Uses of Saffron
General uses of Saffron
The golden herb. Saffron is used as an indigenous medicine across India. Saffron enjoys great reputation as a drug which strengthens the functioning of the stomach and promotes its action. It counteracts spasmodic disorders and sustains involuntary muscle contraction. This prized species is also used against fevers, melancholia and enlargement of the liver and spleen. A combination of Saffron and ghee is used to treat diabetes. Saffron also merits usage as a strengthening agent for the heart and as a cooling agent for the brain, also increases memory power. It has been found beneficial in the treatment of urinary problems. It acts as a diuretic if soaked overnight in water and administered with honey. The spice is useful in promoting and regulating menstrual periods. It soothes lumbar pains, which accompany menstruation. Saffron is also beneficial in the treatment of other ailments concerning women such as leucorrhoea and antidepressant effects. Ancient texts on ayurveda have information about the herb’s use as an aphrodisiac. Saffron is a promising herb of pharmaceutical industry due to its immense medicinal properties ranging from mild fever to cancer and DNA repair.
Saffron is used for asthma, cough, whooping cough (pertussis), and to loosen phlegm (as an expectorant). It is also used for sleep problems (insomnia), cancer, “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis), intestinal gas (flatulence), depression, Alzheimer’s disease, fright, shock, spitting up blood (hemoptysis), pain, heartburn, and dry skin. Women use saffron for menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Men use it to prevent early orgasm (premature ejaculation) and infertility.
Saffron is also used for to increase interest in sex (as an aphrodisiac) and to induce sweating.
Saffron is Known as,King of Spices, Health Flower , Red Gold ,
Saffron has many usages because of Natural coloring, aroma, taste and different chemical sbstances that could be seen in nutrition facts, nowadays is using various of field such as Food Industry, food and Beverages, Medicinal & pharmaceutical, Cooking, Cosmetics, Perfumes, Flavouring.
How to get Fresh Original saffron from Market
Saffron is known to be the most expensive spice in the world. Throughout history dishonest dealers would adulterate their saffron by adding similar materials for added weight or by dyeing the lower quality saffron strands. Pure saffron contains only the red stigma of the Crocus flowe/Saffron flower with nothing else added. For example, all red saffron that is 3 years old is not good quality saffron. The next criterion is aroma, old saffron looses its pungent aroma and sometimes it has no aroma at all. So, good quality saffron is saffron that is completely red and has a nice aroma. We define fresh saffron as saffron that is less than one year old.. The best quality saffron comes from the current crop year. Pure saffron strands composed of red.
Benefits of saffron during pregnancy
Pregnant women can take it from the second trimester onwards, preferably from the 4th or 5th month. The Indian science of Ayurveda advises the consumption of saffron from the fifth month onwards as that is the time when the mother can feel the baby move. Saffron is believed to aid the baby’s movements as well. Just add a few strands of saffron in a warm glass of milk and feel the difference.
You can also add some of these precious strands in cooking, but make sure that you do not exceed 10 gm in a given date. You can add some almonds, pistachios, a little bit of cardamom, some sugar and 4-5 strands of saffron. This milk is nutritious, filling, will aid digestion and uplift your mood. If you do not like milk, you can add a few strands of saffron to other side dishes or prepare rice with it. Consuming a few strands of saffron in water will aid in digestion during pregnancy.
Check before you buy
With a limited range and high prices in local supermarkets, consumers are looking online for a huge range and much lower prices. Supermarket saffron is typically imported in bulk and packaged locally to keep the cost down. The traceability over grade and packing date is lost, meaning that you as the consumer don't know what you are paying for. You could be buying saffron 2 seasons old there is no way of telling.
To check saffron quality look for the following characteristics :
Saffron should be fresh and aromatic, never dull and musty. A musty smell suggests moisture has contaminated the saffron at some stage of its production.
Colour should be deep red with very small flecks of orange or possibly yellow. Too many yellow threads though shows it is a lower grade saffron, the highest saffron grades are known as "All Red". Care must be taken though because less than scrupulous dealers have been known to add food colouring to lower quality saffron to pass it off as higher quality.
Saffron should always be dry. Kashmiri saffron is dried brittle in the sun whereas European saffron tends to retain a little more moisture and is often recommended to be toasted before use. Dampness in saffron adds nothing except weight, and when the cost of the spice is so high, then it is in the buyers interest to purchase as dry a saffron as possible.
Grading of saffron is done according to colour, floral waste content and foreign matter. There are three grades of saffron: Mongra contains top most parts of dried stigmas. Lacha is part of stigma with style. Gucchi contains whole stigmas with style tied in bundles.
The most important rule in buying saffron is to find a source that you can trust. Since, it is an expensive spice; retailers can trick you in to buying bad quality saffron that you do not require. Sometimes, you can get saffron for a cheaper price. All you need is doing your research properly on what good quality saffron is and how to purchase it.
Special Precautions & Warnings
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Taking saffron by mouth in amounts larger than what is normally found in food is LIKELY UNSAFE. Larger amounts of saffron can make the uterus contract and might cause a miscarriage.
Not enough is known about the safety of using saffron during breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Bipolar disorder: Saffron seems to be able to affect mood. There is a concern that it might trigger excitability and impulsive behavior (mania) in people with bipolar disorder. Don’t use saffron if you have this condition.
Allergies to Lolium, Olea (includes olive), and Salsola plant species: People who are allergic to these plants might also be allergic to saffron.
Heart conditions: Saffron might affect how fast and how strong the heart beats. Taking large amounts of saffron might worsen some heart conditions.
Low blood pressure: Saffron might lower blood pressure. Taking saffron might make blood pressure become too low in people with low blood pressure. (Source -wiki)