Saffron is a bulbous cultivation plant, with 20-30 cm tall, blooming purple flowers in autumn. Its homeland is Southwest Asia and mostly grown in Spain, France, Italy and Iran. Saffron has a tangy and bitter taste and it is extensively used in perfumery, pharmaceutical and textile industries. Saffron is also benefited as fabric dye, food dye and flavoring in meals, as well.
Interestingly, 1 gram of saffron can change the color of 100 thousand liters of water to yellow. This is because of a carotenoid dyestuff it contains, called Crocin.
Saffron Has Many Health Benefits
Thanks to anti-carcinogenic substances it contains, saffron strengthens immune and nervous system.
It cleans the liver and harmful cells in blood and reduces the risk of vascular occlusion.
Saffron flower strengthens heart muscles, thereby reduces the rate of heart disease. It also has a lowering effect on blood pressure and bad cholesterol.
It is beneficial for the digestive system due to its effective antioxidant function.
As it is rich in potassium, saffron helps to maintain blood pressure at healthy levels.
With its Vitamin B6 content, it helps the formation of red blood cells and ensures healthy functioning of the nervous system.
Saffron also contains Omega-3 fatty acids, so has a positive effect on metabolism and regulates blood circulation.
Moreover, it increases visual acuity for individuals having age-related visual disorders and prevents cataract formation.
Saffron helps to get rid of cramps and reduces itching and inflammation, as well.
Furthermore, it alleviates symptoms of bronchial asthma.
Lastly, when applied topically, it helps to stop progress of skin cancer and protects the skin against UV rays. It is also widely used in skin masks.
Saffron Turns Out To Be Good for Depression
A study at Murdoch University in Australia claimed that saffron can cure depression when used with pharmaceutical antidepressants. According to the study, depressive symptoms decreased by 21 to 41 percent in people taking saffron with placebo. In addition, improvements were observed in sleep quality, motivation, desire for activities and pleasure levels obtained in activities.
Attention to Excessive Consumption of Saffron!
You should avoid excessive use of saffron because of it may cause toxic effects on human body, damage kidneys and cause increased bleeding. Therefore, especially pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should not consume saffron.