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Crocus sativus or saffron is a plant that is used to make saffron spice, food colouring and medicine. Small, bulbous, and perennial, saffron is a spice that belongs to the lily family. Did you know it is one of the most expensive spices in the world? It is because it requires such a labour-intensive process to produce: the stigmas [the part of the flower that catches pollen] must be painstakingly handpicked, cut from the white style, and then carefully laid on a sieve and cured overheat to deepen the flavour. Commonly referred to as saffron crocus, it is produced in great quantity in Iran and contains a lot of medicinal properties.
Saffron can be a great addition to your diet due to the many health benefits it offers.
Saffron contains plant compounds that act as antioxidants such as crocetin, crocin, etc. which helps protect your cells against free radicals and oxidative stress.
As mentioned, saffron is high in antioxidants, which can aid in scavenging damaging free radicals. Several studies including the one published in the Pharmacognosy Research have linked chronic disorders like cancer to free radical damage.
The distinct colour of saffron is not the only reason why it is called "sunshine spice." It is a spice that helps brighten the mood. Studies have shown that saffron supplements can be effective at treating symptoms of people with symptoms of depression. However, more studies are required to confirm its positive effects on mental health.
Saffron is a good addition to the diet of someone who is trying to lose weight. Nutrition Research found that taking saffron supplements helped them feel fuller, which then helped curb their appetite and help them lose weight.
Aphrodisiacs are substances or foods that help increase libido. Studies have shown that saffron may have aphrodisiac effects, especially in those using antidepressants. A study published in the journal Psychopharmacology found that using 30 mg of saffron daily for four weeks dramatically improved erectile performance compared to a placebo in males with antidepressant-related erectile dysfunction. Another study published in the journal of Human Psychopharmacology found that 30 mg of saffron taken daily for four weeks boosted sexual desire in women who had the low sexual desire as a result of taking antidepressants.
Heart diseases are the number one killer in the world right now. Studies have shown that the antioxidants present in saffron can help reduce blood cholesterol and prevent blood vessels and arteries from clogging.
A study published in Medical hypothesis, discovery & innovation ophthalmology journal found that properties in saffron can help improve eyesight in adults with AMD and protect you from radical damage, which can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a term used to describe a variety of symptoms that appear before the first day of a period. According to studies, saffron may be used to relieve PMS symptoms. A study published in the Journal of clinical and diagnostic research found that taking 30 mg of saffron daily for women aged 20 to 45 reduced PMS symptoms like irritability, headaches, cravings, and pain better than a placebo.
Saffron is useful for people who have been experiencing symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and improves symptoms of depression. While saffron can be used for a number of purposes, more research is required to understand its uses of saffron.
Saffron is mostly considered safe with little to no side effects. However, it is important to consume too much of a product at once. Make sure you buy the right kind of saffron from a reputed brand to avoid a product that has been tampered with.
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