Red Gold or Saffron: Five Reasons World’s Most Expensive Spice Is Also Great For Your Skin
Did you know that the act of producing red gold or saffron is an extremely laborious one? The workers painstakingly separate each delicate stigma or the thread-like structures that pollinate, from the flowers, lay it out carefully in a sieve, and treat it further with heat for the beautiful red color to deepen. It takes about 68 kgs of saffron flowers to produce 1 kg saffron. Grown mostly in India, Iran, Afghanistan, Morocco, Spain and the US, each flower may have no more than three stigmas, and the crocus flower that the spice comes from can grow only in a specific type of soil. It is for this reason that saffron is among the most expensive spices in the world. But it is also immensely valuable for its numerous benefits for your health and skin.
Apart from possessing a distinctly sweet, earthy, and floral aroma that adds flavor and color to gourmet cooking, saffron is also used in making ayurvedic formulations for enriching the glow and health of the skin naturally and vividly. When consumed in the form of a spice, it is carminative, induces sweating, and a popular aphrodisiac. And when used as an herbal ingredient for facial applications, it brings an exclusive glow, reduces pigmentation, removes acne and blemishes, and is an excellent toner. The best thing about saffron is it usually well-tolerated without any side effects as an ingredient for skin applications.
1. The king makers-the three compounds that make saffron useful
Saffron has three major plant-based compounds-picrocrocin, that gives it the earthy, sweet, floral, honey-like taste; crocin that gives it the golden red or orange color; and safranal that brings out the aroma in the spice.
2. Anti-cancer benefits
The crocin compound present in saffron triggers what is called apoptosis in a number of cancers like ovarian cancer, soft tissue and blood cancer. Apoptosis is a naturally occurring process of cell death that will give way to the growth of healthier cells. These compounds present in saffron, inhibit the growth of malignant cells in humans without affecting the normal cells, according to Mexican researchers.
3. Fights acne
Experts have inferred that saffron may help in fighting acne and blemishes owing to its phenolic content. Saffron has a bactericidal effect on specific bacteria including E. coli, staphylococcus, and salmonella. The water extracts of saffron are said to be high in phenolic content. Phenolic compounds are associated with numerous biochemical benefits like anti-viral, anti-microbial, and rich in antioxidants.
4. Anti-aging benefits: Loaded with antioxidants
Compounds like crocin, safranal, crocetin, and kaempferol are antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress, which makes your skin age faster due to the action of rogue free radicals, by replenishing the stock of antioxidants in your system to fight the rogue free radical molecules. Apart from reducing oxidative stress, these compounds also slow down the degeneration of brain cells, reduce inflammations, and support weight loss.
For its extraordinary anti-aging benefits, red gold finds its pride of place among the selected herbs that go into creating the signature line of Shankara’s anti-aging serum- Timeless Restorative Skin Elixir.
Enriched with saffron, citrus stem, vitamin C, milk, extracts of symplocos bark, Indian Bay leaf, Wild Himalayan cherry, Lotus, Costus root, Shellac, Indian berberry, Cobrasaffron, Forest flame, Large leaf beautyberry, this 100% active age control dual concentrate of ancient super herbs and stem cell technology reduces the appearance of wrinkles and visibly brightens the skin. This Elixir delivers intense hydration for your neck, face, and the area around your lips and works best when massaged with the Shankara Kansa Massage Wand.
(Also read: 5 ways Ayurveda can help you delay aging)
5. Reduces pigmentation
Hyperpigmentation is a skin problem where parts of your skin are darker than the rest of the skin. A study carried out in 2013 showed that saffron has compounds that reduce hyperpigmentation by reducing melanin production in your skin.
Find a glowing skin
Saffron by reducing pigmentation, lightening complexion, clearing off acne and blemishes gives you resplendent glowing younger looking skin.
(Also read: Bride's glow: five things to know about this popular facial regime)