Saffron: Benefits, Nutrition, Side Effects & Ways to Use

Saffron is the golden-coloured and pungent stigmas of the autumn crocus. It’s dried and used to flavour meals and dye to color meals and different merchandise. It has a stable and unique aroma and a bitter style. Saffron is an costly spice with a historic culinary significance. The perennial plant belongs to the Iridaceae household. Nevertheless, the identify saffron comes from the Arabic phrase Zaffran.

Saffron’s exorbitant value is as a result of laborious activity of harvesting. First, farmers separate the fragile strands from every flower manually. Then, they warmth and remedy the threads to boost their flavour. The additional labour quantities to the price and advantages of saffron. Therefore, it’s also generally known as the king of spices.

It takes round 36,000 flowers to yield 1 pound of dried threads or stigmas. Over 200,000 dried stigmas yield 500 grams of pure saffron. Saffron cultivation occurs below particular weather conditions in Iran, India, and southern Europe. The advantages of saffron are varied. 

Predominantly, saffron is a pure seasoning and flavouring spice for delicacies. Moreover, individuals use it as a preservative, pure colouring agent and key ingredient in lots of cuisines. Additionally, many individuals use it as pharmaceutical and conventional drugs.

Because of this, saffron refines a wide selection of cuisines worldwide. For instance, it is a superb addition to the Spanish Paella, Indian Pulao, Iranian stew dishes, seafood and dessert recipes. It’s also a key ingredient in particular French recipes. Additionally, different celebrated dishes are Iranian steamed saffron rice with tahdig, Persian almond cake, and Indian recipes with saffron syrup.

Dietary Properties of Saffron

Saffron has all kinds of plant compounds that act as antioxidants. Main saffron antioxidants embrace crocin, crocetin, safranal and kemperanol. As per studies, they shield your cells in opposition to each free radicals and oxidative stress. 

Crocin and crocetin are carotenoid pigments. They’re color giving pigment for saffron. Each the compounds have antidepressant properties. Safranal offers saffron its distinctive style and aroma.

Saffron comprises the next vitamins per 100 grams.

  • Calcium- 111 milligrams 
  • Iron- 11.1 mg
  • Potassium- 1724mg
  • Whole fat- 6 g
  • Ldl cholesterol- 0 gm
  • Sodium- 148
  • Potassium- 1724 mg
  • Dietary fibre- 3.9mg
  • Protein- 11gm

Nutritional vitamins and Minerals (Required Each day Consumption)  

  • Iron- 61%
  • Vitamin C- 134%
  • Vitamin B6- 50%
  • Magnesium- 66%
  • Calcium- 11%

Well being Advantages of Saffron

Saffron has a robust aroma and a lovely color. Ayurveda celebrates saffron as a pure sedative and expectorant. It’s a wealthy supply of antioxidants with quite a few well being advantages. 

Furthermore, saffron performs a significant function in asthmatic therapy. It’s an emmenagogue and apoptogenic agent. Therefore together with pure immunity boosters like saffron in your day by day weight-reduction plan could assist. Saffron is a storehouse of carminative, diaphoretic and aphrodisiac properties.

In historical occasions, individuals used saffron in opioid preparations as an analgesic or painkiller. Research state that saffron elevates temper, struggle oxidative stress. Saffron is usually protected to eat throughout all ages throughout the prescribed doses.

Saffron comprises the next pigments:  

  • Crocin
  • Crocetin
  • Picrococin
  • Safranal

The advantages and makes use of of saffron are distinguished as a result of presence of those compounds. 

Carotenoids like crocin and crocetin are answerable for saffron’s pink color. They’ve antidepressant properties. Studies recommend that in addition they shield mind cells in opposition to progressive injury, enhance irritation, scale back urge for food, and assist weight reduction.

Kaempferol in saffron flower petals has a number of well being advantages. For instance, it reduces irritation, has anti-cancer properties, and works as an antidepressant.

Lastly, safranal helps give saffron its distinct aroma and style. Furthermore, research exhibits that it helps enhance your reminiscence and studying capability and enhances your temper. It additionally protects your mind cells in opposition to oxidative stress.

Right here, allow us to consider extra in regards to the potential well being advantages of saffron.

1. Highly effective Antioxidant

Saffron comprises varied plant compounds, which act as antioxidants. These antioxidants embrace crocin, crocetin, safranal and kaempferol. They assist shield your cells in opposition to oxidative stress and free radicals.

