Saffron, called caesar or kumkum in Sanskrit, is a spice recognized as a delicacy all over the globe. It is mined mostly in the lands of Ancient Persia and in countries of the Arab world. It is obtained from the bright red stamens of the purple flower with the Latin name Crocus sativus.
Because a huge number of these flowers are needed to make an extremely small amount of the spice, it costs many hours of human labor and attention and is therefore so highly valued and costs a lot anywhere in the world. At the same time, insignificant amounts of saffron are needed to feel its beneficial effects on our health.
What are the healing properties of saffron?
The first Ayurveda recognized the healing properties of saffron and recorded it as one of the miraculous spices in the written monuments “Charaka Samhita”, “Sushruta Samhita” and others.
Ancient Indian medicine
It is used as a cooling, soothing blood and energizing ingredient. Saffron also has a beneficial effect on human digestion, making it the perfect and delicious addition to any food. In addition, it communicates well with almost all other herbs used in Ayurveda, and balances all doshas, so there is virtually no chance of confusing it.
Saffron has a spicy-bitter taste and has a number of benefits for the body:
- acts as a kind of tonic for the mind,
- has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties,
- reflects well on the skin,
- improves appetite
- speeds up metabolism,
- balances any stomach upsets,
Saffron can be used to soothe doshas when the harmony of our body is disturbed. Like many other miraculous herbs, it is an aphrodisiac.
Saffron can also be used to make cosmetics, although in most cases they are too luxurious and expensive due to the high price of the key ingredient. But if you can get to saffron skin therapy, don’t forget to do it.
In Ayurvedic cosmetics it has long been used both for the preparation of ointments against acne and stubborn skin inflammations, as well as rejuvenating lipsticks against wrinkles. Creams containing saffron are highly moisturizing and nourish the skin.
How can we add saffron to our daily menu?
With saffron itself, it is very unlikely that we will make a mistake, even if we make a sincere effort. In principle, we can add it as the most common spice to our cooked dishes in quantities and combinations to your liking. Most saffron goes with fish dishes and rice.
However, if we really want to achieve results with it, we must be careful with all the other ingredients in the culinary magic that we have decided to create. This is important from the point of view that there are few foods and spices that, like saffron, are so beneficial to each of us.
We offer you some specially developed recipes, which you can try with saffron yourself. Apart from being delicious, they are also quite useful. You can choose the ones that best suit your needs.
Saffron recipe ideas
Saffron with milk
Besides being super tasty, this recipe helps with menstrual pain, asthma, various allergic conditions and more. It is also good as an adjunct therapy in the treatment of carcinogenic diseases, as well as in disorders of the heart. It can also be used instead of tea for flu symptoms, having a positive effect on the overall tone of the body. For maximum effect it is best to drink it in the morning on an empty stomach. Although it is a morning drink, as it relieves stress and anxiety, saffron also indirectly works well in sleep.
250 ml of cow’s milk * (Vegans and people for whom the intake of dairy products is contraindicated can easily make a drink with nut milk.)
Saffron – about 3 – 4 fibers
Sweetener (sugar / honey)
Cardamom / cinnamon pinch
Crushed or chopped nuts
Method of preparation:
Add saffron to the milk, which we have previously boiled on the stove. Mix well, and you can even press the saffron threads with a wooden spoon to release more extract. Let it simmer for thirty minutes. Real saffron does not turn white no matter how much time it spends in the milk. If desired, sweeten the drink with honey, sugar, syrup or other. We can also add a little cardamom and garnish with nuts.
This is a wonderful refreshing drink, which has most of the positive properties of saffron milk and at the same time is a sophisticated and tasty alternative for drinking in the summer.
The juice of 2-3 lemons
4-5 saffron threads
Sweetener (sugar, honey or other)
The method of preparation is similar to the technology of each lemonade with the only difference that here we add a few strands of saffron. Serve chilled and can be added and other fruits at will and in accordance with your own constitution.
Rice with saffron
An extremely common delicacy in Ayurvedic cuisine is risotto with saffron. According to Indian tradition, this dish is most suitable for consumption in the hot summer in places with very high humidity, as well as in the rainy spring, when the first heat “hits” us hard. You can add some asparagus to it and serve it with lemon. Due to its cleansing properties, saffron risotto is recommended for young people who are struggling with persistent acne, as well as for older people with arthritis.
3-4 tablespoons fat (ghee, usually butter, olive oil or other oil)
20-30 saffron threads
1.5 teaspoons basmati rice
4 cups hot water
2 bay leaves
3-4 pieces of cinnamon, you can crush them, but do not make them too small
1-2 cloves garlic (optional)
Method of preparation:
Pre-soak the saffron for 5-10 minutes in two tablespoons of lukewarm water. During this time, wash the basmati rice well until it stops releasing starch. Then heat the fat and fry in it all the spices except saffron. After two minutes, add the dried rice and, while stirring vigorously, let it fry for a while.
When the berries turn white in color after about five minutes, add the hot water and dissolved saffron. Let the mixture simmer over low heat until it is reduced and the rice absorbs the water, stirring occasionally. Once the dish is ready, we can turn off the stove and leave it covered for 10-15 minutes before serving. Decorate with a sprig of mint.
What should we be careful about?
Although saffron has many few side effects when taken as a culinary spice or as a dietary supplement, we should keep in mind some of its properties.
It is difficult to overdo it with saffron itself, as the excessive amount of it we can take in a day is over 1.5 g, and this is an extremely expensive spice with a pronounced taste.
About 0.30 mg of it in the diet are enough to feel healthier and more vital. However, if you are taking medicines to thin your blood or medicines to regulate your blood pressure, talk to your doctor about your diet and the involvement of saffron in it. Pregnant and lactating women should not take it.
In general, it works well on the nervous system, but here too there are some peculiarities. In patients with depressive disorder saffron has a very good effect. However, in people with bipolar disorder, it can complicate the situation, so it is recommended that they also consult a doctor.