Saffron, the spice of kings, that is also referred to as kesar in India, is a very popular spice that is known to almost everyone, since it’s widely used in sweets, dishes, medical purposes, beauty and skin treatments etc. Saffron is regarded as a spice that is derived from the flower of crocus sativus. It is very costly and mostly used in just a tiny quantity to add a flavour in various different cuisines across the globe. In India, saffron (Kesar) is also used in rituals and ceremonies. Anecdotes of saffron can be seen intervened in the ancient Persian, Egyptian, Sumerians, Roman history. These rich cultures were well aware about the healing powers and benefits of saffron for health, beauty and rituals. Let’s read some of the health benefits of saffron.
Benefits of saffron for health
Saffron has been used in medicinal uses for a long and because of this it has shown that saffron can aid in lowering cholesterol, menstrual problem etc. Saffron has so many health benefits which are:
Digestive system: Saffron helps in enhancing the digestion of the food and strengthens the digestive organs.
Benefits During pregnancy: In pregnancy saffron enhances mood, blood circulation, pelvic blood flow and morning sickness.
Benefits in age related diseases: Saffron has carotenoids which protect against aging diseases like cataract, muscular degeneration and prevents against harmful sun radiations.
Vision benefits: Saffron enhances the vision and maintains the health of the eyes.
Acidity: It is a great choice when one needs relief from acidity and gas.
Benefits in Arthritis: Saffron helps reduced the inflammation and pain related with the arthritis.
Benefits in insomnia: Saffron has sedative properties due to which it helps in insomnia.
Fever: Saffron contain a compound crocin which acts as an antipyretic to lower down the fever.
Cancerous growth: Saffron is also known to inhibit and stop the growth of the cancerous cells in the breast, this done by the chemical compound crocin in the saffron threads.
Benefits in Asthma: Saffron is known to reduce the asthma attacks as it helps clearing the airways and reduces lung inflammation, preventing and reducing the severity of an asthmatic attack.
Cholesterol reduction: Saffron helps reduce the formation of bad cholesterol and promotes the formation of good cholesterol hence maintaining a healthy heart.
Atherosclerosis: It prevents atherosclerosis which is a chronic heart disease where the arteries can get blocked by the plaque.
Blood Pressure: Saffron also helps in lower down the blood pressure.
Tuberculosis: Saffron shown great benefits in the tuberculosis treatment.
Benefits for Healthy gum: Gentle massaging the gums with saffron makes the gums stronger, stops bleeding and gum swelling.
Healthy systems: It keeps the urinary bladder, digestive system, kidneys, liver healthy so that they work optimally.
Menstrual cramps: Saffron helps relive the menstrual cramps and other uterine problems in women by elevating the levels of estrogens.
Red Blood Cells: Saffron helps the formation of red blood cells as it is high in iron due to which it is good to take when one has anemia.
Oxidative stress: It helps protects central nervous system from oxidative stress therefore, minimizes the chances of the Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Saffron enhances the levels of serotonin, thereby reducing anxiety, depression and bad mood.
Saffron purifies the blood and improves blood circulation.
Benefits of Saffron for skin
Saffron is known to do so much for your skin like it lightens, brightens and heals the skin when used as face pack, face scrub or as in the skin cream form. here are some benefits of saffron for skin.
Deep cleanses: Saffron improves the skin texture by cleansing the skin deeply
Benefits in Acne: Saffron helps eliminate the acne and pimples
Fades marks: It also lightens the marks left by pimples, blemishes to reveal a clear skin
Benefits in skin lightening: Saffron improves the skin fairness and lightens the complexion. In Ayurveda, saffron holds great importance.
Eradicate blackheads: Saffron also eliminates blackheads and rejuvenates the skin.
Exfoliation: Saffron gently exfoliates the skin due to which skin becomes radiant and younger looking.
It purifies the skin and enhances the blood circulation
Side Effects of saffron
We have read benefits of saffron, even the good things that can have loads of benefits may have side effects when taken in high dosage or if you’re allergic to a particular thing hence; we need to be aware about that as well.
1. Saffron should only be taken in mild doses to reap its benefits and high doses can cause food poisoning and even death.
2. High doses of saffron can cause diarrhea, nose bleeding, vomiting etc.
3. Saffron helps in moods swings but high dosage can also start mood swings badly and also leads to impulsive behaviour.
4. Women in India are advised to drink saffron infused milk when they are pregnant to make the baby’s skin color fair but heavy dosage can cause premature uterus contraction and miscarriage. Hence should be avoided or dosage should be controlled.
Now, that you know the benefits of saffron and the side effects related with this expensive spice, it is also worth to know how to purchase saffron, what to look at and how to store it properly as it is expensive hence you don’t want wastage or quality degradation.
How to store and buy saffron (Kesar)
Indeed saffron is expensive but there are some factors and features to be looked at while buying saffron.
The threads or filament like structure which is called as stigmas of saffron are of red orange-ish color and are not found in any other color what so ever, the fragrance should be instant and should be crispy strong. The threads should be dry with no moisture.
As the saffron threads should not be in contact with moisture it is very important to store them in an air tight container so that they stay safe and fresh for a longer time considering they aren’t cheap at all.
Saffron is undoubtedly the spice with miracles. It heals, enhances beauty and is loaded with several health benefits. It may be expensive but since a little bit of saffron (kesar) is enough to show its benefits, it justifies its price.