America's Most Trusted Pharmacist, Dr. Suzy Cohen 
Know-the-cause TV show, July , 2011 talks about Exir Saffron

" The Golden Herb Saffron appears to prevent blindness by protecting us from Macular Degeneration (eyesight problems) and helps us with light sensitivity too. This Powerful Antioxidant also improves Mood, Memory, Digestive problems, PMS and Heart Diseases."

Dr. Suzy enjoys Exir saffron tea, cooks with the spice and occasionally takes Exir Saffron Dietary Supplement.

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Saffron helps from head to toe
By SUZY COHEN - Herald-Review.com, November 9, 2010

Dear Pharmacist: I crave saffron and have loved this spice for many years, but I stopped buying it because it's expensive. I know you are educated with herbs, can you tell me if there are any health benefits? - T.S. Ocala, Fla.
A Great question, I love saffron, too! So precious and resilient is saffron that this centuries-old flower extract is even mentioned in the Bible. Harvested from a type of crocus (Crocus sativus L), the spice is actually the three tiny red stamens that must be plucked from the center of each flower by hand. It's the most expensive spice you can buy. 

Saffron imparts a distinctive taste and aroma along with a lovely yellow color to a variety of exotic dishes. I stir it into rice, soups and teas. 
As a pharmacist who pays attention to alternative remedies, I can't help but note that any herb that's been used for centuries likely has something going for it. Sure enough, researchers are starting to verify the healing potential of saffron in clinical studies. 

In Iran, for example, researchers have found that saffron lifted depression as well as fluoxetine (Prozac) did. For both the herb and the drug, the remission rate was 25 percent. If you have mild or moderate depression, why not give it a try? It won't interact with medicine as far as I can tell, but do consult with your physician. 
Saffron is a super-strong antioxidant with "housekeeping" benefits that clean you up from head to toe. 

In Texas, researchers proved that saffron improves circulation to the retina, so it's a promising treatment for macular degeneration, a major cause of blindness. One clinical trial concluded "preliminary evidence of a possible therapeutic effect of saffron extract in the treatment of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease." It's also an anti-spasmodic.

It has anti-cancer effects, for all sorts of tumors.
It enhances male fertility.
It helps relieve anxiety and tension.
It eases the discomforts of premenstrual syndrome.

Whew! Do you see why I think Saffron is one of the best-kept health secrets?!

If you'd like to try a saffron supplement, and I've just begun taking one myself, make sure you buy from a reputable company such as Exir.
I have to warn you, pure authentic saffron is expensive, but worth it. Fake makers of it cut the saffron with other yellow-orange spices, but Exir is 100 percent saffron, and they source from organic flowers. It's not popular (yet), so you will need to ask your local health food store to order it or buy it online the way I did at their Website www.epicuregarden.com. 

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Eating Saffron Could Lower Alzheimer's Risk

FOX News.com, November 02, 2010


Recent studies show that saffron may play a valuable role in delaying mental decline in cases of Alzheimer’s disease.

Dating back perhaps as far as 4,000 years. The spice shows up in the early medicinal texts of India and the Middle-East, where it has long been employed, and has as many as 90 medicinal uses, including the treatment of arthritis, asthma, coughs, colds, liver disorders, poor eyesight and skin problems.

Two studies, one published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and the other published in the journal Psychopharmacology, show that saffron can help sufferers of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease to maintain better overall mental function. In both studies, patients were given 30 mg daily of saffron. In one study, the patients were monitored for 16 weeks, and in the other study they were monitored for 22 weeks.

Using standard tests for cognitive function, researchers were able to show that the use of saffron provides benefits to Alzheimer’s patients, and that those who took the saffron fared better mentally than those who did not.

In one study, the activity of saffron was compared with donepezil (trade name Aricept), a drug used to treat dementia. The two demonstrated comparable effectiveness, with less vomiting among patients in the saffron group.

Saffron is rich in antioxidant compounds, including zeaxanthin, which is beneficial to the eyes, and lycopene, which is known to protect the prostate gland. The spice contains compounds that protect nerves, and is rich in gallic acid, a potent compound that is antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and demonstrates liver-protective, cancer-inhibiting and immune-supporting activity. Saffron also contains pyrogallal, another protective compound that has also been used industrially for a long time to develop photographic film. Needless to say, there are many uses of compounds from plants.

Researchers in the two published studies postulate that saffron may help to reduce the formation of beta-amyloid plaque, a sticky substance that builds up in the brain stem and which occurs as part of the development of Alzheimer’s disease. We have seen such activity with another spice, turmeric, which is also a yellow dye. In studies of a primary ingredient in turmeric called curcumin, researchers have found that the development of beta-amyloid plaque can be inhibited.

Alzheimer’s disease is devastating in its effects, robbing sufferers of their minds, causing them to forget their loved ones, and leaving them incapable of maintaining any sort of a normal, healthy life. Studies in recent years suggest that traditional spices including saffron and turmeric may play roles in inhibiting the formation of Alzheimer’s, and lessening cognitive decline in the early stages of the disease. This certainly does not mean that either spice is a cure for the disease. But it is entirely possible that including both spices in one’s diet can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. And the recent studies do show that saffron can help in the early stages of the disease.

Thanks to modern scientific research, we have corroboration that traditional remedies often possess the healing properties for which they have been used since antiquity. And sometimes, as in the case of saffron, we also learn new uses of old spices. There is more work to be done with saffron and its uses in the treatment of Alzheimer’s, but the initial signs are positive. According to the two studies cited here, a simple, brightly-colored spice may hold hope for sufferer’s of a devastating disease.

Chris Kilham is a medicine hunter who researches natural remedies all over the world, from the Amazon to Siberia. He teaches ethnobotany at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he is Explorer in Residence.


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Saffron Kills Cancer
Dr. Oz, November 2010
Some may use saffron for its taste or the rich, golden color when cooked, but many don’t realize its true value. The yellow color saffron produces comes from crocin, a powerful antioxidant, which studies have identified as a cancer fighter.

Doctor Oz said that saffron comes from the inside of a crocus plant, and it is the “gold standard” for spices. Saffron helps to fight off cancer. Dr. Oz explained that cancer cells grow through bringing and building their own blood supply in your body. The saffron can actually enter the cancer cells and send a signal that causes the cancer to “commit suicide. Fri 11/05/2010

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