5 benefits and how to prepare it

Saffron is a spice that comes from the flowers of the Crocus sativus Linnaeus. The crocus grows in the Middle East and parts of Europe. It is most commonly grown in Iran, India and Greece.
It only flowers for three to four weeks, in October and November. The flower produces dark red stigmas, also called threads, which are carefully removed and dried by hand. They are considered the spice of saffron. Saffron has also been used for culinary purposes, to add color and flavor to foods, as a fabric dye, and as a fragrance.

Like many other herbs and spices, saffron can be made into a tea. Today, saffron retains great value as a cooking spice and as an alternative treatment for various health conditions. Some studies show the effectiveness of this spice in many areas.

What is the history of saffron?

The saffron crocus grows to a length of 20-30 centimetres. It takes three years from the time they are planted as seeds for the crocus to produce flowers. Each plant produces about three to four flowers, and each flower has about three stigmas. Saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world because it has to be harvested by hand. It also takes a large amount of dried flowers and stigmas to get 1 kilogram of spice.

The spice has a long history. It is believed that humans used saffron as early as 3,500 years ago. In the past, people have used it to treat a long list of health problems, including the following

– Difficulty urinating
– menstrual problems
– eye diseases
– ulcers
– Stomach problems
– mental disorders

What Are the Health Benefits of Saffron Tea?

1. Antidepressant

Saffron has been nicknamed “the spice of the sun”. And not just because of its red and sometimes yellow coloring. The spice is said to have mood-enhancing properties. These claims could be supported by scientific data. An old study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that saffron was as effective as fluoxetine (Prozac) in treating mild to moderate depression. A review published in the Journal of Integrative Medicine examined several studies looking at the use of saffron to treat depression in adults over the age of 18. Researchers found that saffron actually improved symptoms in people with major depressive disorders. This could make this spice a good alternative for people who don’t tolerate antidepressants well.

2. Heart Health

Saffron has many different chemical components. Some of them can help lower blood pressure and protect against heart disease. A review of studies conducted on rats showed that saffron lowers blood pressure. Other research conducted on rabbits found that the spice is effective in lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels. An older human study published in the Indian Journal of Medical Sciences found that saffron reduced the likelihood of bad cholesterol causing tissue damage. Researchers believe that saffron’s antioxidant properties may have protective effects in heart disease.

3. Treatment of premenstrual syndrome

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) can cause a whole host of uncomfortable symptoms, from mood swings to physical discomfort. Some women are more affected than others. For those who want relief but don’t want to resort to medication, saffron can be a good alternative. A study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology examined the use of herbal treatments for premenstrual syndrome and the more severe premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Both are a source of discomfort for women one to two weeks before the start of their period. Saffron is cited in the study as an effective treatment for symptoms. Another study, published in the International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, examined saffron as a treatment for PMS symptoms in women between the ages of 20 and 45. Researchers have found that 15mg of saffron twice a day is effective in relieving PMS symptoms.

4. Strengthens memory

Saffron contains two chemicals, crocin and crocetin, which researchers believe may support learning and memory functions. A study on mice published in Phytotherapy Research showed that saffron could improve learning and memory problems. This promising research shows that saffron may have potential in treating diseases that affect the brain, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

5. Cancer Prevention

Saffron is rich in antioxidants and flavonoids. Antioxidants help protect the body from pollutants. Flavonoids are chemicals found in plants that help the plant protect itself from fungus and disease. According to a 2015 analysis published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, saffron’s chemical composition may be effective in preventing several different types of cancer. However, the researchers emphasize that more studies in humans are needed.

Where to buy saffron

When buying saffron, make sure it comes from a reputable source. Look for it at a grocery store or health food store. Because the spice is expensive, it can often be the target of fraud. To reduce costs, manufacturers can mix saffron with other ingredients. This not only reduces the health benefits, but can also be harmful.

How to prepare saffron tea

Saffron tea can be prepared simply by steeping the threads in hot water. But the spice can taste strong and bitter. That is why many recipes call for this spice in different ways. You can mix it with tea leaves or add other herbs and spices. Recipes can vary, but usually involve boiling water in a saucepan and adding saffron and other ingredients. Steep the saffron for about five to eight minutes, like steeping a tea bag in hot water. Then remove the threads and enjoy.

* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace the advice of a doctor.

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