Saffron or “Kesar” is one of the exotic spices that is regularly used in our delicacies.It has immunity boosting, antioxidant and health promoting properties.

Discover the health benefits of Saffron in this article.

Primarily found in Southern Europe, mass cultivation of this pricey crop has been widely initiated.

Mass production of saffron has been started in Italy, Greece, Turkey, Iran and Kashmir of India.

A Crocus Sativus plant can grow up to 15 to 20 cm in height. It bears lavender colored flowers.

Each flower is seen to have a stalk, connected to three stigmas. The yellow colored stigmas can be used as condiment spice.

Benefits Of Saffron

Health Benefits Of Saffron:

1. As Immune

Saffron is normally used in the cooking of various delicacies for various purposes.First of all, the high amount of natural chemicals in saffron makes it highly desirable. Moreover, it provides an exotic aroma to the delicacies.

2. Oils

Saffron contains certain volatile oils that are used to provide unique flavors. Pinene, borneol, geraniol being some of the special oils derived from saffron.

3. Anti-Stress and Anti-Depressant

Saffron contains certain chemicals that act as antidepressants if included in our diet occasionally.

4. Prevention of Heart Diseases

Blood pressure issues are becoming very common. Be it stress or work pressure, people tend to fall sick very often.

Saffron, being highly medically as it is, can be very helpful in regulating the pressure issues.Saffron contains potassium that helps in regulating the blood pressure.

Skin Benefits of Saffron

Skin Benefits of Saffron
Skin Benefits of Saffron

Saffron, thus being the golden condiment can be used for various beauty benefits too.

1. Skin Health and Radiant Skin

Create a mixture of sandalwood powder, milk and 2 to 3 strands of saffron. Wash your face and apply this mixture on your face when it is still wet. Massage in circular motion. Let your face dry and then rinse off the mixture.

Massage in circular motion. Let your face dry and then rinse off the mixture.

2. Fair Skin

Soak some strands of saffron in milk for nearly two hours. Apply this mixture on your face. After some time rinse it off. You will see a much fairer skin after this.

A Mixture of Sunflower seeds and saffron milk is also great for a fair and glowing skin.

3. Cures Skin Issues:

Saffron is extremely anti-fungal and can be used to cure major skin issues. Regular issues like acne, blemishes, and blackheads can easily be removed by the use of saffron.

Make a mixture of basil leaves with 10 to 12 strands of saffron. Apply this mixture on your face and let it dry. After some time wash it off with cool water. Acne and pimples will gradually reduce on regular application of this pack.

4. Improves the Blood Circulation:

Mix saffron in one or two teaspoons of water and leave it overnight. Add 1 tbsp. Of milk, some drops of olive oil and a pinch of sugar to it. Dip a piece of bread in this mixture and apply it all over your face. Let it rest for 15 minutes and then wash it off. This will increase the blood circulation in your face.

5. Improves the Complexion:

Using saffron with honey can be used as a great agent for improving the complexion of your skin. Mix saffron with honey and use it for a glowing and fresh complexion.

Sprinkling some strands of saffron in your warm bath water will surely act as a great complexion enhancer for your face and skin. After all, it was the age-old secret of our queens.

6. Skin Toner:

Soak the saffron strands with rose water and you can use it as a skin toner.

7. Cleanser:

Mix lemon juice with a spoonful of saffron powder. Apply it on your face and leave it for about 20 minutes. The astonishing properties of saffron will clean your face just like that.

Hair Health Benefits:

Hair Health Benefits
Hair Health Benefits

Saffron can act as a serious hair stimulant. Mix saffron with milk and licorice and apply it on your bald spots. This will surely stimulate and promote the hair growth.

Medicinal Uses Of Saffron:

1. Improves Eyesight:

Saffron has proven to be a miracle in eliminating problems related to eyesight. Certain antioxidants are present in saffron that may help in improving the fatty acid content of the membranes and thus improve our eyesight.

2. Memory Boosters:

Certain compounds like crocetin and crocin are present in saffron, act as great memory boosters. Certain brain disorders can be cured by efficient and regular use of saffron.

3. Prevention of Cancer:

There is no certain cure for cancer. Saffron, cannot cure it but certainly can prevent it. It has been proven that there are certain components in saffron that can help in the prevention of cancer-causing tumors.

4. Cures Heart Problems:

Arteriosclerosis is the term given to the condition of hardening of arteries. If these kinds of situations occur, then this may surely affect the oxygen supply to the heart.

This can cause serious heart failure. Saffron has certain chemicals that help in prevention for such extreme heart issues.

