We Promised to Re-Issue the Article on Saffron – here it is:

Saffron Improves Vision In AMD Patients

We read about this in the latest Vision Newsletter March 2010. It is interesting to see that some serious research is being done into the affect of Saffron on AMD.  A couple of our members have suggested that Saffron appears to have helped them but we had no idea that scientific research was being done.

A clinical trial has found that saffron, the famous Indian spice, can improve vision in patients with AMD, according to new reports. The trials were conducted by Silvia Bisti of the University of Sydney. The trial participants showed significant vision improvements after taking a saffron pill for three months, she said. “Measurements using objective eye sight tests showed patient’s vision improved after taking the saffron pill. When they were tested with traditional eye charts, a number of patients could read one or two lines smaller than before, while others reported they could read newspapers and books again.” The trial was double blind and randomly controlled, involving 25 subjects over six months. Half the group were given a saffron pill for the first three months followed by a placebo, while the other half were given the pills in the reverse order. “All patients experienced improvements in their vision while taking the saffron pill,” Dr Bisti said. “But when they stopped taking the pill the effect quickly disappeared”

3 thoughts on “Saffron

  1. Nick – how much Saffron did you say you had each week? Grateful if you could let me know as someone was asking and I wasn’t sure about the quantity other than it cost about £5.00 per week or was it month?

    Thanks Annie

  2. Hi, I’ve been taking saffron for a couple of years and I take it in tea every day and sometimes with food, eg bread or rice. The effects are quite rapid – I noticed an improvement after a few days but the benefits don’t last if I stop taking it. It seems to reduce floaters and improves accuity but doesn’t deal with the underlying causes or process of birdshot, so saffron isn’t an alternative to prescribed meds like prednislone or immuno suppresents. However, there are no reports of conflict with these meds and my doctors are quite relaxed about me taking it.

    Saffron is widely used in the third world to treat inflammatory eye conditions – and many other things! As Annie has said, I put a pinch in the bottom of my cup when making tea and pour a little hot water on (not boiling), then leave it for a few minutes to soak before pouring tea. This improves the efficacy and stops the saffron floating, hence making it easier to not get it in your mouth (unpleasant but not harmful). It’s also advisable to soak it in this way before culinary use. I believe it’s best not to pour boiling water onto the saffron as this can impair it’s qualities. Once the cup of tea is drunk, the dregs can be kept and re-used by pouring more tea into the same cup.

    Regarding dosage, I buy 1 gram packs which cost about £5 and expect that to last about 10 days. There is a technical possibility of overdose – lethal around 20grams saffron per kiligram body weight (see Wikipedia). This would mean someone weighing 65 kgs/ 143lbs would have to ingest 1.3 kgs of saffron – a very large amount. We all take meds which are potentially harmful if prescribed doses are exceeded so this shouldn’t cause alarm, but it is important not to get carried away and think that more saffron will automatically do you more good.

    As with all herbal products, it’s best to buy from a reputable source, but in my experience it can be bought in most good health food stores and herbalists. If you have trouble finding it, G Baldwin & co. or Cotswold Health Products both supply online. In the UK, supplies mostly seem to come from Spain. Make sure that it has been produced recently – not near or past it’s “best before” date, and store in a cool dry place. Saffron produces a bright yellow stain so avoid spillage, particularly on clothes.

    I hope all that’s helpful. Nick

  3. Hi Nick,
    Thanks for the info. I’ve finally bought muself some saffron, but still not sure of the dose.
    Without wishing to sound pedantic, when you say a ‘pinch’, can I ask how many strands that would roughly be?
    D x

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