Saffron is basically a flowering plant which is widely used as a culinary spice. It is also used in herbal supplements due to its varied health benefits. Right from treating depression, asthma, hardening of the arteries, stressful menstrual cycles, benefits extend to even treating cancer and helping to lower bad cholesterol levels.
Research indicates that a few compounds in saffron do promote anti-cancer activity. It also helps in stimulating the secretion of stomach acids which supposedly assists in the contraction of muscles, for instance, as in the uterus.
A vital herb with multiple benefits, it is believed that in ancient days, grand moms used to mix a few sprigs of saffron in hot milk as a night cap for their grand children, to induce sound sleep and good health. It’s been scientifically proven that saffron contains carotenoids which play a vital role in inhibiting skin tumors, improving vision and relieving aches and pains of arthritic conditions and it’s been proven after a recent trial that this aromatic golden herb may prove instrumental in preventing loss of vision in the elderly. This is a proven fact in scientific circles that saffron helps to regain vision in the instances of cataract.
Saffron contains certain active constituents which are known to produce positive effects in patients suffering from neuro degenerative disorders. In case of soreness of the tongue and mouth, try massaging gums with saffron. Discomfort is relieved almost immediately.
How Do You Find the right Quality and Kind of Saffron?
While buying saffron, to ascertain its genuineness, and to find out whether it is fake or adulterated, immerse a tiny piece of it in warm water or milk. If the milk or water colors immediately, then it is adulterated. Genuine saffron takes about ten to fifteen minutes of soaking before it will bring color and smell to the water or milk. Generally, growing it yourself in your home or going to a reputable health food store is a good source.
Saffron seems safe for most people when used as a medicine for up to six weeks. Some possible side effects include dry mouth, anxiety, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, change in appetite, and headache. Allergic reactions can occur in some people. Taking large amounts of saffron is UNSAFE. DOSAGES ARE AS FOLLOWS ACCORDING TO WebMD.com: BY MOUTH:
- For depression: 30 mg/day of a specific saffron extract made in Iran, a different saffron extract 15 mg twice daily has also been used.
- For premenstrual syndrome (PMS): 15 mg of a specific ethanol saffron extract twice daily (Department of Cultivation and Development of Institute of Medicinal Plants, Tehran, Iran).
- For menstrual discomfort: 500 mg of a specific combination product containing saffron, celery seed and anise extracts (SCA, Gol Daro Herbal Medicine Laboratory) taken three times a day for the first three days of menstruation.
- For Alzheimer’s disease: 30 mg/day of a specific saffron product (IMPIRAN, Iran).
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