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World Of Saffron

Posted on April 23 2020

World Of Saffron


Saffron is derived from a flower called CROCUS SATIVUS, also known as Saffron Crocus. The stigmas of the flower are called threads and these are used as coloring and seasoning. The word Saffron is derived from the Arabic word Zafaraan, meaning yellow. Also known as Kesar in Hindi, Safran in French. Saffron is one of the most expensive and delicate spices in the world. It has an eye-catching crimson color, fine texture, flavor and medicinal properties making it one of the most exquisite spices in the world. It has a history dating back to 1500BC.

Currently saffron is commercially produced in Iran, Greece, Morocco, Spain, Kashmir and Italy. Iran is the most important producer of saffron both, in terms of volume and quality, and Spain being the largest importer of the spice. Saffron is a labor intensive crop, which makes it so expensive. It has three delicate crimson stigmas in the Centre, which are hand-picked, placed on a riddle, and cured over heat to amplify its flavor. Apart from being the most expensive spice, there are many benefits of saffron: 

  1. Protects against cancer: Saffron contains a dark orange, water soluble carotene called crocin, which is responsible for much of saffron’s golden color. Crocin has been found to trigger apoptosis [programmed cell death] in a number of different types of human cancer cells, leukemia, ovarian carcinoma, colon adenocarcinoma, and soft tissue sarcoma.

  2. Promotes learning and memory retention: Recent studies have also demonstrated that saffron extract, specifically its crocin, is useful in the treatment of age related mental impairment.

  3. In delayed puberty: In under developed girls, saffron has an overall stimulant effect. A pinch of saffron crushed in a table spoon of milk is useful to stimulate hormones and bring about desired effect.

  4. To increase vitality: In low libido saffron aids as a sexual stimulant and can be consumed in a dose of a pinch in a glass of milk at bed time.

  5. In patchy baldness: Saffron mixed in liquorice and milk makes an effective topical application to induce Hair growth in alopecia. 

  6. Protection against cold: Saffron is a stimulant tonic and very effective to cold and fever; saffron mixed in milk and applied over the forehead quickly relieves cold.

  7. Food Additives: Saffron is an excellent replacement for synthetic food additives- for e.g.: instead of FD and C yellow no 5: a synthetic food coloring agent that is a very common allergy trigger, Saffron’s glorious yellow could be an acceptable hypoallergenic choice.