The crimson stigmas with yellow imparted hues are one of the world’s most expensive spice and are known as Saffron. It is derived from the flower called Crocus Sativus. These red stigmas are called threads which are collected, dried, and are mainly used as seasoning and colouring agent for foods. It is expensive because around 75,000 flowers are used to make one pound of spice, which takes a huge labour as its cultivation and harvest are done by hands only. Apart from giving hue to the food, these stigmas are used for medicinal purposes like asthma, whooping cough, insomnia, cancer, pain, dry skin, hardening of arteries, depression and many more. Saffron extracts are also used in fragrance in making perfumes, and as colouring agents for clothes.
On comparing with other nutrients dried saffron is rich in vitamin B, and dietary minerals. 28% of the daily intake of manganese can be easily fulfilled from 2 gms of saffron.
Let us have a glimpse over its benefits:
Saffron is positively effective for Alzheimer’s disease: Several kinds of research are available which claim that taking safrotin (specific saffron product), for over 22 weeks orally may improve Alzheimer’s symptoms.
Helpful in reducing Depression: Novin zaferan co, is an extract of specific saffron, helps in improving depression if taken orally for about 6-8 weeks.
Saffron for Athletes: Chemical in saffron, commonly known as crocetin helps in removing fatigue in men during exercise. This claim is supported by early researches.
Male Infertility and Saffron: Early researches suggest that saffron may increase sperm count but these studies are not very consistent.
Saffron on skin: It firms the skin by eliminating free radicals and improving blood circulation as it removes blackheads and opens clogged pores. It is packed with several vitamins like A, C, and B vitamins and antioxidants, and thus, helps in de-tanning.
Saffron for Hair: Mixture of soaked saffron with licorice powder and milk helps in combating hair loss, as it is one of the richest sources of antioxidants. This mixture is found to be excellent in the treatment of alopecia.
Reducing Hair fall: Mixture of few strands of saffron along with olive oil or almond oil helps reducing hair fall and promote new hair growth.