We have all heard of saffron being used as a spice in cooking to add that tinge of flavour into our favourite dish like risotto or even in sweets in Indian cuisine. But did you know that saffron also has quite the reputation in the realm of beauty and skincare? This spice, also known as kesar, has many therapeutic properties that help get our health and skin in order. We have collated five amazing health benefits that you could potentially reap just from saffron. Interested? Read on more to find out!
What Is Saffron?
As an introduction, saffron is a spice that comes from the flower of Crocus sativus and is believed to have first originated from Persia before making its mark in other parts of the world. The plant thrives in regions within the Mediterranean and don’t be surprised if you see it grow to about 20 to 30 cm in height. Saffron has long been regarded as precious since each saffron flower only provides three red stigmas that are useful to us. Many ancient Greek legends retold the arduous adventures that soldiers had to endure to uncover saffron. Even the Egyptian queen Cleopatra was a fine appreciator of this valuable spice, often infusing it into her bath to beautify herself.
Today, Saffron can be found abundantly but that does not mean that they come cheap. The labour needed to harvest these spices is intensive — during the harvesting process, each of the three stigmas of each flower has to be hand-picked before they are dried in the sun or over low heat. Between saffron powder and the spice that comes in bright red threads, there is no doubt that saffron in its original form is the better of the two. While saffron powder is much cheaper, there is a clear reason for that — these powder are grounded from either aged saffron or those that are of poorer quality.
4 Benefits Of Saffron
We have heard how they are lusted over centuries back by Cleopatra and many other historical figures, but how then is saffron good for us? Will it heal us from all of our sickness and ills? Will it give us superhuman strength? Here are 4 benefits of saffron.
Improves Our Eyesight
It is not quite the superhuman vision that Superman has, but saffron has the potential to give us better eyesight, prevent vision loss and retinal degeneration. This comes from the natural compounds, which include safranal, that serve to preserve our photoreceptor morphology, visual response and capillary network. A scientific study also found that the consumption of saffron helped improved macular thickness in patients and improves one’s retinal function. Great news for the elderly, another study by an Australian University discovered how saffron helped improved the vision of the elderly. This is because of how saffron plays a strong part in the genes that maintain the fatty acid content in the cell membrane and this ensures the cells needed for our eyes to work are much stronger.
After a whole night of tossing and turning, sleep disruptions or even sleeplessness in the night can have the potential to ruin your day. When we find ourselves without the necessary rest we need in the night, it makes it so much harder for us to concentrate on our daily activities and let’s not forget the fact that it often brings out puffiness on our face and those deep-set intense shadows below your eyes. Thankfully, the use of saffron could help us with that. Within saffron, a chemical compound called crocin has been discovered to improve our non-rapid eye movement sleep and this could do wonders in improving and curing our insomnia.
Builds Up Immunity
A weakened immunity would spell trouble for you since that means you are a tad bit more susceptible to falling ill during crunch time. You are in luck since saffron has been regarded as an immunity booster. In particular, it is the carotenoids in saffron that would build up our immunity and enhance our immune cell function. Each time our body feels like it is in the red, our saffron-backed immune system will find the strength to fight these sicknesses and come up stronger than ever.
Protector Of Skin
You are welcome to run to the hills and proclaim to the world of the magical powers of saffron. Due to its many beneficial health compounds, you are assured radiant, glowing and smooth skin with the use of saffron. Did you know that mixing a few strands of these bright red spice into your glass of milk could gift you beautiful complexion? Besides that, saffron also has the ability to heal you of your acne and blemishes and all that is done to the antifungal content of saffron. To do that, try mixing basil leaves with saffron strands to create a fine paste to apply onto your face. Just 15 minutes of leaving this on your face would help you rid your face of all those bacteria and annoying pimples.