Saffron spices up mental health research
Saffron is one of the most valuable and expensive spices known worldwide, thanks to its color, flavor and medicinal properties. What medicinal properties, you may ask? The list is extensive and continues to grow.
What is Saffron?
Saffron is a popular spice that can be acquired from a flower commonly called the saffron crocus. With the scientific name Crocus sativus, the stigmas of this plant can be dried and processed into a spice, which is actually the most valuable spice by weight.  These “threads” as they are called, are typically reddish orange, the same color as the spice, and are carefully removed from flowers by hand. This herb is highly desired because of its ability to season and color food, as well as its inherent health benefits.
Boosts Cardiovascular Health
Recent studies show great promise of saffron constituents in the promotion of a healthy cardiovascular system. Heat shock proteins (HSPs) 27, 60 and 70 in particular are significantly linked to metabolic syndrome and atherosclerosis so researchers wanted to investigate the effect of this herb on antibody titers to HSP in patients with metabolic syndrome.
The levels of heat shock proteins 27, 60, 65 and 70 were measured in a study published in the Journal of Complementary & Integrative Medicine during supplementation, with 105 participants diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. The participants were randomly put into two groups and were given either 100 milligrams a day of a placebo or saffron. After three months, the antibodies to heat shock proteins 27 and 70 went down greatly in the saffron group.
Helps Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction (ED) affects more than 150 million males throughout the world. In traditional medicine, saffron is an aphrodisiac, with its chemical compound known as crocin credited for its aphrodisiac activity. In a pilot study to evaluate this traditional use, 20 male participants with ED were evaluated for 10 days.
Although mostly familiar as an ingredient of rice dishes and sauces, one of the best ways to consume saffron is to drink it as a tea. As the active compounds in saffron threads are water soluble, the health benefits can be easily obtained by drinking an infusion of saffron that will then be readily absorbed into the bloodstream.
Saffron spices benifits