Saffron crocus (Crocus sativus) is a perennial plant that blooms in autumn and is unfamiliar in wildlife. The red carpophore of saffron crocus from which the saffron is made, makes it the most expensive spice and medicinal plant in the world. It is also used in cosmetics, perfumery, for the manufacture of paints and inks, decorations for landscaping and others.
Used as a spice, saffron has a slightly bitter taste, semi-sweet, with honey flavor, it has the scent of the sea and the flowers, it is similar to perfume and has a hay flavor.
It gives the food a bright yellow-orange color. Because of that, it is widely used in Arabic, Central Asian, European, Indian, Moroccan and Iranian cuisines. It is used for flavoring and coloring of light broths, vegetable soups, rice, seafood, all kinds of meat. Saffron does not come close to taste to any other spice and cannot be replaced or copied.
Saffron is very good for people’s health and is widely used as a medicine. Contains antioxidants, essential oils (safranal oil gives the saffron the flavor and the aroma), carotenoids (a-crook gives its golden yellow color, lycopene, beta-carotene, etc.), vitamins (vitamin C, vitamin A and the vitamins from group B) minerals (potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, selenium, etc.).
Saffron has an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, brain-toning action and immune stimulating effect. Saffron-based medicines are used to treat depression, and as an anticonvulsant, in medicines that aim to improve digestion, etc.