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Saffron (Crocus sativus)

Saffron is a divine spice that can slowly but powerfully penetrate all bodily tissues (dhatus) all the way to the reproductive fluid, cleansing and strengthening the blood plasma, blood, muscle, fat, bone, bone marrow, and reproductive fluid.

Saffron is of soft, smooth, and light qualities, pungent and bitter tastes, heating metabolic effect, and pungent post-digestive taste.

Saffron balances all doshas, but it could be quietly overheating for Pitta.

Types of Saffron

The most common varieties are cultivated in Kashmir, Spain, and Iran.

Kashmiri saffron is, thin, smells like lotus, and has the brick-red color of the rising sun. It is considered to be the best.

Saffron is the most expensive of all spices; top-grade could cost up to $150 per ounce!

Healing Properties Listed in the Ayurvedic Texts

  • Cleanses the blood
  • Improves complexion; also used topically for hyper-pigmented lesions of the skin
  • Gives a radiant glow of the whole body
  • Supports healthy liver function
  • Supports healthy heart function
  • Eliminates flatulence
  • Eases menstrual problems and depression
  • Acts as a rejuvenator for the body
  • Strengthens reproductive fluids (increases sperm count)
  • Helps repair bruising, varicose veins, fragile capillaries, and edema
  • Nourishes the eyes
  • Blocks the release of histamine, which may help reduce allergies
  • Useful in nervous debility, migraine, rheumatoid arthritis
  • Helps clean toxins out of the bone (asthi) and bone marrow (majja) tissues

How to Use

Use about 3 saffron threads (of high quality) per person, once a day. It combines well with cardamom, cinnamon, and fennel.

To extract maximum flavor and color, crumble saffron threads in a small amount of warm water, and soak for about 5 minutes, or until the color and aroma release. Then mix it with food.

Saffron has a heating metabolic effect, so avoid using it frequently in the summer and when your Pitta is high. In the winter, saffron is okay for almost everyone.

Contraindication: Avoid saffron if you have Pitta imbalance in the bone tissue.

Sanskrit Names

Kumkum, Ghusrun, Rakta, Kashmir, Balhik, Kesar, Kashmiraj, Agneeshekhar, Asrugvar, Shatha, Shonit, Pitaka, Rudhir

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