How to prepare Kesar Chai?

Looking for Kesar Chai Recipe? All you need is water, tea leaves, milk, saffron strands, sugar, and a few spices to make this super healthy beverage. Addition of saffron or kesar in boiling water gives the flavor and aroma to tea.
Try this simple and easy to make Kesar Chai as an invigorating way to start your day.
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Ingredients
1. 2 cups Water
2. 1 teaspoon Tea leaves
3. 1/4 cup Milk
4. Saffron strands (7- 8 strands)
5. cinnamon stick – 1
6. cardamom powder – 1 Tsp
7. sugar – 1½ tbsp or
To make it more healthy, add a teaspoon of honey.
1. Take a pan and add water, along with the saffron strands and cardamom powder, pepper, cinnamon stick and give it a boil.
2. Once it begins to boil; add the tea leaves. Allow the tea leaves to simmer in the water for about a minute and turn off the heat.
3. Once you add the tea leaves, allow it to brew just a little to ensure the tea stays light and does not turn bitter.
4. Stir in the milk into the chai and allow it to rest for a few seconds.
5. Strain the Kesar chai into the cups and serve. Add a few more saffron strands to the top while serving, this will give a great look and also add to the taste and flavor of the chai.
Benefits of Kesar Chai:
Here are the few health benefits of adding a flavor – (saffron) into your cup of tea/ chai:
Antidepressant:
Memory Booster
Cancer Prevention
Vision Health
Blood Pressure
Clear Skintone
Know more about India’s Most Trusted saffron – Kesari

What is Saffron?

Saffron:

where to buy kesar?
Origin of Saffron

Saffron comes from the Crocus sativus flower is the most expensive spice in the world and it has several health benefits.

Saffron is an exotic spice that is processed from the blossom of Crocus sativus, also popularly known as “saffron crocus” in lay terms. It qualifies as the most expensive spice as the saffron price per kilo is higher than that of any other spice on earth. It is often packaged and sold in packages of 2 gm or more. A tiny quantity of saffron is sufficient to color or flavor food as it has a compelling, earthy, flavor adds that distinct yellowish-orange color to various food preparations. The plant grows up to 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm) in height, and each plant bears just 4 flowers, each one bearing three stigmata in a bright crimson color.

These stigmata, known as saffron threads, are carefully hand-plucked and dried to be sold as one of the most sought after coloring and seasoning agents in the world. This exotic spice purported to carry amazing health benefits is native to Southwest Asia and was first discovered and cultivated extensively in Greece. Slowly, it traversed all over Eurasia before being introduced in parts of the Americas, North Africa, and Oceania. The chemicals picrocrocin and safranal are responsible for the distinct aroma of saffron, and it owes the distinct orange-gold hue to the carotenoid pigment crocin. No wonder that all it takes is a couple of threads of saffron to color and flavor an elaborate dish.

HISTORY OF SAFFRON:

Historically, the health benefits of saffron have been clearly recorded in detail by Ashurbanipal, the Assyrian king who lived in the 7th century and wrote a botanical treatise highlighting the qualities of saffron. This commodity has been traded extensively over four thousand years, and today Iran accounts for almost 90% of the world’s saffron production and sales. The name saffron may have originated from the French term safran, which in turn is derived from the Latin term safranum. Another school of thought propounds the belief that saffron originated from the Arabic az-za’faran, though safranum is derived from the Persian term za’faran.

Saffron is one of the key ingredients that can enhance the taste of the food alongside giving it a unique golden-red-yellow color. Saffron is not only used during preparation of sweets and savories but is also used as a medicine.

Know more about India’s Most Trusted saffron @ Kesari

Try using this amazing spice from Kesari.

Homemade Saffron Face Pack for a Flawless Glowing Skin

Homemade Saffron Face Pack for a Flawless Glowing Skin

A glowing, flawless skin is what most people yearn for. While some folks possess this naturally from birth, the same is not the case with the majority of the people who are not very happy with the tone of their skin. What with the deteriorating environment and high levels of pollution, not to mention a hectic lifestyle, your skin complexion is bound to be affected.