5. Regulates the Sleeping Habits:

Remember, when your mother used to convince you to drink saffron milk before going to bed? Well, there is a scientific reason behind it.

It has been proven that saffron contains certain chemical compounds that can help in regulating your sleeping habits.

6. Ensures Timely Menstrual Cycles in Women:

Saffron is the natural remedy suggested by many gynecologists for issues regarding untimely menstrual cycles.

7. Cures Asthma and other Breathing Problems:

Breathing problem faced by many people nowadays is asthma. Asthma closes your airways and inflames your lungs. Saffron can be a great remedy for this.Its medicinal properties clear the lungs and hence prevents any extremities.

Saffron can be a great remedy for this.Its medicinal properties clear the lungs and hence prevents any extremities.

8. Cures Cough and Cold:

Saffron oil has known to be a great help during a cough and cold. Drinking saffron milk, every day provides all the necessary ingredients to your body and hence makes you strong. Calcium strengthens the bones and saffron provide all the essential vitamins to the body.

Use Of Saffron In Cooking:

Saffron can be called as the major sought-after condiment. With its widespread use in sweets as well as savory, it can be used in almost anything.

It has great medicinal values and can thus provide great health benefits to our delicacies. Being totally soluble, it is hardly visible. But you can easily distinguish food with saffron, as it would produce astonishing aroma.

Tips and Tricks To Use Saffron In Cooking:

  • Saffron powder is readily available in the market. But many people do not prefer to buy the saffron powder because of certain adulteration issues.You can buy the saffron strands from the market and grind it at your comfort even at home. Sometimes its tough to grind because of moisture content. Hence, add some sugar to this mixture to make the grinding easy.
  • Many people use liquid saffron for their food because of its tenured use. Mix 2 to 3 tbsp. Of water with saffron and store it off. Store it in a jar and use it again as per your requirements.The specialty of saffron is that whether you use it in a powdered or liquid form, it would grant the same royal taste to your food.
  • Saffron rice has been a royal dish from very old times. The addition of saffron to the soaked rice makes it irresistible.Add some melted butter, cardamom and cloves. Add onions and sauté it. Cover and let it rest for about 50 minutes. Enjoy the royalty and aroma of the saffron rice.
  • The addition of saffron to chicken is an astonishing recipe. Season the fried chicken with salt and pepper.Fry it with butter and add thyme and bay leaf. Add saffron and cream. Simmer this mixture for a while. And there it is your chicken in delicious saffron cream sauce is ready.

Types Of Saffron:

1. Laccha Saffron:

Lachha saffron is the pure saffron. It can also be called as crude saffron as it is unprocessed. The stigma and the styles are attached in this type of saffron.

2. Mongra Saffron:

Mongra is the processed saffron. When removed from the style, the leftover red part is called mongra. It is the most superior quality of Saffron.

1 kilogram of superior quality Laccha gives 870 grams of Mongra.

Nutrition Value Of Saffron

Principle

Nutrient Value

Percentage of RDA

Energy 310 Kcal 15.5%
Carbohydrates 65.37 g 50%
Protein 11.43 g 21%
Total Fat 5.85 g 29%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 3.9 g 10%

Vitamins

Folates 93 µg 23%
Niacin 1.46 mg 9%
Pyridoxine 1.010 mg 77%
Riboflavin 0.267 mg 20%
Vitamin A 530 IU 18%
Vitamin C 80.8 mg 135%

Electrolytes

Sodium 148 mg 10%
Potassium 1724 mg 37%

Minerals

Calcium 111 mg 11%
Copper 0.328 mg 37%
Iron 11.10 mg 139%
Magnesium 264 mg 66%
Manganese 28.408 mg 1235%
Phosphorus 252 mg 36%
Selenium 5.6 µg 10%
Zinc 1.09 mg 10%

Acceptable Saffron Dosage:

An acceptable dosage of saffron is 30 mg. Saffron can be used for depression and premenstrual syndrome.

1.5 g of saffron per day doesn’t have any side effects.

An amount of saffron five gms or more is considered highly harmful for the pregnant women.

Side Effects Of Saffron:

  1. Vomiting, Drowsiness, Food cravings, Nausea are some of the major side effects of excessive saffron intake.
  2. Bloody stools and urine are the major dangerous side effects of excess saffron intake.
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Dr. Sania Siddiqui is a Unani medicine expert, who has completed her Bachelors in Unani Medicine & Surgery from Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi.She is an experienced Medical Content Writer and has been writing in the online space for the past 7 years. Her areas of expertise range from skin & hair care, women’s health, diet & nutrition, pregnancy, parenting, lifestyle and fitness.