Saffron is extracted from a flower named “crocus sativus” and comes to our hand in nicely packed boxes. Saffron is a stigma from this very rare flower that blooms only in a week in every year and the flower bears only three stigmas. The process of collecting stigma from this flower is labour intensive. The labours have to collect this tread like stigmas early in the morning by hand and no equipment can be used because of the size of the stigma and only one ounce of saffron stigmas can be extracted from 75,000-200,000 crocus sativus flower. This makes this ingredient very expensive. The founder of this flower is known to be the Greece and eventually this plant is commercially cultivated in the countries like Morocco, India, Iran. These precious stigmas are used in may purposes like dying cloths, in food items, as a seasoning, as an ingredient in beauty culture, in traditional medicine.
Asian beauty culture gives a prominent place to saffron because of all the skin goodness that can be gained by adding saffron to the daily skin care routine. Well know queen Cleopatra too used saffron in her beauty regimen where she used saffron infused water to bath. Antioxidants in saffron makes it really important because antioxidants and skin benefits are two closely related positive energies. Promoting anti-aging, anti-inflammation, scar treatment, avoiding pimples, protecting from harmful UV rays are some of the miracles of antioxidants. Saffron includes some of the best antioxidants namely Crocin, crocetin, safranal and kaempferol. Crocin and crocetin is responsible of giving the nice reddish yellow colour to the saffron where applying or taking saffron orally will give the nice yellow color to the skin by avoiding fine line formation around the eyes, forehead and neck. Not only this, these two components will reduce the craving for food and will help to reduce weight immensely. Safranal has the ability of giving the distinct flavor and aroma in the saffron stigmas. Because of this aroma it can be used as the best agent to release stress. Therefore, having a good saffron face mask or aroma-soaked milk will help to relieve the stress. Because of this mood changing capability in saffron, it is called as the “sunshine spice”. Saffron has the possibility of protecting the skin from harmful ultra violet rays. Kaempherol, tannic, gallic, ferulic and quercetin are the responsible ingredients in this regard. These are some of the ingredients that are included in most of the sunscreens. Because of this we can say Saffron as the best remedy to protect from UV rays.
Mixture of made up of saffron strands (2-3 strands are enough) and bee honey or a mixture made of sandalwood powder and few saffron strands can be mixed using milk until it makes a paste and we can apply that on the face. We have to apply it on the well cleaned face but having wet face is important because the pack has to be applied and has to massage on circular motion to get best results and you can clean the face using lukewarm water after leaving the pack for about 20 minutes. This pack will be the best exfoliator too, to remove all the dead cells while removing all the black heads and white heads. Preparing a milk mixing few strands of saffron and leaving it on the milk for about one hour will allow to absorb all the nutrients in the saffron to the milk and this milk can be used to drink and can be used to apply on the face to get a glowing skin. For sun burns, you can apply saffron soaked milk (which is kept for an overnight) on the face and you can see the magic. Basil leaves and saffron are the best remedy to fight against the bacteria which cause acnes and pimples. A well-blended and thick mixture of basil leaves and few saffron strands will give you an acne free face. A mixture made with saffron and turmeric power which is prepared by adding some raw milk is the best remedy for pigmentation. But still you have to do these treatments on regular basis to take the best out of saffron
Though it gives massive benefits it is really hard to find a good saffron product because fake products are available in the market. Therefore, when selecting a saffron always try to get to a reliable manufacturer. When storing, if you can store in a cool, dry and dark place, you can store the saffron for about one year under good condition. It is said that, there is no side effects from saffron but, consuming highest amount of saffron is not good therefore, it is advisable to take 1.5g of saffron a day and pregnant ladies should avoid high consumption of saffron because it may cause adverse effect for the baby but some pregnant women used to drink saffron infused milk to enhance the skin colour of the yet to born babies but the connection between the skin colour of the infants and pregnant women drinking saffron milk has not proven by the scientists. Therefore, if you are a pregnant woman you have to take doctor’s advice before using it.