Home / Beauty / Great Kings used to bathe in this Spice

Great Kings used to bathe in this Spice

A delicate purple flower sits nestled among the green grass. If you blink, you might miss it. But let’s not miss it, let’s sit down and pick this flower. You examine it carefully. In the middle, there are six stalks, three of them are yellow and slightly powdery. Dismiss that, it is not important. You need to be looking at the vibrant red stalks that stand up proudly. In your mind, you can almost hear history echoing in your ears. From the ancient Iranians who first realized that this flower was special, to the height of the mighty Persian empire, where the rich would pay any price to display the spice on their tables. And now, when saffron is becoming increasingly available, you hold in your hands the King of saffrons.
Saffron Flower
The Beautiful Saffron Flower

Origin

The ancient city of Herat was of strategic importance to the Persian empire, it was a centre for trade and culture, most famously wine. The rich frequented this city, in fact, it is where the emperor would have done his shopping. It was known for its exquisite products which were always of the highest quality. It would make sense that this is where you would find the world’s best saffron. And the Persians were proud of their saffron. They wove it into textiles, offered it up to divinities and used it in almost every other facet of their lives. You could smell it in perfumes, see it in dyes or use it to wash your body. The expensive spice was sought-after, fought over and bought at any price. It was said that the saffron from Herat looked brighter and just tasted better. Not only that, but saffron was believed to cure ailments of all kinds. In fact, we can find the use of saffron in the writings of Galen and Hippocrates. The documented history of saffron cultivation spans almost 3 millennia, but it is suspected that it has been around for much longer. Saffron-based pigments were used in prehistoric Iranian depictions 50,000 years ago. It became a crucial part of life, many cultures used the spice and before long it was part of most trade routes.
Info Crocus sativus & C. vernus, illustration by Amédée Masclef, from Atlas des plantes de France, 1891
Crocus sativus & C. vernus, illustration by Amédée Masclef
By the 10th century, the ancient Persians were cultivating the plant in Derbena, Isfahan and Khorasan. The spice was strewn over beds, and mixed into teas to cure melancholy and was used as an aphrodisiac. Enemies of Persia feared their use of the spice as a drugging agent. There are reports of Alexander the Great using the spice in his rice, infusions and to cure battle wounds.

"Alexander loved it so much that he used to bath in it."

Alexander’s troops brought the spice with them to Greece, and soon everyone in the empire had to have it. And the rest is history… It seems our ancestors were on to something, but even they could have no idea of just how special this spice is.
Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great. One of the greatest conquerors of the world.

Modern Benefits:

If you have ever wondered why saffron is so highly regarded, you just need to look at all the benefits. It is a marvel that more people don’t know about it. Using just one gram of saffron a month has untold health benefits!
  • Saffron contains something called crocin, which is a water-soluble carotene. Crocin is responsible for the spice’s rich golden colour, but it has also been found to trigger apoptosis, which is programmed cell death, in different types of human cancer cells including leukaemia, ovarian carcinoma, soft tissue sarcoma and a whole host of others. Researchers have found that saffron displays the ability to stop human malignant cells. The spice can stop cells that might later become cancerous and stimulates the creation of lymphocytes which destroy cancer cells.
  • A pinch of saffron in a glass of milk can stimulate the hormones in girls who are experiencing delayed puberty.
  • In Japan, medical professionals are using saffron to treat age-related mental impairment. The spice is put into capsules and used to treat impairments such as memory loss, inflammation and even Parkinson’s disease.

Saffron is a known aphrodisiac.

  • If you have a cold, then some saffron in warm milk should bring relief and cure the illness in no time. It acts as a stimulant tonic and can also be applied to the forehead to bring relief from cold-related symptoms.
  • If you suffer from patchy boldness, then add a pinch of saffron and some liquorice to some milk. Use the mixture as a topical application to promote hair growth.
  • Saffron can be used as a hypoallergenic substitute for many synthetic food additives. People especially enjoy using it as a food colouring.
  • The manganese content is off the charts, it is almost 400% more than the daily recommended value.
We could go on for ages about the health benefits of saffron, but we would run out of space and time. The fact of the matter is that there is a reason why saffron is the king of Spices and why Herat saffron is the King of saffron. When it comes to versatility and function, nothing can quite compare to the royal spice. Besides all the health benefits, saffron can be used for all sorts of cooking purposes. Don’t believe us? Here are a few creative ways to make the most out of your Herat saffron:
  1. Use saffron in your baking to give it that soft, delectable buttery colour. Remember, you eat with your eyes first. Use it for biscuits, pastries or cakes.
  2. Saffron threads combined with garlic and thyme in vinegar makes the most delicious fish marinade.
  3. Add a little saffron, Indian bay leaves, cloves and cinnamon to your stews, curries or biryanis to give it an enticing edge.
Saffron infused Fish dishBundt cake with saffron and rum covered with white glaze on rustic background with autumn decorationsSaffron Infused Briyani   Keep in mind that most recipes will not call for more than half a teaspoon of saffron. This will allow it to last longer, but it is also dangerous to use more than that. Although saffron poisoning is incredibly rare, be sure that you do not over-use your saffron. After all, more is less. How Is It Made? One of the contributing factors to the price of saffron is the fact that it is made the way it has always been made- by hand. The flowers are collected, (keep in mind that it takes about 4,500 saffron flowers to make 1 ounce of saffron!) Then someone is paid to pick out the tiny stigmas, or threads. These are then dried and packaged.
Saffron Field
Source: http://www.agrifarming.in/saffron-farming/
The Priceless Spice The truth is that saffron is more expensive than other spices. But it stands above other spices like a king among peasants. Not everyone can have it, and thus everyone wants it. It is the premium spice, and Herat saffron is the premium saffron. Other strands have been cross-bred, and some have masqueraded common flower strands as saffron.

But Herat saffron has no equal. It is quality tested so that when you receive your purchase, you can be sure that what you are receiving is truly what you want.

Herat Premium Saffron
Buy 3 and more and enjoy 10% Off
Try it for yourself, and experience the opulence of history and richness. Now, you can buy it at a Special Price until the 30th of November… Who knows if you bath in it, you can be destined to the next Alexander the Great!

About Deily bloggers

A bunch of quirky, peculiar characters out to infest the mind of Indians everywhere!

Check Also

Make Your Diwali Glorious with Rangoli, Lamps and Puja Thali