Health and Skin Benefits of Saffron
Saffron is commonly used for flavoring dishes and is a natural food additive. Saffron, known as Kesar in Ayurveda, is used mainly for skin care. But it has other health benefits too. Saffron is beneficial for oral intake and topical application.
Ayurveda Properties of Saffron have a bitter taste, hot potency, and slimy quality, balancing all three Doshas.
How to Consume Saffron?
Saffron can be added to milk, soups, rice preparations, and salads to improve the flavor of dishes.
Ayurveda suggests that a vehicle for consuming an herb enhances the effect of the herb. Saffron with warm milk benefits Vata imbalances like anxiety, pains, and cramps. Saffron with ghee is beneficial in Pitta disorders like burning sensation in the body, acid reflux, and freckles. Taking saffron with honey is recommended in Kapha imbalances like metabolic problems, depressed mood, and weak digestion.
Health Benefits of Saffron
- Has antispasmodic properties, thus relieving muscle cramps.
- Improves digestion and metabolism.
- Relieves headache.
- Enhances blood supply to the brain, reduces cortisol, thus reducing mood swings.
- Reduces dizziness and nausea during pregnancy, thus relieving morning sickness.
- Aids in good sleep as it increases serotonin.
- A good blood purifier that heals skin problems.
- Helps in lowering cholesterol levels.
- Beneficial in menstrual problems.
Some Home Remedies Using Saffron
High Cholesterol / Hypertension
In a cup of hot water, add 2 strands of saffron, let it steep for 5 to 7 minutes, then drink it. The saffron's antioxidants, crocetin, and potassium protect against heart disease by lowering hypertension and cholesterol levels.
Add two pinches of saffron to a cup of warm milk and consume it at bedtime. This helps to increase serotonin and transfer of signals from one brain cell to the other, thus improving mood and relaxing the mind of people suffering from depression.
One can smell saffron to relieve mood swings during PMS.
Painful Menstruation and Irregular Menstruation
Consume 2 strands of saffron mixed with honey daily, preferably after meals.
Heat 100 ml of ghee and add 5 to 6 strands of saffron. Mix well and remove from the fire. After 5 minutes, filter and store it in a moist-free, airtight container. Take one drop of this in a little finger and rub it with your thumb to liquefy/warm it and apply it inside your nostrils daily at bedtime. As the nose is the gateway to the brain, using this saffron-infused ghee will relax the nervous system, helping relieve migraine.
Wash and soak ¼ cup of Basmati rice / Broken rice in half a cup of water for 30 minutes. Then add half a cup of milk and cook it on moderate flame while stirring. Meanwhile, soak 4 to 5 strands of saffron in one teaspoon of milk. When the rice is well cooked, add this saffron and the milk used for soaking it and stir it well. Heat 1 tsp ghee in another pan and add 2 tsp mix of chopped almonds, cashews, and raisins. Add this to the cooked rice. Add 4 teaspoons of cane sugar powder. Mix well and consume. This helps to improve libido. It is beneficial in rapid ejaculation and erectile dysfunction.
Consuming 2 strands of saffron with one cup of warm milk or one teaspoon of warm ghee daily is beneficial.
Apply a paste using saffron strands and milk on the pimple scar/blackhead.
In a thick-bottomed vessel, take one cup of milk and add ¼ cup of grated carrots and cook it well on low flame until the carrots are cooked soft. Then, consume 1 tsp ghee, 1/8 tsp cardamom organic powder, and 2 strands of saffron. The constant exposure to light causes the destruction of photoreceptor cells, and carrot pudding with saffron helps to reduce the destruction, thus improving eye health.
In 2 tsp rose water, add 2 pinches saffron powder and leave it overnight. Next day, filter it and apply two drops in each eye.
Crush four almonds and one cardamom to a fine powder. Add 2 strands of saffron and crushed powder in a cup of warm milk. Consume at bedtime. This is suggested from the 12th week of pregnancy. It helps improve the child's complexion in the womb and supplies the necessary nutrients to the pregnant mother.
Mix 100 gm each of almonds, peanuts, cashews, raisins, jaggery, and 25 gm of coconut powder. Add 10 gm of ginger powder, 10 gm of black pepper powder, 5 gm each of clove and cardamom powder, 2.5 gm of saffron strands or powder, and 1 gm of nutmeg organic powder. Blend them to a coarse paste in a blender and make golf-sized balls. Consume one ball daily with a cup of warm milk.
Take 1 cardamom, 4 black peppercorns, ¼ inch piece of fresh ginger, 1/8 tsp curcuma powder, and 2 saffron strands. Grind them to a fine powder, mix them with warm water, and apply on the forehead and chest. Leave it for 10 minutes, then wash it with warm water. Alternatively, the powder of the above ingredients can be wrapped in a cloth to make a poultice, heated on a dry pan, and gently applied on the chest and forehead for 5 to 7 minutes. This will help relieve colds, productive coughs, and headaches.
Add 4 strands of saffron and 1/8 tsp licorice powder in half a cup of warm milk and apply on the scalp and hairs. Leave it for 10 to 15 minutes, then wash it off. This helps to strengthen hair roots, reduces hair fall, and makes the hair silky and soft.
Take 10 gm of cumin organic powder, 10 gm of cinnamon organic powder, 1 gm of saffron powder, and 10 gm of powdered jaggery. Mix well and make small balls of 250 gm each. Store them in an airtight container. Consume one ball twice daily, once in the morning and once at night after meals, with warm water for 15 days.
Pustules or Wounds
Mix 1/8th tsp turmeric organic powder, 1/8th tsp clove powder, and 2 pinches saffron with warm water and apply on the lesions. Wash it off after 10 minutes.
Add 1/8 tsp dry ginger powder and 2 strands of saffron in a cup of hot water. Let it steep for 7 to 10 minutes, then filter and drink it warm.
Herbal Preparations Containing Saffron
- Pushyanuga churna, an herbal powder containing saffron, is helpful in heavy menstrual bleeding and leucorrhea when consumed orally with warm or rice-washed water.
- Kachuradi churna is an herbal powder containing saffron used for external application on the vertex to relieve the head.
- Kumkumadi taila is a sesame oil-based herbal preparation containing saffron for external application on the face.
- Asana Eladi taila is an herbal oil prepared from saffron and other ingredients used externally to treat headaches, eye diseases, ear-related ailments, and skin disorders.
Use of Saffron for Skin Care
Saffron moisturizes skin when used with oil. The carotenoids in saffron have an antioxidant property that helps the skin maintain optimum health and appear youthful. Its anti-inflammatory property helps reduce skin irritation, rash, and swelling. It keeps the skin hydrated, glowing, and young. There is a reduction in melanin pigment production in the skin with regular use of saffron,