It is derived from an autumn flowering plant “Corcus Sativus”. It originally was first grown in Greece but now is primarily grown in Iran, India and Russia. In India, it is cultivated in Jammu & Kashmir as it got the perfect weather conditions to cultivate saffron. Corcus Sativus also known as saffron corcus blooms only for 1 month each year and every flower produces only 3 strands. It consists of various compounds and the 3 main compounds of Kesar are Crocin which gives it a deep red color, picrocrocin for that little bitter sweet taste and safranal for that sweet fragrance.
After collecting, the stigmas must be dried in order to store them for a longer period. Natural sunlight is used for the drying method to make it darker and to intensify its flavor. Specific climatic condition, slow growing process and skilled labor for hand harvesting are the major reasons that Kesar is one of the expensive spices in the world. Now, we got the clear idea about how Kesar is cultivated and collected. Now the next thing we need to know is why should we include it into our daily routine? What all benefits of Kesar and Saffron uses?
Health Benefits of Kesar
1- Improves Learning
Do you face problem while concentrating and remembering something for a longer period of time? Kesar has been considered as one of the most effective natural ingredient to improve memory and enhance learning. Many researches have shown that Kesar strands, basically its main compound crocin, enhances learning and memory retention. In Japan, it is used in the treatment of memory loss [/col_inner] [/row_inner]
4- Boosts Immunity
Kesar is rich in vitamin C which acts as an immunity booster. Vitamin C helps fight free radicals and strengthens the immune system. It acts as a shield against various infections and helps to provide relief from seasonal ailments such as cold and fever.
5- Improves Eyesight
It is a supper food for improving visual performance, especially for the old age group. Kesar is rich in Vitamin A which helps strengthen the eye muscles and improves eyesight. Clinical studies showed a significant improvement in vision performance. Kesar increases the blood flow to retina, and helps in restoring and protecting from any damage.
Beauty Benefits of Kesar
1- Protects From Sun Damage
As we all know that sun rays are really harmful for the skin, extreme exposure can even lead to some serious skin problems. Kesar is one of those natural spices that has powerful antioxidants to protect the skin from harmful effects of the UV rays. Kesar acts as a shield and is used in many of the sunscreens to protect the skin from sun damage. Studies have shown that sunscreen having Kesar works better than the other sunscreens. [/col_inner] [/row_inner]
- Soak a few strands of Kesar in lukewarm water just few minutes before adding it into your cuisine. It helps to enhance the aroma and flavor of the dishes and gives a vivid yellow color to the dishes.
- Kesar adds a little sweet and a savory flavor to the dishes and are mainly used in Indian, Persian and Turkish dishes.
In India, it is used in several dishes such as – Ras Malai, Saffron Rice, Kesar Kheer, Kesar Phrini, Biryani, Kesar Lassi etc. and adds a golden hue and a distinct aroma to delicacies.
- Kesar is also used in several ceremonial functions in India, such as in religious rituals. Hindu women use Kesar to make tilak or bindi which depicts good fortune and conscience.
- In India, saffron is considered as one of the ancient ingredients of the traditional perfumes. It is still used in perfumery usually with sandalwood for that pleasant and mild fragrance. Even is one of the famous ingredients of ayurvedic cosmetic products such as moisturizers and serums for brightening effect.
- Saffron can also be used as a toner, just add few strands of Kesar into rose water overnight. Apply it after washing face or after scrubbing.
- For skin brightening treatment, soak a few strands of Kesar in raw milk for an hour and apply it on your face for 20 minutes, use regularly for even skin tone.
- It can be used as a face mask for soft and glowing skin. Soak 3-4 Kesar strands in 2 spoon of raw milk for 2 hours and then add 1 teaspoon of sandalwood powder into it.
- Wash your face and then apply this face pack for 20 minutes. Use this once a week for effective results.
- Kesar can be used to heal wounds, in ancient times, warriors used to apply Kesar strands on wounds for faster healing. Kesar holds excellent healing properties that can help remove scars and spots for spotless glowing skin.
- For stimulating hair growth, Kesar consists of antioxidants that helps purify the scalp and promotes healthy hair growth. Soak 10-15 strands of Kesar in pure Almond Oil (Badam Rogan Oil) for minimum 2-3 days it will become a little orange in color. Apply on scalp and gently massage in circular motions and leave it for 2 hours or overnight. Rinse thoroughly and use this oil once or twice a week for effective results.
- In Ayurveda, Kesar has been used since ages for healing. It comprise of healing properties that helps treat the wounds naturally. It even has anti-inflammatory properties that helps reduce swelling and can treat both acute and chronic pain.
- It is used for therapies such as body healing and detoxification.
- Kesar Milk has been considered since ages to promote better health and increase immunity. It gives a warming effect and provides relief from cold and fever. For Kesar milk, add 2-3 strands of Kesar in warm milk for about 10 minutes and can also add honey as per taste.
Dosage 1 gram saffron is considered to be safe but the daily dose should be around 80-100 mg to get the desired results. Overdosing is not recommended. For Pregnant women, it is recommended to consult a health professional regarding the dosage. DISCLAIMER Just a friendly reminder, everybody has a different body type and every ingredient reacts differently on different people. So, it is advisable to consult a health professional for the required amount of dosage.