2. Deal with Depressive Signs and Improves Temper

The “sunshine spice” saffron elevates your temper. It is because of safranal, which is an antioxidant. Many dietary supplements use saffron as it’s efficient for treating mild-to-moderate despair. As well as, there are not any unintended effects such complement based mostly remedies.

3. Most cancers-Preventing Properties

Saffron is filled with antioxidants. It neutralises the harmful free radicals. These free radicals result in the manufacturing of tumours, which can trigger most cancers. Studies recommend that power irritation and oxidative stress are the most important causes of age-related ailments and most cancers.

The antioxidants in saffron goal and suppress most cancers cells, particularly on the colon, pores and skin, prostate, lung, and so on. They inhibit their progress by securing wholesome cells.

4. Cut back PMS Signs

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a collective time period for a sequence of bodily, emotional, and psychological imbalances. Signs manifest earlier than the onset of a menstrual interval. Saffron could assist curtail the PMS signs.

Scientific observations state that 30 mg of day by day consumption of saffron is simpler than the placebo therapy. Furthermore, the cortisol (stress hormone) ranges scale back, curbing anxiousness.

5. Boosts Libido

As per studies, dietary supplements with natural aphrodisiacs increase your libido. Saffron could have aphrodisiac properties for each women and men. Due to this fact, common consumption of prescribed saffron could considerably enhance erectile operate. It’s efficient, particularly for these below antidepressant remedy.

6. Reduces Urge for food and Improve Weight Loss

The dietary fibre in saffron makes you’re feeling full for longer. Due to this fact, individuals consuming saffron dietary supplements really feel considerably full. Additionally, the dietary fibre reduces urge for food and curtails unhealthy snacking. Because of this, it prevents you from binge consuming and enhances weight reduction.

7. Reduces Blood Stress and Prevents Coronary heart Ailments

As per research, the antioxidants in saffron can scale back the chance of cardiovascular ailments. The flavonoids, particularly lycopene, present in saffron can present added safety. 

Saffron is wealthy in potassium. Therefore, common consumption of saffron aids in dilating the blood vessels. It additional eliminates blockage out of your arteries. So, saffron lowers your blood stress to forestall cardiac arrests and strokes.

A study exhibits that the individuals of the Mediterranean area who eat saffron as part of a daily weight-reduction plan report lesser circumstances of coronary heart ailments. It could be on account of saffron’s antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties. It additionally has cholesterol-lowering advantages. As well as, the presence of crocetin decreases the dangerous or dangerous ldl cholesterol in your blood. 

It additionally prevents the clogging of fats deposits in blood vessels and arteries. Due to this fact, it lowers your dangers of coronary heart assaults or related cardiac issues. Saffron additionally boosts your immunity. 

8. Subsides the Signs of Alzheimer’s Illness

Research highlights the effectiveness of saffron in combating Alzheimer’s. It exhibits {that a} common consumption of saffron dietary supplements results in higher cognitive operate in individuals with Alzheimer’s. The antioxidant properties avert the buildup of beta-amyloid protein in your mind. 

9. Cut back Blood Sugar Ranges in Diabetics

As per research, the saffron hydroalcoholic extract could enhance blood glucose management by lowering fasting blood sugar in T2D sufferers. Nevertheless, it has no vital impact on different features of diabetic management in diabetics. Saffron could elevate insulin sensitivity. 

10. Improves Eyesight

A number of observations present that saffron refines eyesight in adults with a historical past of age-related macular degeneration dysfunction (AMD). Moreover, the antioxidant properties in saffron shield in opposition to free radical injury related to AMD.

11. Pores and skin Care Advantages

Other than its culinary makes use of, saffron possesses varied magnificence advantages. The anti-inflammatory ingredient nurtures to impart a blemish-free radiance to your pores and skin. Due to this fact, a number of magnificence lotions and different beauty merchandise use saffron as their major ingredient. It offers the pores and skin a glowing contact and makes it tender and supple. Like all different advantages, it’s also on account of saffron’s antioxidant properties. Saffron can act as a topical applicant for:

  • Pores and skin lightening and texture
  • Pigmentation
  • Scar therapeutic
  • Remedy for blemishes and pimples

Methods to Use Saffron

Saffron has an distinctive voice within the realm of spices. It is called the king of spices owing to its uniqueness. Though it’s the costliest spice, a small amount goes a great distance. You could not require greater than a pinch to impart flavour to your recipes. Alternatively, an excessive amount of saffron could give a medicinal style to your meals.

