Saffron Crocus is a substance that has been used in cooking and also in medicine for a very long time. Unlike other medications it is completely natural and so this gives it a bit more of a benefit in comparison to other traditional medicines. Even though saffron is sold most commonly as a spice, it is also sold as a dietary supplement in the form of soft-gel capsules. It has been noted that supplementing with saffron can promote weight loss and also provide the body with numerous health benefits, we’ll be looking at these in detail throughout this article.
Unfortunately scientific studies for this spice are fairly limited as it is still quite a new substance. Nonetheless, there are a small number of studies which have proven the numerous health benefits of saffron.
Supplementing with saffron has been proven to aid with appetite control and weight loss; this is simply because it helps regulate the amount of serotonin that is present in the brain (serotonin is a hormone which controls our mood and hunger). So in essence it can help prevent overeating and the weight gain associated with it. Because of its benefits as an appetite suppressant, there are now many products such as Saffron Extract Select which are specifically marketed for this purpose.
In addition to the above, there has also been numerous studies that show the effectiveness of saffron in treating depression. For example, a study conducted in 2005 which was published in Phytotherapy Research concluded that saffron was more effective than a placebo in the case of treating mild to moderate depression. The study involved 40 adult and lasted for six weeks.
Supplementing with saffron extract could also help relieve the symptoms brought on by PMS. A study conducted in 2008 published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology concluded that participants had a noticeable decrease in PMS symptoms after supplementing with saffron daily throughout two menstrual cycles.
Other Popular Uses for Saffron
Apart from the above, saffron also has numerous other uses in regards to health problems. Listed below are some of the most popular uses.
- Alzheimer’s disease
- premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
Is Saffron Safe?
Even though saffron is considered safe when used in your cooking dishes i.e. as a spice. The safety of supplementing with the substance could be questioned; it could definitely result in a few mild symptoms such as dry mouth, drowsiness, dizziness and headache. It should also be noted that taking saffron in large amounts could be toxic and have severe consequences.
Understandably people with conditions that affect their mood should stay away from saffron as it alters the serotonin levels in the brain.
Where to Find It
Saffron can be purchase at many places, most popular is any type of grocery store. However, you can also purchase saffron online, or from the majority of supplement stores and natural health-food stores.