11 Impressive Health Benefits of Saffron

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Saffron is one of the most pricey spices worldwide, with 1 pound (450 grams) costing between US$500 and US$5,000.

The reason for its significant cost is its labor-intensive harvesting approach, making the production expensive.

Saffron is collected by hand from the Crocus sativus blossom, commonly called the “saffron crocus.” The term “saffron” applies to the flower’s thread-like structures, or stigmas.

It came from Greece, where it was prized for its medical properties. Individuals would eat saffron to boost libido, boost mood, and improve memory (1).

Saffron is one of the most pricey spices worldwide, with 1 pound (450 grams) costing between US$500 and US$5,000.

The reason for its significant cost is its labor-intensive harvesting approach, making the production expensive.

Saffron is collected by hand from the Crocus sativus blossom, commonly called the “saffron crocus.” The term “saffron” applies to the flower’s thread-like structures, or stigmas.

It came from Greece, where it was prized for its medical properties. Individuals would eat saffron to boost libido, boost mood, and improve memory (1).

Here are 11 remarkable health and wellness advantages of saffron.

Saffron - a journey following the world's most spicy spice

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Saffron contains a remarkable variety of plant substances that function as antioxidants — molecules that protect your cells against free radicals and also oxidative anxiety.


Remarkable saffron antioxidants include crocin, crocetin, safranal, and kaempferol (2Trusted Source).


Crocin and crocetin are carotenoid pigments and are responsible for saffron’s red color. Both substances may have antidepressant properties, protect brain cells against dynamic damages, reduce swelling, lower appetite, and aid weight reduction (2Trusted Resource, 3Trusted Source).

Safranal provides saffron its distinctive taste and scent. A research study reveals that it may assist in boosting your state of mind, memory, as well as finding out ability, in addition to protecting your brain cells against oxidative stress (4Trusted Source).


Finally, kaempferol is also present in the saffron flower. This compound has actually been linked to wellness benefits, such as reduced inflammation, anticancer properties, and also antidepressant activity (2Trusted Resource, 5Trusted Source).



Saffron is abundant in plant substances that work as antioxidants, such as crocin, crocetin, safranal, and kaempferol. Antioxidants assist in shielding your cells against oxidative anxiety.

2. May Improve State of Mind As Well As Deal With Depressive Symptoms

Saffron is nicknamed the “sunshine flavor.”

That’s not simply due to its distinctive color, but also because it may aid in brightening your state of mind.


In a testimonial of five studies, saffron supplements were shown to be dramatically more efficient than placebos at dealing with symptoms of mild to moderate clinical depression (6Trusted Resource).

Various other research studies discovered that taking 30 mg of saffron daily was equally as reliable as fluoxetine, imipramine, and citalopram — standard treatments for anxiety. In addition, fewer individuals experienced adverse effects from saffron compared to various other therapies (7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Resource).


What’s more, both the saffron petals as well as the thread-like stigmas appear to be effective against mild to moderate depression (1Trusted Resource, 10Trusted Resource).


While these findings are appealing, much longer human research studies with more participants are required before saffron can be suggested as a therapy for depression.



Saffron might help treat symptoms of mild to moderate depression, yet even more researches are needed before certain recommendations can be made.


3. May Have Cancer-Fighting Properties

Saffron is high in antioxidants, which helps reduce the effects of harmful free radicals. Free radical damage has been linked to chronic conditions such as cancer (11Trusted Resource).


In test-tube research studies, saffron as well as its compounds have actually been shown to uniquely eliminate colon cancer cells or subdue their growth, while leaving typical cells unscathed (12Trusted Source).

This result likewise applies to skin, bone marrow, prostate, lung, breast, cervix, and a number of various other cancer cells (13Trusted Source).

What’s even more, test-tube research studies have actually discovered that crocin — the primary antioxidant in saffron — might make cancer cells much more susceptible to radiation treatment medications (14Trusted Source).


While these findings from test-tube researches are appealing, the anticancer effects of saffron are poorly studied in humans, and a lot more research is needed.


Saffron is high in antioxidants, which may assist in killing cancer cells while leaving regular cells unhurt. Nonetheless, more human research studies are needed.

4. May Reduce PMS Symptoms

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a term that describes the physical, emotional, and mental symptoms that happen before the beginning of menstruation.


Studies show that saffron might help to deal with PMS symptoms.

In ladies 20 to 45 years old, taking 30 mg of saffron daily was much more reliable than a placebo at dealing with PMS symptoms, such as irritation, headaches, food cravings, and discomfort (15Trusted Resource).

Another research study found that just smelling saffron for 20 minutes helped reduce PMS signs and symptoms like anxiousness and also reduced levels of the tension hormone cortisol (16Trusted Resource).


Both consuming and smelling saffron appears to aid in dealing with PMS signs and symptoms, such as irritation, headaches, desires, pain, stress, and anxiety.

5. May Serve As an Aphrodisiac

Aphrodisiacs are foods or supplements that help increase your sex drive.


Research studies have revealed that saffron may have aphrodisiac properties — especially in people taking antidepressants.

As an example, taking 30 mg of saffron daily over four weeks dramatically improved erectile function over a placebo in men with antidepressant-related impotence (17Trusted Source).


