Taking saffron by mouth seems to improve symptoms of major depression after 6-8 weeks of treatment. Some studies suggest that saffron might be as effective as taking a low-dose prescription antidepressant such as fluoxetine or imipramine.
A study conducted by Professor Silvia Bisti at ARC Centre of Excellence in Vision Science and University of L’Aquila in Italy, found that saffron may slow or prevent age-related vision loss and treat macular degeneration. Saffron is an antioxidant, but it appears to have additional qualities that particularly affect vision.
Saffron contains compounds called crocetin and crocin that may improve memory and cognitive processing.
Saffron can act against cancer. The action of the herb is not known yet, however, it may prevent tumors from spreading while leaving the healthy cells unaffected.
The consumption of saffron can reduce menstrual pain.
Moreover, saffron has positive effect against Alzheimer’s disease.
Alfa-crocin, a carotenoid compound, which gives the spice its characteristic golden-yellow hue, has been found to have antioxidant, anti-depressant and anti-cancer properties.
Other ingredients of saffron are lycopene, zeaxanthin, α, β and γ-carotenes, vitamin B and B2, carbohydrates and essential oil.