15% off £30 OR 20% off £40

000000s
Code:BAG
 

15% off £30 OR 20% off £40

000000s

Code:BAG

🏷️ 3 for 2 Mix & MatchOffersOffers Hub3 for 2 Mix & MatchSave up to 1/2 PriceBuy one get one 1/2 priceGreat SavingsBuy 1 Get 1 Free1/2 PriceBetter than 1/2 priceIntroductory Offer3 for £3 Mix & MatchLast chance to buyShort DatedBuy 6 for £15 Mix & MatchVitamins & SupplementsVitamins & Supplements HubVitamins & Supplements Shop AllCBDShop all CBDCBD OilCBD CapsulesCBD SprayCBD GummiesCollagen & SilicaHair, Skin & NailsShop all Hair, Skin & NailsHair GrowthFunctional MushroomsVitaminsShop all VitaminsMultivitaminsVitamin AVitamin BVitamin CVitamin DVitamin EVitamin KVitamin DrinksMineralsShop all MineralsMagnesiumIronZincCalciumSeleniumChromiumSupplementsShop all SupplementsFibre SupplementsAcidophilus & Friendly BacteriaPeppermint OilGrapeseed ExtractLecithinCollagen & SilicaOmega & Fish OilsPlant Sourced SupplementsSuperfood SupplementsArnicaApple CiderRaspberry KetonesAloe VeraChondroitin & MSMCo Enzyme Q10Evening Primrose OilGarlicGinkgo BilobaGlucosamineGlucomannanSeaweed, Kelps and Aquaceuticals5 HTPSaw palmettoCharcoalWomen's HealthShop all Women's HealthMenopauseMenstrual SupportUrinary Tract HealthPregnancy & ConceptionMen's HealthShop all Men's HealthProstate HealthChildren's HealthConditionShop all ConditionWater RetentionAllergy & Hay Fever CareAnxiety SupportBone & Muscle HealthMuscle Support & Joint PainBrain & Memory SupportWomen's HealthMen's HealthChildren's HealthPain ReliefCold & Immune SupportFatigueDigestive HealthHair, Skin & NailsHeart & CirculationLiver CareMood SupportSexual HealthSleep & RelaxationStress ReliefVisionHerbal & Licensed RemediesShop all Herbal & Licensed RemediesValerianSt John's WortRescue RemedyAgnus CastusAshwagandhaEchinaceaMilk ThistleDevil's ClawGinseng & GuaranaBlack CohoshHomeopathic & Flower RemediesShop all Homeopathic & Flower RemediesRescue RemedyTissue SaltsFlower RemediesHomeopathic RemediesAt-Home TestsVegan Vitamins & Supplements3 for 2 Mix & MatchBuy 1 Get 1 FreeShort DatedHolland & BarrettVitabioticsSolgarNew NordicWeledaBioglanBach Original Flower RemediesBetterYouNatures AidGrass & Co.Dairy FreeGluten FreeSesame Seed FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeFish FreeKiwi FreeLupin FreeNew inFood & DrinkFood & Drink HubFood & Drink Shop AllVegan FoodHoney, Jams & SpreadsShop all Honey, Jams & SpreadsManuka HoneyHoneyJams & ChutneysNut ButtersSpreadsPateTeas & Hot BeveragesShop all Teas & Hot BeveragesTeaCoffee & Coffee SubstituteMushroom DrinksDried Fruit, Nuts & SeedsShop all Dried Fruit, Nuts & SeedsNutsDried FruitSeedsMixesSuperfoodsShop all SuperfoodsSuperfood PowdersMaca PowderGoji BerriesBaobabMoringa PowderFlaxseedSpirulinaChia SeedsSnacksShop all SnacksProtein BarsLow Calorie SnacksChocolate, Cakes & BiscuitsSavoury SnacksSweet SnacksSnack BarsCrisps & ChipsFlapjacksPopcornFood CupboardShop all Food CupboardHoney, Jams & SpreadsBreakfast CerealsSuperfoodsApple Cider VinegarCondiments & SaucesTinned FoodsRice, Pasta, Pulses & GrainsBreakfast CerealsShop all Breakfast CerealsCereals, Bran & FlakesGranolaMuesliOats & PorridgeBreakfast BarsDrinksShop all DrinksKombuchaNatural Energy DrinksJuicesSoft DrinksWaterAlcohol Free DrinksCookingShop all CookingCooking IngredientsApple Cider VinegarCondiments & SaucesSoya & Meat AlternativeSoup & Ready MealsRice, Pasta, Pulses & GrainsHerbs, Spices & SeasoningGravy & StockHome BakingShop all Home BakingBaking MixesBreadFlourSweeteners & Sugar AlternativesEgg SubstitutesDairy AlternativesShop all Dairy AlternativesOat, Rice & Hemp DrinksSoya DrinksNut DrinksCoconut DrinksNutritionally Complete Food3 for 2 Mix & MatchBuy one get one 1/2 priceSave up to 1/2 PriceHolland & BarrettNaturyaHeath & HeatherPukkaGrenadeMeridianTwiningsBionaNakdManuka DoctorGluten FreeDairy FreeEgg FreeWheat FreeMilk FreeSulphites FreeCelery FreeKiwi FreeMustard FreeFish FreeNew inSports NutritionSports Nutrition HubSports Nutrition Shop AllProteinShop all ProteinClear