Belonging to the Iris family, Saffron has been mentioned in the writings as far back as Hippocrates and Galen as a medical remedy for stomach ailments, cough, colds, insomnia, heart trouble, scarlet fever, and even gas. One of the first uses of this distinctly yellow hued spice was likely for fabric dyeing; just one grain can color ten gallons of water and deep orange tones result when more is used. An expensive spice, Saffron energizes food with its pungently earthy scent of just a half a teaspoon or less. Let’s learn more about this intriguing spice!
When I first discovered it, the price terrified me! Around 50 tons are grown annually in Europe and the Middle East. Cultivation and harvest has remained virtually unchanged since ancient times and is still accomplished by the hands of elderly village women. It takes about 4,500 crocus flowers to produce just one ounce of Saffron spice by removing the delicate Saffron “threads.” Along with a strong, distinctive flavor, Saffron provides small amounts of:
- Manganese: To help stabilize blood sugar, metabolize carbohydrates, and absorb calcium
- Vitamin C: To boost infection-fighting immunity
- Vitamin B6: To help form red blood cells and aid nerve transmission
- Potassium: To balance cellular fluid and stabilize muscle contractions
- Magnesium: Absolutely key for regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure
- Iron: An important component of hemoglobin essential for transporting oxygen from the lungs throughout the body
Saffron contains more than 150 volatile compounds that work together with the vitamins for its medicinal qualities. Safranal is responsible for its unique aroma and has been studied as a therapeutic agent for the central nervous system. Saffron’s strong flavor mainly comes from its Picrocrocin content which may be beneficial for digestive and blood insulin difficulties. Delivering the intense orange color, Crocin contains powerful antioxidants to help protect the body from the free radical damage of aging. In an experimental rat study, it was found to enhance colon cancer survival without any major toxic side effects.
Just a bit of Saffron energizes food and contributes to the building blocks of a NOURISHED LIFE. START SOMEWHERE today with a delicious homemade dishcontaining this savory spice. Because it is so expensive, there are imposters and it is best to purchase it from an ethnic speciality grocery store. Give your body more of what it needs for vitality and joy. You can do it. I will help you!