1. A Powerful Antioxidant
Saffron is rich in plant compounds that act as antioxidants, such as crocin, crocetin, safranal, and kaempferol. Antioxidants help protect your cells against oxidative stress.
2. May Improve Mood and Treat Depressive Symptoms
Saffron may help treat symptoms of mild-to-moderate depression, but more studies are needed before definite recommendations can be made.
3. May Have Cancer-Fighting Properties
Saffron is high in antioxidants, which may help kill cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed. However, more human research is needed.
4. May Reduce PMS Symptoms
Both eating and smelling saffron appears to help treat PMS symptoms, such as irritability, headaches, cravings, pain, and anxiety.
5. May Act as an Aphrodisiac
Saffron may have aphrodisiac properties for both men and women and may especially help those taking antidepressants.
6. May Reduce Appetite and Aid Weight Loss
Saffron has been shown to reduce snacking and curb your appetite. In turn, these behaviors may help you lose weight.
7–10. Other Potential Health Benefits
- May reduce heart disease risk factors: Animal and test-tube studies indicate that saffron’s antioxidant properties may lower blood cholesterol and prevent blood vessels and arteries from clogging.
- May lower blood sugar levels: Saffron may lower blood sugar levels and raise insulin sensitivity — as seen in test-tube studies and mice with diabetes.
- May improve eyesight in adults with age-related macular degeneration (AMD): Saffron appears to improve eyesight in adults with AMD and protect against free radical damage, which is linked to AMD.
May improve memory in adults with Alzheimer’s disease: Saffron’s antioxidant properties may improve cognition in adults with Alzheimer’s