15 Top Benefits of Saffron for Skin, Hair and Health – Saffron is one of the costliest and most exotic spices to add color and flavor to food. But it can do much more than that. Saffron has several health and therapeutic benefits, and in this article, we will talk about 15 top benefits of saffron for our skin, hair and health. Saffron is known for its auburn color and sweet flavor. One of the most popular beauty benefits of saffron is its skin lightening abilities. Some of the best health benefits of saffron include its ability to improve our respiratory health, boost digestive system, improve sleep patterns, reduce bleeding, boost cardiac health, prevent diabetes, etc. All these medicinal properties and benefits of kesar has made it one of the most expensive spices in culinary world.
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Before we start exploring the benefits of saffron and various saffron uses, let’s first check out some quick facts about kesar (saffron in hindi).
What is Saffron
Saffron is the dried ‘stigma’ or the threads of the flower known as saffron crocus. Scientifically, it is known as Crocus sativus. The threads of the flowers are reddish orange in color, the same color as the spice. These threads are carefully removed by hand. The distinct flavor of the kesar (saffron in hindi) is due to the presence of chemical compounds known as picrocrocin and safranal. Moreover, the rich color is because of the natural carotenoid, known as crocin, present in saffron. The health and medicinal as well as the beauty benefits of saffron can be attributed to its unique organic composition. It contains Vitamin A, folic acid, copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc, selenium, magnesium, thiamin, riboflavin etc.
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Kesar, which is saffron in hindi, also contains oil-soluble pigments, such as lycopene, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin. This exotic spice is native to Southern Europe as well as Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Iran, France etc. In India, Jammu and Kashmir is the place where saffron grows.
Types of Saffron
Take a look below to find out some of the most popular varieties of kesar (saffron in hindi) –
Padmagandhi – Grows in Kashmir and is also considered as the best variety of saffron due to its strong flavor, aroma and rich color. Has dark crimson red threads. Furthermore it is rarely found outside India and very expensive.
Madhugandhi – Thick strands and also slightly white in color.
Bahilka – Has tiny white strands.
Parasika Kumkuma – Has bigger strands.
Acquilla – Native to Italy. Shorter length, lighter red in color.
Creme – Native to Spain
Sargol – Native to Iran, has very high coloring power.
Saffron in Different Indian languages
- Kesar (in Hindi)
- Jafran (in Bengali)
- Kumkumappu (in Tamil)
- Kumkuma pubba (in Telugu)
- Keshar (in Gujarati)
- Kumkuma kesari (in Kannada)
- Kong (in Kashmiri)
- Kesar or kesara (in Marathi)
15 Top Benefits of Saffron for Skin, Hair and Health
So those were few interesting facts about saffron. Let’s now start with the benefits of saffron for our skin.
Benefits of Saffron for Skin
Saffron has been a royal beauty ingredient for many centuries. It is quite expensive, but still we love to use it in our face packs for skin lightening, skin brightening and also to get a healthy, problem free skin. Lets check out the top benefits of saffron for skin below.
1. Saffron to Treat Acne
Why to use saffron to treat acne
The anti fungal benefits of kesar has made it a very effective natural treatment for acne, pimples and blackheads. Saffron has the ability to unclog the blocked facial skin pores. However, the anti inflammatory benefits of saffron also helps to get rid of acne and pimples.
How to use Saffron to treat acne
- To reap this saffron benefits, mix together 5-6 basil leaves with 10-12 strands of saffron. Make a fine paste and then apply this on your face. Wait for 10-15 minutes and wash off with cold water.
- Another way to utilize this saffron benefits is by making a saffron – milk face mask. Soak 3-4 saffron strands in 1/4th cup of milk for about 2 hours. With the help of a cotton ball, apply this face mask on your face and neck and then wash off after 10-15 minutes. Repeat this face mask 3-4 times per week.
