One of the most expensive & precious spices used in the kitchen possesses many beauty & health benefits. It IS known as “Kumkum” in Sanskrit due to its bright color. It is one of the most expensive spices in the World as many flowers are plucked to attain just 1 gram of saffron.
It is a dried spice that is used as a flavoring & coloring agent in foods. Not only it is used in cooking but also it possesses enormous benefits for the skin. Carotenoids & Flavonoids are the main components present in Saffron. Crocin & Crocetin are Carotenoid pigments responsible for Saffron’s red color.
Kesar has been used for ages in Ayurveda to enhance skin complexion, not only it enhances skin tone but also it cures pimples, skin breakouts, acne, scars, etc.
So let’s see some of the benefits of saffron for skin-
Saffron for Skin
1.Effective for skin brightening & lightening
Saffron contains antioxidants that help to neutralize the free radicals of the skin & reduce signs of aging such as fine lines, pigmentation, blemishes. Saffron can be used by soaking a few strands in raw cow milk & applying the mixture to the skin with the help of a cotton swab. Internally saffron can also be consumed with milk by mixing few strands. Using saffron both internally & externally gives better results
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Safranal and Crocin are responsible for the bactericidal effect, hence can be used in the skin if you are suffering from acne. Saffron strands can be mixed with Neem leaves paste and can be applied to the skin for better results. As an antioxidant, it protects against UV damage and pollutants that produce free radicals
3.Reduces signs of aging
Skin aging is a complex process involving endogenous & exogenous factors. Significant changes are noticed in skin due to excessive stress & UV exposure. Gradual loss of skin elasticity leads to skin sagging. A healthy & functioning skin barrier is an important protector against dehydration, penetration of various micro-organisms, allergens, etc
The stigma contains Flavonoids with anti-oxidant & soothing properties, which makes it a perfect remedy against skin aging. Anti-oxidants reduce oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals from the skin. The Crocin component protects against UV-rays which are responsible for premature aging.
4.Effective in mild depression
The major bioactive compounds identified are safranal, crocin, and picrocrocin, which are responsible for their aroma. Saffron reduces the plasma levels of Corticosterone in response to stress. Saffron and its constituents, including Crocin, Crocetin, and Safranal, may have a positive effect on several neurobiological mechanisms implicated in mental illness.
With an expensive cost, but a truly unique & powerful action, Saffron is undoubtedly one of Ayurveda’s most prized herbal treasures. Although its list of health benefits is immense, saffron is most noted for its ability to boost the mood, heal the nervous system, rejuvenate the tissues and nourish the reproductive organs. Just like its wide variety of healing properties, saffron is equally as versatile in its uses.
Saffron is safe for most people when taken as a medicine for up to 6 weeks. Some possible side effects include dry mouth, anxiety, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, change in appetite, and headache. Allergic reactions can occur in some people. So it’s always advised to do a patch test before applying it on the skin or consult a physician before consuming it.