A unique flavored spice, made from the dried stamens of the crocus flower. It can be found in threads or ground and is known for its medicinal properties.The styles and the dried stigmas of the flower are used as a seasoning and coloring agent in many cuisines. It is known to be cultivated in Greece first and is also one of the costliest spices in the world.
Availability and Usage
Saffron is not easily available everywhere and is therefore heavily priced. In India it is cultivated only in Jammu and Kashmir. It is used as a seasoning in many Asian cuisines. In some counties it is also used as a dye and in making perfumes.
Taking a small amount of saffron can help relieve stress and depression. It is recommended over other antidepressant drugs. Consuming saffron products during menstrual cycle can help against discomfort. It has many carotenoids that help the body against oxidant induced stress. Research has shown that a doctor recommended dose of saffron can reduce symptoms of Alzheimer.
Taking large amount of saffron is very unsafe as it can be poisonous, induce vomiting, dizziness and bleeding. Its use by pregnant ladies needs to be highly moderated as it contracts the uterus and could lead to miscarriage.
It takes around 75,000 saffron blossoms to produce a single pound of saffron spice.