The advantages of using the Saffron herb are quite plentiful. These health benefits have been in the consciousness of traditional herb medicine practitioners for thousands of years.
Saffron is a culinary spice derived from the petals, sepals and flower of the plant Crocus sativus. It is native to the areas of Iran, Iraq, Turkey and the Mediterranean region where it has been cultivated for thousands of years. Saffron is traditionally used in medicines, perfumes, dyes, and as flavoring for foods and beverages. This plant is known to bloom during the autumn months.
Saffron is known as a precious and expensive spice. It possesses a deep orange-yellow color and has a somewhat hay-like taste when taken in its concentrated form. The aroma of saffron is often described as reminiscent of metallic honey with grassy or hay-like notes. This spice widely figures in European, Arab, South and Central Asian, Persian, and Turkish cuisines. It is used to give color and flavor to biryani dishes of India, bouillabaisse soup in France and risotto in Italy. Pastries and cakes, as well as liquors from these areas also often include saffron. Due to its deep and vivid color, saffron is also widely used as a dye.
Saffron tea benefits are largely derived from the phytochemicals and compounds that are found in high quantities in the spice. These include carotenoids such as zeaxanthin, lycopene, and beta-carotenes.
Saffron tea can be made by placing about 15 to 20 threads of the saffron spice in a mug of newly-boiled water. Let the mix stand and steep for about 5 to 7 minutes. Let the mix cool a bit and then enjoy.
Following are a few benefits believed to be provided by this brew:
- Could help lower the risk for the development of tumors and cancer due to its content of antioxidants.
- Believed to help strengthen the immune system.
- May aid in lowering the risk for the development of heart and cardiovascular ailments.
- Believed to help in the treatment of depression. It may have mood improving qualities.
- Claimed to help battle epilepsy.
- May help combat menstrual disorders.
- Thought to help fight macular degeneration and other disorders of the eye.
- Used in weight loss efforts by strengthening feelings of satiation.
- Said to help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and other mental and nervine ailments.