ProteinWhey ProteinMass GainersVegan ProteinDiet ProteinCaseinBars, Drinks & SnacksShop all Bars, Drinks & SnacksEnergy BarsEnergy DrinksProtein BarsProtein ShakesProtein SnacksNutritionally Complete FoodMeal Replacement ShakesPre Workout & EnergyShop all Pre Workout & EnergyPre WorkoutAmino Energy DrinksAmino Energy PowdersIntra WorkoutKetoPost WorkoutAmino AcidsShop all Amino AcidsAmino Energy PowdersAmino Energy DrinksBCAAL-LysineGlutamineCarnitineArginineCreatineShop all CreatineCreatine PowderCreatine CapsulesSports SupplementsShop all Sports SupplementsTestosteroneSports CollagenRehydrationShop all RehydrationElectrolytesEnergy GelsVegan Sports NutritionShop all Vegan Sports NutritionVegan ProteinVegan Protein BarsVegan Pre Workout & EnergyVegan Amino AcidsVegan CreatineSports AccessoriesShop all Sports AccessoriesBottles & ShakersFitness EquipmentFitness GoalShop all Fitness GoalRecoveryMuscle & StrengthLean MuscleEnergy & EnduranceDiet & Weight LossSave up to 1/2 Price3 for 2 Mix & MatchGreat SavingsOptimum NutritionPE NutritionUSNGrenadeApplied NutritionPhDFoodspringSiSHuelYfoodDairy FreeGluten FreeSugar FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeFish FreeKiwi FreeLupin FreeNew inBeautyBeauty HubNatural Beauty Shop AllAromatherapy & HomeShop all Aromatherapy & HomePure Essential OilsBlended Essential OilsBase & Carrier OilsHolisticSkincareShop all SkincarePremium SkincareFace CareBody CareSun CareTanning & BronzingEye CareLip CareFoot CareHand & Nail CareSkin AilmentsSkin OilsCBD BeautyHair Skin & NailsWashing & BathingShop all Washing & BathingShampoo & ConditionerBathing AccessoriesShower Gel & Body WashDeodorantDentalHand WashSoapBath Soak & OilBody ScrubBath Bombs & SaltsFeminine CareIncontinence SupportHair CareShop all Hair CareShampoo & ConditionerHair ColouringHair MasksHair Oil & SerumHair Spray, Gel & MousseHair AccessoriesMother & BabyShop all Mother & BabyBaby Skincare & ToiletriesElectrical WellnessSexual Wellness3 for 2 Mix & MatchSave up to 1/2 PriceLast chance to buyDr OrganicFaith in NatureWeledaNaturtintTisserandSukinMiaromaQ+AEthiqueSo EcoAlcohol FreeParaben FreeSLS FreeParfum FreePalm Oil FreeGluten FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeNew inCBDWeight ManagementWeight Management HubWeight Management Shop AllFat Burners, Binders & Appetite SuppressantsShop all Fat Burners, Binders & Appetite SuppressantsFat BurnersFat BindersAppetite SuppressantsSlimming TabletsShakes & Weight Management ShotsShop all Shakes & Weight Management ShotsMeal Replacement ShakesDiet ProteinDiet Food & DrinkShop all Diet Food & DrinkDiet FoodLow Calorie SnacksSlimming TeaExercise SupportShop all Exercise SupportFitness EquipmentMeal Replacement ShakesDiet ProteinProtein Bars3 for 2 Mix & MatchSave up to 1/2 PriceGreat SavingsOptimum NutritionGrenadeHolland & BarrettUSNPulsinPhDEat WaterApplied NutritionNatures AidNew NordicDairy FreeGluten FreeSugar FreeWheat FreeNew inVeganHealth & WellnessShop all Health & WellnessJoints Bones & MusclesGut HealthHair Skin & NailsStress AnxietySleep & Relaxation3 for 2 Mix & MatchSave up to 1/2 PriceBuy one get one 1/2 priceHolland & BarrettVitabioticsWeledaDr OrganicSolgarNaturtintNew NordicOptimum NutritionHeath & HeatherBeurerDairy FreeGluten FreeParaben FreeSLS FreeAlcohol FreeParfum FreeWheat FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeNew inShop for your WellnessMuscle & Joint PainImmunityGut HealthMenopauseWomen's HealthFood & DietSleep & RelaxationStress ReliefHealthy HeartEnergyLow Mood & DepressionConcentration & AlertnessEye HealthSexual HealthChildren's HealthLearn about WellnessWomen's HealthPeriods & Cycle HealthMenopauseJoints, Bones & MusclesImmunityGut HealthFood & DietSports & FitnessSleep & RelaxationHair Skin & NailsAll articlesHealthFood & nutritionGut healthImmunityJoints, bones & musclesWomen's healthWellnessHair & skinMental wellbeingSeasonalSleep & relaxationSports nutritionRecipesAll recipesGluten freeLow sugarVeganDairy freePodcast
saffron

