Saffron, also known as the golden spice of this world, is one of the most sought after spices by food lovers. It is also the most expensive spice in the world (some variations of saffron are more expensive than the price of gold) due to its rich medicinal properties, rare availability, and, a strong tasteful flavor.
Saffron comes from the crocus flower family and only a handful of countries in the world are able to grow it properly, some of which include India, Spain, Greece, Egypt, Iran and various parts of the Middle East. A balanced combination of humidity, cold temperature and a dry climate on a rich and fertile land, are required to to sustain the qualitative growth of the purple saffron flowers. It is also difficult to harvest due to its heavy labor intensive process and it can take as much as 4,500 crocus flowers to make one ounce of saffron, and 75,000 crocuses to make a pound, hence the expensive cost of the spice due to its manual process.
The history of saffron uses goes back as far as three thousand years and some of its uses include food seasoning, textile dying, aromatic fragrances and its multitude of medicinal properties. Some studies suggest that Saffron was first cultivated in Greece, and was used by royalties such as Alexander the Great, who used to bathe in saffron infusions to heal faster from battle wounds, as well as Cleopatra, who used to it to make her baths more pleasurable. Writings of medicinal saffron uses even date back to the time of Hippocrates and Galen
In ancient Egypt, saffron was also used as a treatment for multiple ailments and perfumes. Saffron has been used as a luxury medicinal herb to treat illnesses or various kinds. It is a great source of minerals such as manganese, copper, iron, selenium, zinc and magnesium, and also has some vitamins such as vitamin C, A and B.
Because of such a high demand and price of saffron, many people prefer to use safflower, a cheaper substitute for saffron. At Kiwana, we ensure that you get the purest quality of saffron for your consumption. To learn more about the health benefits of saffron, click here.