Common Remedies

Although there are many readymade face packs and other beauty aids that are very expensive though not very effective, it is better to go for a natural face pack that can give you a flawless skin and enhances facial beauty. It is an established fact that milk has some amazing benefits for your skin. Apart from being an excellent dietary supplement that helps strengthen the bones, milk works wonders on your skin.

Raw milk is a great skin-toner that makes an excellent homemade face pack. Applying raw milk after washing your face with cold water helps attain flawless skin. Although milk by itself makes a good face pack, other ingredients like rose petals or pure turmeric are added to increase the efficacy. However, one of the best natural ingredients that can be added to raw milk is pure saffron. A saffron face pack made out of powdered saffron and pure cow’s milk (raw) acts as an excellent moisturizer that helps tone the skin.

Saffron Milk Paste

The mixture of saffron and milk penetrates deep into the skin’s layers and conditions it, moisturizing and nurturing it in the process. Saffron for face has been recommended in Ayurveda as an excellent remedy for the skin and has been used since time immemorial. This amazing face pack helps in treating the problem of dry skin that peaks during winter. A homemade saffron face pack made out of natural saffron and pure cow’s milk helps attain a perfectly toned skin that is moisturized and well-nourished.

Natural Homemade Face Pack

What’s more, is raw milk mixed with powdered saffron in its purest form also acts as an excellent skin cleanser. This amazing face pack delves deep into the pores of the skin and removes the excessive oil. It also acts as a natural anti-tanning agent and helps keep the skin free of the ugly tanning caused by the harsh sun. Saffron for face acts as a natural fairness agent that helps control the secretion of tyrosine, thus controlling the production of melamine.  This great homemade face pack is gentle on the skin with zero side effects.

 

Role of Saffron in a drink

What is saffron?

Saffron is an exotic spice that is processed from the blossom of Crocus sativus, also popularly known as “saffron crocus” in lay terms. Every single flower has to be hand-picked because it is delicate and it has to be done before sun rise. It needs about a football field area of plants to get a just half kg of the spice. Hence its high price, however, you only need a pinch as it is very strong.

Many Individuals do not know the numerous health benefits and also has several therapeutic values that can be gained from using this amazing spice.

Why should we use saffron? (saffron benefits)

Saffron is being used for treating many numbers of ailments because of its healing properties. The carotenoid compounds responsible for its remarkable color have been found to be effective in preventing the growth or tumour. Saffron could help ease gastric problems, heart diseases, insomnia, anxiety, insulin resistance, premenstrual syndrome and depression. It has also been used for treating asthma, cough and dry skin and for building immunity and improving vision. So, we can blindly say that saffron is the ‘Grandmother’ of all healing traditions.

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Saffron is used as a colouring and seasoning agents in several cuisines. With an aroma that is reminiscent of metallic honey and a striking golden hue, just a pinch of saffron can enliven sweet or savoury dish effortlessly. Browse our collection of easy-to-make dessert recipes from our blog.

How to use saffron in a drink?

Warming, pounding and infusing the threads in warm milk helps to bring out the best of saffron by releasing its fragrance and color. Use it further as directed in the recipe.

Where to buy saffron?

To get the utmost benefit of saffron, the most important thing is to make certain that you are buying 100% real saffron from a reliable dealer. It is better to buy the best quality, pure and ISO 3632 certified saffron. You also need to make sure when you are buying saffron, look for deep red color dried threads.

 

If you are yet to encounter the essence of saffron, this is the right time for you to try it.

Try this amazing spice from Kesari.

Which is a good brand for saffron?

Which is a good brand for saffron? by Kesari Saffron

Answer by Kesari Saffron:

When shopping for saffron, look for the brand which offers the following:

ISO 3632 category Grade 1 Certification for Moisture free saffron strands.

HACCP and GMP certification for packaging quality.

Spice Board India Certification for no artificial coloring or preservatives added.

FSSAI certification for adulteration.

You could choose whatever is available locally to you which satisfy the same parameters.

