Complete Guide: Enjoy Health Benefits of Saffron

Title Image - Health Benefits of Saffron

In the words of the great Avicenna: saffron is of a hot and dry temperament, it improves the complexion, it is dissolvent of swelling, it is sedative and it strengthens eye-sight. And we have taken these words to heart. For centuries, saffron has been an integral part of Middle Eastern, Central Asian and European cuisine and traditional medicine.

In this post, we’ll share ways you can add saffron into your daily routines and take advantage of its abundant health benefits. But before we get into that, let’s very quickly go over what saffron is:

Known as the “red gold” saffron is the world’s most expensive spice. It is derived from the flower saffron crocus threads and it owes its golden colour to the carotenoid chemical crocin. It takes around 150 saffron flowers to make 1 gram of saffron – that alone should give you an idea as to why the spice is so expensive!

“saffron is of a hot and dry temperament, it improves the complexion, it is dissolvent of swelling, it is sedative and it strengthens eye-sight.” Greate avicenna

At-home spa treatment with a regal touch

You don’t have to break the bank, the next time you fancy a schmancy spa treatment. Take the simple ingredients you already have at home, add a dash of saffron to it; and your skincare routine is completely transformed.

Saffron is famous for its anti-inflammatory properties. For centuries, the spice has been used as a remedy for various skin problems. Saffron is believed to reduce skin irritation, improve skin complexion, and nourishes the skin. It is the perfect base for any face mask and it can address your various skin needs.

Saffron and sugar face mask

If you think you’re lacking that clear and glowing complexion, then we have got the face mask for you! This delicious combination of saffron, milk, sugar, and coconut oil are perfect for giving your skin a smooth, glowing look. It gently exfoliates the skin helping it stay soft and moisturized.

To make this face mask you need:

  • Saffron: 3-4 threads
  • Sugar: 1/8 cup
  • Milk: 1 tablespoon
  • Coconut oil: 4-5 drops
  • Hot water: 2 tablespoons

Soak the saffron threads in hot water overnight until the water turns golden colour. This will also give the water enough time to absorb all the nutrients from the saffron. Add milk, sugar, and coconut oil to your saffron water and give it a good mix. Apply to clean and dry skin and let it for 15 minutes. Rinse your face with cold water. You can use it 2-3 times a week for softer more glowing skin.

Saffron and basil face mask for acne-prone skin

Acne is one of the most common skin problems known to both men and women! Acnes are quite persistent and the breakouts usually leave the skin scared and irritated. Both saffron and basil have anti-inflammatory properties and can help calm and soothe the skin. This mask will help reduce skin irritation; it deeply moisturizes the skin, and it helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Rosewater is best known for its antibacterial properties and can massively help heal of scars. It is also effective in balancing skin’s natural oils antibacterial properties will.   

For this mask you will need:

  • Saffron: 10-12 threads
  • Basil: 10 fresh large leaves
  • Rosewater: 2 tablespoons

Soak saffron threads in rose water for 1 hour. Toss the basil leaves along with the saffron and rosewater into a blender and mix into a fine paste. Apply on clean and dry skin for 30 minutes. Rinse your face with cold water. This mask will leave your skin looking healthy and rejuvenated.

Saffron and milk face toner

Less is definitely more with this two-ingredient toner. This great combination of milk and saffron is bound to do great things to your skin. Rich in lactic acid and vitamins A and D, the milk will restore skin elasticity. It gently exfoliates the skin, leaving it soft and hydrated. Saffron is loaded with antioxidants; it brightens the skin and evens the skin tone.

For this toner, you need to soak 3-4 threads of saffron in ¼ cup of milk for at least 3 hours. Using a cotton pad, swipe the toner over your face and neck. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Rinse your face and neck with cold water.

Up your hair mask game

You can use saffron to make masks and give strength and shine to your hair. Here’s how:

Saffron and egg hair mask

If you have hair that needs more strength and shine, then this mask is a go-to. Saffron is rich in anti-oxidants; it prevents hair loss and promotes hair growth. This healthy combination of saffron, egg whites, honey, and olive oil will provide your hair with essential vitamins and proteins. It will restore your hair’s natural shine; leaving your hair looking healthy and soft.

For this hair mask you will need:

  • Saffron: 1/8 teaspoon
  • Egg: 1 large
  • Olive oil: 1 tablespoon
  • Honey: ½ tablespoon

Separate the egg white from the yolk. In a bowl, mix the egg white with olive oil, honey, and saffron bringing it to a fine paste. Apply the mask on your hair evenly, leaving it for 20-30 minutes. Wash with shampoo. You can use this hair mask twice a month for healthier, more lustrous hair.

