(For comparison: black mustard is about 20 grams. A cup of Indian rice is about 2.6 grams, but not in a glass!)
Saffron is the most widely used spice, used to spice everything from pizza to salad, but it’s a controversial spice as well. Traditionally, it’s been considered to be a dangerous chemical: it has a long history of being used in medicine because of its high content of an active ingredient called saffron gall. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), research suggests that saffron has very little therapeutic importance in terms of its role in the human body. However, the FDA considers saffron to be a food substance because its ingredients are defined as “Generally Recognized As Safe.” That means saffron cannot be recalled from grocery shelves.
The Food and Drug Administration is interested in how saffron compares with other common spices, such as coriander and dill, with which it usually finds itself in competition. Its scientists are working on determining how effective a particular spice is at inhibiting an animal’s ability to produce hormones. These chemicals can disrupt reproduction in animals, so saffron is considered to be an ingredient that is very important in the prevention of reproductive disorders. Scientists are also examining whether saffron causes liver damage in humans, although no studies have been conducted to answer this question.
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