Persian saffron is a spice revered since ancient times. Harvested from the Crocus sativus flower, it got its name from the thread-like stigmas. Today, it’s one of the most expensive spices in the world, with a pound (or 450 grams) costing around $500 to $5,000.
One of the reasons why many people love saffron is because it offers numerous medicinal properties for your skin and overall health. Modern scientific research has also supported much of these claims. In case you’re still on the fence about it, below are ten potential benefits of Persian saffron.
(DISCLAIMER: Saffron only serves as a supplement, and it should not be used as a substitute for actual legitimate medicines or skin care products.)
5 Benefits of Saffron for Your Overall Health
Improved Heart Health.
Saffron contains thiamin (Vitamin B1) and riboflavin (Vitamin B2). Both of these B vitamins can help improve your blood circulation, helping your system produce red and white blood cells. Aside from reducing your chances of experiencing heart diseases, it will also indirectly help you maintain your other vital organs by keeping it properly oxygenated.
Additionally, saffron has certain antioxidants which can help maintain the integrity of your arteries and other blood vessels. And as if that’s not enough, the spice contains crocetin, which can aid in regulating your blood cholesterol levels.
Enhanced Immune System
Thanks to its B vitamins, saffron can also help improve your immune system. The riboflavin can help bolster your immune system against infections, while simultaneously increasing your antibody reserves.
Meanwhile, the thiamin found in saffron not only strengthens your immune system, but also your other vital organs (notably, your heart, stomach, and thyroid). It can reduce the harmful effects of tobacco and alcohol as well. Thiamine also has analgesic properties that can come in handy if you’re experiencing any minor physical pain.
Moreover, saffron is rich in carotenoids, which help boost your immunity even further, as well as maintain your immune system’s many functions.
Better Brain Health
There are two main reasons why saffron is often dubbed the “sunshine spice.” First is its distinct color and the second is its ability to improve a person’s mood.
A few research papers have noted how supplements with saffron can help alleviate the symptoms of mild to moderate depression. One study even claims that taking 30 mg of saffron daily can be just as effective as taking conventional antidepressants like Fluoxetine, Imipramine, and Citalopram.
What’s more, the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory traits of saffron can work wonders on your nervous system. For instance, the spice aids your brain’s cholinergic and dopaminergic systems to minimize your chances of facing Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s diseases.
Weight Loss Aid
Saffron can help you lose weight in several ways. For example, it helps curb your appetite in between meals, which helps reduce your cravings for snacks.
However, bear in mind that scientists are still unsure how saffron actually reduces your appetite. One theory they have, though, is that the spice’s ability to elevate your mood helps reduce a person’s cravings.
Additionally, certain studies have concluded how the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties in saffron also result in smoother digestion (which can lead to weight loss, too). But the efficacy of these studies has yet to be investigated and confirmed.
Certain research further suggests that saffron can lead to better liver health. One research even claimed that it can help people dealing with liver metastasis. It’s true that the carotenoids in the spice do help slow down the production of harmful reactants. And saffron also contains safranal, which can definitely protect your liver from environmental toxins.
Nevertheless, most of the findings on saffron regarding liver health are yet to be investigated and verified. So best take them with a grain of salt.
5 Benefits of Saffron for your Skin
Saffron contains flavonoid compounds like kaempferol and quercetin, as well as phenolic compounds like tannic, gallic, caffeic, and ferulic acids. Combined, these agents essentially turn the sunshine spice into a natural UV-absorbing agent. Indeed, some of these compounds are heavily used as ingredients for many skin lotions and sunscreens.
Nevertheless, keep in mind that saffron doesn’t have any unique moisturizing effects. That is, applying it on your skin might leave you feeling dry. Additionally, the spice’s color might make your skin look yellow or orange if used excessively.
Brighter Skin Complexion
Saffron can help you lighten your skin tone. Just sprinkle a few strands of the spice in warm bath water, and then soak in it for 20 minutes. In time, you’ll see your skin gradually getting lighter and brighter.
You can also soak a few strands of saffron in milk for up to two hours and then apply it on your face and neck, then wash it off with water after a few minutes. You’ll notice a brighter skin complexion when used regularly.
Reduced Acne and Blemishes
Combined with other natural remedies, saffron can also give you an effective treatment for acne, blemishes, and blackheads.
For example, you can mix it with basil leaves to make a fine paste. Apply it on your face, leave it for ten to fifteen minutes, then wash it off with water. While the saffron reduces the skin problems, the basil eradicates the bacteria causing it.
Burn Wound Treatment
A study made in 2008 has shown how saffron helped heal second-degree burn wounds in rats. The researchers attributed this to the spice’s antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, as well as its inherent healing properties.
Anyway, this research has led many to believe that saffron could be relied on as a natural remedy against burn wounds. But again, keep in mind that this claim is yet to be scientifically verified.
Improved Skin Glow
If your skin is looking or feeling tired, then you can revitalize it with saffron. Aside from reducing aging signs like dark circles, wrinkles, and eye bags, the spice will also bring out your skin’s inner radiance. This will leave you feeling and looking more beautiful.
One way you can apply saffron to improve skin glow is by making a saffron mask. Mix a few strands of the spice with a teaspoon of water, then leave it overnight. Then combine the teaspoon of water with one teaspoon of milk, a few drops of olive or coconut oil, and a pinch of sugar. Apply the mixture regularly to your face, and you’ll eventually restore your skin’s lost glow.
Make Saffron Part of Your Life
As you can see, saffron offers numerous benefits not only on your skin, but also for your overall health. So better consider buying authentic Persian saffron today.