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Biological Name: Crocus saffron, Crocus sativussaffron

Family: Iridaceae

Other Names: Zipharana, Saffron, Zafrah, Kum Kuma, Saurab, Zaffran, Safran, Kesar, Mangalya, Autumn crocus, Mangal, Agnishikha, Spanish saffron, Kusrunam, dyer’s saffron, Kunkuma-puvva, thistle saffron, Kunkumma-purru, bastard saffron, Kunkuma-kesara, parrot’s corn, Kunkumappu, American saffron, Kessar, Keshar, Kecara, Kashmirajanma, Jafran, Bhavarakta

Additional Info: This small-sized plant with a long lifespan is grown in many countries, but met more often in Iran, Sicily, Spain, and France. It appears in spring, when the root produces long leaves, located in a bulk, and reaching almost 2 feet in height. The leaves are fuzzy and green-colored. The plant blossoms at the end of summer or in early autumn, when a white-colored (or red-colored, depending on the type) flower appears.

Elements Applied: Dry stigmas are considered potent in herbal medicine.

History: The plant has acquired its name for an Arab word ‘zafaran’, which is translated as ‘yellow’. The name is linked with yellow-colored gowns, which Buddhist monks are dressed in. As an herb, saffron is quite pricey, due to the fact that only 1 pound of medical substance is extracted from 200 thousand flowers. Saffron has gained its popularity since the times of ancient Greece and Romans, who used the plants in cooking exotic dishes and as a dye. Spanish residents became common with it when Arabs brought it to the country. In Mediterranean cuisine the spice is highly valued.

Used For: The plant is applied to treat the respiratory system diseases, due to its expectorative effect, as well as to soothe pains of various types. Additionally, the plant is recognized for its nerve-soothing characteristics, its ability to fight meteorism, increase appetite and boost sexual desire.

Saffron is applied for colds, associated with strong cough, meteorism, insomnia, and bowel colic. Being a component of herb remedies, it was intended to increase appetite, and was even used for curing gout.

The plant is applied for its capacity to calm the nervous system down, and reduce spasms. Saffron is additionally applied in dyes and perfumes. The plant is applied for depression, liver enlargement, asthma, and fevers, but only in small quantities. The herb has no alternative to compete in its stimulative capacity, and its ability to increase sexual desire.

Additionally the plant is used to induce menstruations, and soothe the womb. It’s also applied for headaches, bowel disorders, rheumatism, hemorrhoids. Externally the plant is used for treating serious sores and bruises, as well as poisonous snake bites. In India saffron is applied for treating diarrhea, male infertility, and recurrent discharges.

Preparation and Intake: The plant is applied as a powder, tincture, milk decoction, and infusion. In form of infusion, the herb is applied in a quantity of 7 stigmas per half a cup of warm water. Drunk in a quantity of half a cup to a full cup daily, no sugar or honey added, with mouth full. In form of a tincture the quantity of saffron taken comprises 10 drops on average.

In form of a tea, the plant is prepared in a proportion of 1 to 80, and dosed by 3 ounces on average.

Safety: Not recommended for use during pregnancy. Acts as a drug if used in large dosage.

Warning! A poison which affects the kidneys and irritates the nervous system is found in saffron. An overdose in a quantity of 10 grams can bring one to death. Due to its high price and cheaper chemical alternatives, saffron is seldom applied as a medical remedy.