Saffron is a wonderfully aromatic spice that is used in small amounts in numerous cuisines.
But is it also a potentially cancer preventive medicinal herb?
Let’s find out.
Researchers from Iran and Sweden performed a meta analysis of the scientific research looking into saffron extract’s potential cancer preventive properties and its effect on non-cancerous, or normal, cells.
Their results, published in the July 2020 edition of the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, are pretty mouthwatering not only to those of us who enjoy a good pungent spice but also to those of us who enjoy a good cancer preventive medicinal herb.
While they found that saffron has cancer preventive effects, they also found that it does not negatively affect normal cells.
In addition, they found that it appears to reduce the toxic effects of anticancer drugs, which could indicate a potentially powerful combination should scientists demonstrate the proper doses, safety and efficacy of such a combination.
While this review does provide us with some hope regarding saffron’s potential to prevent cancer or help in the holistic treatment of cancer, there are still many things it does not tell us.
For one, as the researchers note, “further studies are required to determine the effective dose and influence of mechanism of saffron in various animal type of cancers.”
This is absolutely correct. This review is an amazing starting point to discover just what exactly saffron might be able to do and how best to do it. But we do need those additional studies.
Will including a dish or two that calls for saffron every week be enough? Should it be consumed daily? And if so, in what form? Should it be taken in supplement form or as a part of your diet? Does cooking the saffron degrade it in any way? And, importantly, how much is too much? Too much saffron could also be toxic, so this is very important to know.
These are all questions that further studies could answer, but this research points us on the way there.
Before you start adding saffron to your diet, health plan, or cancer treatment plan, know that while this study is very hopeful, we need to know more. So talk to your licensed healthcare practitioner before starting or changing any health or treatment programs to determine what is right, best, and safest for you.
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