Benefits of saffron: How this spice helps mood, swelling and sex

  • Saffron is a spice, which may have health benefits for ailments ranging from inflammation to depression.
  • Saffron is well known and well researched for its positive effect on mood.
  • Saffron is an antioxidant with strong anti-inflammatory properties, which helps with conditions such as heart disease, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes.
  • Visit the Health Insider information library for more advice.

Saffron is a spice harvested from the crocus flower. It has been used for medicinal purposes since ancient times, especially in the Middle East and Greece. Recent research supports the health benefits of saffron for conditions ranging from inflammation to depression. In addition to health benefits, saffron can be used in colors, fragrances, and to flavor dishes.

Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, in part because of how difficult it is to harvest, says Christine Bishara, MD, who founded From Within Medical, a unified medical health practice in New York City.

“The saffron threads inside the crocus flower, and they are difficult to harvest because all the threads have to be harvested by hand,” she says. saffron dried and sold in its original fiber form or powdered, which is then used in products such as tea or health products.

Despite the cost, more people are taking an interest in the health benefits of saffron and using it for its potent medicinal properties, Bishara says.

What are the benefits of saffron?

Saffron is a powerful medicinal herb because it contains more than 150 chemical fertilizers, some of which can have significant health effects, says Yelena Deshko, a Toropathto – based naturopathic doctor and family professional.

Here are some of the health benefits of science-backed saffron:

It improves mood and fights depression

“Saffron is well-known and well-researched for its positive effect on mood,” Deshko says. In fact, some research suggests that saffron may help prevent depression.

  • A 2019 medical study that included nine studies on the effects of saffron on moderate to severe depression found that the spice had a “significant effect” on reducing the severity of depression.
  • Another 2019 medical study found that saffron was compared to SSRIs, the first-line treatment for depression. The researchers found that pharmacological doses of saffron, in dried, extracted, and encapsulated forms, appear to regulate neurotransmitters, including serotonin, the same neurotransmitter that SSRIs aimed at elevating the brain.

Reduces inflammation and acts as an antioxidant

Bishara states that saffron contains several antioxidants including:

Antioxidants help reduce and prevent cell damage and reduce the risk of certain diseases. In the case of saffron, its antioxidant properties help it reduce inflammation, a condition associated with a number of diseases.

“Saffron has strong anti-inflammatory properties that help with such conditions

heart disease
, obesity, Alzheimer ‘s, and diabetes, “Bishara says.

These chemicals can help protect the body from many diseases, Bishara says, including:

  • Alzheimer’s disease: Crocin has been shown to help people with Alzheimer’s disease by reducing brain degeneration.
  • Cancer: Carotenoids have been shown to exhibit protective benefits against cancer and tumor formation and to be immune to cancer treatments such as chemotherapy in animal models.
  • Heart disease: Saffron has been shown to reduce cholesterol and obesity in animal models, so research suggests it may reduce the risk of heart attack. Although more research is needed in humans to know for sure.
  • Diabetes: Crocetin has been linked to the inhibition of insulin resistance, a condition that precedes type 2 diabetes.

Although saffron is generally considered safe in appropriate doses for short-term use or when used in cooking, it is important to talk to your doctor before starting any herb, taking it. include saffron, as it can adversely affect your health.

For example, while low doses may be safe during pregnancy, high doses of sawdust may be associated with miscarriage, so pregnant women should be careful before eating.

Affects sexual and reproductive health

Treating a sexual disorder is one of the old traditional practices of sawing. And some studies show that saffron may promote sexual and reproductive health.

  • A small study in 2008 found that women who took 30 mg of saffron daily had fewer PMS symptoms compared to women who received placebo.
  • A study in 2012 found that 30 mg of saffron daily could help counteract the sexual side effects of SSRI depression medications in women, including arousal loss, vaginal dryness, and pain during sex. .
  • A small study in 2009 found that 200 mg of saffron daily could increase the number and duration of erection in men struggling with erectile dysfunction.

Takeaway inside

Generally, it is safe to include saffron in your diet, Bishara says. She recommends boiling a few strips in water to make tea and mixing in honey to give some sweetness. Saffron can also be added to rice, egg, seafood and chicken.

Overall, the health benefits of saffron are interesting, and western science continues to learn more about the benefits of this herb for:

  • Promoting mental health and fighting depression
  • Reduces inflammation and offers protection against inflammation-related diseases, such as heart disease and cancer
  • Improving sexual health in both men and women

Always consult your doctor before including any type of herbal product, including saffron, into your diet or vitamin regimen.