Kesar or saffron as it is popular called is a wonder spice for complete rejuvenation and refreshing health and beauty. Of fine red and yellow threads and sweet fragrance, the wonder spice is an elixir of life. Its many properties include medicinal ones for great health and beauty. Owing to its several use and benefits for overall wellness of the body and the mind, and the painstaking labour of harvesting and processing it for consumption, kesar remains one of the most expensive spices in the world. Currently, it is priced around Rs 4 lakh a kg in India's Kashmir. While the commercial production in India is small, Iran is said to be one of the biggest producers of kesar. Over 90 per cent of global production comes from Iran. However, the ancient use of kesar in food as a complete wellness spice is traced to Greece. Today, many wellness experts and scientists have found more of its goodness in different forms. Hence, its use for health and beauty today has become a common practice across the world.
What is Kesar or saffron?
Kesar is produced from the red and yellow thread-like stigmas and styles of the flower which biological name is crocus sativus or saffron crocus. The flowers bloom in Autumn and gives off a sweetly intoxicating fragrance. When the flowers are in full bloom, the stigmas and styles are freshly and carefully picked, collected and dried. The crimson sun-dried form is used as a flavouring and colouring agent in food and as dye in cloth. It is said that the stigmas from a freshly picked flower yields an average 30 mg of fresh saffron or 7 mg dried ones. In fact, it takes thousands kesar flowers to produce a single gram of saffron.
Five Health Benefits of Kesar
Dried kesar or saffron has high carbohydrate content and is rich in vitamins and minerals. Owing to its high nutritional content and medicinal properties, the spice is used in food as seasoning or flavouring and to treat several ailments and health problems.
- Kesar is used to treat common ailments such as pain, cough and cold. Saffron works as a pain reliever and an expectorant. Its intake helps to clear the phlegm in the throat.
- Kesar helps to treat asthma. Consumption of kesar helps to breathe better and treats chest congestion as it clears the air passage.
- Kesar treats stress and insomnia. Saffron works as an aromatherapy. It completely rejuvenates the body and mind. It busts the stress and induces a good and sound sleep.
- Kesar treats flatulence: The intake of saffron helps to reduce intestinal gas and treats bloating sensation. It also helps to treat heartburn caused by high acidity.
- Kesar treats Alzheimer’s: While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, consumption of kesar can help arrest the onset of the disease and other neurological disorders. Kesar also helps to slow the progress of Alzheimer’s. Since Alzheimer’s also causes depression and memory loss, the resultant effect of consuming kesar is interrelated. It is said to help treat depression and boost the brain activity.
Five Beauty Benefits of Kesar
- Kesar boosts ageless beauty: Kesar, apart from being used in food, is also used as a beauty ingredient. The rich content of vitamins and minerals in kesar or saffron is said to slow down the aging process as the intake of it improves the overall health condition.
- Kesar for glowing skin: Many believe that kesar is beneficial for the skin in many ways. The antioxidants present in it is said to treat several skin infections and beautify the skin. Hence, regular intake of kesar can help provide fairer and glowing skin.
- Kesar treats acne: The medicinal properties in kesar is said to help treat acne. Since it is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial, applying a paste of it on the affected spot twice or thrice a week can help rid acne from the face.
- Kesar rids scars and wounds: Kesar is said to be a wonder spice for blemish free skin. Apart from removing acne, application of saffron or kesar paste on wounds speeds up healing and helps remove scars effectively.
- Kesar treats dry skin: There are several kesar beauty recipes to boost the skin condition. One being, a mix of lemon juice in kesar paste. Application of it on the skin helps to tone and brighten dry skin. It also cures cracked lips.
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It is expensive, but if you get a hold of this wonder spice, do not waste it. Make the most of kesar for great health and beauty. Stay fit and beautiful.
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