One of the brands which satisfies all the above is KesariSaffron. Click here to try it yourself.

Which is a good brand for saffron?

Do you know the relation between ISO 3632 and Saffron? How it is graded?

Saffron is the most expensive spice by weight, there is a need for standards to safeguard the authenticity of this precious spice by ISO certification.

WHAT IS ISO 3632: 

ISO 3632 (The International Organization for Standardization)Grade-1 Certification gives consumers the assurance and confidence that the saffron they purchase is Authentic and Safe to consume..ISO 3632 classifies saffron into grade 1, 2 and 3 based on,  1.  Moisture level (dried) 2.  Crocin (colour ) 3.  picrocrocin (bitterness) 4.  saffranal (aroma).

Click this  video to find how ISO 3632 Grade 1 is tested.

Saffron Powder – Things you did not know about Saffron Powder

Saffron Powder – Things you did not know about Saffron Powder

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What is saffron powder?

Saffron, One of the most expensive spices in the world is used in two forms as saffron strands and saffron powder. Saffron Powder is just plain saffron threads grounded and made into powder form for easier use.

How to make saffron powder?

Use a mortar and pestle to crush the saffron threads. Grind saffron threads to make it into powder. To dry out the threads use oven rather than stove top heat which can easily burn them. Blazed saffron threads are unusable.

How to use saffron powder?

Remember! A little goes a long way. It can be diluted quickly in any kind of warm liquid or water and then add to the food. Use half the amount of powdered saffron if your recipe requires saffron threads. Use powdered saffron instead of threads when you do not really want to see the threads in a dish.

Where to buy saffron powder?

When shopping for saffron powder, make sure you purchase it from a reliable shop as powdered saffron may be cheaper than the threads but, in powdered saffron, there is a chance of mixing other spices like paprika, turmeric.  So it’s better to go for pure saffron powder. Kesarisaffron is the best place to get top quality saffron powder online. Buy saffron powder in small amounts and use within 3 to 6 months.

 How to store saffron powder?

It is highly suggested for the everyday users as it releases the color, aroma and flavor within seconds for instant use. If you wish to use saffron powder, you need to preserve its fragrance and aroma. Powdered Saffron is packaged in an air tight container to ensure that it will not catch moisture and the quality will stay for a long time. Store in a cool and dry place. Do not refrigerate. Protect from light. Powdered saffron is more delicate and lasts 3 to 6 months after use.

Benefits of saffron powder:

Saffron powder offers many advantages over the threads. It enhances the flavor of all your meals and beverages and gives them a characteristic golden yellow color, making every recipe more tasty, appetizing and healthy. Saffron powder can release aroma, color instantly and evenly. Saffron is convenient to use as it can directly added to dishes without toasting or pre-soaking.  Grounded saffron or powdered saffron dissolves easily into the foods, evenly flavoring the complete dish and the powder can be measured easily.

Saffron Powder Vs Saffron Threads

kesari-comparison

Kulfi-A Traditional and Healthy Frozen Dessert.

Kulfi

Kulfi is considered as one of the greatest Indian desserts. Kulfi is a traditional ice-cream made with boiled milk, sugar, saffron, pista, cardamom and is available in many flavors.

Kulfi is a frozen, milk based dessert, colloquially known as the Indian ice cream. Unlike the ice creams of the west, the kulfi is not churned, and the texture is to be dense and thick.

Origin of kulfi

The world ‘Kulfi’ derived from Hindi is said to be a synonym for the word ‘ice’, coined by the residents of the Himalayan region. The word is spelled as ‘qulfi’ in Persian, meaning ‘covered cup’.

Kulfi likely originated in the Mughal Empire, which dominated India in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. This was prepared in noble kitchens using ice brought in from the Himalayas. This is documented in the Ain-i-Akbari, an in- depth record of the Mughal emperor Akbar’s administration.

This is an ideal traditional dessert that kids love on hot summer days. Instead of buying it from the shop which has an artificial flavoring agent, follow this simple recipe and make kulfi at home with natural flavors.

