As a therapeutically plant, saffron it is considered an excellent stomach ailment and an antispasmodic, helps digestion and increases appetite. It is also relieves renal colic, reduces stomachaches and relieves tension. During the last years it was used as a drug for flu-like infections, depression and as a sedative for its essential oils. It is also considered that in small quantities it regulates women's menstruation, and helps conception. In pharmaceutical industry 125 gram of pure saffron essence is enough for making 300 million sedative tablets.
Saffron is given to reduce fevers, cramps and enlarged livers, to calm nerves. In the western world it is used primarily as a spice. But it is also discovering its uses as a health tonic, which naturally does not have side effects. About 50 mg of Saffron dissolved in a glass of 200ml milk and a spoonful of sugar makes a very tasty drink, which is also a health tonic. A regular intake of this every day for a period of time enables the body to build resistance against a lot of common diseases such as Asthma, Common colds claim Ayurvedic Practitioners. But beware; do not to expect it to act as a magic potion because it is essential to have a regular intake for it to be effective.
Saffron in Western Medicine:
1) The Ebers Papyrus (Ca 1550 BC) has mentioned it as an ingredient in case of kidney problems.
2) Due to the presence of crocetin it indirectly helps to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood.
3) Two compounds in Saffron are supposed to increase anti-bacterial and anti-viral physiological activity in the body.
4) In the USA it was given to children in exanthematous diseases for promoting eruptions.
5) Based on Urdang's reports and records of Ancient and Medieval periods indicate anti tumor & anti cancerous activities.
Saffron in Eastern Medicine:
Here is list of a few uses that saffron is put to in medicine as a cure and as a preventive. The list by no means exhaustive and is just to give you an idea of the usefulness of this exotic herb. These details have been taken from a paper by Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Sidhha (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare)
1) Curing Asthma & Cough
2) Useful in Colds
3) To treat Alcoholism
4) To treat Acne and Skin Diseases.
5) Used in medicines that reduce inflammation
6) For treatment of enlarged Liver and infection of Urinary Bladder and Kidneys
7) As an ingredient in recipes useful in Menstrual disorders
8) For strengthening the heart and as a refrigerant for the brain
9) As a diuretic if soaked overnight in water and administered with honey
10) Pounded with clarified butter (Ghee) it is used for treating diabetic patients.
11) It can be use to make the gum pain, relax.
12) The mixture of saffron with olive oil use for curing the hurted muscles.