Saffron, the world’s most expensive spice, has long been highly regarded for its distinctive golden color and subtle flavor. But did you know that it is also considered a potent healing agent? Ayurveda teaches that saffron has both invigorating and nourishing qualities and beneficial medicinal actions on the blood, the heart and the reproductive system. Now, western medicine has determined that it may be a key player in maintaining or restoring good vision. This becomes critically important as we face both an aging population and increased incidents of eye strain from overuse of electronic devices over all segments of society.
A team of researchers from Italy have discovered what could be a cure for age-related vision loss. Not only did their research show that this popular food product could prevent vision loss, but it actually reversed vision loss in participants with age-related macular degeneration. This is welcome news for anyone concerned about keeping their eyes healthy for a long time to come. Saffron can:
- increase blood flow to the retina
- anti-oxidant/protect from photo-oxidative damage
- help restore and improve visual performance
- delay or reverse macular degeneration
- aid in cataract prevention
- protect against diabetic retinopathy
It turns out that saffron is high in carotenoids, the chemical that gives saffron its lovely gold-orange hue, and, like carrots, is good for the eyes. Unlike carrots though, saffron is not easily cultivated or harvested. It requires a warm climate and thousands of flowers (video) to make up even a few ounces of the dried flower stamens. But the good news is that even tiny amounts can achieve results: just a few “threads” added regularly to your diet can bring benefits. There are also affordable commercial saffron supplements available in capsule or tea form.
Related article: A Cheap Fix for Insomnia, Obesity, & Depression? Fighting the effects of blue light from electronic devices.