Below are few useful tips that will help you in making perfect creamy kulfi ice cream.

Now let’s start our journey of making delightful kulfi.

Ingredients and Method of preparing Kulfi:

Things you will need:

1 Large, wide pot

Spatula for stirring

Stove

Molds

Ingredients:

5 cups of full-fat milk

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon of cardamom powder

1/4 teaspoon of saffron

1/4 teaspoon of saffron (kesar) strands

2 tablespoons of rosewater

2 tablespoons of chopped pistachios

2 tablespoons of sliced almonds

Method of preparing Kulfi:

Directions:

Boil the milk, till it is reduced to its half and thick.

Stir the milk frequently; otherwise, it will be scorched on the edges or at the bottom of the pot.

Reducing the milk to 3/4th of its original quantity, will take about 45 minutes.

Wait until the quantity of milk reduces to 2 cups (roughly) and add sugar.

Continue stirring and heat the mixture until it thickens.

Add other flavorings like saffron threads, rosewater and finely chopped pistachios to the mixture and mix it well.

Allow the mixture to cool.

Once the mixture is cooled down, transfer the mixture into kulfi molds or use small disposable cups as molds and freeze it for about 5 – 6 hrs.

To un-mold the kulfis, dip them in hot water and invert onto a shallow serving bowl.

Finally, garnish the kulfi with a sprinkle of saffron strands, crushed pistachios, and sliced almonds and serve it chilled.

 

 

Serving suggestions:

To unmold the kulfis, drop the molds briefly in a bowl of water and invert onto shallow serving dishes. Serve chilled. Serve kulfi topped with saffron, chopped pistachios, cardamom powder or along with rose syrup. Traditionally in India and Pakistan, kulfi is sold by street sellers called kulfi wallahs who keep the kulfi frozen by positioning the molds inside a huge earthenware pot called a “Matka”, filled with ice and salt. This is served on a leaf or frozen onto a stick.

 

Variations in Kulfi Recipe:

Matka kulfi and falooda kulfi are the two popular varieties of kulfis. Matka kulfis are the kulfis that are stored and served in earthen pots, while falooda kulfis are kulfis prepared with vermicelli. Now, kulfis are available in different variations like Mango, Almond, Malai, Pista and Cranberry.

 

Some Nutritional and Health facts related to Kulfi:

Nutritional Facts: There are 136 calories in 1 piece of Kulfi.  Fat – 7.55 g

Carbs – 15.77g   Prot – 2.4g

Health Facts:

  1. They are very rich in calcium and carbohydrates as they contain good amounts of milk.
  2. In any case, overweight and people with diabetics should avoid eating them in excess as they contain a higher amount of saturated fat and sugar.
  3. It has less calories and sodium.
  4. No artificial colour, flavour and essence are used in this kulfi recipe.

Click here to know other saffron related recipes.

 

12 benefits of saffron during pregnancy

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12 benefits of saffron during pregnancy:

Saffron can be found very useful during pregnancy if it’s taken in a moderate quantity. Let’s walk through in detail:

  1. Busts mood swings: Hormonal factors influence a lot during pregnancy which makes you cranky and inactive. A few strands of saffron in milk would boost your blood flow and stimulate your brains which will definitely raise your spirit. Next time you experience jittery about your body image, grab a mouthful of saffron-dashed snack.

 

  1. Reducing blood pressure: Just adding 2 or 3 strands of saffron in milk during pregnancy would help in reducing the blood pressure in pregnant women. It helps in relaxing the muscles and acts as a uterine stimulant.

 

  1. Helps in digestion: Gastric issues, constipation and bloating are the common issues during pregnancy period. Regular intake of saffron will stimulate smooth blood flow to the digestive system and increases metabolism.

 

  1. Fight against morning sickness: This priceless spice helps to fight against nausea and dizziness. Try sipping a refreshing saffron tea to a cup of hot coffee.

 

  1. Acts as pain reliever: This pure and natural product – ‘saffron’ acts a pain reliever to those who are suffering from muscular and joint pains especially during pregnancy time. It has anti-spasmodic properties that helps in de-stressing the muscles and relieves joint/stomach pain.

