Superfood Ingredient: Saffron

In the 4th century BC, fresh from the heat of battle, his wounds and abrasions stinging and sore, Alexander, Prince of Macedon soaked in a warm tub dyed golden orange by the blood-red filaments of the saffron crocus. The tinted water, he knew, would clean his wounds and encourage healing while the heady aroma swirling around him soothed his weary mind.  A devout believer in the healing power of saffron, the prince—soon to be dubbed Alexander The Great—adopted the practice from the Persians whose empire he had conquered. Among their many customs he borrowed, this one was paramount: the prodigious use of saffron to treat all ills.

A valuable bloom

Saffron is the thin red stigma of the Crocus Sativus, a small purple flower similar in appearance to the common spring crocus—but that’s where any similarity ends. An autumn bloom, saffron’s precursor was a wild plant native to Greece where it was used for a variety of medical, religious,  and cosmetic purposes. Now, as in ancient times, saffron maintains a high price point because of how labor-intensive it is to harvest—ounce for ounce saffron has almost always equaled the price of gold.

The value of the spice is well deserved. As it traveled from Greece with Phoenician traders to the world beyond, its use as an herbal medicine became quickly clear but nowhere more so than in the ancient kingdom of Iran (Persia), as Alexander learned. There, growers quickly domesticated saffron, developing a method to produce vast quantities. Iran remains the world’s largest producer of the stuff and ancient traditions using saffron for health and wellness remain strong and is increasingly backed by medical science. Today, the majority of scientific research into saffron’s healing properties is being done in Iran.

Sarde or garme

Based in ancient Zoroastrianism, Traditional Iranian Medicine (TIM) is based upon the concept of food as medicine in a principle called sarde or garme (cold and hot) which attributes proper-ties to food for health as well as to prevent and treat disease.  Considered “alternative” medicine in the west, the medicinal qualities of food remains an unshakeable aspect of daily Iranian life.

In this deeply rooted tradition, saffron—a ubiquitous flavoring in Iranian cuisine—is key. Considered hot and dry which promotes circulation, saffron is believed to warm the body and producing a feeling of “lightness”. Even today, Iranian will self-prescribe a pure tea of saffron steeped in hot water for everything from stomach upset to skin conditions to head-ache and the blues. For maximum overall health, based on achieving overall internal balance, “hot” natured saffron is be mixed with “cold”-natured foods like rice.

By the middle ages, the Persian physician Avicenna, the most influential of the philosopher-scientists of the medieval Islamic world, wrote extensively on the medical uses of saffron, and his list of treatments for which the wonder spice could be used is almost comically long. However, modern scientists are rapidly proving the folklore to be true.

What's special about saffron

Mineral-rich saffron has various micro-nutrients like potassium and iron which aid the circulatory system and iron uptake in the blood respectively. Saffron is high in immune-boosting minerals zinc and copper as well as thyroid-regulating selenium and manganese a powerful antioxidant. While these characteristics are extremely valuable, saffron’s most powerful medicinal qualities seem to be attributed to safranal, a volatile oil that gives the spice its unique aroma and crocin, the source for the alluring golden hue released by the dried stigmas.

Recent Iranian studies indicate that both safranal and crocin show promise as powerful anti-carcinogenic agents as well as antidepressants. Additional studies have proven safranal to be useful in central nervous system disorders including preventing convulsion and treating Alzheimer’s related dementia.

In the Middle Ages, Catholic nuns in Germany sniffed saffron to keep their spirits up and ease the discomfort of long hours of prayer during Lent. Multiple Iranian studies have shown that the red-hued spice is, indeed, a promising treatment for depression and anxiety.

And, as Alexander learned, saffron is an anti-fungal that can also reduce inflammation and promote wound healing—recently proven out by both a 2008 Iranian study that showed skin regeneration was improved by the application of saffron cream and by 2017 findings by Turkish researchers.

Happily, saffron’s unique aroma and light, pleasant flavor make it easy medicine to swallow. Traditional dishes from Persian culture—and others including Spain, Turkey, Italy and India—provide many options to enjoy this healthful spice. Even a simple tea of saffron stepped in hot water will offer saffron’s health benefits with minimal fuss.

It can be hard to determine real saffron from fake. Watch this video to know the difference:


  • Constipation can be really uncomfortable. Staying hydrated, eating fiber-rich foods, and maintaining regular exercise can help. Sometimes, natural remedies like prune juice work wonders. If it persists, consulting a healthcare provider is important to rule out any underlying issues. Remember, small lifestyle changes can make a big difference!

  • Great article on herbal remedies for constipation! I’ve found that senna tea works wonders for me. It acts as a natural laxative and provides relief within a few hours. Adding ginger tea to my routine has also helped improve digestion. It’s amazing how these natural solutions can be so effective without the side effects of over-the-counter medications. Thanks for sharing these valuable insights! I’ll definitely be trying out some of the other herbs you mentioned.
    herbal medicine for constipation

  • Herbal treatment for constipation offers a natural and gentle approach to relieving discomfort and promoting regularity. Incorporating herbs such as senna, psyllium husk, and aloe vera into your daily routine can help stimulate bowel movements and alleviate constipation symptoms without harsh side effects. These botanical remedies work synergistically to support digestive health, soften stools, and improve intestinal transit. With their mild yet effective action, herbal treatments provide a holistic solution for managing constipation and promoting overall well-being. Embrace the power of nature’s remedies and experience relief from constipation naturally.
    herbal treatment for constipation

  • This medicine for constipation has been a game-changer for me! After struggling with irregular bowel movements, I decided to give it a try, and the results have been fantastic. The gentle yet effective formula provides relief without causing discomfort or cramping. I appreciate how it promotes regularity without dependency, allowing for a more natural and comfortable experience. No more days of feeling bloated or sluggish. Highly recommend for anyone seeking a reliable solution to constipation issues – this medicine has truly made a positive difference in my daily life!
    medicine for constipation

  • Having Alzheimer’s disease knocked my mother off her life and had her living like a mad person, I didn’t know how the better part of her life eluded her, my mind was completely splitted in two, She showed a severe decline in her mental and cognitive skills in the last few years and her quality of life had deteriorated greatly in the past 2 years where she was mostly bedridden. I am very glad my partner sought help and now she is free from all signs of psychosis. She was healed through the herbal medicines from Dr. Rohan (BRONGEE). I believe there is no act of kindness that is too small that is why I am sharing this testimony here. If you have anybody who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, I will advise you to opt out from western medication and go for BRONGEE herbal medicine. you will have every reason to be happy again just as I am. You can visit his blog to know more about this herbal medicine.
     He is well known for his groundbreaking treatments concerning the brain and mind issues..


Leave a comment