There are over 3,000 varieties of saffron, which we all have probably come across. In fact you’re likely to come across this one on any supermarket shelf – and if you like the smell of saffron, you can buy it in some fancy shop. So, saffron is one of those things that all gardeners and growers of all kinds need. However, it has its place in any garden if they like the smell of saffron, and if it looks interesting.
The plants most likely to produce saffron are saffron amaranth, white rose, sesame and yellow sesame. The plant we’re after is sesame (Rhipiceae) amaranth, and this, in turn, is also a variety of rose (Vaccinium) amaranth.
What’s the history and cultivation of saffron?
Ancient texts from Egypt and Greece all state that saffron was used to cure diseases and to increase the fertility of the fertile soil on which plants were grown – with these benefits attributed to plants in the genus Amaranth. A modern-day scientific investigation into the plant confirms the role of saffron in medicine. While the medical benefits of saffron are no longer known, our scientific understanding of this ancient herb is in its infancy.
Why use saffron?
As discussed above, it’s not only a wonderful aroma, it does very little to harm the plants’ growth. In fact, it works like the sun, so the lower temperatures that saffron grows in, the more its leaves will stay open. As a result, each flower also releases more energy as the plant grows. The flower buds also give rise to very tender stems, which also look more delicious.
What are the best parts of saffron?
The leaves which grow from the saffron plant are a perfect mixture of edible parts, and the flowers, although not all that strong, are very fragrant. They are also very high in Vitamin B13, Vitamin C, and Phosphorus, and are also rich in Vitamin E. For a healthy body we also have high quantities of Vitamin A, and many types of Omega-3 fats. A cup of saffron leaves contains more antioxidants than 1 orange , and it’s thought that this is due to the fact that the plant is rich in antioxidants. Other components in saffron include essential oils: essential oil extracts are used
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