It is the most expensive spice in the world. Just two pounds of saffron can cost around $3,000. But it isn’t prized just for its taste. For more than 2,000 years healers have known of saffron’s health benefits—not unlike a certain leafy green plant that’s often smoked.
The immense benefits of hemp have been making headlines for the last several years. Check out 5 Major Perks of hemp for an Active Life for more on hemp. Although Saffron may not be as trendy as hemp right now, it’s used for everything from scrapes to serious illness in many parts of the world (including Iran, where both Saffron and our founder, Tony originated).
However, we still get a lot of questions about why we’ve included Saffron in our hemp oil.
In this article, we’ll explore the health benefits of Saffron and why it makes all the difference in our hemp oil.
Saffron’s Benefits: Worth The Price Tag?
Saffron has long been known as the world’s most expensive spice and for good reason. The process for collecting saffron is a time-intensive one. Harvested from the blossom of the plant “crocus sativus,” commonly known as the “saffron crocus,” each delicate thread of this alluring spice is made up of a yellow style ending in a crimson red stigma, only three of which grow out of each flower.
Saffron threads are harvested and then dried to become the vibrantly colored, subtly flavored spice that is known and loved the world over.
Though it’s expensive in bulk, getting a beneficial dose of saffron doesn’t require much plant matter. That’s why we’re able to put it in Shah Saffron Hemp Oil and not charge an arm and a leg.
So aside from being exotic, elegant and yes, expensive… what’s really all that special about saffron?
Five Reasons Saffron Should Be Part Of Your Life:
1. Saffron is Rich in Antioxidants.
Did you know that oftentimes the more brightly colored a food is, the richer it is in antioxidants? It’s true. And saffron is no exception.
In fact, this bold and gold bit of plant matter is exceptionally rich in plant compounds that act as antioxidants—molecules that protect your cells against harmful free radicals and fight the risk of inflammation, oxidative stress, and cancer.
2. Saffron May Boost Your Libido.
But let’s not be modest. Saffron is considered by many to be the world’s most powerful aphrodisiac.
Having originated in Ancient Greece, early reports of Saffron’s sultry character came from Aristotle himself, who allegedly added it to every dish and swore by its ability to improve his stamina.
In today’s world, low libido is often caused by excess stress and/or the intake of depression and anxiety medications.
Studies have shown that just 30 mg of saffron per day over a period of four weeks significantly improved sexual performance and desire in men and women who were taking antidepressants.
And while we’re on the subject…
3. Saffron May Help to Improve Your Mood
Let’s just take that in for a second. The effects of saffron may include both counteracting the side-effects of antidepressants and acting to improve your overall mood? For many folks struggling with depression and anxiety, mainstream medication just isn’t cutting it anymore. There are too many sacrifices involved in the side effects of these medications… too many ways to miss out on living your best life.
“The majority of patients are reluctant to take synthetic antidepressant drugs in their appropriate doses because of the anticipated side effects such as the inability to drive a car, dry mouth, constipation, and libido. Hence, plant extracts are some of the most attractive sources of new drugs and have been shown to produce a better result with low side effects in the treatment of depression.”According to the Journal of Pharmacy and BioAllied Sciences
Fortunately, plant-based alternatives are grabbing the attention of medical researchers and being made more available in mainstream medicine.
Saffron is one source of plant-based mood-enhancement that folks are beginning to turn to. Hemp is another.
How does it work chemically? The compounds crocin and safranal are the two active constituents of saffron that exert anti-depressant effects by keeping balanced levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.
4. Saffron May Act as an Appetite Suppressant and Help with Weight Loss.
Most of the research behind this one has to do with Saffron’s ability to improve your mood…
But that’s more significant than you might think!
When we’re happier and less stressed, our metabolism is improved. The production of Leptin—the hormone responsible for producing the feeling of hunger—is directly connected to the production of cortisol, the stress hormone. When Leptin is low and cortisol is high, we should feel hunger. When one or the other is dysfunctional, it confuses our ability to feel genuine hunger and disturbs our digestive health, circadian rhythm, immune system, and our mood.
The primary cause of Leptin dysfunction is excess cortisol production. Excess stress. Stress creates a desensitization to our body’s need for food and greater risk of mindless snacking.
Adding Saffron to your daily diet could be the perfect way to create healthy hormonal balance and get more in tune with your body’s hunger.
5. Saffron May Enhance Mental Clarity.
Saffron has been identified as a memory-enhancing agent. Several studies have shown saffron to be effective in improving neurological health and cognitive function in healthy individuals, as well as in people who suffer from mild to moderate Alzheimer’s.
This is likely because of saffron’s high antioxidant content—its ability to protect the body against environmental toxins, as well as its ability to relieve the brain of oxidative stress.
So there you have it. Saffron and its many natural gifts. Maybe now you understand why we felt inspired to bring Shah Saffron hemp into the world.
If you’re smitten with saffron too and ready to see the difference that hemp and saffron could make in your life, check out our Shah Saffron hemp oil here.