Saffron is one of the rarest and exotic spices found on the earth. Golden spice is the other name given to saffron, attributing to its reddish-golden color. It is the most common spice used in many Indian, Mediterranean and Italian cuisine. This culinary and exotic spice grows on a flowering plant- Crocus Sativus. It is grown in various countries around the world including many Asian and European countries. Areas with hot dry summers and wet springs are the most suitable areas for growing saffron. While saffron is popular for its flavor, color and fragrance, this rare spice also, has many medicinal and health benefits. saffron is a very expensive spice and this is mainly because of the fact, that for making 1gram of saffron strands 150 flowers are required.
The various health benefits of saffron are -
1) Cancer Treatment- Because of the presence of crocetin and carotenoid in saffron, it has anti-mutagenic and anti-tumor properties. Several studies on saffron extract have proved that saffron extract delays papilloma carcinogenisis and tumor growth. Because of all these properties, saffron extract can be used for treating and preventing skin cancer, liver cancer and sarcoma.
2) Anti-inflammatory properties- saffron have anti-inflammatory properties and therefore it can be used in treatment of arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. It is capable of controlling inflammation and healing cuts and burns faster.
3) Potent aphrodisiac- For last many centuries, saffron has been used as a “POTENT APHRODISIAC” inPersiaand many other Arabian countries. It can increase libido and improve erectile dysfunction by increasing the flow of blood in the pelvic region.
4) Eye Care- Several studies have proved that saffron extract can treat certain eye problems like- macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. saffron also protects the eyes from the harmful effects UV rays.
5) Anti-Depressants- saffron extract can also be used in the treatment of patients suffering from depression. Researches have shown that saffron gives equal results as given by therapeutic drugs like imipramine and fluoxetine.
6) Painkiller- saffron extract can be used for treating many severe painful conditions like- stomach pain, menstrual pain, and kidney pain.
7) Weight loss- Researches have shown that saffron can suppress the feeling of hunger, by controlling the percentage of serotonin content in the blood. Therefore, saffron is used in many weight loss programs, as it can reduce the compulsion to eat and feelings of hunger
8) Skin- saffron contains antioxidants, and therefore it is used in many beauty and anti-aging treatments.
9) Saffron during Pregnancy- During pregnancy, women are advised to drink saffron milk, in order to enhance their pelvic blood flow. Also, due to its Carminative properties it helps in suppressing cramps. Gas and bloating are very common problems during pregnancy and just one glass of saffron milk can reduce flatulence and ease digestion.
Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis)
Painful menstrual periods (dysmenorrhea)
Indigestion or heartburn
Baldness (when applied to the scalp).
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