Saffron has ancient status in herbal medicine, recently it has become a more mainstream herbal remedy, popping up in my healthfood stores and pharmacies across several well-known brands. This is thanks to more research that has been conducted into Saffron’s therapeutic uses with fantastic results.
Historically, Saffron was used for ailments such as skin, digestive, respiratory, urinary tract, mood disorders and eye health. With links to traditional uses all over the world including much of Europe and the Middle East, China and India, saffron is a world recognised herb with a variety of health benefits.
Modern day research has backed many of the traditional uses of saffron which include:
– Neurodegenerative reduction
– Respiratory complaints
One of the most recognised and useful functions of Saffron is as an antidepressant or mood stabiliser. The herb contains anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and neuroprotective properties, all indicated in depression and mood disorders. Research has demonstrated positive effects in the reduction of anxiety, stress, sleep quality and mood enhancement. Better yet, there are little side effects to the use of Saffron.
Inflammation and oxidation have a large role to play in neurodegenerative diseases. As previously mentioned, Saffron boasts a substantial amount of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties making it beneficial in the potential prevention and management of diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
A lesser known action of Saffron is its role as a bronchodilator. Asthmatics experience moderate to severe levels of bronchoconstriction, causing difficulty in breathing. Saffron has demonstrated potential in opening airways and enhancing circulation to the lungs. This may help to reducing the wheezing and shortness of breath that accompanies asthma.
Saffron has shown promise in reducing atherosclerotic risk by reducing the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, lipid (fat) absorption and plaque adhesion to arteries, preventing blockages and therefore, cardiovascular events.
Saffron, a herb that rarely enters our pantry cupboard due to its high price tag, yet lives up to its value with exceptional health benefits is often overlooked for other herbs, supplements and medications.