We mentioned crocin being useful against depression and for prevention of some brain degenerative diseases. But saffron also seems to be useful against menstrual pain, for arterial plaques reduction, it helps to overcome insomnia and it can assist erectile function.
Recent studies recommend it as adjuvant in the fight against Parkinson’s, Alzhaimer, hepatitis, diabetes and simple flu. It lowers the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood and it is used in weight loss diets.
It is rich in vitamins: C – B6 – B2 – B1
On top of that it boasts antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Saffron-based herbal teas and infusions have a good effect against anxiety and mood swings. Finally, it is useful against car sickness and it improves digestive process.
Last, but not least, saffron is aphrodisiac.
Saffron is rich in carotenoids that are found especially in plants of yellow, orange or red color such as carrots.
Specifically saffron is rich in:
– Picrocrocin that gives bitter aftertaste. Its presence is linked to the degree of drying and storage of the product.
– Safranal that gives spice its typical aroma. It is an essential oil that tends to evaporate overtime lowering the flavoring power of saffron. As soon as the flower is caught, this substance is not present but increases throught the drying process.
– Crucins that give the color to the spice. It is calculated that as a carotenoid it is present in this spice in the percentage of 8% against 0.008% of the carrot. Saffron is in first place for carotenoid content. In short, it is more effective than vitamin C or E directly intaken. The high content of active ingredients helps the proper functioning of the digestive system, because it increases the secretion of bile and gastric juices.
– Lycopene, which helps protect the arteries in the cardiovascular field. Recent studies have associated this substance with protective treatments against prostate cancer.
As in all things that do very well in moderate doses, in massive doses saffron is even lethal. Maximum daily dose is 1.5 grams. With 20 grams you risk dying!
Left a pinch of saffron in hot water to rest for about ten minutes. Away from meals is a cure-all. If you also add some passiflora and melissa you will have beautiful dreams too!
Two teaspoons of honey and a pinch of saffron. No sense of guilt, lots of energy and good humour!
In cosmetics it is used as nutritious masks along with avocado, olive oil and 2 teaspoons of honey.
Saffron should be stored in a dry place and away from sources of light and heat. It can be stored up to two years after harvest. Obviously over time organoleptic qualities lose power and product although doesn’t expire, has a lower yield than initial when it is just dried. Bright red color of the new harvest, over time, becomes darker