Health Benefits of Saffron


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Saffron contains plant-derived compounds known to have anti-oxidant, disease-preventing and health-promoting properties. Saffron threads have essential volatile oils but the most important is safranal, which gives saffron its distinct hay-like flavor. Other saffron oils include: cineole, phenethenol, pinene, borneol, geraniol, limonene, p-cymene, linalool, terpinen-4-oil.

Saffron contains plant-derived compounds known to have anti-oxidant, disease-preventing and health-promoting properties. Saffron threads have essential volatile oils but the most important is safranal, which gives saffron its distinct hay-like flavor. Other saffron oils include: cineole, phenethenol, pinene, borneol, geraniol, limonene, p-cymene, linalool, terpinen-4-oil.

It has many non-volatile active components, including α-crocin, a carotenoid compound, which gives the stigmas their characteristic golden yellow color. It also contains other carotenoids including zeaxanthin, lycopene, α- and β-carotenes. These are important antioxidants that helps protect body from oxidant-induced stress, cancers, infections and acts as immune modulators. The active components have many therapeutic applications in many traditional medicines as antiseptic, antidepressant, anti-oxidant, digestive, anti-convulsant.

Saffron is a good source of minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, selenium, zinc and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese and copper are used by the body as co-factors for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is essential for red blood cell production.

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