Ayurveda recommends saffron or kesar for melasma, skin pigments , acne, pimple and dark circles. Saffron is recommended for skin whitening and a safe pregnancy.
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About Saffron or Kesar or Kumkuma
In texts of Ayurveda the herb Crocus Sativus or kumkuma or saffron is grouped under “Varnya” gana. Varnya means the one which imparts fairness and glow to skin (Easy Ayurvedic Skin Care Routine for Glow and Fairness).
Saffron is one of the costliest spices used in Ayurveda, Unani and Chinese medicinal preparations. It is used extensively in European, North African, and Asian cuisines as a seasoning and coloring agent. The history of this plant’s origin and cultivation can be traced back to 3000 years in the region of Central Asia.
The saffron plant is flowering perennial plant. Purple colored flower of this plant bears three stigmas. The plucked and dried stigmas are used in cooking, medicine preparations and beauty products.
Ayurveda Medicinal Properties, Benefits and Uses of Saffron or Kesar
Texts of ayurveda explain medicinal properties of this precious plant as follows.
According to acharya Bhava Prakasha saffron is spicey or pungent to taste (katu rasa). It increases moistness of tissues (snigdha) and balances tridosha (vata dosha, pitta dosha and kapha dosha). The pungent taste remains even after digestion (vipaka).
The Ancient Ayurvedic Text Dhanwantari Nighantu , it is stated that saffron has a tinge of bitter taste (tikta rasa) and increases body heat (ushna veerya). It mainly balances vata dosha and Kapha dosha.
Ayurveda acharyas recommend this spice to heal diseases related to head and skin. Its properties of healing skin lesions is highly eulogised in ancient texts of ayurveda.
Benefits of Kesar (saffron) for Skin
It helps to reduce dark pigments, dark circles under eyes (Under Eye Circles – Ayurvedic Tips), acne and pimple (Ayurvedic Tips for Pimples , Acne and Dark Spots). It helps to increase fairness and glow of skin.
This beauty spice is used in ayurvedic face packs (Benefits of Natural Ayurvedic Herbal Face Pack) , skin whitening creams and body oils. Kumkumadi Tailam or oil is one such ayurvedic preparation which has been used as beauty aid from ages.
Saffron for Erectile Dysfunction and Male Fertility
This herb is praised as Vajikara. It is used in ayurveda Vajikarana Therapy to increase sexual function and to treat male infertility (Male Infertility – Ayurvedic Ways to Increase Sperm Count and Motility).
Saffron rejuvenates male reproductive system. This property is used in ayurveda to treat conditions like erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation (Ayurvedic Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction and Premature Ejaculation), low sperm count and low sperm motility.
Men can use kesar along with other aphrodisiac herbs like ashwagandha (Ayurveda Health Benefits and Uses of Ashwagandha) , Kapikacchu (Ayurveda Health Benefits and Uses of Kapikacchu- Mucuna Pruriens) , Gokshura (Ayurveda Health Benefits and Uses of Tribulus Terrestris or Gokshura) , Vidarikand (Ayurveda Benefits and Uses of Vidarikanda or Pueraria Tuberosa / Indian Kudzu) , Safed musli (Ayurveda Health Benefits, Uses of Safed Musli) , Black musli (Benefits of Black Musli or Talmuli for Erectile Dysfunction), Kokilaksha (Kokilaksha-Asteracantha Longifolia Health Benefits) etc. These have to be processed with milk (Magnificent Milk – An Ayurveda View) and can be used as an ayurvedic remedy for erectile dysfunction. This milk also helps to boost fertility in men.
Saffron in Pregnancy
Texts of ayurveda laud these stigmas for making delivery easy. It helps uterus to heal quickly and also controls post delivery bleeding. Hence this herb is recommended for pregnant women.
When to use saffron in pregnancy
Since this spice is hot in potency, this should not be used till 2nd trimester is reached. (Don’t use this till completion of 6 months). Always use this in third trimester or from 7th month of pregnancy.
How to use saffron in pregnancy
Mix 3 to 4 strands of kesar or saffron in 1 cup of boiled milk and allow it to soak overnight. Drink this milk first thing in morning. Warm a little bit before consuming.
Saffron for Women Health PCOS and Menopause
This herb helps to ease the menstrual flow and acts as antispasmodic. Hence it is used in dysmenorrhea, primary amenorrhea and to ease delivery of baby. Since it is ushna veerya (increases body heat), it helps in weight loss and also to regularise menstrual cycle in PCOS or PCOD. These strands ease menstrual cramps and reduces postpartum bleeding.
Other Uses of Saffron
In Diseases of Central Nervous System:
Saffron is used as an active ingredient in ayurveda preparations for diseases of central nervous system.
In Rheumatoid arthritis:
As it balances vata, it is very effective in Rheumatoid arthritis (Ayurvedic Remedy and Tips for Rheumatoid Arthritis (amavata)). Using warm saffron milk at night is very useful in this condition.
Helps in Healthy Digestion:
Kumkuma helps to boost agni (Ayurveda Agni or Body Fire or Metabolism and Digestion Process) and increase appetite .It also reduces indigestion (Ayurvedic Treatments and Home Remedies for Indigestion), diarrhea, vomiting and acidity.
Effect on Circulatory system:
Kesar acts as a cardiac tonic and is used to treat diseases which originate from vitiation of blood or rakta dhatu.
Eases Urine flow
It helps in easy flow of urine and hence used in retention of urine.
These beautiful red stigmas help to rejuvenate body and act as “rasayana (Ayurveda Rasayana Therapy or Rejuvenation Therapy)”. They boost body immunity (Boost Immunity Through Ayurveda – Foods and Herbs) and increase energy level.
Home remedies with saffron
Saffron face pack
- Make a paste of sandal wood and saffron. Dilute this with little water and apply it as face pack. This helps to reduce acne, pimples, dark circles, dark pigments and increase fairness and glow of skin (6 Steps for Glowing Skin – An Ayurveda Guide for Beautiful Skin).
- Saffron paste when applied on wound accelerates healing process.
- When sandal wood and saffron paste mixture is applied on forehead it helps to reduce fever and headache (Ayurvedic Home Remedies for Headaches).
- A mixture of rose water and finely ground saffron instilled in eyes help to strengthen the vision.
- Fry 4-5 almonds (Ayurveda Health Benefits of Almonds) in ghee (Ayurveda Health Benefits and Uses of Ghee). Grind these almonds with saffron and milk to make a fine paste. Mix this paste to a cup of milk to get rich, thick golden yellow kesar badam milk. Consuming kesar badam milk at night helps to rejuvenate male and female reproductive system. This helps men who are suffering with erectile dysfunction, low sperm count, low sperm motility and premature ejaculation.
Use of saffron in different system of medicines:
This herb is widely used in ayurveda preparations to treat acne, pimples, dark circles, dark pigments as it helps to increase fairness and glow of skin. It is also added as an active ingredient in Vajikarana Rasayana preparations which help in erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and to increase quality and quantity of semen.
Saffron is known as fan hong hua in Chinese medicine. It is used in blood Stagnation including amenorrhea, retained lochia, fullness and stifling sensation in the chest and diaphragm due to emotional distress . It is also used in treatment of high fever and to expel toxins.
Unani System of medicine:
Saffron is used as an ingredient in Unani preparations to treat heart and liver (Ayurvedic Liver Detox at Home) diseases. It is used as an antidote for toxins. Saffron is used as body coolant, diuretic, general tonic and aphrodisiac in Unani system of medicine.
Saffron should not be administered in early pregnancy as it may cause abortion.
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