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Viridian Nutrition names Saffron Ingredient of the Year 2018

Monday October 2, 2017
Viridian Nutrition names Saffron Ingredient of the Year 2018

Leading ethical vitamin company Viridian Nutrition has unveiled the spice saffron as the ‘Viridian Ingredient of the Year 2018’.

Experts at Viridian Nutrition have forecast the vibrant-red spice, known for being more expensive than gold, to be significant in the world of health in the year ahead. Saffron, which comes from the stigmas of the delicate Crocus sativus flower, has a long history in traditional healing and as a culinary spice.


Cultivation and use of saffron dates back more than 3,500 years, in both Roman and Egyptian texts where it was used in cooking, dyes, cosmetics and as a natural preservative. 

In modern times, its health properties have attracted considerable scientific interest. Chief among them are studies on its uplifting and antidepressant activity, trials on relieving symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and research into enhancing cognitive ability.


Crocus sativus is native to Southwest Asia, but the most-prized saffron is cultivated in Iran. The flowers usually produce three stigmas which are gently hand-harvested in October, farm workers then carefully separate these rust red strands from the petals. It is this labour-intensive harvest that is responsible for its costly reputation. Indeed, weight-for-weight, saffron is more expensive than gold. Interestingly though, the recommended intake as a food supplement is a purse-friendly 30mg daily.

After reviewing a vast array of nutrition and herbal research, and speaking with leading influencers, Viridian Nutrition has duly recognised saffron, naming it the ‘Viridian Ingredient of the Year 2018’ in further anticipation of its positive influence on health.

Speaking to various experts:

Viridian Nutrition’s Head of Technical Services Aimée Benbow, said: “A key part of my role is nurturing our relationships with growers and extractors, and reviewing latest research around the world on the properties of botanicals and nutrients in human health. A sleeping giant in the field of beneficial botanicals is saffron, with a persuasive body of research and the potential to bring enormous benefit to the health of people.”

Medicinal Chef, nutritionist and author Dale Pinnock, said: “We all know saffron from Spanish cookery, but there’s some really interesting research published over the last few years that shows when taken in supplemental form, as a concentrated extract of about 30mg a day, there could be interesting influences on depression -  and it has been compared with well-known herbs like St John’s Wort.”


The Medicine Hunter Chris Kilham, said: “Saffron costs more per weight than solid gold. It takes 150,000 threads from crocus blossoms to equal just 1 kilo of saffron. There’s a good reason that saffron is so expensive, besides the fact that it’s so hard to harvest, it is super beneficial for health. We know that Saffron has been used for centuries for cardiovascular health and also to help to banish mild to moderate depression, but recent science also shows that saffron is also very beneficial in cases of early stages Alzheimer’s.”



TAGS: Nutrition News and Viewssaffron


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