- Mix few strands of saffron, some sandalwood powder and some raw milk together to make a smooth paste. Apply the face mask to your face in circular motion. Let it stay for at least an hour or till it dries. Wash off with plain water.
2. Get Rid of Dull Skin using Saffron
Why to use saffron to get rid of dull skin
During winter, all of us suffer from dull and dry skin issues. The skin benefits of kesar also help to get rid of dull skin. It contains potassium that boosts cell formation and repair damaged cells. Furthermore, the vitamins and anti oxidants benefits of saffron work wonderfully to rejuvenate our skin.
Saffron uses to get rid of dull skin
- The best way to utilize this saffron benefits is by making a simple face mask. All you have to do is to soak 2-3 strands of saffron in a tsp of water and keep it overnight. The next morning, add a tsp of milk, few drops of olive or coconut oil and a pinch of sugar to this water. Dip a piece of bread in this mixture and gently rub it all over your face. Let it stay for 15 minutes and then wash off.
- Another way to make use of this benefits of saffron is by making a face pack using milk, Bengal gram and saffron strands. Soak a tbsp of Bengal gram in 2 tbsp of milk and leave it for overnight. The next morning, add few saffron strands to the same milk and grind everything together. Then apply it on the face and let it stay for 15-20 minutes. Wash off.
3. Benefits of Saffron to Get Glowing Skin
Why to use saffron to get glowing skin
Kumkumappu (saffron in Tamil) is a great natural treatment to get glowing skin at home. It can minimize skin pigmentation and helps to get even skin tone. However, benefits of saffron can reduce the melanin content of our skin, which is why it is considered a wonderful ingredient for our skin.
Saffron uses to get glowing skin
- Mix few saffron strands with honey and then massage this in to the skin. This will not only improve blood circulation and give you a glowing skin, but also will lighten, hydrate and soften the skin.
- Here is another way to utilize this benefits of saffron. Take a tbsp of olive oil and add 3-4 saffron strands in it. Mix together and massage the skin with this saffron infused oil. Leave it on for an hour and then wipe it off with a damp cloth. You can even use this as an overnight treatment to get soft and glowing skin.
4. Skin Lightening Benefits of Saffron
Why to use saffron for skin lightening
Next on our list of the benefits of kesar is this one. The skin lightening benefits of saffron is one of the most popular saffron uses. Kumkumappu (saffron in Tamil) can reduce the melanin content of our skin layers and also lighten the skin. In fact, Saffron face packs are the best way to get glowing and fairer skin tone.
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How to use saffron for skin lightening
Here are a few saffron uses to utilize this skin lightening benefits of saffron
- Take 2-3 tsp of milk powder and add a few saffron strands to it. Add some rose water and make a fine paste. Spread it all over the face and wait for 30 minutes. Wash off with plain water.
- Soak few saffron strands in raw milk for couple of hours. Add some lemon juice to this saffron infused milk. Mix everything together and then apply this on to your face. Massage for at least 15 minutes in circular motions. Wash off. This face mask is a great way to lighten tan and get back your original complexion.
5. Reduce Dark Spots using Saffron
Why to use saffron to reduce dark spots
Saffron is loaded with various vitamins such as Vitamin A, B and C. Furthermore, these vitamins improve the overall condition of the skin and treat various skin issues like dark spots, dark circles, etc. This is one of the main reasons why saffron is used for skin whitening.
Saffron uses to reduce dark spots
There are few ways to utilize this skin whitening benefits of kesar.
- Soak 2-3 saffron strands in 2 tbsp of water overnight and blend the strands in the water next morning. Apply this mixture on your under eye dark circles or any dark spots on the face. Moreover, let it sit for 15-20 minutes and rinse off with water. Repeat this everyday for best result.
- Soak 4-5 almonds and 10 saffron strands together in some water overnight. The next morning grind everything together and make a smooth paste. Apply it on the face and wait for 15 minutes. Rinse off with water. Regular use of this face pack will enhance the skin tone and also get rid of pigmentation or patchy skin.
