Saffron- Red Gold for your taste!

Saffron- Red Gold for your taste!

Growing in a Nepali household, every mother possibly added saffron into their children’s drink at night. With the kids arguably asking their mothers on making their drink golden, with time the erotic love for saffron in Nepali kitchen didn’t remain just their but evolved around the world.

Well known as Red Gold, saffron has been used in folk medicine, perfumes, cooking and dyes due to its natural colorant. It is however, believed native to the Mediterranean area. In early times, it was cultivated by the Arabs in Spain then slowly healing its importance to the western world as well. During various periods, saffron has been worth more than its weight in gold. At the beginning of century, saffron was used as dye and because of its sweet smelling herb, it was used as the fragrance but it was late century when people realized the importance of saffron to be beneficiary in medicinal field as well.

Saffron has a strong, exotic aroma and a bitter taste from its stigmas which undeniably made the milk golden color and aroma made the kids in Nepali household to drink the milk with no arguments. It has been documented that saffron was used as a food or spice for culinary purpose. The underground parts of the plant, can be used to produce new plant as it has no seed propagation. The outstanding and unique feature of the colored flowers of saffron is three stigmas dropped over the petals. The flower has three yellow stamens, which do not contain the active compounds and usually are not collected. Each bulb produces one to seven flowers, it seems that the cultivated spices has originated as a natural hybrid so that it has been selected for its long stigmas and maintained ever since.
Over the years of research, it says that these long stigmas are used in the Ayurvedic health system as a sedative, expectorant, anti-asthma, emmenagogue and adaptable agent. Saffron was used in various opioid preparations for pain relief in mid-16th century.

There are definitely clinical trials conducted evaluating the efficacy of saffron in mild to moderate depression. The studies also reported that saffron was more effective than any equivalent therapeutic doses. As a dietary supplement, saffron extracts prevents retinal damage and age- related macular degeneration. Anti- inflammatory compounds were reported from the stigmas and petals of saffron. There is a report that reviewed the potential role of saffron extracts in cancer therapy.

Starting from Greece to Morocco and slowing emerging its aroma to India and now the western world as well, the beauty and freshness brought from the pinch of saffron can possibly be replaced by any other herb. Today saffron is cultivated in only few parts of the world but its importance is spread throughout.

The golden colored, pungent stigmas of the autumn crocus which are dried for the extraordinary health benefits and is so easy to use that anyone can do it! Weather use it in your dishes particularly rice and fish or add a pinch on your milk, anyways it is tasteful and beneficial. Healthier option is just one step away from you, grab a box of saffron as use it as you want!

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