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How to Use Saffron for Treating Macular Degeneration (Evidence Based)

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This One Ingredient Can Save and Restore Your Vision

A team of researchers from Italy have discovered what could be the cure for age-related vision loss. Not only did their research show that this popular food product could prevent vision loss, but it actually reversed vision loss in study participants with age-related macular degeneration.

This is welcome news for anyone concerned about keeping their eyes healthy for a long time to come.


What is Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is the number one cause of blindness.

The macula is located at the center of the eye, and is responsible for the central part of our visual field. As the macula degenerates in people afflicted with this condition—often elderly people, but also in young and otherwise healthy individuals—the center of the visual field becomes disrupted.

At first, the degeneration may not cause vision problems, but slowly the center of the visual field will become altered, gradually going from blurriness and waviness to creating a “hole” in the center of the vision. Although peripheral vision remains mostly unaffected, people with advanced macular degeneration are considered legally blind.

This type of eye problem is seriously debilitating, and it affects more people than glaucoma and cataracts combined. Genetics play a strong role in the development of this disease, but it can be exacerbated and accelerated by smoking.

Saffron and Macular Degeneration

Indian food lovers around the world will rejoice to know that saffron—that vibrant orange spice that is so commonly (and deliciously) used in Indian cooking—can help stave off vision problems and even cure existing ones.

Most people have heard that carrots are excellent for maintaining healthy eyes, and now it’s time to add another tasty orange food product to that list.

Now that saffron has been shown to improve vision and appears to have vision-protective properties as well, you have a very good reason to give in to your craving for the flavors of India. Who said eating curried food couldn’t be as good for you as it is for your taste buds?


Saffron and Macular Degeneration – the Research

Researchers from multiple universities in Italy teamed up to explore the effects of saffron ingestion on people with eyesight problems due to macular degeneration.

Study participants were given just 20 milligrams of saffron per day over a three-month period, and then evaluated at the end of the test period.

The researchers found that the retinas of participants with early age-related macular degeneration improved in their functioning after just three months of daily saffron ingestion, and that this result was significantly better than that seen in the placebo group.

Another study from 2016 concluded that daily supplementation with 30 mg of saffron for 6 months may result in a mid-term, significant improvement in retinal function in patients with age-related macular degeneration.

This is heartening news for people who are genetically predisposed to macular degeneration.

Saffron is Expensive – What to do Instead

Let’s face it: saffron can be very costly when purchased whole for use in food, and not everyone wants to eat a curry every day. However, you can still reap the rewards of saffron for the sake of your vision by trying an inexpensive supplement instead. Amazon sells an affordable supplement here.


Other Natural Ways to Protect Your Eyes

How Mango Can Help to Prevent Macular Degeneration

Eating three servings of mango per day (1 serving = 1/2 – 3/4 cup) can reduce your chances of developing age-related macular degeneration.

Mangos contain a lot of vitamin A, which is very important for eye health.

Mango is also rich in zeaxanthin and lutein, two potent antioxidants that protect the eyes from high-energy light waves, such as some ultraviolet rays in sunlight, which can be harmful to the eyes.

Further reading: I’ve already shared with my readers my 9 secrets for preventing eyesight problems and improving your vision naturally.


Other Ways to Improve Your Vision

Our eyesight is vital for a healthy, independent and fulfilling life. Yet, more and more people experience different eyesight problems, including cataracts, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy (common diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness).

It’s never too late to start looking after your precious eyes. Eating the right foods is definitely an important step in the right direction and an even more convenient way is to juice certain foods to naturally protect and even improve your eyesight. It’s time to appreciate all that your eyes do for you.

Maintaining a good eye health is also one of the 70 habits featured in my e-book 70 Powerful Habits For A Great Health which will guide you how to take positive steps to improve your wellness and overall health.

There are a number of key vitamins that will allow your eyes to stay healthy:

  • Vitamin A – Vitamin A deficiency can cause night vision problems and increase your risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • Pro-vitamin A carotenoids
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin – These two are potent antioxidants and can reduce your risk of developing macular degeneration and other common eye problems.
  • Lycopene – It reduces the risk of macular degeneration. It has also been connected to cancer prevention.
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin C
  • Bioflavonoids

You can find more information about the best sources of these vitamins and nutrients as well as vision saver juice recipe in my post on how to naturally improve your eyesight with juicing.

