Get Well

Wellness One-oh-Ones: Saffron

by Hannah Smith

Welcome to the Wellness One-oh-Ones, a digital encyclopedia for all your wellness needs. This series is geared to tackle those everyday questions you secretly ask yourself in wonderment when you hear about a new trend. Instead of pretending to know what people are talking about, come hang with us as we uncover the latest and greatest in the wellness industry. Check back every other Wednesday to pick up your refill — no doctor’s signature required.

For more than 3,500 years, saffron has remained as one of the world’s most costly products. Only capable of being cultivated by hand, this flower has been used both for its potent color and for its incredibly benefits. To learn more about saffron, we spoke to Nikki Bostwick, founder of The Fullest and creator of the Saffron Latte – needless to say we were convinced in moments. Get the low down on every little detail below. 

What is Saffron?

Depression is something we all feel on some level or another. While only 6.7% of adults in the United States are diagnosed with clinical depression, it’s been proven that many people have (not-so-frequent), but still recurring depressive episodes throughout their lives. Whether it’s long term or short term depression, everyone seeks some form of relief in hopes of feeling a sense of positivity. Enter: Saffron. According to Nikki, “saffron has been used for centuries as an overall mood lifter and alternative (at the time only) medicine for depression. Although people have known about its benefits forever, studies have been published only recently regarding the efficacy when compared to medications like Prozac.” 

What are the Benefits of Saffron?

By now, it’s safe to say you know saffron can help to improve mood, but it can do a lot more than just that. As a powerful anti-inflammatory (in fact, more potent than turmeric), saffron can have beneficial properties in the gut and eye, too. Keep reading for a full list. 

Saffron and Mood

So how exactly does saffron help to elevate your mood? Nikki explains that, “saffron does a lot of work with the brain, and in turn strengthens the gut-brain connection. So when you take in medicinal doses of saffron (30mg per day, not to exceed 4g per day), you are increasing your levels of dopamine and serotonin.” In addition, “saffron helps with inflammation in the brain. [This, paired with the increased production of dopamine and serotonin] helps get rid of brain fog and gives you an instantaneous boost in overall mood. It also helps calm down your nerves and feelings of anxiety, so you can take a reset and relax.” I personally deal with clinical anxiety and seasonal affective disorder, and I’ve found that ingesting saffron regularly has helped me deal with my intense, anxious feelings that occur each morning. 

Saffron and Eye Health

It’s common knowledge that over time, our eyes degenerate and become significantly less effective as we age. As Nikki puts it, “in today’s world, with all our screentime, it’s a must to start considering the effects of all the blue light constantly hitting our eyes, and [start] doing things to offset the exposure.”Saffron is one of those methods, as it slows down the degeneration process, and in turn, keeps your eyes healthier for longer.

Saffron and Brain Function

The decreased inflammation in the brain that comes with ingesting saffron also correlates to an overall healthier brain. In fact, Nikki notes that a regular saffron dose “helps prevent Alzheimer’s, and even relieves symptoms when given to individuals who already have Alzheimer’s.” 

Saffron and Gut Health

Nikki notes “we know that 90% of serotonin is created in the gut, so it isn’t surprising to find out how beneficial saffron has been for gut issues like IBS and overall issues with digestion.” As someone who struggles (and has struggled my entire life) with digestive issues, I can attest that this was a pleasantly unexpected side effect and my generally irritable has calmed down significantly.  

What is the Recommended Dose? 

“From the published journals, most of the medicinal doses have started at about 30mg once or twice per day [in order] to get the mood lifting benefits.” As mentioned above, though, it is not recommended to exceed four grams a day. Nikki adds that “the way it is formulated in [our] Saffron Latte is ideal because it is combined with the coconut as a carrier for your body to absorb the benefits right away. It also includes a very potent dose of 150mg per serving, so you will feel the benefits soon after taking it. 

Feature Image via The Fullest

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