Saffron is a spice which comes from a crocus flower’s stigmata which are collected and dried. They have a distinctive red/orange colour. Iran accounts for around 90% of the production of it. It is the most expensive spice in the world. Some sites claim that saffron is $200-300 per ounce. A degree of uncertainty surrounds the origin of the English word "saffron". It might stem from the 12th-century Old French term safran, which comes from the Latin word safranum, from the Arabic za'farān, which comes from the Persian word zarparan meaning "flower with golden petals".
Saffron has been used for treating a variety of illnesses including measles, bladder, kidney and liver disorders and diabetes. Modern studies show that it may be useful in treating cancer by helping to fight tumors and easing the discomfort associated with chemotherapy. It has also been used to treat recovering alcoholics and is said to help repair damage done to the brain by alcoholism. An infusion of saffron is said to help relieve depression. Saffron has also been used as a fabric dye, particularly in China and India, and in perfumery. Saffron is widely used in Persian, Indian, European, and Arab cuisines. Confectioneries and liquors also often include saffron.
Magickally the Egyptians commonly used saffron to increase feelings of lust and enhance sexual pleasure, as it is a powerful aphrodisiac, and supreme in love sachets and oils. Saffron is also useful in spells aimed toward wealth and recognition, to bring strength. It can be infused into holy water and burned in censors for various rituals, but be aware that it can stain. An infusion of saffron is also said to help enhance psychic abilities. Rinsing bed linens in an infusion of saffron is said to help bring strength to the body while one sleeps. The Sumerians would often use saffron as an ingredient in love potions.
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