Ayurvedic Home Remedies: Health Benefits of Saffron

Saffron is one of the expensive herbs used in Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani systems of medicine.  Also known by its common name Crocus, saffron has been used from time immemorial the world over to treat various ailments and disease conditions ranging from skin disorders to depression.  Crocus sativus was regarded as an aphrodisiac and associated with fertility.  It was considered a very good stimulant.

Recent research has shown saffron to be effective in treating depression.  Researchers at Teheran University of Medical Services in Iran have found saffron to be effective in relieving depression just as the popular anti-depressant Prozac but without any side effects.  Saffron has been used as a sedative and anticonvulsant in traditional systems of medicine.

Saffron is also found to be helpful in combating cancer.  Dr Fikrat Abdullayev’s research carried out at Mexican Ministry of Science and Technology has shown saffron inhibited new cancer formation as well as well as shrunk existing cancerous tumors.  Also the anti-cancer effect of chemotherapy improves with usage of saffron.  Saffron can be helpful in cancer prevention.

When used in moderate quantities saffron is found to be useful in treating menstrual problems and help in conception.  Saffron helps improve complexion and take care of skin blemishes.  It is a very effective remedy for acne and other similar skin conditions.  For this purpose a paste made of saffron is applied on affected areas.   One common practice still practiced by pregnant women in Southern India is the regular consumption of milk after adding four to five strands of saffron.  This is said to improve the complexion of the child in the womb.

One promising cure for AMD or age related macular degeneration is saffron.  This golden herb is found to reverse the condition of AMD and other age related diseases like retina pigmentosa.  Saffron is rich in anti-oxidants.  It contains niacin, riboflavin, Vitamin A and C, and minerals like calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium and zinc.

To make a kilogram of saffron, strands from upwards of 170,000 flowers are required.  The reason behind the prohibitive cost of saffron is the labor intensive process involved in its production.  The female part of the flower called stigma is the source of saffron.  These minute stigmas are painstakingly extracted by hand.

To reap the health benefits of saffron one needs to take it regularly for a long period of time.  Also the fact that the strands stale fast as well as the flowers being seasonal add to the cost.  These factors keep saffron  away from the reach of common man denying him of its health benefits.

Recent developments in the extraction front have changed the scenario to a very significant extent.  Nowadays companies like VAV Life Sciences use state of the art extraction methods to provide the common man with natural saffron extract.  The shelf life of the product is three years.  This results in easy availability throughout the year.

The saffron natural extract can be mixed in water or milk and taken every day to reap its medicinal benefits.  It is easier to handle.  The dosing can be measured easily and adjusted according to the needs.  The cost of the extract is comparatively lesser than the conventional saffron.  Modern science helps common man to enjoy the benefits of saffron that were once the privilege of the rich.

Technorati Tags: , , ,