Saffron [crocus sativus] = KarkomSaffron [crocus sativus] has many names in various languages: Safran, saffron, zafferano, azafran, komar-romar.Known in Jewish sources as Karkom.[not kurkum, which is turmeric]More expensive than platina, but worth it! The pistils [the female reproductive part of a flower] are used.Each flower has only 3 pistils, and for 30 grams of saffron, one needs some 5000 flowers [15000 pistils ]A wonderful spice known since biblical times: every day we mention in the prayers when saying the korbanot [offerings] in”pitum ha-ketoret” the word karkom together with the other spices.English website about ketoret:http://www.betemunah.org/ketoret.htmlFurther mentioned in shir ha-shiurim [Song of Songs], Saffron is very well known in Spain, where it is used in dishes called paella where saffron gives the dish a golden colour.It is suggested that saffron may play a role in longevity in Spain in general.The Italian dish risotto Milanese is also well known., as well as the French bouillabaisse.[may contain not kosher see food]Saffron can be bought as red-gold threads in little bags or as a powder.As it can easily be adulterated with cheaper yellow spices like turmeric [curcum], it is wise not to buy it in powder form.The quality can vary tremendously, and this is not the place to discuss this subject, and also not to the very long, fascinating history of this spice.Two of the clearest modern uses of saffron are treating various cancers.[colon cancer, ovarium cancer, also leukaemia, and even sarcoma.] and for the treatment of depression. Nowadays, it is also highly recommended for the prevention/treatment of macular degeneration.I would strongly advise anyone under oncological treatment to add saffron to their daily meals.Already from old, it has been described as “refreshing the spirits” [culpepper]High doses [even from 1.5 grams and certainly 5 grams or more] should not be used as these can be toxic and also can cause abortions.Nobody will likely do this as it is far too expensive!A nice Dutch book writes humoristically that if you take too much saffron, you may “die” from happiness ……]๐Ÿ˜‡Culpepper [17 the century] writes that it is good for hysterical depression [ an old term, not used nowadays][see also the very end of this article]Whenever the word “hysteria” is used in older writing it also means that there is an influence on the female organs [uterus], so saffron has been used for various menstrual problems. It has a balancing effect on the periods. If the menstruation does not come “smoothly,” you may use it, especially โ€œwhen the blood is black, viscid, clotting, forming itself into long black stringsโ€ (Clarke, 1900, 607).[Wood]In normal small amounts, it can be used during pregnancy without danger. Culpepper also mentions it further for cough, lung problems and digestive problems[“strengthens the stomach”]Very useful for children with fever, abdominal cramps[ infantile colic], against restlessness during teething,[ just a few threads for a cup of tea. Because of the yellow-reddish pistils, it was, of course, also used for jaundice.[doctrine/colour analogy]Patents have been developed for compounds which are found in saffron for the treatment of spinal cord injuries and even for cerebral oedema in catsThe same has been true for the treatment of blood vessel damage and high blood fats [lipids].Even if these are animal experiments, it is quite likely that using saffron [instead of the patented compounds] may have sort of effects on human beings, especially when saffron is known to be “mood-lifting” and is not a bad thing for the heart and vessel problems.Also, it will certainly be a good idea for more functional problems like nervous heart palpitations.Saffron also has been highly prized as an aphrodisiac.Saffron tea has been used in the past for children with measles [a real proven grandmother remedy] and also during various epidemic infections like smallpox; the last mention was eradicated from the earth in 1979 by one of the most successful [ vaccination ] campaigns in the history of medicine.[Please, also see the article I sent to you [ if you are on my mailing list] about measles and the very important issue of taking high doses of vitamin A if a child get measles ]Whereas every food, spice, etc. may be good for one person with a certain constitution, it may be less appropriate for another one with another constitution.Saffron is considered to be good for all constitutions/doshas [vata, pitta,kapha] in the traditional medical system of India [so-called Ayurveda ]To give two more examples in this connection of doshas: cumin and fennel also work positively on all constitutions according to Ayurveda [good for everybody]Ginger, as well as other spices, are very important but may not be good for everybody [they will certainly not cause “damage”, but certain people may do less well of with them]Something about the quality: the pistils [the “threads”] should be bright orange-red if it is of high quality.The redder, the better!It should not have any yellow in it.If saffron is used in cooking it is often added at the end of the cooking process.It is best to steep a pinch or so of the saffron in a cup of hot water for at least 20 minutes beforehand [longer is even better]. This amount will be enough for 1/2 kg of rice. Don’t take out the pistils[the threads, don’t sieve!!], add it all to the cooking dish.If the saffron is artificially coloured, the water will get red directly; this is a sign of falsification [artificial colouring]Another idea of amounts to be used:1/4 grams may be enough for a dish for 6 persons.And last: for coffee lovers: add some cardamon and some saffron to your cup of coffee.It may help prevent palpitations even for the “most sensitive ones” between you.To end with an unbelievable story [but this can be the power of homoeopathy from the famous Clark:

On one occasion, in the hospital, I happened to see a young girl who was really desperately ill with heart failure and valvular disease in a fit of hysterical laughter. This made me think of Crocus. The only definite sensation she complained of in the heart region was a “jumping” sensation. Crocus 30 was given, and very soon, she could lie down flat (after having been propped up for weeks), and from that time, she made aย rapidย recovery.