6. Skin Firming Benefits of Saffron
Why to use saffron for skin firming
The anti oxidant benefits of saffron fights off the free radicals which can otherwise trigger premature aging of our skin. This way, saffron ensures that our skin stays firm and toned and also look youthful. This is one of the best benefits of kesar for skin.
How to use saffron for skin firming
Below we have discussed how to utilize this amazing kesar benefits.
- Soak few strands of saffron in rose water for few hours. Blend both the ingredients. Using a cotton ball, dab this mixture on clean face. Let it sit for 15 minutes and then wash off.
- Mix 2-3 tbsp of honey with 4-5 saffron strands. Massage it all over the face and wait for 15-20 minutes. Wash off with cold water.
7. Saffron Benefits for Dry Skin
Why to use saffron for dry skin
The healing and moisture retaining benefits of saffron has made it an ideal solution for dry and dull skin. It nourishes dry skin and reduces itchiness and flakiness. However, it also improves blood circulation which leads to healthy and supple skin.
How to use saffron for dry skin
Here is how to reap this benefits of saffron –
- Make a paste by mixing some lemon juice, saffron powder and few drops of milk. Apply this all over the face and leave it on for 20 minutes. Wash off with Luke warm water.
- Take 2 tsp of milk cream and add 5-6 strands of kumkumappu (saffron in tamil) to it. Leave it on for 2-3 hours. Add a tsp of rice powder to it. Mix everything well to make a smooth paste. Apply it all over the face and let it sit for 20 minutes. Massage the face while removing the face pack and use luke warm water.
Benefits of Saffron for Hair
Not only for skin, there are kesar benefits for hair as well. Take a look below to know the benefits of saffron for hair.
8. Treat Hair Loss using Saffron
Why to use saffron to treat hair loss
The anti oxidants benefits of saffron is very helpful in combating hair loss. It is one of the best natural treatment for alopecia. Kumkumappu (saffron in Tamil) can repair the damaged hair follicles and promote hair growth.
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How to use saffron to treat hair loss
Here is how to utilize this kesar benefits for hair
- Soak few saffron strands in milk overnight. Next day, add some licorice powder to it. Mix everything together to make a fine paste. Apply this all over the scalp and hair. Then let it sit for some time and wash off with a mild shampoo.
- Another way to make use of this benefits of saffron is by adding a tsp of crushed saffron strands or a small pinch of saffron powder to almond oil or olive oil. Heat the oil in low flame for 5 minutes. Moreover, remove from heat and let it keep aside. Once it reaches room temperature, pour this oil in to a bottle. Store it like this. Shake the bottle well every time before massaging your scalp with this oil. Doing this regularly will protect the hair from damage and also promote hair growth while also reducing hair loss.
Benefits of Saffron for Health
Not only for our beauty, there are benefits of saffron for our health too. However, it should be taken in small doses. When taken in excess, it can lead to side effects like vomiting, drowsiness, reduced appetite, nausea, etc.
9. Benefits of Saffron to Improve Digestion
Why to use saffron to improve digestion
Lets start our list of saffron benefits for health with this one. Saffron is quite beneficial for relieving gas and acidity and it also aids in digestion. The carminative benefits of saffron is very helpful in reducing flatulence and give relief from stomach cramps.
How to use saffron to improve digestion
You can reap this benefits of saffron by consuming saffron tea on daily basis. Simply add a pinch of saffron to a cup of water and then boil it. Add some raw honey to make saffron tea.
10. Benefits of Saffron to Treat Insomnia
Why to use saffron to treat insomnia
This is one of the best kesar benefits for our health. The mild sedative benefits of saffron is very helpful in relaxing the nerves and calming your mind. This in turn, helps to get sound sleep.
