Saffron (Crocus sativus) is obtained from plants of the family Iridaceae which has a short bloom season – just three weeks in the year.
Saffron is highly valued spice that is used in almost all over the world, and it is often called the “king of spices“, also has a long history of medicinal use, and it is mentioned even in the earliest Ayurvedic texts. Saffron mostly grows in Asia and in the Mediterranean countries.
Saffron contains more than 150 strong aromatic components and nutrients. When the saffron flowers are dried, a compound safranal is released, this gives the characteristic aroma of this spice.
Saffron is stored in dark spaces because it is very sensitive to variations of pH levels and can easily decompose in the presence of light and oxygen.
Saffron Health Benefits and Uses
Saffron is extremely highly valued spice, used almost anywhere in the world. Although it is commonly used as a spice for cooking a variety of dishes, it is herb with many medicinal properties.
Crocin and picrocrocin chemicals found in saffron have anticancer properties that stop the growth of cancer cells.
Researchers are ready to start a new treatment with a “smart bombs“, targeted treatment of tumors with a drug derived from the flower of the autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale) – meadow saffron.
Exploring the application of colchicum in the cancer treatment was presented at the British Science Festival in Bradford. The team that carried out the research, led by Professor Laurence Patterson Institute for Cancer Treatment (ICT) at the University of Bradford, published a paper in the journal Cancer Research.
Saffron tea is used to treat depression. Improves circulation and strengthens the heart.
In Chinese medicine, saffron has traditionally been used to improve blood circulation and to treat bruises.
The active ingredient crocetin can also reduce the concentration of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, and thus prevent the development of atherosclerosis. Relieves PMS symptoms and soothes pain in the abdomen. Also it is used as a cure for kidney disease, regulates the digestion, relieves from headache, migraines, dizziness and chronic bronchitis.
The significant levels of manganese can help the body optimize its blood sugar levels. Diabetes is one of the most dangerous and widespread conditions in our world today, affecting millions of people globally. By regulating your blood sugar, insulin, and glucose levels, you can effectively prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes, or manage the symptoms if you already suffer from this affliction.
Rich in antioxidants
Safranal compound found in saffron is a strong antioxidant that destroys free radicals that can cause damage to cells and tissues.
Strengthens the Bones
Some of the minerals and organic compounds in saffron have been linked to optimized nutrient uptake, particularly of calcium. By maximizing the amount of calcium that our body’s can absorb from food, we have a better chance of improving bone mineral density and preventing the onset of conditions like osteoporosis and other degenerative age-related diseases.
Great for the Eyes
Studies have shown that it can improve the vision and successfully prevents or relieves macular degeneration, which is the most common cause of blindness at the elderly people.
Arteriosclerosis is a very dangerous condition in which the arteries begin to harden. When your arteries harden they have trouble transporting the amount of oxygen needed to different parts of the body. Because this condition is not easy to detect in early stages, it is vital to take precautions early on.
This is where using saffron as an herbal supplement can help. An herbal saffron supplement can decrease the chances of getting arteriosclerosis. It acts as a stimulant and an antioxidant to help increase the circulation throughout the body.
Saffron use in the cuisine
Although in the past it has been used as medicine and dye, now it is mostly used in the cuisine. Intensive aroma, slightly bitter taste, a quarter of a teaspoon is enough to give the food flavor and color. It goes well with vegetable soups, potatoes and peppers.
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