Botanical: Crocus sativus
Family: Iridaceae (iris)
Other common names: Spanish Saffron, Crocus, Karcom, Krokos, Saffron Seed, Autumn Crocus, Thistle Saffron
Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world that has been used for thousands of years in cuisines, dyes, and medicines. Try it as a supplement to stimulate good digestion, purify and circulate the blood, improve the appetite, and perhaps even as an aphrodisiac.
The information presented herein by Herbal Extracts Plus is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
True Saffron is a low, ornamental perennial with grass-like leaves that thrives in well-drained soil in warm situations in full sun. Saffron is said to be a native of Asia Minor and has been cultivated there and in southern Europe since ancient times. Now it is cultivated worldwide, especially in Spain (where it was introduced by Arabs) and the Mediterranean areas for its extraordinary culinary value (Paella and Risotto Milanese). The word, Saffron, is derived from the Arabic, za fan, meaning "yellow," referring to its ancient use as a dye. The shoes of Persian kings were dyed with Saffron, and the ancient Greeks regarded it as a royal dye, as well as an ingredient in perfumes. This pungent, bittersweet herb is one of the world's oldest medicinally used plants. The Chinese prescribed it to treat the emotional problems of depression, shock and fright; and in India, Saffron was used as an aphrodisiac. The English herbalist, John Gerard, attributed almost miraculous powers to Saffron when he wrote in 1597 that the herb might restore life to a person on the verge of death. The herb was at one time included in the Edinburgh Pharmacopœia and was thought to be an effective treatment for measles, among other ailments.
Saffron has long been used to improve digestion and improve the appetite. It is said to stimulate circulation to the organs of digestion, including the gallbladder, liver and spleen. It also coats the membranes of the stomach and colon and soothes gastrointestinal colic and acid-burning digestive problems. Saffron is considered a carminative that helps to relieve stomach gas.
As a diuretic and diaphoretic, Saffron induces perspiration and reduces fever, which is helpful in treating colds and la grippe. In addition, toxins are released through the skin when there is profuse perspiration.
Saffron is thought to be a blood purifier and anti-inflammatory. It is said to help relieve gout by ridding the uric acid build-up that accumulates in the tissues, causing joint pain. Additionally, athletes are greatly helped by Saffron, because it also rids the tissues of lactic acid build-up after strenuous exercise and eases fatigue and muscle inflammation. The herb also relieves the inflammation of arthritis and bursitis.
Saffron is said to be a mild sedative that may be used for insomnia.
One of Saffron's oldest uses has been as an herbal expectorant, helping to expel phlegm from the lungs.
As a blood purifier, Saffron is thought to increase the oxygen content of the blood, which may help to lower blood pressure by reducing plaque and thereby helping to prevent arteriosclerosis and strokes.
Saffron is an emmenagogue that will stimulate the onset of menstruation and regulate its flow. By checking menstrual flow, it is also useful for reducing chronic hemorrhage of the uterus.
Pregnant and nursing women should not use Saffron Herbal Supplement. Large doses (many times the recommended amount) should not be used.