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Why We Don't Sell Saffron

Why We Don't Sell Saffron

What is saffron?

Traded and used for thousands of years, this Mediterranean spice is popular in culinary dishes due to its intense golden-yellow colour and subtle flavour.  Iran produces approximately 90% of the worlds saffron today.  But did you know the town Saffron Walden in Essex was given its name due to it being a prime growing and trading centre for saffron in the 16th and 17th centuries?  It is the world most expensive spice and it is easy to see why when you consider the high labour costs involved in harvesting and extracting the relevant assets.  Saffron is derived from the crocus flower, specifically the tiny stigma in the centre of the plant.  There are usually three stigmas to each plant which are painstakingly extracted by hand.  It takes 40 hours to pick 150,000 flowers and takes 75,000 flowers to produce just one pound of saffron spice.

As far back as the 7th century saffron has been used in traditional medicinal practice to treat coughs, support digestion and melancholy.  It contains low levels of vitamin B2, a yellow flavonoid called crocin and the ‘active’ compound is safranal.

What is saffron commonly used for?

Saffron is largely used today to support mental function and low moods, although preliminary studies were small, and more research is needed to substantiate these health claims.

Why don’t we sell saffron?

There seems to be a consensus that if used improperly saffron can become toxic in the body.  Due to limited human studies on toxicity and long-term use it is advisable to treat supplementation with caution.

What are the alternatives?

A range of natural alternatives are available that are safe, have a history of use and are better value.  St John’s Wort is one such example.  St John’s Wort remains a popular herb in Europe taken by millions of people, and is traditionally used for the relief of slightly low mood and mild anxiety.  Why not browse our herbal range of to see which one might be suitable for you?

Need FREE confidential nutrition advice? Contact our Nutrition Advice Team by clicking here.

Final thought

Evidence of efficacy and safety should be the influencing factors when choosing any supplement.  Saffron lacks data to support the health claims, so it’s advisable to consider the wide range of alternatives until such a time that saffron supplements are supported by scientific studies.

Further reading… why not browse our Blog articles to find out more about how to support a healthy lifestyle.


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Our Author - Olivia Salter


Olivia Salter has always been an avid health nut. After graduating from the University of Bristol, she began working for a nutritional consultancy where she discovered her passion for all things wellness-related. There, she executed much of the company’s content marketing strategy and found her niche in health writing, publishing articles in Women’s Health, Mind Body Green, Thrive and Psychologies.

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