 

  1. Shoot-out anemia: Most women are prone to anemia. This amazing spice is enriched with iron and other essential nutrients required for the formation of red blood cells. Regular consumption of saffron will raise your haemoglobin level.

 

  1. Stay away from heart – related problems: During pregnancy time, most women have cravings for junk foods and ultimately they are at the risk of fats being stored in their arteries. Saffron protects your heart from keeping the arteries free from fat deposits.

 

  1. Encourages healthy sleep: Try having a cup of warm saffron milk or tea before your sleep. Because, saffron stimulates the hormones and earns you a sound sleep.

 

  1. Relieves sore gums: Here is a tip to overcome bleeding gums. Take a few saffron strands, grind it well and apply on your gums which will relieve your pain while brushing your teeth.

 

  1. Free from allergies: Allergies affect most of the pregnant women to a greater extent. In order to get rid of allergic problems, try applying the paste of sandalwood and saffron on your body. A cup of warm saffron milk will relieve you from cough and congestion issues.

 

  1. Improves hair growth: Hair fall is another problem faced by most of the pregnant mothers. Add a pinch of saffron to milk and apply it on the head to support the hair growth.

 

  1. Beat the dark circles: Saffron contains a lightening property that can help you to lighten your dark circles. Soak a few saffron threads in 4 tablespoons of warm milk. Leave it to soak for two hours. Apply the mixture using cotton around your eyes and leave it on for an hour. Wash it away using rose water.

 

This wonderful saffron spice contains nutrients like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, Vitamin A and Vitamin C as well as folic acid which are vital for you and your baby’s health.

Try using this amazing spice from Tatva health and wellness – a company that provides Pure,  ISO 3632 Certified and Trusted saffron online at Kesarisaffron.

Origin of the Most Expensive Spice – Saffron

This post is all about ” Origin of the most expensive spice – saffron”. Try using this amazing spice and enjoy its goodness and benefits.

Origin of the Most Expensive Spice – Saffron

Saffron often referred to as the golden spice, can be traced to Pre-Vedic times. The oldest book on earth (if it can be called a book) is the Rig Veda, though it was not written, but handed down orally from generation to generation. The Rig Veda and Yajur Veda too have references of saffron being used extensively. The Yajnavalkya Samhitha and Taitreya Samhitha mention the use of saffron during marriage ceremonies. The newly married couples were expected to use saffron along with other exotic perfumes including sandalwood, musk, cardamom and nutmeg. It was believed that when saffron and musk were mixed in the right proportions and added to sweets, they turned into potent aphrodisiacs.

The fact of the matter however is that no one actually knows when exactly saffron cultivation was first undertaken, nor is it known when humans started using saffron spice for various purposes. Most of the historians agree that saffron spice may have been first cultivated by the ancient Greeks. References in Greek mythology indicate that the handsome young crocus was smitten by a lady named Smilax, who was an extremely attractive nymph. However, his advances were spurned by the beautiful young lady and in sorrow the handsome young crocus turned into the purple crocus flower from which the strands of saffron threads are extracted.  The cultivation of saffron flowers dates back several centuries and has been described in several cultures and civilizations spanning various continents of the world.

The saffron spice is got from the delicate strands or stigmas of the rare crocus flower (crocus sativus) and is probably the most expensive spice grown on earth. The common belief is that saffron flowers were cultivated in countries like Greece, Iran and Turkey and some other parts of central Asia. It was the Persian kings who brought saffron to India where it became the most sought after spice. Another school of thought believes that it was the ancient Egyptians who first understood the uses and importance of saffron spice and it was used as an aphrodisiac by the Pharaohs of Egypt, and was a favorite of Cleopatra. It was also used in the temples of Egypt and most of the Royalty added the aromatic saffron spice in their bath water.

