One of the costliest spices in the world, one pound (or 450g) of saffron uses more than 75,ooo flowers and 20 hours of labor. Known for its flavor and color, saffron is actually the dried ‘stigma’ or threads of the flower of the S. crocus plant. It also has immense medicinal value.

Here are some health benefits of saffron.

1. Potent Antioxidant
Safranal, a volatile oil found in this spice, has antioxidant and cytotoxic (an agent that kills damaged cells) effects on cancer cells.

2. Treatment For Acne & Blemishes
Saffron has a powerful antifungal action, which makes it efficient in the treatment of acne, blackheads and blemishes.

3. Antidepressant
Αlfa-crocin, a carotenoid compound which gives the spice its characteristic dark golden-yellow hue, has antidepressant and anticancer properties.

4. Nutritional Supplement
This novel spice is a good source of minerals such as calcium, manganese, iron, copper, potassium, selenium, zinc and magnesium. It is rich in many vital vitamins including folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin A and vitamin C which is essential for optimum health.

5. Fights Heart Disease
Saffron has a high potassium content that assists in maintaining blood pressure and keeps heart diseases at bay.

Note: Saffron can act as a uterine stimulant and may cause miscarriages if more than 2tsp is consumed in a day.