HELTH BENEFITS OF KASHMIR SAFFRON
Saffron extract may support mental health partly by increasing levels of dopamine and norepinephrine
In a meta-analysis of five clinical trials (30-42 subjects each), saffron significantly improved the symptoms of depression. It had an effect comparable to that of standard antidepressants.
In 40 women with mild-to-moderate postpartum depression (after childbirth), saffron supplementation for 6 weeks was more effective than the common antidepressant Prozac.
Similar improvements in depressive symptoms were seen in 61 patients with schizophrenia given saffron extract for 12 weeks. Saffron was well tolerated and safe to use, but more research is needed to determine if it’s as effective as the current therapies used for schizophrenia.
Saffron extract supplementation for 16 weeks improved cognitive function and reduced dementia
According to test-tube experiments, saffron may in part improve dementia by inhibiting an enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine: acetylcholinesterase. This enzyme is a target of donepezil, one of the approved medications for Alzheimer’s
In a recent trial of 100 patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), saffron (20 mg daily for 3 months) modestly improved eye function.
Saffron extract supplementation was able to improve vision and blood flow to the eyes in animals with this condition. This effect is likely mediated by crocin, which dilates the vessels carrying blood to the eyes
Symptoms of PMS
One of the oldest traditional uses of saffron is the treatment of premenstrual syndrome, or PMS. The symptoms of PMS include mood swings, cramps, bloating, and acne .
Menstrual Cramps (Dysmenorrhea)
Blood Pressure Reduction
Saffron may improve heart function by increasing its pumping capacity. This may be due to the presence of kaempferol, a molecule with potent heart-protecting effects
Additionally, saffron’s constituent crocin, upon conversion to crocetin, may reduce cholesterol levels and the hardening of blood vessels (atherosclerosis)
Saffron extract may support mental health by increasing levels of dopamine and norepinephrine.
According to one review of clinical and preclinical data, saffron may aid in weight loss by:
Slowing down fat absorption and digestion
Reducing calorie intake by lowering appetite
Improving glucose and fat utilization for energy
Saffron and its components may reduce cholesterol and lipid levels, potentially contributing to better weight control.
Saffron extracts have shown anti-cancer effects in cellular and animal models of lung, liver, breast, pancreatic, colorectal, skin, prostate, ovarian, and cervical cancer
Saffron’s potential anti-cancer effects are mediated by the main chemical crocin, which is converted to crocetin in the body. Crocetin can selectively target cancer cells and kill them. It does this by inhibiting the production of cancerous proteins and increasing cell death (apoptosis).
In multiple cell-based and animal studies, scientists examined the potential of saffron to improve brain health by:
- reducing inflammation in the brain
- Regulating levels of neurotransmitters
- Antioxidant activity that reduces damage to the brain
- Protecting the brain from injury
- Preventing cell death in the brain (apoptosis)
After menopause, many women suffer from issues with bone health resulting in conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis. This occurs due to changes in hormone (estrogen) levels that are responsible for maintaining bone health.
Historically, saffron has been used in traditional medicine to treat spasms in the lungs and asthma attacks.
In rats, saffron protected the stomach from excessive acid. This is mediated by the production of antioxidant proteins and the inhibition of oxidative stress
Saffron has commonly been combined with opiates and other pain-relieving substances in traditional medicine.
Certain types of pain cannot be addressed using common painkillers, like neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain occurs within the nerves and is a symptom of certain conditions like fibromyalgia and diabetes and can occur from injuries.
saffron decreases levels of highly toxic proteins and fat deposits in the liver.
This effect is mediated by 3 possible ways:
Inhibiting certain enzymes that create toxic byproducts
Protecting against oxidative stress
Regulating the cell structure of the liver (hepatic membrane)
Saffron has been used in traditional medicine for its ability to prevent seizures (anticonvulsant properties) for a long time.
In muscle cells, saffron increased glucose utilization and the uptake of glucose from the bloodstream. When given alongside insulin, saffron enhanced the activities of insulin and the responsiveness of the cell to insulin
PRESERVATION OF SAFFRON
- First of all, the best way to store saffron is to put it in a clean, airtight container. When fresh saffron is exposed to high levels of moisture and humidity it starts losing its properties in a short period of time. The same goes for saffron that is left exposed to oxygen. This is one of the reasons why you should use a small container where air cannot circulate freely. So, after you store it in a special container, you should keep it in a cool and dry place away from sunlight. The best option is to keep the container in a kitchen cabinet that is not exposed to sunlight directly under the countertop. In addition, use a cabinet or drawers made of wood because metal can easily absorb heat.
- It is worth mentioning that saffron can last for more than two years in case it is stored in the right way. However, it is the best idea to use it within two years because, after this period of time, it will start losing its effects.
- There are many people that want to store saffron in the fridge. However, storing saffron in a refrigerator should be avoided, especially in case you are using saffron frequently. When moving saffron in and out of the fridge all the time, you will create condensation. As a result of that, you can expect an increased level of moisture, which will eventually ruin the properties of saffron.
- When it comes to temperature, experts recommend a well-balanced temperature between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius.
- As we have mentioned before, humidity plays important role in the lifespan of saffron. It is highly recommended to keep the humidity at around 40%.
- When storing saffron, try to use aluminum foil for additional protection.
- Finally, it is better to use a few smaller containers because as we said before, every time you open the container a small amount of moisture enters the container. Frequent use will spoil the content.