Saffron has been a treasured spice for many centuries in the Middle East as valuable herbal medicine and as an exquisite addition to culinary traditions. The superior value of saffron is owed to the labor-intensive process of hand-picking its delicate stigmas. This process preserves the spice quality and color as well as their many medicinal benefits.
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Potential Health Benefits of Saffron
In addition to its use in traditional Persian cuisine, the saffron spice has numerous medicinal properties due to the high concentration of crocin, one of the natural chemical compounds contained in the plant. Crocin has an array of antioxidants that provide soothing relief from headaches, pain, or even stress. Saffron can have many beneficial effects on improving blood circulation, treating gastrointestinal problems, and helping to maintain healthy skin.
How to Use
Firstly, grind saffron stigmas using a mortar and pestle; you may add a pinch of coarse sugar for better abrasion. Next, dissolve the ground saffron in 2 tablespoons of warm water. When dissolved, add to your food as desired.
Alternatively, steep two to three saffron stigmas in hot water (between 160° F/71° C and 170°F/77°C) for about 15 minutes. When the liquid has changed to a deep orange color, it is ready for use.
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