For thousands of years, all the advanced civilisations have been praising the therapeutic qualities of saffron, alone or in combination with other ‘miraculous’ plants.
Saffron comforts, and brings joy.
For a long time, it has been one of the many ingredients used in the preparation of potions and universal panaceas, such as Andromaque’s Theriac, a famous antidote, made up of no less than 144 ingredients, including saffron.
In the Middle Ages, powdered saffron was used as a spray to clear the air of miasmas, during the plague epidemics.
Today, saffron has almost disappeared from the pharmacopeia. Apparently its only therapeutic use nowadays is to ease the pain when babies are teething.
The bulb also has scientifically proven virtues.
It has proved to be an indisputable nervous stimulant, as well as a sedative in case of toothache.
It is also an emmenagogue, which has an effect on the menstrual flow, and on congestive disorders of the uterus.
Current research is very interested in certain properties shown in the crocus sativus, such as anti-oxidants, and it may perhaps one day be used in the treatment of cancer.
To finish: is saffron toxic?
It’s a question I am often asked, and to which I have no answer, having noticed many times during harvesting that a large number of bees ‘doze’ inside the flowers. To this day, the mystery remains…
In fact, I think objectively that all plants may be both toxic and edible; it’s a question of intelligent doses. The amateur should therefore be cautious.