From antique epochs the benefits of saffron have been documented; nevertheless in recent years Saffron has undergone extensive medical and chemical studies, from which have been isolated a variety of ingredients with known biological active properties.
The stigmas of corcus sativa are rich in many of well recognized compounds like: satireal,safranal, crocetin, crocin, corcumin,carotenoids etc.. with healthy qualities: antioxidant, anticancer and antitumor, on coronary artery diseases, on ocular blood flow and retinal function, on blood pressure, anti-inflammatory and antiatherosclerosis activities, antigenotoxic and cytotoxic activities.
-Cancer: A number of clinical and animal and in-vitro studies have shown that saffron and its compounds such as safranal, the crocins and crocetin have potent anti-cancer properties. They have demonstrated efficacy against a number of tumors specially: breast, liver, colorectal and pancreatic cancer cells.
Recent research in Western medicine shows
that saffron works as effectively as Prozac in treating mild to moderate
depression. In an action similar to antidepressant medication (sans the side
effects), saffron is reported to relieve depression by raising serotonin and
other mood enhancing chemicals in the brain
- Blood pressure and cholesterol: Some researchers speculate that the low rate of heart disease in Spain is due to the Spaniards' high consumption of saffron. Saffron has positive effects in lowering blood cholesterol and triglycerides among heart patients.