Saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world

What is saffron

Saffron is one of the plants that belong to the iris family. Saffron grows in the Middle East and parts of Europe, and is more common in Iran, India, and Greece.

Types of saffron

There are four main types of saffron, which we mention as follows:

Sargol: It is extracted from the tip of saffron threads, it has a strong smell, its color is red, and it is devoid of yellow and orange threads, and it is of high quality.
Naqin: It has long threads, and it is colored between yellow and orange. It has a pleasant smell.
Super Negin: It is considered the best type of saffron, and it has long red threads, and is free of orange or yellow threads.
Pushal: It is the cheapest type of saffron, and the most available in stores.

The nutritional value of saffron

Saffron contains many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Below is an explanation of the nutritional value of saffron in a teaspoon, equivalent to 0.7 grams:

Calories: 2.17 calories.
Protein: 0.08 grams.
Fat: 0.041 grams.
Carbohydrates: 0.458 grams.
Dietary fiber: 0.027 grams.
Calcium: 0.777 mg.
Iron: 0.078 mg.
Magnesium: 1.85 mg.
Phosphorus: 1.76 mg.
Potassium: 12.1 mg.
Sodium: 1.04 mg.
Zinc: 0.008 mg.
Copper: 0.002 mg.
Manganese: 0.199 mg.
Selenium: 0.039 mcg
Vitamin C: 0.566 mg.
Thiamine: 0.001 mg.
Riboflavin: 0.002 mg.
Niacin: 0.01 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.007 mg.
Folic acid: 0.651 micrograms.
Vitamin A: 3.71 international units.

The permissible amount of saffron
It is allowed to eat saffron in the following quantities:

Take as a dietary supplement: 1.5 grams daily.
For depression: 30 mg of saffron extract or 100 mg of saffron daily for up to 12 weeks.

For the treatment of premenstrual syndrome: 15 mg of saffron extract twice daily.
Menstrual cramps: 500 mg of a product containing extracts of saffron, celery seed and anise.
Benefits of saffron for the body
There are many benefits of saffron that make this spice a valuable ingredient all over the world. Saffron has been used since ancient times for cooking purposes, textile industry and some perfumes. It is believed that saffron was used 3,500 years ago to treat a large number of medical conditions. The benefits of saffron include:

Benefits of saffron for the heart

The benefits of saffron for the heart include:

Saffron contains many different chemical components that may help lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and provide protection against heart disease.
A study published in the Indian Journal of Medical Sciences found that saffron reduces the potential for tissue damage that may be caused by LDL cholesterol.
Researchers believe that the benefits of saffron and its antioxidant properties may have a protective effect against heart disease as well.
Crocetin (the active compound in saffron) protects the heart from diseases such as cardiomegaly.

Benefits of saffron for women

Saffron offers the following benefits to women:

Relieving PMS symptoms, or premenstrual syndrome, which includes a variety of uncomfortable symptoms, such as mood swings and other physical symptoms. Some women are affected by this syndrome more than others. Saffron may be a good option for relieving these symptoms without resorting to medication. A research published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology showed that the benefits of saffron for women are an effective treatment for premenstrual disturbances.
 Another study published in the journal showed that saffron can be used as a good treatment to reduce menstrual pain in women between the ages of 20-45 years. Researchers have found that 15 mg of saffron twice daily is effective for relieving these symptoms.

Protecting the skin from ultraviolet rays because it acts as a natural protection agent to absorb ultraviolet rays, because it contains flavonoids.
Skin beautification, as it can contribute to skin whitening.

Benefits of saffron for pregnant women

During pregnancy, women should be careful in eating herbs and spices, which may negatively affect their pregnancy. As for saffron, women should avoid taking it in the first three months, because it may cause miscarriage.

As for the second trimester of pregnancy, the pregnant woman can eat it in small quantities, approximately 0.5-2 grams, and among the benefits of saffron for the pregnant woman is the treatment of the following conditions:

  • Digestive disorders.
  • heartburn
  • Hypertension.
  • For the last trimester of pregnancy, saffron can be taken near the due date, as it can help stimulate labor and expand the cervix.

