single ounce of the spice.
Saffron must be used in moderation, as high doses are known to be toxic.