The Romans too used pure saffron extensively as a deodorizer and a preferred perfume. The Romans indulged in sprinkling the expensive saffron spice in their court halls and bedroom chambers because of its aroma. King Nero went to the extent of having saffron spice sprinkled on the streets of a city before entering it. It was during the Middle Ages that the use of saffron spice became popular in Great Britain. During the reign of King Edward III, a travelling pilgrim from the Middle East smuggled a saffron plant hidden in his tunic. The plant was planted in the fertile fields of one of the noblemen of a town called Walden. The plant was grown successfully and multiplied, and was then transported to the country side of Essex where it was grown extensively. Essex then became an important saffron spice trading center.

Coming to India, there are references in the Ramayana, where saffron was used in the preparation of certain royal dishes in the palace of King Dasaratha. The royalty often used saffron in the place of vermillion as tilak on the forehead. Even during Krishna Avathara, during the days of Mahabharata, legend has it that saffron was applied on the forehead as it was supposed to be very auspicious.

Historical references cite Spain as an important saffron spice growing country, though much later, sometime during the 14th century. Spain became a busy saffron trading country, and the Spaniards started exporting saffron spice in a big way. Spanish saffron got a reputation for quality, and quite a large area of land came under saffron cultivation pushing Spain to the number one position in saffron production. It is still a well-preserved cottage industry in the country sides of Spain, where traditional farming methods are used by passionate farmers who have descended from several generations of saffron cultivators.

Although many countries have been involved in saffron cultivation for several centuries, historians still believe that Iran must have been the country where saffron spice was first cultivated. Before being cultivated commercially, the saffron plant appeared as a self-growing plant that grew in the wild. This has been documented by Barteld Louffer, the American scientist who conducted extensive research on saffron and published his findings as research findings in 1917. The Khorasan region located in the north-east of Iran was the place where the saffron plant was grown extensively due to the favorable climate and soil conditions. From Iran, saffron spice was carried into Saudi Arabia and became very popular among the members of the Arab royal family.

The use of this golden spice and the saffron benefits have been extolled during the Buddhist period. The ancient Buddhists from China belonging to the Mula-Saraswativadin monastery claim that it was the Buddhist missionary belonging to India who went under the name Madhyantika, was the person to whom was entrusted the task of bringing the sacred saffron plant into India. He first sowed the seed for the saffron plant in Kashmir. However, China may have got the saffron plant through the Mongols from Persia, who invaded the country. Chinese medical texts carry references of saffron benefits and how saffron spice was used for medical purposes.  The Jains of the Swetamber sect used to apply saffron tilaks on their foreheads. They also used pure saffron in liquid form for anointing the idols of the main deities in their temples. The idols were anointed in 14 pre-designated spots that were known only to the high priests. Even the Dharmasutras have references of saffron spice being used extensively during marriage ceremonies and other religious functions. The marriage ceremonies of those days were elaborate affairs that lasted close to 5 days at a stretch. In one part of the ceremonies known as the sacred and important “gatrahridra” the ritual of applying pure saffron on the marriage couples’ bodies was believed to act as an aphrodisiac.

The ancient Indians also strongly believed that the saffron plant was brought into India and planted in the fertile lands of Kashmir by a couple of Sufi Saints. Kwaja Masud Wali and Sheikh Sheriffuddin Wali reached Kashmir during their wanderings. They happened to fall ill in the new land and sought medication from the local chieftain, who obliged.  The two Sufi Saints got cured in a very short time and to express their gratitude they gave the chieftain a bulb of the saffron plant to express their gratitude. The two Sufi Saints are still remembered to this day, and prayers of gratitude are offered during harvesting of saffron spice every year. However, here again there is some confusion and contradiction. The Kashmiri scholar and poet Mohammad Yusuf Teng is of the view that the saffron plant was present in Kashmir much before the visit of the Sufi Saints. He believes that saffron cultivation was popular in Kashmir over 2,000 years ago and there are several references in Hindu Tantra that knew about saffron cultivation and the medicinal uses of saffron spice.

