10 Health Benefits Of Saffron For Vibrant Wellness

The Top 10 Benefits Of Saffron To Enhance Overall Health Dr. Will Cole 1

What is Saffron?

Used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine and renowned throughout ancient Persia and Greece, Saffron is a spice worth noting in our modern world.

Saffron is the three red stigmas of the Crocus Sativus flower, collected by hand, dried, and crushed to make the world’s most coveted spice. Saffron, a rare spice due to its annual harvest of only 8 days and labor intensity, comes with a hefty price tag. However, this ancient spice is packed with tons of antioxidants and nutrients that are notable for boosting mood, enhancing cognition, and detoxifying the body.

Saffron’s story is as old as time and has been treasured throughout the ages in traditional medicine. Follow on to peer deeper into Saffron’s mysterious roots and ability to optimize health.

Article continues below

Make Your Life a Cleanse



Get FREE access to these + giveaways, recipes, & discount codes (including 50% off code for video courses) in personal emails from Dr. Will Cole

10 Amazing Health Benefits of Saffron

1. Boosts mood

In traditional Persian medicine, Saffron has been used to treat depression, elevate mood, increase feelings of happiness, and even induce a sense of euphoria. In a clinical study, Saffron was found (1) to be just as effective as the commonly prescribed SSRI, fluoxetine, supporting saffron’s antidepressant capabilities.

2. Supports detoxification

Saffron is a natural source of the antioxidant glutathione, which plays a role in helping (2) your body to detox through supporting your liver – your body’s main detox organ. In addition, glutathione (3) leads to cell regeneration and a healthy gut.

3. Lowers inflammation

Saffron has powerful anti-inflammatory abilities due to its high antioxidant, crocetin, and crocin content that work to fight (4) pro-inflammatory cytokines.

4. Enhances cognitive function

Not only can saffron intake help improve (5) short-term memory, saffron has been shown to help improve the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease to the same extent (6) as the commonly prescribed Alzheimer’s drugs, donepezil, and imipramine (7) but without the adverse side effects.

5. Promotes skin health

Two well-known skin enhancing nutrients vitamin C and glutathione are abundant in saffron which work to fight free-radical damage to cells that contribute to dull skin and wrinkles. One study (8) even showed that daily intake of saffron can improve mild to moderate psoriasis. Our largest organ, our skin, has a unique relationship with internal detoxification of the liver, one that can be solved with glutathione optimization.

6. Reduces heart disease risk

Cholesterol has often been an indicator of heart disease risk. While sometimes that can be an over simplistic view of heart disease, saffron has been shown to inhibit (9) the rise of both triglyceride and total LDL numbers, both of which are markers for increased risk of heart disease. In locations where saffron is a diet staple, such as Spain, reports showed overall lower rates of cardiovascular disease.

7. Aids digestion

Because saffron can promote blood flow to the digestive system it can help ease symptoms of digestive distress. It also coats the gut to help soothe and calm damage and inflammation, which can be particularly useful in the cases of leaky gut syndrome.

8. Reduces cravings

Consumption of saffron has been shown (10) in studies to help you feel fuller for longer and more satiated to therefore reduce cravings and unnecessary snacking.

9. Hormonal health

Saffron has been found to be an effective treatment for PMS symptoms (11) with more relief experienced over time with each new cycle.

10. Assists weight loss

Weight loss was shown to be a byproduct of increased satiety and reduced snacking from saffron intake. Saffron has also been shown to promote overall weight loss (12) through its antioxidative properties and anti-inflammatory abilities.

When should I take saffron?

If you have noticed any signs or symptoms of hormone imbalance, skin problems, poor digestion, low moods, or stubborn weight, you might have a lot to gain from saffron. 

How to get the benefits of Saffron in your diet

While saffron is a great spice to cook with, and there are several incredible saffron supplement benefits, as well as saffron extract benefits, one of my absolute favorite ways to incorporate it into my life is through SAFFORIA Elixirs. SAFFORIA allows me to get a medicinal amount of saffron with each 4 oz. bottle to really harness the health benefits of this powerful spice.

SAFFORIA also combines the power of saffron with other superfoods like black pepper, ginger, and passionfruit to make it more bioavailable and elevate its already amazing health benefits. Ginger is another anti-inflammatory and known digestive aid, and passionfruit is loaded with additional antioxidants for a synergistic trio of health amplifiers. At only 30 calories, SAFFORIA is not only nutrient-dense, it is vegan, gluten-free, preservative-free, and GMO-free with no synthetic fillers or added sugars. SAFFORIA is the perfect addition to any lifestyle and diet, and to anyone looking to boost their overall health.

