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The association between saffron and health: a systematic literature review
Crocus sativus L.
Saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world, which has been widely used to enhance health in several ways. However, there is a lack of correct knowledge on saffron for the publics. Therefore, this study aimed to systematically review the literature investigating the effects of saffron intervention on physical health, mental health and health behavior. This study reviewed the articles written in English or Mandarin published from PubMed, Airiti Library and National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertation in Taiwan between 2009 and 2019. A total of 62 articles met the criteria and were included in this study. The results showed that: (1) saffron could have a positive effect on the physiological level illness, such as macular degeneration(n = 5), metabolic syndrome (n = 3), type 2 diabetes (n = 3), cognitive function (n = 3), and vital capacity (n = 2) and erection function (n = 2); (2)saffron could have a positive effect on the psychological level, such as improving depressive symptoms (n=8) and anxiety (n=5); (3) saffron also had a positive impact on the health behavior level, such as improving sleeping (n=1) and appetite (n=1). To sum up, in taking saffron would benefit people on physical, psychological and behavior level. Future research should further investigate the beneficial effect of saffron, and promote its correct knowledge through different access.
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