You can smell its aroma from a mile away, recognise the faint-yet-alluring colour it adds to food, and love it when its mellow-yet-rich taste becomes apparent in a dish. Saffron is so appreciated for its contribution to food that we often tend to forget how important a place it holds in traditional and now in modern medicine too.
As per a study, published in the journal Antioxidants in 2013 mentions, saffron has been used to treat many different types of illnesses since ancient times. Not only is this spice, derived from the Crocus sativus flower, rich in antioxidants but is also known to regulate metabolic functions in the body. The only imaginable downside of saffron is its price, as it holds the title of the most expensive spice in the world.
Despite this high price, saffron has many benefits to impart. The following are just a few you could get by adding a pinch or two of saffron to your life.
1. Improves skin quality: There’s a reason why modern-day soaps, ubtans and moisturizers announce the presence of saffron in their labels so proudly. Rich in antioxidants, saffron is known to promote clear skin and bring a natural glow to it. Saffron also has a soothing effect on the skin and is recommended for acne breakouts.
2. Lifts the mood: Studies show that saffron has phytochemicals and phenolic compounds that help regulate serotonin levels and improve your mood too. Some studies show that saffron strands, as well as the petals of the saffron flower, work as effective yet natural antidepressants.
3. Improves sexual function: Studies indicate that saffron can help improve erectile function, libido and overall sexual satisfaction, especially in people who are on antidepressants. Saffron is one of the few natural aphrodisiacs backed by science, though traditionally it has also been consumed with warm almond milk for its aphrodisiac properties.
4. May keep cancer away: Saffron is packed with antioxidants and studies show that it works actively against free radical damage. High levels of free radicals in the body pose a risk factor for most cancers, so including saffron may help reduce this risk. However, studies are yet to conclusively prove this connection between increased intake of saffron and reduced risk of cancer.
5. May aid weight loss: Some studies have shown that saffron plays a role in metabolism and may even curb your appetite. Curbing your appetite comes particularly handy when you’re on a weight loss diet plan. Adding saffron to your diet or taking saffron extract supplements may therefore help you lose weight.
For more information, read our article on Saffron.
Health articles on News18 are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.