Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the saffron crocus. Crocus is a genus in the family Iridaceae. Saffron crocus grows to 20–30 cm and bears up to four flowers, each with three vivid crimson stigmas, which are the distal end of a carpel. Together with the styles, or stalks that connect the stigmas to their host plant, the dried stigmas are used mainly in various cuisines as a seasoning and colouring agent. Saffron, long among the world's most costly spices by weight, is native to Greece or Southwest Asia and was first cultivated in Greece.
Saffron's taste and iodoform or hay like fragrance result from the chemicals picrocrocin and safranal. It also contains a carotenoid dye, crocin, which imparts a rich golden yellow hue to dishes and textiles. Iran now accounts for approximately 90% of the world production of saffron
saffron also known as Kesar or Kumkumapoo (in India).
This spice is considered as a golden spice as it can not only be used in cooking to add an aroma to food, turning any dish into an exotic one, it can also be beneficial to a number of health problems. It is used as medicine from ancient times. This spice is special and a precious spice as it has numerous health benefits which can help in the enhancement of one’s overall well being.
Saffron is used to improve taste and smell in many food items . You can use saffron in kheer, above sweets, in dishes like biryani, risotto, paella, fabada or pote gallego etc. You can adda pinch of saffron in your daily glass of milk. Applying milk mixed with saffron on skin refine the skin tone.
Saffron is very expensive. There are also many adulterated and fake products being dyed to imitate saffron. To find out whether you have pure saffron or not, immerse a bit of the product in warm water or milk. If the liquid colors immediately, then the saffron is fake. Pure saffron must soak in either warm water or milk for at least 10 to 15 minutes before its deep red-gold color and the saffron aroma begin to develop.
Saffron is helpful in the improvement of digestion and appetite, because it helps in improving circulation to the organs of digestion. It coats the membranes of stomach and colon which help in soothing gastrointestinal colic and acidity. Kidney and liver problem: This spice s found to be extremely beneficial for the treatment of kidney, bladder and liver disorders. Saffron is considered as a blood purifier
Saffron is effective for providing relief from gas and acidity related problems.
It helps in relieving inflammation of arthritis. Saffron also provides relief from joint pains. It is very helpful for athletes as it eases fatigue and muscle inflammation by helping the tissues to get rid of lactic acid which gets built up after strenuous exercise.
It is said that saffron is also a mild sedative which can be used for insomnia and even treat depression. Taking a pinch of saffron with milk before bed helps in sleep disorders like insomnia.
Saffron also contains the compound “crocin”, which scientists believe that helps in reducing fever. Crocin found in saffron also promotes learning, memory retention, and recall capacity.
Saffron improves eye and vision health. In a recent research study, every participant who took saffron had vision improvements. Notably, saffron has been reported to significantly helping vision in the instance of cataracts.
Massaging the gums with saffron helps in reduce soreness and inflammation of the mouth and the tongue.
Among the multiple health benefits of saffron are the treatment of asthma, menstrual discomfort, atherosclerosis, depression, whooping cough, and many other health problems.
It also helps to lower the levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides. Saffron can be applied topically as a paste to relieve dryness and other skin conditions. It is useful in general health problem like headache, cough and cold. Pregnant women are advised to take saffron as it is believed that it improves the color of baby.
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