Although there are no documented references for the movement of spices during ancient times in India, there are several references in the Mahabharata that the Royalty from various corners of the world visited King Yudhishtira’s courts carrying precious gifts for the king. When Yudhishtira conducted the famous Rajasuya Yagna the royal entourages attending came from various parts of the world, and carried back the famed saffron spice that was gifted to them in return. Even while Alexander the great invaded India, a lot of man and materials were being moved to and forth between India and Macedonia, and pure saffronwas one of the important spices that found its way outside India during those times.

However, there is conflicting information regarding the arrival of the saffron plant for the first time into India. Most of the information was sourced from Persian records which emphatically state that the saffron plant was first brought into India by the Persian Kings. The Persians invaded Kashmir and found that the soil was perfect for saffron cultivation,and the very first harvest may have been reaped during the period prior to 500 BC.

In India Ayurveda was practised from very ancient times. During the period covering 1500 BC to 500 BC there lived the famous Ayurvedic Physicians Susrutha and Charaka who were considered the fathers of Ayurveda. Charaka wrote extensively and his work was called the Charaka Samhita, which has several references to the use of spices in Ayurveda. Although asafoetida and black pepper were used extensively, saffron spice too was recommended for certain cases.

During the reign of the one of the greatest emperors Ashoka, the present day Kashmir came under the valiant king’s rule. Kashmir was strategically located and served as a meeting point for various trade caravans that criss-crossed the area from all over India and other parts of Asia, including the mountainous regions of China and Tibet. Kashmir was the trade route that most travelling traders took to reach the rest of the Asian and west Asian countries.

Vaghabatta was a renowned physician and his creation Ashtangahridhayam was a famous medical treatise during those days. He had the opportunity to treat Nagi Takashaka whom he was able to cure of a chronic eye ailment. In order to show his gratitude Takashaka offered Vaghabatta a bulb of the saffron plant. The overjoyed Vaghabatta planted the bulb in Pampur a fertile plateau, and went on to multiply the saffron plant rapidly.

Saffron benefits include several cures for chronic diseases. Saffron spice contains a carotenoid known as crocin from which saffron derives its distinct golden reddish color.  Crocin is responsible for triggering apoptosis or programmed cell destruction in various forms of cancer striking humans like leukaemia, carcinoma of the ovaries, and sarcoma. It has been clinically proved that the extract from saffron spice has the ability to successfully combat malignant cells and inhibit them. Saffron spice is also known to have properties similar to the magical Brahmi, which enhances memory retention and can be used in treating geriatric mental impairments.

Saffron spice has also been traditionally used to cure delayed puberty, especially in underdeveloped young girls, on whom saffron spice works as an excellent stimulant. Saffron mixed in cow’s milk is administered to such girls, and serves as a great stimulant for hormonal activity. Saffron also possesses great aphrodisiac properties and is a fantastic sexual stimulant that helps cure temporary impotency. A potent and stimulating tonic can be prepared from saffron, which is effective against common cold and pyrexia. A mixture of saffron and milk applied on the forehead offers quick relief from common cold.

In Ayurveda saffron spice is referred to as kumkuma, and is classified as varnya gana, and as the name implies (varnya denotes fairness and glowing skin) it is used to enhance the skin tone. Ayurveda pharmacology describes the taste of saffron spice as bitter, and mentions that it can stoke the ‘body fires’ efficiently. It is also used to treat disorders of the central nervous system and can cure Rheumatoid arthritis. Saffron extract is an excellent cardiac tonic and is used to treat several blood disorders that affect the heart.

Saffron spice is pretty expensive, and is probably the most expensive spice on earth. People may be surprised or even shocked to know that saffron price per gram is Rs.300. However, one needs to be cautious while purchasing as locating or identifying pure saffron may not be an easy task.

The best and easiest method is to pop a tiny strand in your mouth. If the saffron tastes sweet, you can bet that it is fake. Pure saffron tastes bitter, and the tasteis quite distinct. When mixed in a glass of hot milk, a strand of reddish saffron changes to golden colour, which means it is pure. Adulterated saffron strands will appear bleached. Pure saffron will always retain a bit of moisture, hence a dry strand of saffron is bound to be impure.

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