How to use saffron to treat insomnia
To utilize this kesar benefits, you need to drink a glass of warm saffron milk every night before going to bed. Soak 2 strands of saffron in a glass of warm milk for 5 minutes. Add some raw honey to it and then drink this every night before going to bed.
11. Benefits of Saffron for Eyesight
Why saffron is good for eyesight
According to a study (2009) conducted at the University of Sydney, it has been observed that saffron has astonishing effect on the genes that controls the performance of our eye’s key vision cell. One of the main kesar benefits is that it protects our vision cells and also helps to slow down or reverse the course of eye diseases, like age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa.
How to use saffron to improve eyesight
Saffron can be taken as a dietary supplement to improve eye sight. However, one must consult the doctor for ideal dosage.
12. Saffron used to maintain Cardiac Health
Saffron can improve our cardiac health and there are medical evidences that has proved this point. Animal studies have shown that saffron intake can lower cholesterol level as well as reduce blood pressure. Furthermore, the antioxidant benefits of saffron prevent plaque formation and keep the arteries and the blood vessels in good condition. The anti inflammatory benefits of saffron also play a vital role in improving cardio vascular health.
13. Benefits of Saffron to Treat Cancer
Why saffron is good for treating cancer
Several studies have shown the cancer prevention benefits of saffron. This spice contains a compound known as ‘crocin’ which can inhibit the growth of colorectal cancer cells and leave the healthy cells unaffected. Similar effects have been observed in case of hepatic and prostate cancers. Studies have also seen its ability to treat skin cancer. Saffron contains carotenoids, which can be attributed to saffron’s anti cancer properties.
14. Benefits of Saffron to Get Relief from Asthma
Why to use saffron to get relief from Asthma
This is another amazing kesar benefits for our health. Asthma is a common health concern and with winter approaching, the situation is going to get worse. Saffron, however, can provide us some relief. The anti inflammatory benefits of saffron can also reduce the inflammation of the lungs and thus allows more air to pass through the lungs. This, in turn, facilitates easy breathing and also provide some relief.
How to use saffron to get relief from Asthma
Saffron tea is very effective in reducing the severity of asthma attack. All you need to do is to add a pinch of saffron to water and boil it and then add some raw honey to it. Your saffron tea is ready.
15. Benefits of Saffron to Fight Depression
Why to use saffron to fight depression
We are going to conclude our list of saffron benefits with this one. Not only for our physical health, there are benefits of saffron for our mental health too. The high amount of carotenoid and B vitamins in saffron can increase the level of serotonin and other chemicals in our brain. Increased level of serotonin can reduce stress, depression and anxiety. In fact, according to a study conducted during 2005, saffron has been found as effective as fluoxetine (a drug which is used to treat depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder in adults) in reducing depression.
How to use saffron to reduce depression
Saffron, when taken in correct amount, can reduce symptoms of depression. Take about 15 mg of dried saffron extract twice daily. Furthermore, you can add saffron to your milk, shakes, smoothies etc.
Saffron During Pregnancy
This is quite a controversial topic. Many people say that consuming saffron during pregnancy is good for the newborn as well as for the mother. Pregnant ladies have to go through mood swings, and the anti depressant benefits of saffron can help to deal with that. Pregnant ladies also suffer from blood pressure fluctuation, and here also saffron can help by bringing a balance in blood pressure level.
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It is also said that taking saffron during pregnancy can help to get clear complexion of the baby after their birth. Furthermore, Saffron also acts as a muscle relaxant which helps during pregnancy. Saffron contains folic acid, so it is said that taking saffron during pregnancy ensures proper neural growth of the fetus. Iron, present in saffron, ensures that the mother is not suffering from anemia during pregnancy.
However it is important to control the amount of saffron during pregnancy. Just a small pinch is enough, because more amount of saffron can cause difficulties in delivery as well as lead to miscarriage.
This was a brief discussion of the benefits of saffron for our skin, hair and health. Do you use saffron for your health and/or beauty? Let us know below in the comment box 🙂