Our Herb of the month is Saffron.
🌿 Using Saffron, a name derived from the Arabic word Z’aferan meaning yellow, is like using herbal gold.
🌿 Not only is the burnished colour of the meticulously hand-harvested crocus stigmas reminiscent of the precious metal, it is also a highly prized and therapeutically diverse spice.
🌿 Its use in food, external applications and dyeing, literature and rituals, also adds to its unique richness. This ancient spice was recorded in the Papyrus Ebers c.1550 BC and went on to be used in over 90 health conditions including lung, liver and menstrual disorders, eye health, digestion and mood disorders.
🌿 In Ayurvedic medicine it has also continued to be used as a supportive nervine tonic and to drive nutrient assimilation deeper into the tissue. The intensity of the spice, both visually and therapeutically, comes mainly from its concentration of the bioavailable carotenoid crocin (deep colour), crocetin (deglycosylated form of crocin), picrocitin (bitter flavour) and safranal (unique odour).
🌿 A relatively high number of clinical studies have shown its effect (in combination with medication or on its own) for depression, anxiety and cognitive decline. Other promising clinical outcomes include its use in conditions such as in retinal health, inflammation, liver and renal function, and PMS.