Allow us to dwell on the varied methods to make use of saffron. It begins with a number of tips:

  • Verify for high quality saffron.
  • Superior high quality is all the time a bunch of lengthy pink, brilliant strands with orange tendrils and a trumpet-shaped flute on the ends.
  • Keep away from powdered saffron, because it’s normally blended with many fillers.
  • The color of pink saffron doesn’t change in the event you dip it in water or milk.
  • It has a pungent and musty style with a candy floral perfume.
  • Crush and soak the threads to extract the utmost quantity of flavour.
  • Steep the crushed saffron in heat water, inventory for 20 to half-hour.
  • Add the soaked saffron liquid immediately.

Grain-based Recipes

Most recipes of saffron are grain-based, which incorporates risotto, pilaf, pulav, biryani and so on. As a suggestion, use about 14-30 saffron strands to 4 servings of risotto or rice made with 300 g of rice. The perfume of saffron makes the rice fragrant. The addition of saffron enhances the style and improves the dietary worth of rice.

Saffron as an Appetiser

An appetiser is all the time gentle and easy. A saffron soup is an appetiser with a Mediterranean contact.

To Fight Hair loss

The non-culinary use of saffron is available in hair care too. The antioxidant property of saffron helps to restore hair injury and promotes progress. You could use a teaspoon of saffron strands blended with almond oil or coconut oil. Therapeutic massage your hair nicely for wholesome progress.

For Pores and skin Care

Topical functions of saffron lighten and brighten up your pores and skin. The precise software varies on the supposed use. On the whole, you should use a saffron milk masks to hydrate and soften pores and skin. As well as, you should use it to deal with pimples and blemishes.

Baking with Saffron

The sweetness and fragrant flavour of saffron make the desserts distinctive. The mixture of vanilla and saffron offers a aromatic contact to your dish. Use them so as to add a zing to plain pastries, desserts, bread and so on. 

Saffron Milk

The initially recipe for saffron is just saffron milk or Kesar milk. It’s a scrumptious and wholesome drink infused with saffron.

Wholesome Recipes with Saffron

This magical spice has been recognized for its distinctive dietary and medicinal properties for ages. The nutrient can thrust back and remedy many well being issues. Furthermore, saffron is a flexible spice to spice up your immunity and shield you from the climatic illnesses at bay. Globally, when encountering many well being issues, being wholesome is crucial.

Listed below are two easy and simple saffron drinks used globally, particularly throughout winter.

1. Saffron Milk

  • Preparation time- 10 minutes
  • Serves- 3
  • Energy- 110 kcal
  • 1 Cup = 250 ml


  • Milk: 3 cups
  • Saffron Strands: 15
  • Jaggery Powder: 2 tbsp (non-obligatory)


  • Carry milk to a boil
  • Add saffron strands
  • Combine nicely
  • Simmer for 4-5 minutes
  • Serve Scorching

Saffron Milk Advantages

  • Saffron milk is wholesome in your coronary heart.
  • It’s a reminiscence booster and treats insomnia or sleeplessness.
  • Saffron milk helps shield in opposition to chilly and flu, particularly throughout winter.
  • Relieves menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome signs.
  • Aids in bronchial asthma & allergic remedies.
  • It’s also good in your pores and skin and hair.
  • Saffron milk can be helpful throughout being pregnant.
  • Milk is wealthy in calcium. Therefore, it helps enhance bone well being.

Factors to Bear in mind

  • Don’t use greater than 20 strands of saffron on this recipe. An extra consumption of saffron could be poisonous.
  • Though saffron milk is helpful throughout being pregnant, you must eat it in prescribed and advisable portions to keep away from adversarial results and well being points.
  • Verify along with your doctor earlier than any dietary alterations.

2. Saffron Tea

  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes
  • Servings: 3
  • Energy: 29kcal


  • Water: 3 cups
  • Mint Leaves: 10
  • Cardamom: 3 pods
  • Cloves: 3
  • Saffron Strands: 3-4
  • Ginger: 1/2 inch
  • Lime juice: 2 tsp
  • Honey: 2 tbsp (non-obligatory) 


  • Boil water with cardamom, grated ginger, mint leaves, and saffron for 3-4 minutes.
  • Simmer for 2-3 minutes and take off the flame.
  • Stir in lemon juice, honey and serve scorching.

Saffron: Attainable Aspect Results and Precautions

Saffron is normally protected to eat and has minimal adversarial results. Scientific research have evaluated doses starting from 20 to 400 mg/day of pure saffron. Dosages of as much as 1.5 g/day of saffron are regarded as protected; poisonous results have been reported for five g doses. Nevertheless, there are particular well being situations the place you must use saffron cautiously. 