Sure, you could add in a saffron supplement, but SAFFORIA’s elixirs use fine grade saffron in its natural form, not synthetic extracts. SAFFORIA is able to offer the pure fine grade saffron without the hefty price tag due to their distribution partnerships. Each elixir is specially formulated to make the world’s most coveted spice readily accessible.

To learn more about SAFFORIA, and see what can happen if you drink saffron everyday, check out their website where you can discover the health benefits of saffron with complementary research and clinical trials. You can get your first pack of SAFFORIA Gold Rush at SAFFORIA.com.

As one of the first functional medicine telehealth clinics in the world, we provide webcam health consultations for people around the globe.

Photo: unsplash.com

Start Your Health Journey Today



  1. Noorbala AA, Akhondzadeh S, Tahmacebi-Pour N, Jamshidi AH. Hydro-alcoholic extract of Crocus sativus L. versus fluoxetine in the treatment of mild to moderate depression: a double-blind, randomized pilot trial. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005;97(2):281‐284. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2004.11.004
  2. Khorasany AR, Hosseinzadeh H. Therapeutic effects of saffron (Crocus sativus L.) in digestive disorders: a review. Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2016;19(5):455‐469.
  3. Rezaee Khorasany AR, Hosseinzadeh H. Therapeutic effects of saffron (Crocus sativus L.) in digestive disorders: a review. Iran J Basic Med Sci 2016; 19:455-469. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/2d92/79b5c3f138dbe302e450943a709c54c84662.pdf
  4. Poma A, Fontecchio G, Carlucci G, Chichiriccò G. Anti-inflammatory properties of drugs from saffron crocus. Antiinflamm Antiallergy Agents Med Chem. 2012;11(1):37‐51. doi:10.2174/187152312803476282
  5. Ghodrat, M., Sahraei, H., Razjouyan, J. et al. Effects of a Saffron Alcoholic Extract on Visual Short-Term Memory in Humans: a Psychophysical Study. Neurophysiology 46, 247–253 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11062-014-9436-3
  6. Akhondzadeh S, Shafiee Sabet M, Harirchian MH, et al. A 22-week, multicenter, randomized, double-blind controlled trial of Crocus sativus in the treatment of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2010;207(4):637‐643. doi:10.1007/s00213-009-1706-1
  7. Akhondzadeh S, Sabet MS, Harirchian MH, et al. Saffron in the treatment of patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease: a 16-week, randomized and placebo-controlled trial. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2010;35(5):581‐588. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2710.2009.01133.x
  8. Brown AC, Hairfield M, Richards DG, McMillin DL, Mein EA, Nelson CD. Medical nutrition therapy as a potential complementary treatment for psoriasis--five case reports. Altern Med Rev. 2004;9(3):297‐307.
  9. Kamalipour M, Akhondzadeh S. Cardiovascular effects of saffron: an evidence-based review. J Tehran Heart Cent. 2011;6(2):59‐61.
  10. Gout B, Bourges C, Paineau-Dubreuil S. Satiereal, a Crocus sativus L extract, reduces snacking and increases satiety in a randomized placebo-controlled study of mildly overweight, healthy women. Nutr Res. 2010;30(5):305‐313. doi:10.1016/j.nutres.2010.04.008
  11. Agha-Hosseini M, Kashani L, Aleyaseen A, et al. Crocus sativus L. (saffron) in the treatment of premenstrual syndrome: a double-blind, randomised and placebo-controlled trial. BJOG. 2008;115(4):515‐519. doi:10.1111/j.1471-0528.2007.01652.x
  12. Mashmoul M, Azlan A, Khaza'ai H, Yusof BN, Noor SM. Saffron: A Natural Potent Antioxidant as a Promising Anti-Obesity Drug. Antioxidants (Basel). 2013;2(4):293‐308. Published 2013 Oct 29. doi:10.3390/antiox2040293

Shop This Article

Purchase personally curated supplements
and Dr. Will Cole’s books!

Shop Dr. Will Cole

The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.

Our articles may include products that have been independently chosen and recommended by Dr. Will Cole and our editors. If you purchase something mentioned in this article, we may earn a small commission.



Evidence-based reviewed article

Dr. Will Cole, DNM, IFMCP, DC is a leading functional medicine expert who consults people around the globe, starting one of the first functional medicine telehealth centers in the world. Named one of the top 50 functional and integrative doctors in the nation, Dr. Will Cole provides a functional medicine approach for thyroid issues, autoimmune conditions, hormonal imbalances, digestive disorders, and brain problems. He is the host of the popular The Art Of Being Well podcast and the New York Times bestselling author of Intuitive Fasting, Ketotarian, The Inflammation Spectrum and the brand new book Gut Feelings: Healing the Shame-Fueled Relationship Between What You Eat and How You Feel.