Interesting facts about saffron: Saffron, the lovely spice that adds colour and heavenly aroma to food, derives its name from the Latin word safranum. Some also believe that it has drawn from the Arabic word zafaran meaning yellow.
It is valued for its varied uses-from being a gourmet ingredient to being an aphrodisiac. Here are some interesting facts about saffron.
– Saffron-based pigments have been found in 50,000-year-old depictions of prehistoric places in north-west Iran. Later, the Sumerians used wild-growing saffron in their remedies and magical potions.
– In ancient Persia saffron threads were woven into textiles, ritually offered to divinities and used in dyes, perfumes, medicines and body baths. Saffron threads were scattered across beds on the wedding night of the newly-wed, who were also offered saffron powder in hot milk as an aphrodisiac.
– During his Asian campaigns, Alexander the Great used Persian saffron in his infusions as a curative for battle wounds
– Damp and hot conditions damage saffron crop which can tolerate extreme low temperatures( even less than minus ten degree Celsius).
– Saffron has also been used as a fabric dye and in perfumery, particularly in China and India.
– It is also used as an insecticide or pesticide!
– Modern medicine has discovered saffron as an active anti-mutagenic, immune modulator, anti-depressant, antioxidant and sex-stimulant.
– It is believed to help in ailments like indigestion, high blood pressure, menopausal problems, gastro intestine and scabies.
– Deep saffron is the colour of the upper band of the Indian National Flag, representing courage, sacrifice, patriotism and renunciation.
– Kesar is also referred for lions, as the standard complexion of lions is saffron.