Saffron is used quite widely in India. From providing a beautiful coloring to basmati rice, saffron is also used in Indian sweet dishes, as well as in worship. During meditation, it is not uncommon to find it being mixed with sandalwood paste and applied to the forehead, as this paste is known to have a calming effect on the nervous system.
When used in cooking, it is known to help keep the body healthy, especially in cold climates. In Ayurveda, saffron is known to subdue Kapha. It’s also considered an antiseptic and a diuretic and prescribed to those suffering with a dry cough, head pain, liver and spleen ailments, as well as problems with urination. Known to remove burning sensation, saffron also increases stomach fire. Containing vital nutrients, manganese being the predominant ingredient, saffron also contains vitamin C, magnesium, iron, potassium, and vitamin B6. Saffron is often prescribed to regulate blood sugar, aid with calcium absorption, as well as help with the healthy formation of tissues and bones.
Saffron is also used in the Greek system of medicine, as it is said that the leaves of the plant can cure swelling, aiding in such ailments as gout and joint pain.
Prescribed to women who need help in regulating their menstrual cycles, saffron also aids those suffering from menstrual pain. For women who have just given birth, applying a saffron paste to the breasts is said to increase milk. Indian women are known to use saffron to create face masks, as it has excellent purifying properties, as well as being antibacterial in nature. It also lightens the skin tone.
Saffron is a must-have spice in every household. Try adding a 1/2 teaspoon to basmati rice, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the flavor and feel uplifted by the color.