Saffron is a spice which is obtained from the flower Crocus sativus and is known as ‘saffron crocus.’ The styles and stigma of these flowers are dried to be used as a colouring or a seasoning agent in foods and beverages. Earlier it was cultivated from Greece only, which later spread to Oceania, North America, North Africa and Eurasia.
The fragrance and taste of saffron results from the chemicals called safranal and picocrocin. It consists of a carotenoid pigment which has a very rich goldenish colour to textiles and dishes. It has been traded and used since the early ages. In the present world, Iran cultivates around 90% of the world’s total saffron content. The leaves of Saffron are known as cataphylls and they are non-photosynthetic leaves. These leaves protect the crocus as the plant begins to develop. The flowers of this plant have a very sweet fragrance which is similar to that of honey.
Saffron is known to have cancer preventing qualities. A compound in Saffron known as crocin is beneficial to cease the growth of colorectal cancer cells. It has also shown the same effects in the cases of prostate cancer and hepatic cancer. Skin cancer can also be treated in some cases with the help of Saffron. Since Saffron is rich in carotenoids, it has anticancer properties. The useful compounds in Saffron are also useful in preventing the development of cancer cells in the case of leukemia and breast cancer. According to research Saffron can also block the multiplication of two kinds of human cancer cells. This occurs due to the inhibition of an enzyme which is active in cancer cells. Crocetinic acid present in Saffron also has the power to prevent pancreatic cancer from occurring. This compound also stops the growth of cancer stem cell and destroys them so that the cancer cannot return.
Crocetin present in Saffron can increase the cerebral oxygenenation which facilitates in the treatment for arthritis. According to studies, Meadow Saffron can be very effective in curing gout. This particular variety of Saffron should however not be consumed by elderly patients who have bone marrow, kidney and liver disorders. It should also be consumed in minute quantities by pregnant women.
The natural compounds present in saffron helps retinal degeneration and vision loss. It also strengthens the capillary network and visual response. Saffron supplements are beneficial in improving macular thickness. It has also been found to cure and prevent photoreceptor damage. Saffron largely affects the genes which regulate the fatty acid content in the cell membrane, this in turn improves vision to a great extent. Retinitis pigmentosa can also be cured further preventing permanent blindness in young adults.
Insomnia can be extremely annoying and can make us very unproductive throughout the day. Consuming Saffron on a daily basis can treat insomnia and induce sleep in people. It also regulates the pattern of sleeping. Apart from this, Saffron is also beneficial in treating the side effects of insomnia and depression. It is also beneficial in improving the non-rapid eye movement during sleep.
Saffron is effective in curing memory impairment and learning. According to research, consuming saffron in a day can show improvement in Alzheimer patients. Ethanolic extracts and crocin found in saffron can also be used as a substitute for antidepressants. People have been consuming saffron since early ages to improve their mood and fight anxiety. Saffron extracts are also safe for schizophrenic patients with little or no side effects.
Saffron has been used to cure breathing problems like asthma since ages. Also traditional medicines use saffron to cure respiratory ailments. Due to its antioxidant properties, saffron proves to be the best medicine for respiratory disorders.
Saffron also plays an important role in treating digestive disorders and promoting digestion. This is due to its anti-inflammatory properties, radical scavenging and antioxidant effects. It has also been proven to treat ulcerative colitis and peptic ulcers.
Wounds caused by burns can be healed by Saffron. A paste can be made along with water and saffron which can be directly applied to the wound area for increased healing. Saffron has the tendency to re-epitheliaze burn wounds.
Saffron can increase the preparation of the cervix in term pregnancies. It can also have excellent effects on effacement. Effacement is the thinning of the walls and shortening of the uterine cervix. Saffron also helps in normal delivery, and women who consumed Saffron during pregnancy have been able to have healthy deliveries and the possibility of a caesarean section was also low. However, it shouldn’t be consumed in excess by pregnant women or it can be detrimental for health or even cause miscarriage.
The uses of saffron include, relieving discomfort during menstruation and PMS symptoms, boosting athletic performance, etc. Saffron is also useful in treating erectile dysfunction, make infertility, cough, atherosclerosis, baldness and body pain.