10 saffron benefits for your health

26 May 2022 • 3 min read

Interested in learning more about the world’s most expensive spice?

As well as being a delicious addition to your cooking, saffron actually offers an array of benefits for your health, which we dive into below.

In this article, you’ll find out

  • What saffron is
  • 10 of the best saffron benefits
  • Saffron benefits for male health
  • If saffron increases testosterone
  • If saffron can help erectile dysfunction
  • How to use it
  • How much saffron is safe to take
  • Potential side effects 

What is saffron?

Saffron is a spice that comes from the crocus sativus flower, which is commonly known as the “saffron crocus”. It has been cultivated over thousands of years by people in Asia Minor for a wide variety of uses.

In order to make the spice, the stigma of the flower (or it’s ‘threads’) are plucked by hand and then dried for at least 12 hours.

10 saffron health benefits

Since saffron is the most expensive spice, it’s got to offer some cracking benefits, right? Discover ten of the best saffron health benefits, below.

1

May support memory function

One benefit of saffron that has been explored in multiple scientific studies is its ability to support cognitive function.

For example, one review from 2015 supported the theory that it can be effective for memory and learning.1

Another review from 2016 highlighted that the reason saffron may be helpful in this area is due to its antioxidant abilities, but more on that later.

It’s also worth noting that both of these reviews did state the need for more in-depth clinical studies on using saffron for this reason.2

2

May help to regulate mood

Saffron is lovingly referred to as the ‘sunshine spice’ for more than just its golden hue. It has also been found to support your mood, as one particular review of five clinical studies concluded that saffron was much more effective than the placebo.3 Interestingly, although saffron stigma was most effective, saffron petals were also highlighted as being more effective than the placebo.

It is also speculated that saffron was used for mood as far back as the Ancient Greek period!