1. Being pregnant

Saffron is a flavouring spice in meals. Nevertheless, an extreme amount of saffron could make your uterus contract and end in a miscarriage. A study exhibits that publicity to very excessive ranges of saffron could improve the miscarriage price in pregnant females. Due to this fact, pregnant ladies ought to keep away from utilizing a excessive dose of saffron.

2. Breastfeeding

There is no such thing as a adequate scientific info to substantiate the protected amount of saffron for lactating or breastfeeding moms. Due to this fact, you must seek the advice of along with your gynaecologist to avert any adversarial results for you and your child.

3. Psychological therapy

Saffron alters your temper. It could set off impulsive behaviour in sufferers with bipolar dysfunction or different psychological imbalances.  

4. Plant Allergy

People who find themselves allergic to a specific number of crops could also be allergic to saffron. So guarantee you’re protected from saffron. Instantly search assist out of your well being care supplier in case of rash or allergy. 

5. Surgical procedure

Saffron soothes the central nervous system. Due to this fact, discontinue saffron two weeks earlier than a scheduled surgical procedure. This precaution avoids any interplay of anaesthesia and different medication throughout surgical procedure.

There are a couple of extra issues that you must keep in mind concerning saffron consumption.

  • Seek the advice of your doctor earlier than together with any dietary supplements.
  • Extra doses of 5 grams or past could have poisonous results.
  • Saffron powder could also be adulterated with synthetic colors. Therefore, purchase from a dependable supply.

The Backside Line

Saffron is an costly culinary herb. The numerous advantage of saffron is that it comprises antioxidant compounds. It could assist scale back or keep away from the chance of sure power well being issues related to oxidative stress. The perfect half is it’s usually protected for individuals throughout all age teams. It’s straightforward to incorporate in your day by day weight-reduction plan. Incorporate saffron into your recipes yield the potential well being advantages of saffron.

Often Requested Questions (FAQs)

Q. What are the well being advantages of saffron?

A. Saffron is a wealthy supply of antioxidants. Because of this, it prevents nervous system issues, acts as an antidepressant, promotes libido and prevents most cancers. Nevertheless, there are a number of different advantages given within the article above.

Q. What are the unintended effects of saffron?

A. Among the attainable unintended effects could be allergic reactions, drowsiness, nausea or vomiting. 

Q. Is saffron good for the pores and skin?

A. Sure, saffron is helpful for the pores and skin. The anti-inflammatory ingredient nurtures to impart a blemish-free radiance to your pores and skin. Because of this, it helps get tender and supple pores and skin. 

Q. Can I drink saffron water daily?

A. Sure, you may drink saffron water daily as a dietary complement. It has a number of well being advantages.

Q. Can I drink saffron at night time?

A. Sure, it’s protected to drink it at bedtime. The sedative properties of saffron assist deal with insomnia and enhance sleep high quality. Nevertheless, the most effective time to have saffron water is throughout the day.

Q. How a lot saffron ought to I take advantage of?

A. A day by day consumption of 1.5 g/day of saffron is protected to make use of. Over Consumption could result in some unintended effects. 

Q. Is it good to drink saffron milk daily?

A. Sure. Ingesting saffron milk helps you with enhanced digestion, urge for food, immunity and total well being.

Q. Is saffron good for feminine fertility?

A. Sure, it boosts libido and is sweet for each women and men.

Q. What are the advantages of saffron milk?

A. There are a number of advantages of saffron milk. It’s wholesome in your coronary heart, boosts reminiscence, and protects in opposition to flu. As well as, it might assist deal with insomnia and enhance sleep high quality, relieves menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome signs. It’s also helpful for pores and skin and hair.

Q. What’s the proper time to drink saffron milk?

A. You’ll be able to have saffron milk within the morning on an empty abdomen or eat it within the night. Nevertheless, having it at night time earlier than sleeping can be helpful. 

Q. What occurs in the event you eat saffron daily?

A. It helps you with enhanced digestion, urge for food, immunity and total well being advantages.

Q. What’s the usage of saffron for pregnant girls?

A. Saffron is a superb anti-anxiety and antidepressant complement. It cures temper swings throughout the being pregnant interval. Nevertheless, overconsumption has extreme adversarial results as nicely.

Q. Is saffron good for infants?

A. Sure, saffron is sweet and protected for infants over six months. It enhances their immune system, aids in digestion and ensures oral hygiene. 

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