Blogs Articles Organizations Biography Jack's Book Contact Information Links

Navigation: SOS Sisson > Traumatic Injury Blog


Jack Sisson's TBI Blog

A hug is duct tape for the soul.

 

From The Clinical Advisor:

Most of us know saffron as that wonderfully, intense (and expensive) spice used to make risotto, pilaf and paella. Saffron is extracted from the dried stigma of the crocus flower (Crocus sativus). The saffron crocus is a sterile plant, as it cannot independently pollinate and reproduce. The plant is extremely difficult to cultivate, which is part of what makes the spice so expensive. Each crocus stalk grows 8 to 10 inches in height and produces up to four individual purple flowers. The flower has only three stigmas that yield the crimson powder that we know as saffron. 


BACKGROUND

Harvesting these stigmas is a very labor intensive effort, and it is estimated that 225,000 stigmas or 75,000 blossoms are needed to produce a single pound of saffron spice.


Saffron's use as a spice, dye and medicinal plant dates back to ancient Greece and southwestern Asia. Pictorial records produced 50,000 years ago, show colorful depictions of burnt-orange saffron strands being harvested from rich purple plants.

And a seventh-century Assyrian ruler compiled a botanical reference list for saffron in which he cited more than 90 illnesses that saffron was used to treat in classical times. Today, Iran produces over 90% of the world's supply of the spice. 



As a spice, saffron is known not only for its intense, 
yellow-orange coloration, but hay-like, sweet taste. Saffron, unbeknown to most, contains more than 50% of the USDA's recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, iron, and magnesium, and more than 30 % of the recommended daily phosphorus and potassium. 



SCIENCE
Saffron's standardized strength-of-evidence ratings are strongest for depression, Alzheimer's disease and premenstrual syndrome (PMS). The active ingredient in saffron that is believed to be responsible for health benefits is crocetin, a potent antioxidant and carotenoid. This compound has chameleon-like properties in that it acts different ways to meet the needs of differing conditions.

In Alzheimer's disease, crocetin appears to inhibit beta-amyloid (Abeta) protein fibrillogenesis, a hallmark of Alzheimer's destructive pathology. In inflammatory conditions, crocetin down-regulates the production and modifies the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and inducible nitric oxide-synthase levels. Crocetin also demonstrates possible antinociceptive activity. 


In a clinical trial comparing saffron to placebo in patients with mild-to-moderate depression, the saffron group out-performed the placebo group. The results, based on pre-and post-study scores on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, yielded a statistically significant level (P<0.001). Another study examined 40 adults with DSM-IV criteria, suggesting a major depressive episode. Patients were randomly assigned to receive either saffron or fluoxetine (Prozac) for an eight-week treatment period. At the end of the trial, both groups exhibited similar results, with each group demonstrating a symptom remission rate of 25% for both treatments.

In Alzheimer's disease, researchers have shown that the continuous cognitive decline is due, at least in part, to the abnormal deposition of Abeta protein in the brain cells. Research suggests that saffron may inhibit Abeta deposition. In a study of 46 patients diagnosed with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease, randomized treatment with saffron or placebo was given for a 16-week period. At the end of the trial, participants receiving saffron treatment showed significant improvement over baseline testing on standardized cognitive tasks.

Continue reading.

Labels: , , ,


TBI Film Reviews
TBI Book Reviews
Traumatic Brain Injury Law Blog
Brain Blog
NeuroNotes
Brain Blogger
SoapBlox/Chicago: Protecting Our Troops
Head Injury Survival Journal
Losing the Physical Self

Tower of Hanoi: Instructions for this popular puzzle can be viewed simply by clicking the Instructions button on that page.

May 2005   June 2005   July 2005   August 2005   September 2005   October 2005   November 2005   August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   December 2006   January 2007   February 2007   March 2007   April 2007   May 2007   June 2007   July 2007   August 2007   September 2007   October 2007   November 2007   December 2007   January 2008   February 2008   March 2008   January 2009   March 2009   April 2009   December 2009   April 2010   May 2010   June 2010   July 2010   August 2010   September 2010   October 2010   November 2010   January 2011   February 2011   March 2011   April 2011   May 2011   June 2011   July 2011   August 2011   September 2011   October 2011   November 2011   December 2011   January 2012   February 2012   March 2012   April 2012   May 2012   June 2012   October 2012   November 2012   December 2012   January 2013   February 2013   March 2013   April 2013   May 2013   June 2013   October 2013  

only sossisson.com

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

FindingBlog - Blog Directory