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Saffron is a perennial spicy herb and well known as Red Gold in producer countries. It is the most expensive cultivated herb in the world. It is a noteworthy medicinal plant because of its powerful odour and intensive natural yellow colour. It is commonly known as Kesar.
The flower of saffron contains a thread-like stigma which is dried and used as a spice for its powerful odour and also for Ayurvedic preparations.
The novel spice is an excellent source of minerals such as copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, selenium, iron, zinc and magnesium. Additionally, it is also a rich source of vital vitamins including Vitamin-A, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, Vitamin- C.
The active components of saffron have many therapeutic applications as antidepressants, immune-modulators, antioxidant, digestive, anticonvulsant etc.
Botanical Name: Crocus sativus
Ayurvedic properties of Kesar:
- Rasa (Taste): Tikta (bitter) and Katu (pungent)
- Vipaka: Katu (undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion)
- Veerya (potency): Ushna (hot)
- Guna (Qualities): Snigdha (slimy)
- Karma (actions): Tridoshahara (reduces all the three vitiated doshas).
- Part used: Stamen/Stigma
What are the benefits of Saffron?
- Skin Care: Saffron has immense benefits for skin. It protects the skin against ultraviolet radiation.
- The anti-oxidant properties of saffron helps in fighting oxidative stress and inflammation.
- It also helps in reduces hyperpigmentation thus helps in improving skin complexion.
- For improving the complexion of skin, saffron powder is mixed with milk or honey and consumed.
- The anti-fungal action of saffron makes it suitable for the treatment of acne, blemishes and black heads.
- It acts as a toner for the skin and heals wounds and scars as well. Warriors in the past have been known to use saffron extracts to treat wounds suffered in the battles.
- Reduces Depression: Due to increasing stress, people are suffering from severe physical and mental issues. According to Ayurveda, saffron has been one of the active ingredients in antidepressant medicines.
- The stigma of saffron plant has antidepressant properties.
- The phytoconstituents of saffron such as crocin and safranal can effectively help in stimulating neurochemicals like serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. These components can aid mild to moderate depression and therefore mostly used in ayurvedic psychiatric medications.
- Taking saffron with milk relaxes the nervous system which helps in reducing anxiety and treating insomnia.
- Helps in fighting seasonal ailments: Saffron is not just a colouring agent but the quality of being high in antioxidants makes it a perfect herb for seasonal ailments like cold and flu.
- The hot potency of this herb helps in relieving discomfort caused by seasonal ailments.
- It also helps in boosting immunity, which is essential to sustain viral attacks due to the appropriate percentage of Vitamin C in it.
- In Pregnancy: During pregnancy, a rise in blood pressure is a common complication. Saffron helps in lowering the blood pressure due to the presence of phytoconstituent crocetin and mineral potassium.
- Other common complaints in pregnancy are constipation, bloating and gas because of pressure exerted by the growing foetus on the digestive tract of the mother. Saffron helps in preventing these symptoms by boosting the blood flow to the digestive system and enhancing metabolism as well.
- Drinking saffron milk helps to stimulate the production of serotonin that controls the mood swings, tension, stress and depression in pregnant females.
- Increases sexual drive: Saffron has been known for its aphrodisiac properties since ages.
- Due to its strong aphrodisiac properties, it helps in improving the androgen levels in females.
- It increases the sexual vitality in both men and women.
- Research has also proven that saffron is effective in treating infertility.
- For Muscular Problems: Saffron is also useful in age related muscular degeneration. It not only reduces the degeneration process but also helps in the healing of damaged cells.
- It is useful in arthritis as well. It acts as an analgesic.
- Combats Hair Loss: Saffron combats hair loss and promotes hair growth. The application of saffron over the scalp is beneficial in treating alopecia.
- Application of saffron milk and licorice helps in stimulating hair growth.
How to take saffron:
Add a few strands of saffron in warm milk and stir it. Leave the milk with saffron from 5-10 minutes. Then drink the saffron milk and eat saffron strands. Alternatively, 125 mg of saffron powder with milk can be taken twice daily.
This article is not a substitute to the standard Medical Diagnosis or personalized Ayurvedic Treatment! It is intended only for Information!
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