12 Reasons You Need Ancient Spice Saffron in Modern Diet
There are many reasons the 3000 year old Persian favorite spice known as saffron should be included in your daily meals, or at least on a weekly basis, from fighting cancer to increasing sexual appetite.
Saffron is extracted from a flower that is rather hard to cultivate and harvest, which has made it an expensive staple of European cuisine for centuries, also used for fragrance and clothing dye.
So why would Europe and the Middle East be chasing after a spice that’s so much work to get into your meals in the first place?
• Ancient practice: From ancient Persians and Egyptians to Medieval Europeans, the medicinal use of saffron was not limited, but used to treat excess gas, spasms, increase sweating, regulate menstrual discharge and act as a sedative. (Saffron. Skin & Allergy News. 40.7 (July 2009): p22.)
• General Health: According to Dr. Julian Hakim, saffron is a known anticarcinogenic, antimutagenic and antioxidant spice, which does wonder for the health of one’s body.
• Miracle Dietary Spice: According to Dr. Oz, saffron is a miracle appetite suppressant. Other studies have also pointed out that slightly overweight but healthy women saw an increase in satiation and reduced amount of snacking when having meals with saffron or taking saffron extracts.
• Pulverize that PMS: Yes, studies have actually concluded that the intake of saffron actually reduces premenstrual syndromes while regulating the actual blood discharge. Just make sure to intake 15 mg of the spice weekly. Over 50% reduction in symptoms was found in the double-blind placebo study. (Saffron. The Clinical Advisor : For Nurse Practitioners 15.4 (Apr 2012): 94,96.)
• Beauty of the Skin: When it comes to making dull skin bright, dark skin light and rough skin smooth with a healthy glow, few natural spices are known to do the trick better than saffron and Vedanic's 24KT Pure Gold Parabens-Free Anti-Aging Moisturizer knows it. (Pure Saffron Benefits Produce Glowing, Radiant Skin: Entrepreneurs bring disruption to even consumer goods like skincare using rare herbs. PR Newswire [New York] 20 Sep 2012.)
• Depressing Depression: Fluoxetine is often used to treat depression and saffron seems to have the same effects in alleviating depressive symptoms in those deemed mildly or moderately depressed. However, those in the saffron group do not exhibit any sexual dysfunction, excessive sweating or tremors, meaning the spice is the best alternative for depression therapy alongside the psychotherapy.
• Killing Cancer: Studies looking at saffron’s ability to battle cancer have found antitumour and hypolipaemic effects as well as radical scavenger properties, which make it a gem among spices necessary to have in your home. Furthermore, it was found that saffron extracts literally kill certain cancer cells, which means it makes a great cancer treatment option.
• Striking Cancer from Liver: When specifying anti-cancerous effects of saffron, those with fatty liver disease, hepatitis or prone to alcohol abuse can protect themselves from liver cancer, especially when the body has been made vulnerable through a smoke, milk and red meat filled environment.
• Food for the Brain: When it comes to learning and memory, studies on experimental animals have concluded that it does in fact affect it positively. Taking in saffron might make you do that homework better, apparently. It also means that saffron just might treat other neurodegenerative and memory related disorders, including Alzheimer’s.
• Multiple Sclerosis Meets its Match: The crocin compound found in saffron is extremely important in battling diseases like multiple sclerosis, throwing a protective field around brain cells in charge of mylenation of nerves. Neurodegeneration is caused when this insulation is lost, leading to such diseases as MS.
• Treating Vision Loss: Studies have shown that the use of saffron prevents loss of sight in patients with Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).
• Such an Aphrodisiac: The Natural Medical Journal published a study in which women’s sexual functions were assessed, looking at arousal, lubrication and pain. Those who had had some saffron showed great improvements in these areas, with higher satisfaction levels, pointing to the aphrodisiac effects of the spice. No wonder people paid the hefty price for the spice.
There you have it folks. Though extremely expensive and extremely difficult to harvest the plant, saffron flowers are worth more than their weight in gold when it comes to the health benefits they incur. So save up in that piggy bank and make sure to keep a pound of that magical substance in your pantry for use with your cooking, at least on a weekly basis.