History and powers of saffron
happy to share a new video and information about a sacred and powerful plant : SAFFRON Crocus sativus.
Its cultivation has been developing again in France in around forty departments over the past twenty years. While large areas were devoted to it in the Middle Ages, until the 18th century, in particular in Albigensian and Quercy, which contributed to enriching these regions.
It was introduced in Spain, in the region of La Mancha by the Arabs and was famous in the Middle Age, to fight against the Black Death and very much used in cooking.
It was already mentioned in the Ebers papyrus on the Egyptian pharmacopoeia, 3600 years ago.
Hippocrates, Homer, Virgil already mentioned its stimulating, digestive, antispasmodic properties which have never been denied since.
Since Antiquity, it has also been highly appreciated for dyeing fabrics a luminous yellow: togas of ancient Egypt, royal clothing, Roman veils, medieval illuminations, tunics of Buddhist monks.
Its highly symbolic color has the value of wealth and joy.
Since Antiquity, the saffron flower has been the subject of many legends. The Greeks lend it a divine origin; it is a symbol of purity for the Assyrians who have it picked by young virgins, an object of worship among the Phoenicians who spread it in the Mediterranean, a sacred flower for Buddhists and Hindus.
The Romans and Greeks sprinkled powdered saffron on the floors of banquet halls and theaters and even the streets on days of triumph. This is how 90 kilos of saffron were used for the parade of the war fleet, in the time of Ptolemy.
Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel frescoes with a mixture of saffron stigmata, white travertine and umber powder.
It is the most expensive spice today because it takes 150,000 to 180,000 flowers to obtain 1 kg of "pistils-stigmas" (the reproductive organs of the plant) with prices of 4 to 40 euros per gram. Hence its name "red gold".
Indeed, saffron has nearly 150 different active ingredients, including carotenoids, terpenes and flavonoids which give it many therapeutic properties.
Saffron is a natural antidepressant and anxiolytic used in mild to moderate depression; an analgesic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and very good for digestion. Saffron helps to reduce stress, tension and nervousness and helps to find better sleep.
Safranal allows a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure in healthy subjects, as well as a reduction in mean arterial pressure. It helps to rebalance male sexual dysfunction: a study Modabbernia et al. (2012) showed that taking 30mg of saffron daily for 4 weeks helps to decrease erectile dysfunction. It is also obviously a powerful culinary aromatic.
I have gathered knowledge about pharmacopeia in various files bilingual french english .