COVID-19 pandemic has brought a year of social distancing and lockdowns to the whole world. It has put the health of 7 billion people at risk and caused many deaths. Economy is on the verge of collapse and yet Corona virus doesn’t seem to be slowing down! In the midst of the pandemic, Saffron market has seen more than its fair share of change, from the farmers to marketers and consumers.
In this article, we will review Saffron in fight against COVID-19 and the changes that are happening in the market.
Traditional and functional medicines around the globe have been promoting natural foods for thousands of years but in the past decade they had a strong comeback. Their philosophy is the prevention of diseases by allowing the body do its inherent job of combating any infectious agent. Even in case of infection, body has all the power necessary to heal itself and restore optimum health. They believe the only intervention should be done with the help of herbal ingredients to facilitate the healing process.
Saffron being one of the most effective super foods in existence influences the chemistry of human body in a way that all vital organs can benefit from stronger function. It has health, beauty and longevity benefits even in low regular doses but in emergencies such as Corona crisis, higher doses can be used.
The first line of change happens in immune system which is absolutely critical at the time of a viral pandemic. Saffron is a known anti-viral agent that can combat Corona virus effectively.
The main compounds in Saffron are Crocin and Picrocrocin that have been studied intensively by scientific community. They have proven anti-HSV and anti-HIV activities. They, as Carotenoid can suppress HSV penetration in target cells and even inhibit virus replication after entry. The results show that these sugar-containing compounds in Saffron are effective anti-herpetic candidates so they might be effective against other viruses such as Corona.
On the other hand, in the fight against viruses, the human body will produce free radicals. They are main part of a healthy immune system but in excess numbers, they might attack healthy cells for unknown reasons. Once their job with the invading virus is finished, they are often eliminated or transformed by antioxidants. Saffron is packed with antioxidants that are powerful scavengers of free radicals. They will donate a single electron to oxidants to make them stable and non-reactive. This process will prevent any attack to the healthy cells which are required at the time of any infection.
Obviously there are more research needed to examine Saffron against Corona virus but its anti-viral and anti-oxidant ability has been proven times and times again by both traditional and modern scientists. Saffron is a smart choice to restore and maintain optimum health especially at the time of a viral pandemic.
When Corona crisis started late 2019, there was global response to stop the spread of the virus by locking down businesses and canceling international transportation. As a result, export section was influenced the most and continued for several months. Hospitality industry has been closedown in the world so a major segment of the market was also lost.
Saffron exportation was influenced as a consequence. A country like Iran that supplies 89% of the global market, has lost majority of its export and sales prices were lowered even further. This is a major loss for local farmers as well as entrepreneurs. Saffron farmers faced with low prices, no export and high cost are not able to grow new plants.
On the other hand, economical pressure of job losses worldwide has reduced the consumer buying power so they have tightened their budget in response. Since Saffron is not considered an essential food in household budget, it has been put on hold in the shopping list. Unknown to most consumers, Saffron has powerful health benefits which arecritical at the time of a pandemic when strong immune system is critical and fast healing is vital.
Everyone involved in Saffron economy is affected by the pandemic and only a strong strategy can help lower the loss for farmers, marketers and consumers. The silver lining is in the rise of traditional and functional medicine that promotes natural foods to prevent and cure diseases. According to reports, Chinese has taken the lead on importing Saffron to combat Corona virus, no wonder they did finally manage to stop the spread in their own country?!
Saffron is a magical plant with powerful medicinal properties that strengthens immune system more than anything else. In face of COVID-19 pandemic nothing is more important than having a powerful functioning immune system that can combat the virus and prevent the disease. Even in case of infection, the immune system powered by Saffron, can help heal the patient without any severe symptom.
Increase in consumer demand resumes Saffron exportation. This will encourage farmers to grow the plant again and regain some of their losses. After all, it is their intensive labor that makes growing such a delicate plant possible. It is their hand that picks the exquisite flower before sunrise and carefully plucks the 3 red gold stigmas. It is their land that grows such powerful blooms one month a year. Buying and using Saffron is saying ‘thank you’ to the local farmers that make Saffron possible for the whole world.
Persian Saffron is a gift offered from our beloved planet earth to nourish and heal humans. Everyone should be able to incorporate Saffron in their daily life and benefit from its magical medicinal powers especially at this time of COVID-19 pandemic. With Saffron, people can win this fight and the health will be restored both biologically and economically.