Meet saffron! It is a spice that derives from the 3 dry stigmas of the pistil of the flower known as Crocus sativus, a species that belongs to the genus Crocus within the Iridaceae family.
Saffron comes from Asia Minor, from an area near Kashmir, specifically from ancient Persia (Iran), but it is cultivated in several countries in southern Europe such as Italy in Aquila, the Danube area, France in Gatinois and of course Spain, where it is grown in many provinces.
In Spain specifically, saffron is cultivated in the Levantine region, where the Valencian saffron is famous, that of Castilla-La Mancha (Cuenca, Ciudad Real), Extremadura, Toledo and Albacete, in Aragon and Catalonia.
Spain is the first country in the world to export Saffron, and it does so all over the world. Its name was given by the Persians safra, which means yellow.
It needs to be under hot climates, with plenty of sun, to grow properly, its harvest time being in October.
Specifically, saffron is the stigmas of the saffron rose flower, which are placed to dry, and then sold ground or unground.
They are reddish in color and once crushed and diluted, it is orange-yellow, giving rise to the most expensive spice in the world, because many saffron flowers are necessary to obtain 100 g, since each flower has only three stigmas.
Saffron is well known in the world of gastronomy due to its incredible aroma and excellent taste, but did you know that it also has excellent medicinal properties ? Keep reading this article and learn more about this spice !:
Thanks to its bitter components such as picrocrocin and its aromatic characteristics, saffron is able to stimulate the digestive system, increase saliva secretion and gastric secretions, as well as being an excellent aperitif and eupeptic remedy.
Saffron contains crocetin, which is a choleretic component that stimulates the production of bile, which prevents stones in the gallbladder and helps the digestive process.
Due to its antispasmodic properties, saffron is able to treat dysmenorrhea and premenstrual symptoms.
It is an excellent antioxidant, so it slows down aging and fights free radicals in the body.
Due to its crocetin content, saffron is excellent for improving learning, cognitive abilities and memory.
Due to its excellent properties, saffron is excellent for treating various conditions in the body:
- Improves blood circulation and heals wounds.
- Helps lower cholesterol and triglycerides.
- Helps in the treatment of arthritis and atherosclerosis.
- It has antidepressant properties.
- It is a blood purifier.
- Relieves fatigue and muscle inflammation.
- Promotes learning, resilience and memory retention.
- Relieves joint pain and arthritis.
- Improves problems related to heartburn and gas.
- Reduce fever.
- Improves eye health and vision.
- Helps with kidney, liver and bladder disorders.
- It has aromatic compounds with sedative action, which facilitates relaxation and helps us fall asleep.
In addition to its use in paella and soups to which we are already very used, it can be used in:
- Infusion : Place 2gr of saffron for each liter of water. You can take up to 3 cups a day.
- Powder : it is usually used to accelerate menstruation and as a carminative.
- Tincture : As a tincture (ethanol or ethyl alcohol extraction), it is rubbed directly on the gums, slowing down mouth pain.
Remember to consult with your doctor if you have any questions.