3 Health Benefits Of Saffron Herb (Sleep Included)

Being of Indian origin, the health benefits of saffron herb was emphasized quite a bit in our home. My mom made sure my siblings and I always had this in our nighttime drink.  As I hit age 10, I  stopped drinking it.

I wish I hadn’t done that. Because the benefits far outweigh the reasons for not wanting to drink it. I think most of it has to do with not wanting to make it for myself.

Saffron contains an impressive variety of plant compounds that act as antioxidants — molecules that protect your cells against free radicals and oxidative stress. (Source: Healthline)

As sleeping became an issue during chemotherapy, I reintroduced myself back to saffron. Quite possibly, the best thing I have done, not only am I getting a great sleep now, but I’m also fighting any cancer which may still exist in my body. 

What Is Saffron Herb

Saffron comes from the purple flower called saffron crocus. This flower usually bloomed in autumn and can be found anywhere in the world. The flower blooms for a few weeks and must be hand-picked. Saffron is a spice at the ground from the saffron crocus. The saffron herb was used as a remedy against black death and had many health benefits and is added to a variety of cooking dishes.

Because extra caution has to be taken when harvesting the plant by hand, the saffron herb is one of the most expensive spices in the world.

Can You Take Saffron Daily

Clinical studies have shown that you can take saffron daily. Considering that it is one of the more expensive herbs out there, you would have to limit to how much saffron herb you take. The daily dosage for saffron is 1.5 g.

Dosages of up to 1.5 g/day of saffron are thought to be safe; toxic effects have been reported for 5 g doses. (Source: Drugs.com)

But 30 mg per day have been known to reap benefits for the individual who is taking saffron. Many people who suffer from depression take 30 mg per day for up to 12 weeks. There are those who take it two times a day as well.

The Best Way To Take Saffronhealth benefits of saffron herb - saffron tea

Make Saffron Tea – to make tea enough to last all day, you will need 10 to 12 strands of saffron threads, and 4 cups of boiled water. In a pot place in your saffron threads and pour in water. Boil for five minutes. For flavor, you can add honey. 

Warm Glass Of Milk – a warm glass of milk is a common drink at night. Place 2 to three saffron strands in a glass and then pour warm – hot milk into the glass—flavor as desired with honey. Since this is a healing glass of milk, I usually add turmeric and 1 tsp of olive oil as well. Read about the turmeric benefits to see why I add it to my milk. 

These are two of the common easiest ways that you can easily take in saffron. Later on in this post, I’ll share my sweet rice recipe with saffron.

Health Benefits Of Saffron Herb

1.     Has Cancer-Fighting Properties

Saffron has anti-inflammatory effects. It contains three different antioxidants, which are safranal, crocin, and crocetin carotenoids. Each of these stops cancer from forming.

Among the spices, Crocus sativus L. (saffron; 番紅花 fān hóng huā) has generated interest because pharmacological experiments have established numerous beneficial properties including radical scavenging, anti-mutagenic and immuno-modulating effects. (Source: NCBI)

Tumors are not able to live without nutrients; what saffron does is choke out the nutrients which feed the tumors. Saffron is even known to reverse cancer growth.

2.     Lifts Depression

Saffron is also known as the sunshine space due to its color, as well as it’s mood-lifting properties. There was a study done where people with depression were taking 30 mg of saffron daily. What was learned from was that it was just as effective as conventional treatments for depression.

3.     Can Aid Weight Loss

Saffron is a natural spice for seasoning, as well as using to lessen the urge to overeat. It works as an appetite suppressant. When your appetite is suppressed, you’re less likely to eat.

Many times people eat due to emotional reasons. But because saffron helps to fight and lift depression as well as create a balance of better mental health, we make better food choices.

How Does Saffron Herb Help With Sleep

Because insomnia is prevailing among many people, saffron has come to their aid. Saffron will enhance the quality of sleep in adults who have a hard time getting a good night’s rest.

