Saffron uses belongs to the iris family, and has had a plethora of uses throughout time. As far back as the writings of Galen and Hippocrates, saffron was mentioned as a medical treatment for coughs, colds, stomach ailments, insomnia, uterine bleeding, scarlet fever, heart trouble, and flatulence.
As a spice, saffron is known for what it does to energize dishes with a pungent, earthy essence. Saffron is an ingredient used in Sweden, England, the U.S., and France. The commercial cost of saffron is about 50 million dollars, so it’s a good thing saffron can remain fresh in an airtight container for several years.
Why is saffron so expensive, you may ask? Because the cultivation and harvest of saffron threads are still performed as it was since ancient times: by hand. Elderly village women are usually set on this task of removing the saffron “threads.” Just know it takes 4,500 crocus flowers to make up one ounce of saffron spice.
More Saffron uses
It has been suggested that buying saffron at your local supermarket might not yield the freshest product. A better option might be obtaining the threads from an ethnic specialty grocery store. But make sure the threads are top quality. Another affectation is “meadow saffron”, which is used as a medicine and can be quite toxic so it should be strictly avoided.
It must be noted that no one will eat an ounce of saffron in one sitting; recipes usually call for half a teaspoon or less, but examining an ounce is a good way to determine the nutritional aspects of this intriguing spice.
Even More Saffron uses
It is not limited to relieving intestinal gas.
Some people apply saffron directly to the scalp for baldness (alopecia).
In foods, saffron is used as a spice, yellow food coloring, and as a flavoring agent.
In manufacturing, saffron extracts are used as fragrance in perfumes and as a dye for cloth.
Saffron has been known to improve memory.
Saffron has been known to relieve mild depression and improve mood in those who regularly consume it. The many active compounds in saffron have some effect on the endocrine system and can stimulate the release of beneficial hormones that keep us happy and healthy. For women, this same effect has also been known to act as an aphrodisiac. It has been hailed as a natural antidepressant by numerous research studies and organizations.
Try it in,
In hot drinks: crocus sativus soothes coughs and relieves colds. The right dose for hot drinks is: from 0.5 g to 1 g per litre of water.
In massages: it relieves from pain, in particular in gums. It is used as a pure powder or diluted with honey to apply directly in the mouth or mixed with some glycerin to relax tense body areas.
In broths: it stimulates digestion (the right dose: 1g per liter)
In pills: laboratories use an extract from the top part of the pistil having effect on neurotransmitters as a natural antidepressant. Where can you find it? In its natural form (threads or powder) from the producers.