A cup of saffron delight

In The Canon of Medicine, Avicenna states “Saffron strengthens the digestive muscles, quenches false appetite, modulates the intensity of stomach acidity, and improves digestion”.

Saffron has long been known to help treat digestive problems, constipation, and bloating. Its natural sedative and anti-inflammatory properties help soothe the stomach and gastrointestinal tract. You can use saffron-infused teas and drinks for a healthier digestive system.

Saffron and ginger tea

This saffron and ginger tea is rich in antioxidants and can give your digestive system a real boost. You can also make it your go-to tea if you usually suffer from colds and sore throat during wintertime.

For this tea you need:

  • Saffron: 4-5 threads
  • Freshly grated ginger: ½ teaspoon
  • Hot water: 1 cup

To start with, ground the saffron threads using a mortar and pestle. Add the saffron and ginger to the hot water and place it over indirect heat for 20 mins. You can add honey to your tea for a sweeter taste and added benefits.

Happiness in a cup

There’s this saying in Persian; “they’ve probably had saffron tea”! You will hear it if someone starts laughing uncontrollably or is all giddy and ecstatic. This is how strongly people in the Middle East believe in the joy-bringing powers of saffron. It might sound exaggerated, but the neuroprotective properties present in saffron can help improve mood and reduce anxiety.

Saffron, cinnamon, and cardamom tea

This tea is a real mood booster. It can also help relieve joint and muscle pain, improve cold symptoms and reduce puffiness around the eyes.

For this tea you need:

  • Saffron: 1/8 teaspoon grounded
  • Cinnamon: 1 stick
  • Cardamom: 2-3 pods
  • Hot water: 1 cup

Simply add saffron, cinnamon, and cardamom pods in a teapot or a cup. Pour hot water over the spices and leave for 30 minutes. You can enjoy your tea with honey.

Saffron latte

If you are more of a coffee person, fear not; we have you covered. This saffron-infused latte is very easy to make. Prepare your coffee as per usual, but this time you are going to add saffron to the milk! Ground 4-5 saffron threads into a fine powder. Add it to hot milk and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. Add the saffron milk to your coffee and voila! You have all the goodness of coffee and saffron combined in one cup.

Cold drinks

In you are looking for a refreshing cold drink to keep you hydrated in those scorching summer days; then saffron-infused cold drinks are a given.

Saffron lemonade

Both saffron and lemon are filled with antioxidants. Lemons are also a huge source for vitamin C, which is vital in maintaining your health. It can also give your immune system a huge boost. Apart from the health benefits, both saffron and lemon can add a unique flavour and aroma to your drinks.

For this drink you need:

  • Juice of 1 lemon, freshly squeezed
  • Juice of 1 lime, freshly squeezes
  • Ground saffron: 1/8 teaspoon
  • Ice cubes: 2
  • Sugar: 2 tablespoons (you can replace sugar with honey for a healthier option)
  • chilled water: 1 cup

For this drink, you first need to bloom the saffron. Put your ice cubes in a glass bowl or cup; sprinkle the saffron over the ice cubes. Leave at room temperature until the ice melts completely. This is the best way to bloom your saffron for maximum taste and aroma.

Mix the lemon juice, sugar, and saffron until well combined, add chilled water to the mixture and your saffron lemonade is ready!

Saffron and rosewater drink

At the end of a long and stressful day nothing is better than a drink that can help you calm your nerves and clear your head. And we have just the drink for you! Rosewater is most famous for its mood enhancing properties. It has also been used for preventing and treating infections.  Its combination with saffron can help relieve stress and anxiety.  


  • Ground saffron: 1/8 teaspoon
  • Rosewater: 2 tablespoons
  • Honey: 2 tablespoons
  • Chilled water: 1 cup

Add saffron to rosewater and let it sit for an hour. Mix in the honey in the rosewater and saffron mixture and stir until the honey dissolves. Add the mixture to your chilled water and enjoy your glass of refreshing delight.

Please consider:

  • A daily dosage of up to 1.5 grams of saffron is considered safe. Please note that, toxic effects can occur if your saffron dose exceeds 4 grams.
  • If pregnant avoid saffron altogether; it has abortifacient affects.
  • Saffron is not an allergen. However, if you have never used saffron before, we strongly recommend you take a very small amount of the spice before using it in larger quantities.

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