Saffron, often referred to as the most expensive spice in the world, is not only a culinary jewel, but also an effective remedy in naturopathy. This article takes a closer look at its discovery, use, medical benefits and possible side effects.

The discovery of saffron

Saffron is extracted from the stigmas of the crocus plant (Crocus sativus), which was originally cultivated in Greece and the Middle East. Its use goes back thousands of years. Historical records show that it was already used in ancient Persia as a spice, dye and remedy. Alexander the Great is said to have used it in his baths to heal his wounds.

Saffron in many forms and dosages

Saffron can be used in many ways. It is available as threads, as a powder and as an extract. In the kitchen, the threads are often used to give rice dishes a golden color and a unique aroma. The extract, which is available in the form of capsules or tablets, is mainly used medicinally.

The recommended dosage varies depending on the intended use. For general health purposes and mood enhancement, 30 mg per day is often recommended. For certain conditions, the dose can be increased up to 100 mg per day, but this should only be done under medical supervision.

Healing effects of saffron

Saffron is known for its antioxidant properties and is often used to treat conditions such as depression and premenstrual syndrome. Research shows that saffron extract can be as effective as certain medications for mild to moderate depression. The antioxidant ingredients, particularly crocin and safranal, help to reduce inflammation and protect nerve cells, which can improve mood.

There is also evidence that it can improve vision and slow down the symptoms of macular degeneration. In addition, it is being investigated to what extent it could be helpful in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases by promoting blood circulation and lowering cholesterol levels.

Food supplements and medicinal plants

Other dietary supplements and medicinal plants can be used to support the healing effect. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are contained in fish oil, are an excellent addition to saffron in the treatment of depression. The combination with turmeric and its anti-inflammatory properties can also promote general health.

Saffron-containing foods

Although saffron is mainly used as a spice, there are no foods that naturally contain large amounts. However, it can be used in many ways in the kitchen, for example in paella, risotto or various baked goods.

Possible side effects

Although saffron is generally considered safe, high doses can cause side effects such as dry mouth, dizziness, nausea and headaches. Pregnant women should avoid saffron, as high doses can trigger contractions.

Saffron in naturopathy

In naturopathy, it is valued for its many health benefits. It is not only used as a mood enhancer, but also for digestive disorders and as a sleeping aid. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties make it a valuable component of naturopathy.

Saffron bridges the gap between culinary delicacy and medicinal natural product. When used and dosed correctly and in combination with other medicinal plants and food supplements, it can significantly improve the quality of life. However, as with all natural remedies, expert advice is recommended to ensure the best individual benefit and minimize possible risks.

The holistic approach it offers in naturopathic practice allows it to address various health conditions and promote wellbeing on multiple levels. The following section deepens the understanding of how it can work synergistically in combination with other natural substances to maximize health and healing.

Synergism with other medicinal plants

Combining saffron with other medicinal plants can enhance its therapeutic effects. For example

  • Chamomile: Chamomile is known for its calming properties and can be used in combination to relieve anxiety and stress and provide a natural, relaxing effect without the side effects of pharmaceutical sedatives.
  • Ginkgo Biloba: The combination with Ginkgo Biloba can improve cognitive function and is being researched for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Ashwagandha: This adaptogenic root can reduce stress and strengthen the immune system. In combination, it promotes mental health and can help alleviate the symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Integrating saffron into everyday life

Saffron doesn’t just have to be used for medicinal purposes, it can also be a regular part of the diet, contributing to overall health. Here are some suggestions on how to incorporate it into your daily diet:

  • Teas and drinks: a warm drink with saffron and honey before bedtime can contribute to a peaceful night.
  • Recipes: Adding saffron to rice dishes, soups and sauces not only adds flavor and color, but also health benefits.
  • Desserts: A pinch of saffron in desserts such as rice pudding or custard can not only enhance them, but also aid digestion.

Possible dangers and precautions

Although saffron offers many health benefits, it is important to be aware of the risks. In extremely high doses (more than 5 grams per day) it can be toxic. Symptoms of an overdose can include bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea. It is therefore important not to exceed the recommended dose and to consult a doctor if you experience any health problems.


Saffron is a versatile remedy that goes far beyond its use in cooking. Whether as a mood enhancer, to improve eyesight or to support the cardiovascular system, its healing properties offer a wide range of health benefits. In combination with a balanced diet and other medicinal plants, it can help to improve physical and mental well-being. As with any treatment, it is important to consider individual needs and potential risks and seek professional medical advice to achieve optimal results.

As such, it remains a valuable natural remedy in modern healthcare, with its history, versatility and power. By consciously integrating it into one’s lifestyle, everyone can benefit from its remarkable properties and thus contribute to a better quality of life.

Published on: 17. April 2024


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