Saffron can have possible side effects and should be used with caution. Consuming high doses of Saffron might cause bloody diarrhea, dizziness, vomiting, mucous membrane, yellowing of skin and eyes, etc. In some cases ingestion of 12 to 20 grams of saffron can also result to death. Saffron can also trigger impulsive and excited behaviour, therefore, it should not be consumed by people suffering from bipolar disorder. Saffron should be avoided by low blood pressure patients and patients suffering from heart conditions. Pregnant women should also not consume it in excess.
Saffron is male sterile, hence it is incapable of independent sexual reproduction. It thrives in climates where dry and hot summer breezes sweep the semi arid lands. It cannot survive frosts and cold winter as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit. They only flower during the mid Autumn and the harvests take place as quickly as possible. It is widespread in Iran.
Healing benefits of saffron
The benefits and medicinal properties of this highly priced spice, make it a valuable culinary ingredient worldwide. Modern research suggests that saffron can be used as an aphrodisiac, diaphoretic [to cause sweating], carminative [ to prevent gas] and to bring on mensuration. Some other benefits are mentioned hereunder:
1. Protects against cancer: saffron contains a dark orange, water soluble carotene called crocin, which is responsible for much of saffron's golden color. Crocin has been found to trigger apoptosis [ programmed cell death] in a number of different types of human cancer cells, leukemia, ovarian carcinoma, colon adenocarcinoma, and soft tissue sarcoma. Researchers in mexico who have been studying saffron extract have discovered that saffron and its active components display an ability to inhibit human malignant cells. Not only does the spice inhibit cells that have become cancerous, but it has no such effect on normal cells and actually stimulates their formation and that of lymphocytes [immune cells that help destroy cancer cells].
2. Promotes learning and memory retention: recent studies have also demonstrated that saffron extract, specifically its crocin, is useful in the treatment of age related mental impairment. In japan, saffron is encapsulated and used in the treatment of parkinson’s disease, memory loss and inflammation.
3. In delayed puberty: in under developed girls, saffron has an overall stimulant effect. A pinch of saffron crushed in a table spoon of milk is useful to stimulate hormones and bring about desired effect.
4. To increase vitality: in low libido saffron aids as a sexual stimulant and can be consumed in a dose of a pinch in a glass of milk at bed time.
6. Protection against cold: saffron is a stimulant tonic and very effective to treat cold and fever; saffron mixed in milk and applied over the forehead quickly relieves cold.
7. Food additives: saffron is an excellent replacement for synthetic food additives- for eg: instead of fd and c yellow no 5: a synthetic food coloring agent that is a very common allergy trigger, saffron’s glorious yellow could be an acceptable hypoallergenic choice.
With these benefits known to us, this culinary treasure has to be used and especially in the winter months. Here are some serving ideas:
1. For a wonderful marinade for fish, add saffron threads, garlic and thyme to vinegar.
2. Use saffron to give cakes, pastries and cookies a buttery golden hue and a rich aroma.
3. Cook biryanis with saffron combined with cloves, cinnamon, indian bay leaves and nutmeg for a memorable treat.
4. Crush a tiny piece of saffron into a glass of champagne or sparkling apple cider and turn the drink into a golden elixir.
5. Coffee spiced with saffron and cardamom is a soothing and heart healthy drink.
6. Add saffron and cinnamon to whole milk or yogurt and honey for a simple version of the famous indian yogurt drink, lassi.
Saffron as a spice, is generally regarded as safe, however it is not recommended during pregnancy and nursing. It also must also be pointed that large doses i. E. More than 1 or 2 table spoons can be toxic, although saffron poisoning is very rare.
The modern age is full of tensions and stress, expecting peaceful mind and healthy lifestyle is just impossible. To prevent common diseases and living a healthy life requires keen knowledge of the main organ of the body, that is the Heart. The heart is a muscular organ which works like an engine and provides fuel to run human body by pumping blood. Our heart has two chambers which separates the oxygen rich blood from oxygen poor blood and each time you breathe the valves of heart opens and closes. There are many cardiovascular diseases that are caused due to the blood vessel and heart issues like lack of flexibility, blockage, fatty plaques of the arteries or lack of strength of the parties.
