Kashmir is known for its high-quality saffron, a spice derived from the crocus flower. First cultivated in Greece, saffron has been grown in the Kashmir valley for hundreds of years. The small town of Pampore, where thousands of hectares of land is used for saffron cultivation, is just about half an hour's drive from Kashmir's summer capital, Srinagar. More than 75,000 crocus flowers are needed to produce one pound of saffron.
Uses Of Saffron
The uses of saffron(kesar) are multiple. Its primary usage is as a flavoring agent in sweet dishes especially those made from milk, it is also used to flavor curries and rice-based dishes. It has a lot of medicinal properties and is widely used to prepare medical formulations in several native systems of medicine such as Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Bach remedies.
Health Benefits of Saffron
- Promotes Mental Health: Mental stimulation is among the health benefits of saffron.
- Helps Prevent Macular Degeneration
- Benefits Skin: Antioxidants present in it has anti-aging properties; thus, keeping the skin supple and radiant.
- Prevents Hair Loss: It helps prevent hair from falling by strengthening each strand from root to tip.
- Saffron Has Hormonal Health Benefits: Saffron can influence the endocrine system to a certain extent and stimulate the release of certain hormones.
- Good for the Heart: It is rich in potassium, potassium dilates blood vessels and arteries, allowing blood pressure to decrease; thereby preventing atherosclerosis, heart attacks, & strokes.
- During pregnancy: Saffron has an estrogen-like effect, which helps prioritize blood flow towards the pelvic area during pregnancy.