Saffron: Uses, Health Benefits, Skin Care

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Saffron: Uses, Health Benefits, Skin Care

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Saffron, the most expensive spice in the world, is a tiny part of a fragrant flower which smells like honey. Scientifically known as Crocus sativus, it belongs to the family Iridaceae. It is one of the oldest spices cultivated by the man since1600 to 1700 BC. It could have originated in Middle East areas and Central Asia or Southwest Greek islands. It is widely cultivated in many countries such as China, India and the Middle East regions. It is a perennial herb growing 10-25 cm tall and when autumn begins, it blooms into purple-coloured flowers. The vivid red-coloured three filament ‘stigma’ of this flower is dried to make the spice ‘saffron’

Properties of Saffron:

Due to the good effectiveness of Saffron, it has captured the interest of researchers all over the world. It is said that Saffron may even replace some synthetic medicines.The properties of Saffron are:

  • It may provide pain relief
  • It may increase the sense of happiness and excitement
  • It may help enhance memory
  • It may have anti-inflammatory potential
  • It may help lower blood pressure
  • It may help enhance breathing
  • It may help with digestion
  • It may help with signs of ageing
  • It may help protect the liver
  • It may help protect the spleen
  • It may help lower blood cholesterol
  • It may help protect heart
  • It may act as an antioxidant

 Uses of Saffron:

Saffron has a range of benefits that are described as below.

Saffron (Kesar) for Skin

Since ancient times, Saffron has been used for skin conditions. It may help improve complexion, decrease dark circles under the eyes, refresh the face and may help manage acne and infections of the superficial layer of the skin (erysipelas). It may also help absorb the skin-damaging UV rays of the sun and can be used as a natural sunscreen. Saffron may help prevent skin cancer. 

Saffron for Cholesterol

Saffron potentially reduces cholesterol levels in the blood, which reduces atherosclerosis (a condition in which cholesterol gets deposited on the arteries). These properties of saffron may help with blood cholesterol levels, but more studies are required to support its use. Therefore, if you are suffering from high blood cholesterol, you need to reach out to your doctor and get a consultation. Avoid using saffron to control blood cholesterol without consulting your doctor. 

Saffron for Digestion

Saffron may act as a tonic for the digestive system. It may help curb the appetite and the formation of gases in the intestine. It also may help to manage amoebic dysentery.Using saffron in the diet may help ease digestion, but it is better to get help from the doctor if you are experiencing any digestive issues.  

Saffron for the Eyes

Saffron may be used to manage various eye problems such as cataracts, diseases of the cornea, soreness of the eyes and eye diseases occurring due to ageing. It was used by females in a form of ‘Kohl’ to line their eyes, as a form of makeup, protecting them from eye infections. However, the eyes are sensitive organs and it is better to consult an eye specialist for any eye-related issues.

Other Uses of Saffron

  • Saffron may help to fight against cancer and cancer-causing agents without causing any damage to healthy cells.
  • It may also help prevent the development of resistance to the hormone insulin by preventing a compensatory rise in insulin levels in the blood.
  • Saffron may help cure respiratory problems such as cold, cough, asthma, long-standing bronchial inflammation and other lung diseases.
  • It may also help manage rheumatism-a condition in which the joints get inflamed due to autoimmunity.

How to Use Saffron (Kesar)?

Saffron can be used in the following ways:

  • Saffron has been used since ages as a luxurious spice. It is used to make candies and tea and is also used as a natural food dye.
  • Saffron soaked with basil leaves and then applied on the skin is a great remedy for getting rid of acne.
  • Soaked Saffron mixed with olive oil, virgin coconut oil or raw milk helps to enhance facial blood circulation.

You should always consult your Ayurvedic physician before consuming Saffron for regular use. They will be the best person to prescribe you the correct form and dosage as per your health condition. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.