Saffron’ – The most expensive spice known to mankind is mainly used in two forms – as Saffron strands and Saffron Powder. It is derived from the flower of the saffron crocus. Originally belonging to Southern Europe, it is now predominantly grown are Spain, Italy, France, Turkey, Greece, Iran, and India. The spice must preserved carefully in air-tight containers in order to minimize contact with air and light to increase its shelf life. As it is a costly spice, it is often adulterated with inexpensive American saffron and sometimes with other spices of the same color. More on the uses and benefits of saffron powder in the following sections
Uses of Saffron Powder
Saffron powder is an invaluable ingredient as it is an effective coloring and flavoring agent with unbelievable medicinal properties. It is rich in cartenoids that give the spice its characteristic golden yellow color and also render its potent phytonutrient properties.
Saffron powder is used in many cuisines as it imparts luminous yellow-orange color and a wonderful aroma to foods. It is an integral part of European, North African, and Asian cuisines. It is chiefly used to flavor baked goods, cheeses, confectioneries, curries, liquors, meat dishes, beef, chicken, soups, gravies and desserts. It is a special condiment used to enhance flavor and color of rice dishes in India, Iran, and Spain.
Saffron powder provides the body with vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, and vital minerals like magnesium, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, iron, zinc, and selenium. The caretenoids present in it make it a good antioxidant agent. It is also possesses carminative, emmenagigic (enhancing pelvic blood flow) anti-bacterial, anti-viral, mood enhancing properties. Know more about the therapeutic properties of saffron powder in the health benefits section given below.
- Used as a flavoring and coloring agent in confectionery and liquor industries
- Used a fabric and textile dye particularly in China and India
- Used in the perfume industry as hair perfume and air freshener
- Used in the cosmetic industry to produce creams and lotions that claim to have skin lightening and anti-aging properties
Health benefits of Saffron Powder
Saffron powder is endowed with curative and medicinal properties and is often used as a herbal and dietary supplement.
- Improves the gastro intestinal system – ensures proper bowel movements, relieves constipation, improves digestion, cures colic
- Heals wounds, cuts, and bruises
- ‘Heart healthy’ – improves blood circulation, blood pressure, and prevents atherosclerosis by reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels
- Possesses anti-cancer properties – inhibits tumors
- Relieves pain and inflammation of joints, especially arthritic conditions
- Cures stomach ache and kidney stones
- Promotes learning, memory retention and recall capacity
- Effective in the treatment and management of age related mental impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain other neurological conditions
- Improves pulmonary oxygenation
- Treats progressive eye diseases like macular degeneration and improves vision
- Remedy for symptoms of premenstrual syndrome like mood swings, depression, and irritability
- Treats digestive, kidney, bladder, liver disorders by improving circulation
- Cures minor respiratory problems like cough, whooping cough, etc.
- Treats insomnia
- Boosts immunity
Go ahead, experience the innumerable benefits of saffron by incorporating it in your life today!