The modern medical systems suggest surgical treatment for the cure of the heart problems but on another hand, Ayurveda targets the deep root cause of the disease. The best cure for heart diseases is to adopt a holistic approach named Ayurveda the part of the great Indian heritage. This is not only based upon the ancient principle but many researchers worked and proofed that heart issues are reversible with the help of Ayurvedic treatment.
As Ayurveda believes in the natural ingredients for treatment, many remedies are available in our surrounding. Here are some commonly recommended remedies to prevent and cure heart diseases by Ayurveda.
These three are the most common and easily available remedies for heart problems. Other than these three garlic, ginger, turmeric, saffron, arjuna, guggul, etc. herbs which are good for heart diseases and provides a complete cure.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
|ECZEMA OR DERMATITIS [ECZEMA]|
It is a chronic inflammatory condition of the skin causing a distinctive pattern of symptoms such as itching, scaling, thickening of skin and discoloration of skin.
• Can be associated with asthma.
• Allergic – dust mites, detergents, rubber, nickel plated jewellery.
• Stress – physical or emotional.
• In babies diaper rash or napkin eczema is possible.
|SIGN AND SYMPTOMS:|
|• Intense itching.
• Dry thickened skin usually on wrists, face, knees, and elbows.
• Small eruptions and blisters that may ooze fluid.
• Occasional redness and scaling.
• Dry leathery skin areas.
• Skin is abnormally dark or light in color than the normal skin.
• Raw areas of the skin from scratching.
|• Do not scratch especially with long nails. It may lead to secondary infection.
• Avoid foods you are allergic to.
• Avoid nickel plated jewellery, cosmetics, and other articles that give you skin complaints.
• Do not self medicate.
|• You can apply non-medicated ointments like petroleum jelly to soothe the irritation.
• Yoga will help to relax and de-stress yourself.
• When washing or bathing, use less soap than usual. After bathing, apply lubricating cream on the skin while it is damp.
• Avoid eggs, fish, peanuts and soy.
• Avoid dairy products, sugar, white flour, fried foods and processed foods.
• Avoid the excess fat from meat – buy lean and preferably organic.
• Avoid sugar, gluten (wheat, barley, rye and oats) and raw eggs.
• Avoid soft drinks and oranges (if allergic to oranges).
|• Drink plenty of water.
• Consume lots of fresh and raw fruits and vegetables.
• Eat healthy diet, including five portions of vegetables per day, brown rice, millet, oily fish and a little fruit (no oranges).
• Consume diet rich in vitamin A and zinc, helps in regeneration of the skin.
• Diet rich in vitamin A:
– Liver oils of fish, egg, milk and milk products,
– Yellow orange colored fruits and vegetables; green leafy vegetables are good source of - carotene.
• Foods rich in zinc:
– Shellfish, beef and other red meats, eggs and seafood, nuts, sea plants especially Japanese sea plants.
• Increase intake of vitamin C, it helps maintain healthy skin:
– Milk and milk products, citrus fruits, green vegetables
– Fruits and vegetables when fresh have maximum of vitamin C.
• Have coriander leaves frequently, its high in vitamin C and helps to maintain healthy skin.
• You can have 3-4 strands of saffron in milk, it is beneficial for skin.
• Basil leaves (tulsi) are said to be helpful in skin ailments, eat 3-4 fresh leaves daily.
• Breast feed your child; breast milk increases the immunity of your child and helps preventing eczema in future.
|• In case of prolonged duration or change in rash pattern take physicians opinion immediately.
• If symptoms get worse or if you see any Signs of infection (fever, redness of the affected area, pain) occur, see your physician immediately.
According to the American Cancer Society and Colon Cancer Alliance, colon cancer, which is also referred to as colorectal cancer is regarded as the third most commonly diagnosed cancer type as well as the second most important reason of cancer death in the U.S. affecting both men and women. But thankfully, colon cancer can be prevented by changing the food habits.
It is also important to get regular screenings through colonoscopy, which will help you to determine the early or precancerous stage that can be treated with the removal of cancerous cells. Colorectal cancer is deemed to be cancer-related to the food habits and it can be prevented by correcting the same. Here are the top ways through which you can help your condition naturally:
These few alterations to your food habits can greatly help you in preventing colon cancer and you can consult your doctor for a detailed analysis and recommendation based on your individual health condition.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!