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Saffron strands are a highly coveted ingredient, and they are beneficial in a myriad of ways. Apart from its distinct fragrance and color, saffron is also widely known for its medicinal properties.
Saffron is filled with volatile compounds such as crocin, picrocrocin, safranal, and kaempferol, the antioxidant found in the flower petals, and it can be useful in fighting a number of diseases including cardiovascular problems, mood disturbances, and even diabetes. (1)(2)
Saffron is obtained from the flowers of the Crocus sativus L. These flowers bloom only once a year and are carefully hand-picked to avoid damaging them.
The stigmas (the pollen-receptive projections) of these flowers are then collected and dried to make saffron strands. This tedious process makes saffron one of the most expensive spices in the world.
Today, most of the world’s saffron is grown in Iran, India, and Greece. (3)
Benefits of Saffron for Men
Saffron can be particularly beneficial for men in many ways.
1. Improves anxiety and depression
More than 5 million men in the United States are diagnosed with depression every year. Yet, social norms consider depression to be a “women’s problem” and discourage many men from seeking treatment.
Saffron contains volatile compounds that can have a positive effect on the nervous system. Several studies have demonstrated the benefits of saffron as a natural mood enhancer and antidepressant. (2) A 2020 research study linked saffron use with improved cognitive function in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. (4)
Saffron can be consumed in the form of a stigma extract or a petal extract to treat depression and other nervous disorders. (5)
2. Treats infertility
Saffron has traditionally been used as a natural treatment for male infertility.
Recent studies conducted on the effects of saffron consumption on men suffering from infertility have shown varying results. Saffron helps increase sperm motility and size; however, it does not help increase sperm count. (6)
3. Helps in erectile dysfunction and increases libido
While saffron may not help increase sperm count, it may help increase the chances of conception in couples experiencing difficulty conceiving.
Several research studies have demonstrated the positive effects of saffron consumption in treating erectile dysfunction and increasing male libido.
In one recent study, 20 men suffering from erectile dysfunction were treated with 200 mg saffron daily. (7) Significant improvement was noticed in their sexual prowess over a period of 10 days. (7)(8)
4. Improves exercise performance and relieves muscle aches
Saffron extracts and supplements help increase blood flow and oxygen to the muscles. Hence, they can be particularly useful for men undergoing intense training and endurance athletes.
A 2015 study demonstrated that consumption of 300 mg of saffron every day helped reduce pain levels during intense exercise. (9)
5. Prevents heart disease
Due to various physiological differences, men are twice as likely as premenopausal women to develop heart disease.
Best Ways to Take Saffron
You can add a couple of strands of saffron to your protein shakes or other favorite beverage. You can also buy saffron supplements or extracts at your favorite health food store or online from reputable sources.
Precautions When Using Saffron
It is not recommended to consume large doses of saffron. Overconsumption of saffron may lead to yellowing of the skin or eyes. Never consume doses higher than 12 g a day as it can be possibly fatal.
Side Effects of Saffron Usage
Saffron is an all-natural product and rarely causes side effects. However, some people may experience the following symptoms when they consume saffron: (11)
- Nausea or diarrhea
Most Asked Questions
Is saffron good for males?
Yes. As mentioned above, saffron is beneficial for men in several ways. It helps improve heart function, libido, and mood.
Is saffron useful in increasing sperm count?
Saffron contains several antioxidants and helps increase sperm size and motility. However, it has not been shown to increase sperm count.
Saffron is a delicious medicinal herb that can have several benefits for your health when consumed moderately.
Loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, saffron helps improve depression, lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, improve heart health, and treat erectile dysfunction in men.