Benefits of Saffron

Ancient cultures around the world have cherished saffron for centuries and have cultivated it for a variety of reasons, including use as a culinary spice, digestive aid, and mood-boosting aphrodisiac.

Derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, saffron is produced just as it has been since ancient times…by hand.

Derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, saffron is produced just as it has been since ancient times…by hand. The stigmas (the inside part of the flower which catches pollen) must be painstakingly handpicked and dried as machines are not delicate enough. Additionally, it takes 4,500 Crocus sativus flowers to produce just one ounce of saffron spice. This has earned saffron the position and title as the most expensive spice in the world – for good reason!

In addition to being a delicious and valuable ingredient, vibrantly-hued saffron has several surprising health benefits.

Consider the following ways:

Multiple research studies suggest that saffron may support healthy levels of serotonin in the brain, a neurotransmitter that contributes to feelings of happiness and well-being. Saffron is high in carotenoids and B vitamins that help increase the levels of serotonin and other chemicals in the brain that are associated with depression.

In fact, a meta-analysis of five studies found saffron extract to be as effective as antidepressant medication in treating people with major depression. Another study found saffron to be as effective as fluoxetine (Prozac) in reducing mild to moderate depression.

This colourful and delicious spice has many components, many of which are important antioxidants, such as a-crocin, Zeaxanthin, lycopene, a- and ß-carotenes, that help protect the human body from infections, oxidant-induced stress, cancers, and which act as immune modulators.

Furthermore, research has demonstrated that saffron can also help aid in a person’s fight with cancer. Saffron is thought to help fight cancer by triggering apoptosis (programmed cell death) in a number of different types of human cancer cells.

Saffron also has a beneficial impact on learning, concentration, memory, and age related mental impairment. A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics found that saffron improved cognitive function in study participants with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.

As the number of individuals with obesity continues to rise, many individuals are searching for alternative strategies to help them lose the extra weight. One placebo-controlled study explored the efficacy of saffron and crocin on appetite, dietary intake and body composition [in individuals with coronary artery disease]. They found that the group taking saffron extract had a significant reduction in appetite, as well as body mass index, waist circumference and fat mass. In another study, oral supplementation of the saffron extract, was significantly associated with weight reduction and reduced snacking frequency.

The proposed explanation of these outcomes is related to the mood-boosting effects of saffron, which may enhance satiety, contributing to reduced snacking and increased weight loss. As we understand more about the systemic metabolic effects of obesity, and the association between obesity and numerous chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, cancer and even Alzheimer’s disease, this anti-obesity feature of saffron is very promising. Saffron not only does not come with many adverse side effects, but rather it comes with numerous side benefits unlike many commonly used over the counter weight loss pills.

In a double blind placebo controlled randomized trial, short term outcomes of saffron supplementation in about sixty patients with Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) were randomly assigned to take 30mg/d or placebo supplementation for six months. Optical coherence tomography (OCT), electroretinography (ERG), fluorescein angiography, and visual acuity testing were performed at baseline and 3 and 6 months after treatment. It was concluded that daily supplementation with 30 mg of saffron for 6 months may result in a mid-term, significant improvement in retinal function in patients with AMD.

In a longitudinal follow-up study of saffron supplementation Italian scientists monitored the sustainability of the central retinal function following consistent Saffron supplementation. Age-related Macular Degeneration is a common loss of central vision and impairment that starts in some during the early ages with mild loss of vision and as it approaches its late stages in life, it sometimes is experienced as severe low vision and major visual impairments in elderly people of the developed world. It is clinically proven that consistent saffron supplementation is a short and long term answer to improving vision and reversal of macular degeneration in AMD patients.

An aphrodisiac is a food, drink or other substance that when consumed can stimulate both males and females. Saffron has been known for its libido-boosting properties for many years, but recently studies have found that these aphrodisiac effects may be especially helpful in individuals taking antidepressants. Common side effects of many antidepressants are erectile dysfunction, decreased libido, and dryness in women. Men given 30 mg of saffron per day for one month experienced greater improvement in erectile function and greater sexual satisfaction than men taking placebo. Women who took a saffron supplement were found to have less sex-related pain, increased libido and improved lubrication.

One meta-analysis of several studies that explored saffron and sexual function discovered that consuming this spice had a positive impact on orgasmic function, satisfaction and desire.

In conclusion, saffron supplementation is a safe and effective method to treat erectile dysfunction and improve overall sexual experience in men and women.

Pregnancy Precaution

Saffron has rarely been reported to have any toxic or adverse side effects and is considered to be safe for daily consumption. It is also important to note that saffron can stimulate uterine contractions, so it is not suggested for medical dose usage in pregnant women and nursing mothers any more than the small amount used in food.

It is also critical that one consumes high-quality saffron that comes from a reputable source, as it can widely vary in quality and price which is why we are proud to provide the highest quality of saffron

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