An article in the March 2015 issue of Life Extension magazine caught my attention. I had been doing some research for a client who was seeking natural remedies to prevent cancer; his wife had died from breast cancer a few years ago, and he had seen her suffer through both radiation and chemotherapy. He was looking for a way to prevent cancer, a goal known as chemoprevention. This particular article spoke about the anticancer properties of saffron, the ancient spice from the Middle East and Asia, which contains a host of beneficial, biologically active compounds. Saffron consists of the dried dark red of yellow threads of the crocus flower, Crocus sativus. In addition to its culinary uses, saffron has been used for centuries for its medicinal benefits. In several studies (all referenced), saffron demonstrates strong anticancer effects, from keeping cancers from starting (carcinogenesis), to reductions in proliferation and preventing metastasis (spreading throughout the body). In addition to mitigating and preventing cancer development and progression, saffron also provides protection for heart and blood vessel tissue, eases the impact of diabetes and other metabolic disorders, and slows or reverses cognitive and mood disorders associated with aging. I have already started to use it more in cooking, and also put it in my green smoothies. How much should you use? A generous pinch should suffice. You can also by saffron extracts crocin, crocetin, and safranal in supplement form. I prefer the spice version.
PS. Saffron is in the family of carotenoids, along with carrots, cantaloupe, paprika, turmeric, and others.
Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.