Read my other related articles:

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34 Responses to How to Use Saffron for Treating Macular Degeneration (Evidence Based)

  1. Mojdeh says:

    It feels a bit sad to read wrong information in such a brilliant website like yours. Saffron is not and Indian spice though it might be used in India. It is a Persian spice. Persia (Iran) produced 70% of saffron of the entire words. Iran has got the first place in the world not only for the quantity of its saffron but also the quality. Spain comes second the few other countries.
    It will be great if you would do a bit of research and you would correct this article.

    Kind Regards

    Mojdeh Js

    • Jenny says:

      I didn’t say saffron is an Indian spice. I said it is common in Indian cooking. I apologize, but I’m more familiar with Indian cooking than Persian cuisine.

      • cres says:

        some people out there are very delicate , and are nasty at the same time expressing their comments ! sad !

      • elmer says:

        no need to apologize,big deal for those who are so learned hehehe,your main purpose was to help cure a condition that can be fixed,thank you for your efforts and please continue sharing important articles such as this…

    • Kim says:

      Who cares if the product is mostly made in IRAN? That’s not the point of the article. Stop causing trouble.

      • June says:

        I read on one website that saffron cannot be shipped to the US from Iran, which produces some of the finest saffron in the world. A friend of mine who lives in Iran said she could not even sent money to a friend who lives in the US. I wasn’t aware of that.

    • Catherine Edmends says:

      bit of a chip on your shoulder there along with a lack of reading comprehension

  2. LaVon Rose says:

    Is saffron and turmeric the same thing. And what’s the difference between cucumin and cumin

  3. phillip says:

    i wonder if marigold(calendula) has the same effect?

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Phillip, there are several references that talk about the benefits of marigold extract for macular degeneration due to the high content of lutein and zeaxanthin (see here and here), but I don’t know if it has the same effect.

  4. skhhamdami says:

    Indian Kashmir produce best quality of suffron in the world.Iran may be ranking no 1 in production but the quality of Kashmiri saffron is beyond doubt the best. It has a very high demand and people use it for various purposes.

  5. Shala Marie says:

    I have congenital cataracts (yes, I was born with them). They weren’t a problem until the past few years.Is there any evidence that it can reverse my condition, quickly? I’ve been using a supplement with most of the ingredients mentioned for 6 months with no improvement. The product protects against macular degeneration, but I was using it in hopes of improvement for congenital cataracts. Before I get surgery, I’d like to know if you have any suggestions. Thank you!

    • Chris Moldvar says:

      Listen to your ophtalmo surgeon.

    • Gregory Adams says:

      Eye drops with carnosine have helped many people. Life Extension makes an eye drop called bright eyes. They market it as a lubricant because the FDA forbides making health claims for supplements. A lot of research has been done on Carnosine and Cataracts.

  6. Chris Moldvar says:

    Unfortunately, the author of this article did not go the extra yards in providing us the sources of the researches he/she refers to. Unlike, scientific writers who make it a sine qua non condition when they publish an article to give references to research papers. Better luck next time trying to convincing me.

  7. Syeda says:

    I have saffron and can use it everyday but can you specify how to consume it on daily basis?

    • Jenny says:

      Saffron releases its flavor slowly. Unless you’re making a slow-cooked meal, it is best to soak saffron in warm water (saffron is water-soluble) for at least 20 minutes and up to 24 hours. Then add the solution, threads and water, to the dish while it is cooking. An alternative way to use it would be to add it into a tea or milk. To make it, soak saffron in warm water or milk for at least 20, add some natural sweetener such as stevia or a little bit of honey. Mix it well and enjoy.

  8. Jay says:

    Thanks for the advice Jenny … Anything for bags under eye treatment ?

  9. Irene says:

    Can you please tell me how many days or weeks or months does it take to cure our eyes by using saffron?

    • Jenny Hills says:

      Hi Irene, according to the study, the participants were given just 20 milligrams of saffron per day over a three-month period, and then evaluated at the end of the test period. The researchers found that the participants with early age-related macular degeneration improved in their functioning after just three months of daily saffron ingestion, and that this result was significantly better than that seen in the placebo group.

  10. Joseph Bardgett says:

    Jenny, can I just soak a certain amount in water and consume it daily for improvement in eye health. I’ve read most of these comments and don’t intend on using it to cook into to foods. I just want to try it as a natural way to improve my eye sight / health. I’ve just gotten some and am ready to start trying this method.

    • Jenny Hills, Medical Writer and Researcher says:

      In the study itself the participants received oral supplement of 20 mg saffron over a 3-month period, so I don’t know if soaking it in water will give the same results as a supplement which is more concentrated, but you can still incorporate saffron in your diet to preserve eyesight.

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