3

May contribute to reducing blood pressure

While most studies on the benefits of saffron have taken place on rats, a recent 2021 review looks into this, but on adult humans.

However, it noted that these effects were small and that it may not reach clinical significance to be used in mainstream medicine alone.4

4

It’s good for your skin

As well as having internal benefits for your health, saffron may also be able to support your skin health too.5

Equally, a more recent study from 2020 found that the combination of saffron extract and avocado oil in a face cream assisted with facial skin rejuvenation.6

5

It has antioxidant properties

Wondering why saffron offers so many benefits? It is likely down to it’s impressive profile of plant compounds which act as antioxidants. These include things like crocin, crocetin, kaempferol and safranal, the first two of which are what gives saffron its vivid colour!7

6

May reduce period pain and PMS symptoms

Premenstrual syndrome is something a lot of people experience in the run up to their period. It can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Mood swings
  • Feeling upset, anxious or irritable
  • Tiredness or trouble sleeping
  • Bloating or tummy pain
  • Breast tenderness
  • Headaches
  • Spotty skin
  • Greasy hair
  • Changes in appetite and sex drive8

7

May increase libido

Find it hard to get in the mood? Well, one of the benefits of saffron is that it may act as an aphrodisiac. One study on women found that those who had saffron, as opposed to the placebo, had higher levels of arousal and lubrication.9

It has also been found to support men’s sexual health too, but we’ve got a whole section on that later in the article.  

8

May help your weight loss efforts

If you’re trying to lose weight safely and sustainably, saffron may be able to help. Various studies have shown that saffron supplements can help you feel more full and snack less frequently.10,11

9

Does saffron increase testosterone?

One study from 2014 concluded that saffron increased levels of testosterone in the blood of rats.13 However, further studies are needed to clarify if this is also the case with humans.

10

Does saffron help erectile dysfunction?

In a systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials on saffron found that saffron led to positive effects on erectile dysfunction.

Saffron had a significantly positive effect on all dimensions of the erectile function questionnaire, including erectile dysfunction, orgasmic function, overall satisfaction, satisfaction with intercourse, and sexual desire.13

How to use saffron

While saffron is an aromatic addition to your meals, one of the best ways to take it is to add the threads to some hot water and allow them to soak – but make sure not to use boiling water! It is also available in supplement form.

Saffron dosage

Most supplements contain about 30mg of saffron extract, so try not to go too much over that amount per day. Although if you want further clarification, please speak to a medical professional for specialised advice.

Potential side effects of saffron

While saffron is generally safe to take, you may experience some side effects. For example, one study highlighted the following potential reactions:

  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Appetite changes
  • Headaches
  • Stomach cramps14

The final say

There’s a reason why saffron is a well sought-after spice. From aiding weight loss to supporting mood, the sunshine spice boasts a range of impressive health benefits. Whether you’re adding it to sauces or taking it as a supplement, you can experience the best of what this spice has to offer.

Before taking any supplements or minerals, it’s best to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients through your diet first.

Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle

Last updated: 26 May 2022

The advice in this article is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP or healthcare professional before trying any supplements, treatments or remedies. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.
amy-talbot

Amy Talbot

Author

Regulatory Affairs Associate

Joined Holland & Barrett: August 2005

Amy originally started her career with Holland & Barrett in August 2005 with the Labelling Regulatory team for Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements. 

Amy moved over to support the Food Regulatory Team in October 2020 and was promoted to her role of Regulatory Affairs Associate (Food) in February 2021.

In her spare time, Amy likes to go to the gym, listen to a variety of podcasts, read and socialise with friends.

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • PayPal
  • AmericanExpress
  • ApplePay
  • ClearPay
  • AliPay
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
Copyright © Holland & Barrett Retail Limited, 2023. All rights reserved. hollandandbarrett.com is a trading name of Holland & Barrett Retail Limited,. Registered office: Samuel Ryder House, Barling Way, Nuneaton, Warwickshire CV10 7RH. Registered in England: company no. 2758955. Registered VAT no. 211727395.