Italian and Australian researchers claim saffron spice may help against diseases such as retinal degeneration and retinitis pigmentosis.
The researchers found that saffron spice could slow down the deterioration and even improve the vision of patients with ocular diseases that cause vision loss in old age. It is even possible that the spice can prevent blindness in adults.
Professor Silvia Bisti of Italy, who led the study, discovered a wonderful ability for saffron to act on the genes that regulate the activity of the cells responsible for vision. She found that the spice can protect the optic cells (photoreceptors) from various damages, and even seems to have the ability to slow or reverse the progression of diseases that cause blindness. This finding has huge potential to help people with ailments like retinal degeneration or retinitis pigmentosis.
The study conducted in retinal degenerative patients indicated that supplementation of diet with saffron spice aided the rehabilitation of optic cells. Two groups of experimenters participated in the study, both of whom included only retinal degeneration patients. The first group received a saffron supplement for three months and then a placebo for another three months. The second group received the placebo in the first three months and then the saffron supplement. All experimenters experienced an improvement in vision during the period when saffron was taken, but once treatment was discontinued (or they began to receive a placebo) the improvement quickly disappeared.
A little bit about saffron
Saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world and is produced from the stigmas of the saffron flower. It is very common in different kitchens and is also used as a dye for different purposes.
It is a local spice in Southwestern Asian cooking. It has a slightly bitter taste and contains carotenoid, a yellow pigment found in plants that gives the dishes a rich golden color.
Saffron is a major spice in Persian, Arabic, Indian, and Turkish cuisine and is even common in the kitchens of Cornwall County residents. Due to its properties, it is also used as a color for fabrics and is even found in various perfumes.
But saffron does not only make food more delicious. For thousands of years it has been used as an herbal medicine in traditional natural healing for the treatment of various diseases — menstrual and menopause pain, depression, chronic diarrhea and nervous problems.
In recent years, Western medicine has begun to recognize saffron’s virtues and studies have found that it has a beneficial effect on the immune system, that it can work against genetic mutations, and that it has anticancer and antioxidant properties.
Saffron’s effectiveness against eye diseases
Professor Bisti points out that saffron is probably not only an antioxidant, but has properties that may protect the eyesight. It seems to affect the genes that regulate the fatty acids in the cell envelope.
This feature greatly strengthens the vision cells and makes them more durable. She also says that studies on BAC have shown that a diet containing saffron protects the eyes from sun glare damage.
These are damages that we are all exposed to and feel in moving from a dark place straight into the sunlight. This sun damage can induce the tendency to develop retinitis pigmentosis or retinal degeneration.
Professor Bisti has begun to study the effect of saffron on eye health in the mountainous Abruzzi region of Italy, where saffron is industrially grown due to its antioxidant properties.
Professor Bisti notes that saffron’s effect on the eyes and eyesight has never been studied, though it is well known both as an herb and an herbal medicine and is perfectly safe to use.
Natural treatment for eye diseases
Natural treatment of ocular diseases based on Chinese medicine is effective against ocular diseases as a whole and especially against retinitis pigmentosis and retinal degeneration, which is discussed in this article.
Chinese medicine offers effective and natural treatments and solutions, without physical invasion. Natural treatment helps the overall health of the patient, thereby improving their overall feeling. Based on studies conducted around the world, there is proven research success that claims acupuncture helps improve patients’ vision as well.