Saffron Promotes Learning and Boosts Memory

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Saffron is a wonder spice that boosts memory and recall capacity and offers several other health benefits as well.

Laboratory assessments have demonstrated that saffron encourages memory retention, boosts the capacity to recollect and promotes learning. These benefits are attributed to Crocin, an element present in abundance in saffron.

With this research as its foundation, scientists are confident that saffron would be useful in the treatment of age linked mental impairment.

Some facts about saffron:

Saffron is actually the fragile red stigma (female component of a flower that entraps the pollen) of the flower crocus sativus.

Approximately, 80000 flowers, i.e. 240000 stigmas are required to manufacture ½ a kilogram of the spice.

Health benefits of saffron:

  1. Saffron helps check insomnia or sleeplessness. It helps regularize sleep patterns and alleviates disturbed or disrupted sleep, bringing about deep and restive sleep. It is exceedingly beneficial as a sleeping aid.
  2. Saffron helps decrease the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease considerably. 
  3. Studies also say that saffron has the ability to ward off cancer. It has powerful anti-oxidant and anti-cancer properties that prevent free radical damage. Clinical trials say that the spice is effective in managing ovarian cancer, liver cancer, colon cancer and leukemia. It successfully eliminates carcinogens from the body and perks up the defense mechanisms.
  4. Saffron manages cardiovascular disorders efficiently. 
  5. The potent anti-oxidant properties of saffron help in the management of acute and chronic inflammatory conditions.
  6. Protects against Alzheimer’s disease.
  7. Protects the eyes from bright light and can protect against eye problems.
  8. Asthma, cough and whooping cough.

Tip to detect adulteration of the spice:

You can verify if the saffron that you’ve bought, is adulterated or not, i.e. whether a dye has been used to duplicate the saffron; by dipping a little saffron in warm milk or water.

If the fluid turns orange-red instantly, then the spice is spurious. Authentic saffron must steep in warm milk or water for a minimum of 10 to 15 minutes before its red-gold color emerges, and the aroma begins to develop.

Saffron comes from different parts of the world with 90% of it being produced in Iran. Kashmiri Indian saffron, Tasmanian saffron from Australia, and Spanish saffron from LaMancha are considered the highest quality.  

Most of the saffron that is sold in the United States is from LaMancha.

Quick serve ideas for saffron:

  1. A dash of saffron will convert any stew or soup in to a creamy, golden delight.
  2. The spice is marvelous with rice dishes. Spanish preparations like paella, Italian risotto, Indian biryanis, taste splendid with a pinch of saffron.
  3. You can make your omelet scrumptious by adding just a few strands of saffron. Whip 2 eggs well. Throw in finely diced onions, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Blend in a bit of saffron. Pour the batter on to a greased skillet and cook over a medium heat.
  4. Thyme, garlic and saffron make a delectable marinade for fish.
  5. Add saffron to biscuits, cakes, cookies, pastries and other confectionary preparations to impart a gold hue and a rich aroma.

Saffron Supplements and Teas

In addition to cooking with the spice, you can also buy saffron supplements and tea made with saffron. These saffron supplements will also give you the health benefits that were mentioned above.

Saffron tea was very cherished among the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans for its use in medicine and cooking.

Saffron should only be used in small amounts and in supplements, only 15mg should be taken per day and at most twice per day. You should read about side effects and drug interactions before taking saffron supplements.

2 comments

tozca leather
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Posted on Jun 15, 2014
Daniel de Villiers
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Posted on Feb 2, 2011

About This Article

Dr Shweta U Shah

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