Saffron called as Kesar in Hindi is one of the most expensive spices in the whole world has wonderful health benefits and it has been in use from ancient times. Saffron imparts a golden yellow color to the dishes and has been mainly used a natural colorant but it also has wonderful medicinal uses and health benefits.
Saffron Common Names:
Where Does Saffron Come From & Why Is It So Expensive?
Saffron flower is light purple in color but the thread like stamen is a beautiful crimson red. It takes very careful picking of about 36000 saffron flowers to get 1 pound of stigmas and over 2 lakh stigmas to get just 500 grams of pure high quality saffron which makes it very expensive.
Saffron was first cultivated in Greece but now Iran accounts for almost 90 % of the world production. Saffron has been used in both traditional ayurvedic medicine and in home remedies, it has been used as a sedative, as an expectorant for treating cough, to improve skin color and it is also regularly given to pregnant women.
Saffron Chemical Constituents:
Saffron contains more than 150 volatile compounds. The yellow color of saffron is mainly due to the presence of carotenoid compounds crocin and crocetin.
The unique taste and smell of saffron is due to the presence of compounds called safranal and picrocrocin. In the dried saffron threads, safranal accounts for almost 70 % of the volatile compounds present in it.
Saffron Health Benefits & Medicinal Uses:
1. Anti Cancer Properties:
2. Natural Aphrodisiac:
3. Antidote For Poisoning:
4. Antioxidant & Anti Inflammatory Properties:
5. For Depression:
Saffron has been believed to have anti depressant properties and usually saffron milk is given as a remedy for it and this traditional remedy has been backed by research.
Saffron greatly helps people suffering from mild to moderate depression and even just 4 weeks of supplementation will help. This is due to its neuroprotective, antioxidant, serotonergic and anti inflammatory properties.
6. For Anxiety and Schizophrenia:
7. Reduces Blood Pressure:
8. Macular Degeneration:
9. For Weight Loss:
As consumption of high fat processed foods increases, the risk of getting diseases like coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer, sleep problems and liver diseases also increases. Non alcoholic fatty liver disease is a liver disease the commonly affects overweight people.
Crocin present in saffron greatly helps prevents non alcoholic fatty liver disease in obese people. Along with eating healthy, if we supplement with saffron we can prevent liver diseases caused due to obesity.
10. For Diabetes:
Is Saffron Good For Skin Care ?
How To Buy & Store Saffron?
Saffron Side Effects:
5 Top Ways To Use Saffron (Kesar) For Skin, Hair & Health:
1. Saffron For Lips:
Saffron when used for lips lightens dark lips and keeps it moisturized. To use, take a small pinch of saffron and mix it in tsp of honey. Store this mixture in a small bottle and daily massage your lips with this mixture.
2. Saffron Face Pack:
For the face pack, take a pinch of saffron and soak it in 2 teaspoon of milk, the milk will turn yellow. Now add this milk to 1 tbsp of gram flour and mix well to form a thick paste. Apply this pack all over the face, wait for it to dry completely and then wash it off.
3. Saffron Milk:
Mix 2 pinches saffron to warm milk, add in honey and your simple saffron milk is ready. If you have time, try this rich kesar milk recipe: Soak 3 almonds in water and remove the outer skin. Now take the almonds along with 2 pinches of saffron, honey, milk and grind in a mixer to get wonderfully rich saffron milk. This kesar milk can be taken for reducing anxiety, depression and for improving our memory.
4. Saffron For Skin Problems:
For treating skin problems like acne, pigmentation and dryness, soak a pinch of saffron in 1/2 tsp of milk. Now rub a sandalwood bark in a sandalwood stone along with the saffron infused milk till you get a thick paste and apply all over the face. Wait for it to dry completely and then wash it off.
5. Saffron Infused Massage Oil For Hair & Skin:
Warm 1/4 cup of any pure unrefined oil, now add in 1/4 tsp saffron and switch off. Wait for the oil to cool down, the oil will take on a beautiful yellow color, now use this saffron oil to massage your skin and hair before bath. This massage oil will keep both our skin and hair moisturized.
Hi Ramya, where do we get to buy good quality Saffron
Hi Kasuma, I buy saffron from my local departmental store. They have different brands, I just went with the sales persons suggestion last time and the saffron turned out to be very good 🙂