Additionally, an evaluation of six research studies showed that taking saffron dramatically boosted erectile function, libido, and overall satisfaction yet not semen features (18Trusted Source).

In women with reduced sexual desire due to taking antidepressants, 30 mg of saffron daily over four weeks reduced sex-related discomfort as well as boosted sexual desire and lubrication, compared to a sugar pill (19Trusted Source).


Saffron may have aphrodisiac properties for both males and females and might specifically help those taking antidepressants.


6. May Reduce Appetite and Aid Weight Management

Snacking is a common practice that may place you in danger of acquiring unwanted weight.


According to research, saffron may help you to avoid snacking by suppressing your appetite.

In one eight-week study, ladies taking saffron supplements felt substantially extra full, snacked much less often, and shed significantly more weight than females taking a placebo (20Trusted Source).

In an additional eight-week study, taking a saffron extract supplement helped considerably minimize hunger, body mass index (BMI), waistline area, and also complete fat mass (3Trusted Source).

Nonetheless, scientists are not sure how saffron affects hunger and aids weight loss. One theory is that saffron raises your mood, which subsequently reduces your wish to eat (20Trusted Resource).


Saffron has actually been shown to minimize snacking as well as suppress your appetite. Subsequently, these habits might help you slim down.

7–10. Various Other Prospective Wellness Advantages

Saffron has been linked to other wellness advantages that have not yet been thoroughly studied:

May lower heart problem threat aspects: Animal as well as test-tube research studies indicate that saffron’s antioxidant properties might lower blood cholesterol and also protect capillaries and arteries from clogging (21Trusted Source, 22Trusted Source, 23Trusted Resource).

May reduce blood glucose levels: Saffron might reduce blood glucose levels and raise insulin level of sensitivity, as seen in test-tube research studies as well as lab mice with diabetes mellitus (24Trusted Source, 25Trusted Source).

Might improve eyesight in adults with age-related macular degeneration (AMD): Saffron appears to enhance eyesight in adults with AMD and also secure against free radical damage, which is connected to AMD (26Trusted Resource, 27Trusted Source, 28Trusted Resource).

May improve memory in adults with Alzheimer’s disease: Saffron’s antioxidant properties may enhance cognition in adults with Alzheimer’s illness (29Trusted Resource).


Saffron has been linked to a number of other potential wellness advantages, such as lower risk of heart disease, improved blood sugar levels, sight, and better memory. Nevertheless, even more studies are required to come to more powerful conclusions.

11. Easy to Contribute to Your Diet Plan

In tiny dosages, saffron has a refined flavor and aroma that pairs well with tasty meals, such as paella, risottos, and other rice dishes.


The best way to draw out saffron’s distinct taste is to soak the threads in warm — yet not steaming — water. Include the threads as well as the fluid to your dish to attain a much deeper, richer flavor.

Saffron is conveniently available at many specialized markets, and can be acquired as threads or in powdered form. However, it’s best to purchase the threads, as they offer you more flexibility and are much less likely to be polluted.

Though saffron is one of the most expensive seasonings worldwide, a little goes a long way, as you usually won’t need more than a pinch in your recipes. Actually, utilizing too much saffron can give your dishes an overpowering medical taste.


In addition, saffron is offered as a supplement.


Saffron has a subtle taste and fragrance, which makes it very easy to add it to your diet plan. It pairs well with savory recipes and ought to be taken in warm water to provide a much deeper flavor. Additionally, you can purchase saffron in supplement form to enjoy its advantages.

Dangers, Precautions, and Dose

Saffron is usually safe, with little to no adverse effects.

In common cooking amounts, saffron does not appear to create unfavorable impacts in human beings.


As a dietary supplement, people can safely take up to 1.5 grams of saffron per day. Nevertheless, just 30 mg of saffron daily has been shown to be sufficient to reap its health and wellness benefits (7Trusted Source, 17Trusted Resource, 30Trusted Resource).

On the other hand, high doses of 5 grams or even more can have hazardous effects. Pregnant ladies should avoid high dosages, as it may trigger miscarriage (31Trusted Source, 32Trusted Resource).

As with any type of supplement, speak with your doctor before taking saffron in supplement form.

One more concern with saffron — specifically saffron powder — is that it may be contaminated with other components, such as beet, red-dyed silk fibers, turmeric, and paprika. Corruption reduces the cost for producers, as genuine saffron is pricey to harvest (33Trusted Resource).

Therefore, it is necessary to purchase saffron from a respectable brand name to guarantee you obtain a genuine product. If the saffron appears to be too economical, it’s best to avoid it.


In normal dosages, saffron is normally risk-free with little to no side effects. Make sure to buy saffron from a trusted brand name or shop to avoid a faulty product.

The Bottom Line

Saffron is an effective spice high in antioxidants.


It has been linked to wellness advantages, such as improved state of mind, sex drive, and sexual desire, in addition to reduced PMS signs and also enhanced weight loss.


Most importantly, it’s normally risk-free for most people and very easy to add to your diet regimen. Try integrating saffron right into your favorite dishes to make the most of its prospective health benefits or acquire a supplement online.

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