Mountain Rose Herbs

Saffron Whole Stigma

Also known as

Crocus sativus, Crocus, Safran, and Azafran,

Introduction

Saffron has a well-deserved reputation as being the most expensive of herbs and spices, even when one considers that no more than a thread or two of the precious spice is needed to flavor an entire meal. Besides its culinary uses, though, saffron has a long history of medicinal use, both in Eastern and Western traditions. Seen as mostly a culinary herb for decades, the new interest in herbal remedies is bringing saffron’s medicinal properties back into the limelight. The herb was mentioned in the Bible, and was used by ancient Greeks, Indians and Egyptians.

Constituents

Zeaxanthin (and, to a lesser extent, lycopene and beta-carotene), vitamin B2, riboflavin, crocin,

Parts Used

Whole stigmas (also known as the stamens, petals or flowers)

Typical Preparations

Usually whole dried stamens in food, in tea and for food coloring purposes.

Summary

Saffron is known throughout the world as a precious, expensive spice, easily bringing $500 or more per pound. It is made from the stigma of a sterile crocus, the crocus sativa, which blooms in the autumn in areas with wet springs and hot dry summers. The expense of the spice is justified * it takes nearly 150 flowers to produce a single gram of dried saffron threads. Saffron is used in flavoring foods and is highly prized as a dye. It yields a deep, rich yellow that has given its mark to the robes of Tibetan monks, among others.

Precautions

None known

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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