It has also been documented to have been used as a versatile medicine since ancient times. In 2004 researchers studying 3,500
year old frescoes at Thera, a Greek island in the Aegean, found depictions of a goddess presiding over the collection of saffron.
Perhaps even more amazing is the fact that 50,000 year-old depictions of prehistoric places in northwest Iran contained saffron-based pigments,indicating the human relationship with saffron is as old as time itself. It is called Keshara in Sanskrit.
Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. One gram of pure saffron can cost between Rs 350 to Rs 550 ! So what makes it so expensive ?
Well, saffron is derived from a flower called Crocus Sativas. It has been estimated that when approximately one acek of purple crocuse are harvested, it will yield approximately one kilogram of saffron. This is because each crocus flower only produces 3 threads of saffron. About 14,000 threads (actually the dried stigmas of the crocus flower) equals to about 28 grams of saffron.So you can imagine the labor intensive process that goes into harvesting saffron threads. In India,saffron is mainly grown in Kashmir. Though saffron is produced in many countries of the world like Iran,Greece,Spain etc but the saffron grown in Kashmir, India is the most superior and expensive.
The skin benefits of saffron are well known for ages. But it has several other health benefits as well :
Improves Memory: Crocin and crocetin are powerful antioxidants found in saffron which help in improving memory of a person.
Diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s can be kept away by its intake.
Saffron acts as an Antidepressant: Saffron contains 5-hydroxytryptophan which helps in the production of serotonin which helps in elevating the mood. It helps in receiving blood into the brain and helps in reducing depression and apprehension.
Saffron Prevents Cancer: Crocin and Safranal in saffron inhibit the growth of tumor in the body. The Carotenoids in saffron
possess chemo preventive properties. It has been found to help protect against colon, liver and ovarian cancer.
Skin Benefits: Saffron has anti-bacterial properties and can is very beneficial in reducing acne. it can be directly applied on
the affected area. It acts as a natural scrub and aids in removing dead cells. Saffron can also be applied along with milk to
lighten the skin and remove pigments.
Optimum health: The overall mineral content including calcium, vitamins, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin-C, proteins etc
present in Saffron ensure the maintenance of optimum health.
Cold remedy: Saffron has been found to be beneficial against flu and cold. Glass of warm milk along with saffron is recommended
Healthy Kidneys: It helps in protecting kidney related diseases and reduces kidney stress.
New studies are being conducted worldwide to understand the true potencial of saffron in medicine.It is found to be helpful in
preventing and fighting cancer. So lets add a little bit of saffron spice to our life !