The Health Benefits of Saffron

The stigma of Crocus sativus, known as saffron, is one of the most expensive spices in the world. The bioactive components in saffron, picrocrocin, crocin, and safranal, have demonstrated a wide range of uses and capabilities in the medical field. [1]

Saffron is rich in many macro- and micronutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, copper, iron, zinc and manganese, and abundant in many vitamins such as vitamin A, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin C. All of these powerful, bioactive components make saffron one of the most expensive and sacred spices in the world. [2]

You may know of saffron as the spice used to flavor dishes, but saffron extract has a long and varied history in herbal medicine spanning over 2,500 years. According to a review study from 2014, it’s been used in various countries to treat skin disease, respiratory issues, poor vision, pain, mental illness, gynecological problems, erectile dysfunction, and infections [3]

sativus possesses a number of medicinally important activities such as antihypertensive, anticonvulsant, antitussive, antigenototoxic and cytotoxic effects, anxiolytic aphrodisiac, antioxidant, antidepressant, antinociceptive , anti-inflammatory, and relaxant activity. It also improves memory and learning skills, and increases blood flow in retina and choroid. [4]

Here are 7 impressive health benefits of saffron.

A Powerful Antioxidant

  1. Saffron contains an impressive variety of plant compounds that act as antioxidants — molecules that protect your cells against free radicals and oxidative stress. Notable saffron antioxidants include crocin, crocetin, safranal, and kaempferol [5]

Improve Memory

  1. May improve memory in adults with Alzheimer’s disease: Saffron’s antioxidant properties may improve cognitionin adults with Alzheimer’s disease [6]


  1. Saffron is nicknamed the “sunshine spice.” That’s not just due to its distinct color, but also because it may help brighten your mood. The use of saffron as an antidepressant has a long tradition, ranging from antiquity to modern times. Depression is one of the five most prevalent diseases worldwide. It affects about 11.6% of the world’s population [7]. It is predicted that by 2020 this will be the second leading cause of overall disability. Similar to standard antidepressants, saffron can exert its antidepressant effect by modulating the level of certain chemicals in the brain, including serotonin.[8]


  1. Cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide. Epidemiological evidence indicates that there is a correlation between a diet rich in antioxidants and a lower incidence of morbidity and mortality. Among the natural remedies, saffron and its ingredients (especially its carotenoids) have anti-tumor and anti-carcinogenic activities while not exerting any cytotoxic effect on healthy cellsAmong the many biological properties reported with saffron, those anti-carcinogens are of great interest [9,10].

Antispasmodic and Digestive Tonic

  1. Virtues have been attributed to saffron concerning the gastrointestinal and genital system, in particular, those of stimulating the stomach, reducing appetite, treating hemorrhoids, treating anus prolapse, limiting intestinal fermentations, helping with the treatment of amenorrhea, or to stimulate menstruation—and not to mention its abortifacient power [11].

Anti-Aging Effect and Diseases of the Skin

  1. In traditional herbal cosmetics uses, saffron can be soaked with a few basil leaves to treat blemishes such as acne. A mixture of soaked saffron strands and virgin coconut oil, or olive oil, and a bit of raw milk is an effective way to exfoliate and improve blood circulation face skin. Saffron is known to reduce a skin condition called erythema, characterized by inflammation, redness or rash. Similar effects have been reported by Moshiri et al. who found that clinical trials on the anti-pruritic and skin-promoting effects on saffron’s effects on skin care both confirmed that saffron was more effective than placebo. [12]

Healing of Second-Degree Burns

  1. A study that aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of saffron extract cream in the treatment of heat-induced burns compared its results with those of silver sulfadiazine (SSD) in rats. The wound size of the saffron group was significantly smaller than that of the other groups. A histological comparison showed that saffron significantly increased the re-epithelialization of burn wounds compared with other treatments [13].

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2 thoughts on “The Health Benefits of Saffron

  1. مدیر says:

    مطلب مفیدی بود با تشکر

  2. مدیر says:

    با تشکر از حسن نظر شما

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