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Saffron oil comes from the saffron crocus flower. You've probably seen saffron in your local grocer's spices section. It has been called the most expensive spice in the world. Saffron is a favorite way to spice up the cuisine in several cultures. There appears to be a lot more to saffron oil than it's culinary influence. Saffron oil can actually be good for your health. The benefits of saffron oil range from helping people sleep better to inhibiting the growth of cancerous tumors. With a range of positive benefits like that, saffron oil is worth a second glance.
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Saffron oil may not be the most common of oils used in the kitchen, but it appears that saffron oil has quite a bit to offer when it comes to our cardiac health. Saffron oil has been reported to help lower cholesterol and keep cholesterol levels healthy. Animal studies have shown saffron oil to lower cholesterol by as much as 50%. Since saffron oil has antioxidant properties, it is helpful in maintaining healthy arteries and blood vessels. Saffron oil is also known to have herbal anti-inflammatory properties, which are beneficial to heart health. The people of Spain, where saffron use is common, have lower than normal incidence of heart disease. From saffron's cholesterol lowering benefits to its anti inflammatory properties, saffron oil may be one of the best supplements out there for cardiac health.
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The powerful antioxidants in saffron oil have been studied and found to prevent the formation and growth of cancerous tumors in laboratory animals. Cell growth of tumors is inhibited by saffron in several test tube studies. Several studies have shown the use of saffron to lessen the damage done to healthy DNA during chemotherapy. Saffron is rich in crocin, a flavonoid, and is being studied for possible use in anti-cancer drugs in the future.
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Other Interesting Uses of Saffron Oil
There are many other benefits of saffron oil besides the amazing cardiac and anticancer properties. Applied to swollen areas, saffron oil acts as an anti-inflammatory, reducing swelling in insect bites and stings. It is thought to lower the inflammation associated with arthritis and asthma as well. Saffron oil is said to speed the healing process of the skin, and can be an effective all-natural acne treatment. Home remedies using saffron oil are used to treat coughs and sore throats.
Use saffron oil as a dietary supplement to boost your overall health. Saffron oil, while non-toxic in doses typically used in cooking, should not be used in high doses. Instead, sprinkle the oil over salads, into soups, and enjoy all that saffron oil has to offer the taste buds as well as your health.
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1. Gaia Garden Herbals: http://www.gaiagarden.com/products/saffron/
2. The Moss Reports: http://www.cancerdecisions.com/010702.html
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