Saffron is a plant. The dried stigmas (thread-like parts of the flower) are used to make saffron spice. It can take 75,000 saffron blossoms to produce a single pound of crocus spice. Saffron is largely cultivated and harvested by hand. Due to the amount of labor involved in harvesting, saffron is considered one of the world’s most expensive spices, ten times more costly than vanilla. This is native to the Mediterranean and Western Asia. Despite its cost, many herbalists and natural health enthusiasts consider saffron’s health benefits to be worth their weight in gold.
Autumn Crocus, Azafrán, Azafron, Croci Stigma, Crocus Cultivé, Crocus sativus, Indian Saffron, Kashmira, Kesar, Kumkuma, Saffron Crocus, Safran, Safran Cultivé, Safran Espagnol, Safran des Indes, Safran Véritable, Spanish Saffron, True Saffron, Zafran.
Used to make medicine:
Saffron is used for asthma, cough, whooping cough (pertussis), and to loosen phlegm (as an expectorant). It is also used for sleep problems (insomnia), cancer, “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis), intestinal gas (flatulence), depression, Alzheimer’s disease, fright, shock, spitting up blood (hemoptysis), pain, heartburn, and dry skin.
Women use Zafran for menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Men use it to prevent early orgasm (premature ejaculation) and infertility. it is also used for to increase interest in sex (as an aphrodisiac) and to induce sweating.
Some people apply saffron directly to the scalp for baldness (alopecia). In foods, saffron is used as a spice, yellow food coloring, and as a flavoring agent. In manufacturing, saffron extracts are used as fragrance in perfumes and as a dye for cloth.
Saffron Side Effects & Safety:
Saffron is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth as a medicine for up to 6 weeks. Some possible side effects include dry mouth, anxiety, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, change in appetite, and headache. Allergic reactions can occur in some people.
Taking large amounts of saffron by mouth is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. High doses can cause poisoning, including yellow appearance of the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes; vomiting; dizziness; bloody diarrhea; bleeding from the nose, lips, and eyelids; numbness; and other serious side effects. Doses of 12-20 grams can cause death.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding:
Taking saffron by mouth in amounts larger than what is normally found in food is LIKELY UNSAFE. Larger amounts can make the uterus contract and might cause a miscarriage.
Saffron seems to be able to affect mood. There is a concern that it might trigger excitability and impulsive behavior (mania) in people with bipolar disorder. Don’t use it if you have this condition.
Allergies to Lolium, Olea (includes olive), and Salsola plant species: People who are allergic to these plants might also be allergic to saffron.
Saffron might affect how fast and how strong the heart beats. Taking large amounts might worsen some heart conditions.
Low blood pressure:
Saffron might lower blood pressure. Taking might make blood pressure become too low in people with low blood pressure.