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The thread like stigma of the Crocus sativus aids in digestion, by increasing the appetite. Other therapeutic effects of saffron is that it helps relieve fatique, nosebleeds, exhaustion and strengthens the heart and nervous system.
Saffron is the reddish-orange stigmas of a particular variety of crocus. It started in Arabia and was brought to Spain in the eighth century and today Spain is the major exporter of this spice.
Saffron is quite costly, it sells for as much as 50.00 an ounce. The process of this spice is remarkable. About 200,000 dried stigmas from about 70,000 flowers are needed to produce just one pound.
Saffron is mainly bought for culinary purposes, a small pinch goes a long way, but today folks are coming back to it for herbal medicinal reasons.
Saffron milk is becoming quite popular and can be bought in some local groceries today. The saffron milk is a flavorful, soothing drink that can be helpful in relieving cardia problems. To make it yourself, bring one cup of milk just to a boil, add a pinch of saffron, reduce the heat and simmer the mixture for two minutes. sweeten it with honey to taste and drink it once a day.
Rubbing your gums with saffron can reduce soreness and inflammation. Crush a few threads of saffrom into a powder and use your index finger to massage gently into your gums.
For appetite loss, or a too full feeling have a simple saffron ginger tonic on hand. Usng a pinch of saffron threads, 1/4 oz. ginger root (crushed) and one pint of 100 proof alcohol. Place the spices and alcohol in a covered glass container, let mixture steep for 14 days in a cool, dry place. After 14 days, pour it into a pan, and heat briefly, strain. Take inetbsp. of tonic before meals and that appetite shall return.
Be careful when purchasing saffron. It is sometimes adulterated with other spices. true saffron is expensive and has a deep orange to brownish red color. The redder the strands, the better the quality.
Yellow saffron has no curative properties. Choose whole saffron threads over powder saffron. The threads have a better flavor and the curative qualities are higher.
When you store saffron, store in an airtight container in a dark, cool place. Don't let it get damp or you will end up losing it all together. Don't add suffron threads directly to foods, the flavor is better distrubuted when the spice is first allowed to soften in a little warm water. Wait until the water takes ona yellow color and then add it to your dish. Plus use it sparingly.
Adding too much can produce a bitter taste and it has been known a large dosage can make a person feel ill, and more than 1/3 oz. can be fatal.
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