Saffron, commonly known as Kesar in India is an ancient herb known as a treasure trove. The delicate and posh spice has been part of our rich culinary heritage for years and years. The scientific name of saffron “saffron crocus” comes from a beautiful flower called crocus sativus. Each flower produces 3 stigmas. Once the flowers are harvested, these stigmas should be plucked and dried for approximately 12 hours. This is how an aromatic and flavorful Kesar is produced.
Did you know? Approximately 16000 flowers are required to produce 1 kg of saffron strands. This is why saffron is the most luxurious spice.
Health Benefits of Saffron
For ages, saffron has been used by Ayurvedic doctors for its incredible medicinal properties which can be beneficial in curing or preventing certain ailments.
1: Creates a Barrier Against Infection:
Saffron has been studied to be an effective spice in helping improve immunity and keep season flu far away from us. In one of the studies, it was observed that carotenoids present in the saffron may be responsible for this function and can affect both humoral and cellular immunity functions.
Today’s lifestyle and the stress that we all have experienced last year, have taken a toll on our physical and mental health. Finding a cure for mental health is the most important one and it does take time. According to the studies, the two stigmas of saffron called crocin and safranal can help regulate happy hormones serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine and thus elevates mood. This can help lower stress levels and can also help tackle depression.
3: Might Improve Sexual Drive:
Saffron is a very well-known and ancient aphrodisiac herb. An aphrodisiac is nothing but a food or drug that can bring on sexual desire or improves sexual performance or pleasure. This property of saffron has always been backed by my science though it has always been part of badam ka Dudh for its aphrodisiac properties. Along with this benefit, saffron can also help treat infertility.
Loaded with antioxidants and potassium, these miracle golden strands can help control blood pressure and by dilating the blood. This can further help in removing any blockage in the arteries. Thus reduces the chances of high blood pressure and heart attack.
All these benefits are possible from just a pinch of saffron in your dishes.
How to Use Saffron Wisely?
Widely, saffron is used as a seasoning or as a natural color for delicacies. Saffron has been traditionally used to provide that rich aroma to Indian delicacies like biryani, curries, kormas, kheer etc.
According to Ayurveda, few strands of saffron are enough to gain a healthy body and mind. There are several other simple ways of adding these bright strands to your diet.
Maximum benefits can be gained by adding few saffron strands to hot milk near to your bedtime. This will help calm your mind and allow a good sleep.
How to Identify Real Saffron and Avoid the Fake Saffron?
Market is flooded with fake saffron strands and it’s about time, we understand to differentiate between the fake and the real saffron strands. The most important thing to be noted is that only pure saffron can guarantee the numerous health benefits we discussed.
Take few strands of saffron and dip them in cold water, if they start releasing their color very fast and if the water turns red instead of golden yellow, then the strands and fake and you need to replace them immediately.
Another easy method which you can try, after removing the saffron strands from the cold water, take a couple of strands in your hand and rub them between your two fingers. Pure saffron strands will not break apart as compared to the fake saffron.
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Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a health care professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.