Dr. Adrian LoPresti did a double-blinded, placebo-controlled study at Australian Murdoch University, with 68 adults who had reported problems of not being able to sleep.

The volunteers were otherwise healthy individuals. Their issue was poor sleep quality, which affected their mental and physical health. The research showed that saffron was a useful mood improvement. By improving the volunteers’ minds and lifting mild depression help them to fall asleep. As I said before, saffron is excellent for depression.

In addition to their sleeping being significantly improved, the study also showed that the volunteers suffered no adverse side effects.

What are the Side Effects of Saffron

Although saffron is considered safe, you still want to be aware of side effects in order to keep yourself safe. Some of the side effects are:

  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Allergic Reactions

Taking saffron more than the recommended dose is likely unsafe. It’s better to stay on the safe side and stay within the recommended dosage.

How I use Saffron At Home

Up above, I have shared the two most straightforward and common ways to take saffron. Both of these are effective as well; you can make them quickly. But there is another way that we use saffron. When I was younger, my mom used to make sweet saffron rice. I will share my mom’s recipe with you below.

Sweet Saffron Rice Recipehealth benefits of saffron herb - sweet saffron rice


  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 1″ piece of cinnamon stick
  • ¼ teaspoon of saffron threads
  • 4 whole cloves
  • ½ teaspoon coarsely crushed cardamom seeds
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon raisins (optional)


  1. Dry roast almonds and raisins for 2 minutes, but don’t let them burn.
  2. Rinse out rice a few times.
  3. Put water, rice, cinnamon stick, salt into a saucepan and set on medium-high heat.
  4. When water and rice boiling, cover and turn down to low heat (keep going until water evaporates and you see tiny holes in the rice.
  5. In a separate saucepan, combine milk, sugar, butter, saffron threads, cloves, and cardamom. Bring milk to a boil until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and set aside
  6. Add nuts and raisin if desired. Pour sugar mixture over rice. Gently stir into rice.
  7. Cover the rice and set it to low heat for 3-4 minutes.
  8. Serve while hot

This a sweet way to enjoy saffron in a dessert. As a child, I had this often. My mom loved making this for us; she knew the health benefits of saffron back then. But I use saffron now to add color to my cooking. Rather than use food dye, I use saffron as it has health benefits and brings a beautiful glow to any dish. 

Final Words About Health Benefits Of Saffron Herb

Since saffron has no taste, it isn’t something you will have to develop a taste for. But if you want to get some sleep at night, then this naturally grown herb may be one of your best bets.

I just have a liver resection and am using the saffron herb not only to sleep but also to fight cancer in my body.

Share in comments below if you know of another health benefits of saffron herb.

4 thoughts on “3 Health Benefits Of Saffron Herb (Sleep Included)”

  1. Saffron is indeed very expensive. When I see it at the local store I always cringe when I look at the price tag. Now that I know the benefits, though, I may still buy it. I did not know it had anti-inflammatory properties. Do you think it would help with an inflammated knee capsule? I have lowered the pain a little with turneric, but it is still quite painful and I am getting desperate for some relief, because I have been dealing with this for months. I am not going to the doctor anymore, because they hardly checked my knee and just prescribed me pills that worked very little …

    I like your suggestions of making safron tea or having it in milk. I do not drink milk, but I think almond milk would be ok too, right? Your safron rice recipe looks delicious!

    • Turmeric and Saffron work well together. Saffron will help with the pain. My mom puts turmeric and saffron together in milk to help her knees. 

  2. Very interesting. Saffron helps you to sleep by basically allowing you to calm down and relax.  Maybe that’s the reason why many people suffer from sleep problems (and not just sleep only). There is just too much going on in their lives and maybe they don’t have peace of mind. I can’t even imagine the worry and stress you might have due to the cancer. Glad to hear that you are doing what you can to fight and and keep going forward.

    • Saffron does help to relax the mind, when the mind has nothing to worry about, sleep becomes easier to achieve. 


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