The benefits of saffron for sex

The benefits of saffron for men include:

  • Strengthening erection.
  • Prevention of erectile dysfunction.
  • Increased sexual desire.
  • Reaching orgasm.

Other benefits of saffron

Saffron is a spice rich in nutrients, so it provides a lot of benefits to the body. Other benefits of saffron include:

Benefits of saffron to enhance memory: The active substances present in saffron (crocin and crocetin) help in the learning process and support memory functions. The percentage of saffron benefits in improving learning and memory problems is very high. Saffron may also help treat some diseases that affect the brain, such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.

Benefits of saffron to prevent cancer: Among the benefits of saffron in preventing cancer, we mention the following:
Saffron is rich in antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals.
Saffron also contains flavonoids, which are chemicals found in plants that help the plant protect itself from fungi.

Saffron extracts contain crocetin, which has antitumor and free radical scavenging properties. In addition, it works to reduce fat.
A 2015 review published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine found that the chemical composition of saffron may be effective in preventing and treating many different types of cancer, but the researchers note that more studies are needed to confirm. This information.
Benefits of saffron for the eye: Saffron affects the blood flow to the eye and the functions of the retina. Therefore, one of the benefits of saffron for the eye is that it may prevent eye ischemia and age-related macular degeneration, which results in blindness.

Proven benefits of saffron in recent studies: One of the recent studies studied the benefit of saffron by adding 100 milligrams of saffron to milk, and examined its effect on two groups of volunteers: volunteers with coronary heart disease, and volunteers without any diseases. They were compared to volunteers who were given only milk (with no saffron added). The results showed that the volunteers who drank saffron milk for a period of 6 weeks increased the level of antioxidants in their bodies. The ability of lipoprotein to oxidation decreased in good proportions. While these changes were not observed in people who drank saffron-free milk.

Proven benefits of saffron in animal studies: Studies conducted on experimental animals have proven the following benefits of saffron:

  • Anti-Alzheimer's disease.
  • Antitussive.
  • Reducing blood fats.
  • antispasmodic.
  • Anti-pain, anti-inflammatory.
  • It has anti-diabetic activity.

Saffron benefits for depression: There are many antidepressant benefits of saffron that may make saffron a good alternative for people who do not respond well to antidepressant medications. Such as:
An older study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that saffron was as effective as the drug fluoxetine in treating mild to moderate depression.

A study published in the Journal of Integrative Medicine also showed the effectiveness of using saffron to treat depression in adults over 18 years old.
The researchers also found that saffron improves symptoms for people suffering from one type of depression, which is major depressive disorder (in English: Major Depressive Disorder).
More: Maintaining a healthy body in old age


Saffron uses in folk medicine

In addition to the previously mentioned therapeutic benefits of saffron, saffron has been used in folk medicine to treat a number of other pathological conditions, and the uses of saffron include the following:

  • Treatment of convulsions or asthma and bronchospasm, but the German Society negatively evaluated the benefits of saffron for the treatment of asthma and convulsions.
  • Treatment of liver diseases and hepatomegaly.
    Relieve pain.
  • Calming and revitalizing the work of the digestive system, treating stomach diseases, reducing pain, and relieving stress.
  • Sexual stimulant and aphrodisiac.
  • Used in Indian folk medicine to work on balancing hormones, and controlling the response to stress and tension.
    Supportive treatment for several types of cancer (but you should consult your doctor before trying it).
  • Nervous system tonic.
  • Regulating the menstrual cycle and increasing its flow.
    Expectorant treatment.
    Treating high body temperature.
    A cure for insomnia and jaundice.
    Treatment of measles, dysentery (dysentery), and cholera.
    Analgesic, diuretic, immunostimulant, and anticoagulant.
    Lowering blood pressure, treating psoriasis.
    It is used topically as a type of ointment to treat skin diseases. Such as acne and skin itching, it also has a moisturizing and emollient effect on the skin.

Saffron damage

Despite the benefits of saffron, it has damages and the risk of exposure to its toxicity, in the event that the upper limit allowed to be consumed is exceeded. The safe upper limit of saffron is only 1.5 grams. It was found that the effective dose of saffron as an antidepressant is 30 mg (much less than the upper limit).