Saffron is famous as an herb with different culinary uses. It is a popular coloring base for food and drinks. It enhances the flavor of many dishes in central Asia, Pakistan, and India. According to numerous tales, a pinch of the herb can greatly improve the taste of many signature delicacies.
Moreover, while it highly commended as a spice, its usefulness goes beyond food preparation. Who knew that it could promise a set of health benefits, too? With regular use, it can optimize health.
History of Saffron
Saffron is a highly prized exotic spice. It is native to southern Europe and is often used to spice up the flavors of Mediterranean cuisine. Since it adds a distinct taste to a wide range of dishes, it was introduced to other countries. Today, it is increasing in popularity in France, Italy, Spain, and India.
After its introduction to other countries, it became known by many names. Some of these are Autumn crocus, Croci stigma, Safran, Kashmira, and Zafran.
In addition to being a key ingredient in tasty dishes, it was eventually discovered that it had health benefits as well. According to many ancient people, adding the herb to food offers a wonderful benefit: not only great tasting delights, but improved health also.
Growing and Cultivating Saffron
Saffron grows best in a cool and dry climate, and is cultivated by hand. It requires rich fertile soil and occasional rainfall. Typically, it reaches about fifteen to twenty centimeters, and it bears lavender flowers during the months of October and November.
It holds the title as one of the most expensive spices worldwide. Its extravagant reputation is partly due to its method of production. To produce a pound of the herb, it takes up to 75,000 blossoms.
Saffron’s Medicinal Uses
Due to its powerful chemical constituents, Saffron is recognized for its medicinal uses. It is high in iron, potassium, and many other essential vitamins and minerals. In addition, it contains non-volatile components such as alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, lycopene, and zeaxanthin.
Moreover, it is associated with helping individuals calm down and feel better quickly. Since its use in ancient times, it has been known to have carminative, anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, anti-spasmodic, diaphoretic, anti-depressant, and anti-convulsant properties.
The Primary Benefit of Saffron
Saffron promotes overall health. It is considered a remedy that offers instant treatment. It boosts stamina and energy levels by supporting nutrient absorption. Since it allows the system to soak in vitamins and minerals, it leads to physical and mental wellness.
Moreover, it strengthens the immune system. Regular use allows different body functions to be in accord with each other for smooth internal processes. Granted the body functions as required, individuals can have a strong defense against diseases.
It also inhibits the development of cancers. Further research is necessary to support the theory, but the results of preliminary studies applaud the herb for its anti-carcinogenic properties. It is very powerful in combatting breast cancer, lung cancer, leukemia, ovarian cancer, and other cancers.
List of benefits:
- Regulates body temperature
- Improves digestion
- Improves bone health
- Aids weight loss
- Promotes cell repair and formation
- Promotes healthy skin and hair
- Promotes the fast recovery of burns
- Boost memory and alertness
- Wards stress
- Works as a detoxifying agent
- Combats diabetes
- Improves respiratory functions
- Supports the production of RBC (or Red Blood Cells)
- Lowers the risk of developing cardiovascular conditions
- Lowers the risk of developing age related impairment
- Normalizes cholesterol levels; increases HDL (or High-level Lipoprotein) and reduces LDL (or Low-level Lipoprotein)
- Treats cough, cold, flu, and fever
- Treats kidney diseases
- Treats urinary disorders
- Treats hypertension
- Treats menstrual cramps and dysmenorrhea
- Treats premature ejaculation, infertility, loss of libido, and other concerns with sexual health
Due to Saffron’s hot nature, it should be used with caution. It eliminates toxins through sweating. However, its effectiveness in warming the body is not beneficial to all. Its thermogenic effects can put pregnant women and sensitive individuals at risk.
It balances all of the three Doshas – Kapha, Vata, and Pitta. It has a good pacifying effect. While it helps achieve body equilibrium, it can worsen some conditions. For safety and other concerns, consider approaching a professional Ayurveda medicine practitioner prior to use.
- Virya (or energy): heating
- Rasa (or taste): bitter, pungent