The saffron plant is a round, green plant that blooms in the spring, when the air is full of fresh, sweet, fresh air. It also grows during the hottest time of the year—March through May. The entire plant has a reddish-orange colour—it contains over 70 per cent of red pigments called cyanoids—and the flowers are white. The saffron itself can be found in the wild, but it’s only used in saffron lamps, which are made from refined flour, starch and sugar.
Why is saffron so special?
Saffron has the power to heal and revitalise. In India it has been used for centuries to cure everything from headaches to ulcers. Because of its healing properties, it has a rich, luxurious and delicious taste. Some of the most popular Indian dishes served in North America, like the Maharamooji chile, are made with saffron. It is also the basis of so many perfumes and soaps.
How many saffron leaves are there in an ounce of saffron flowers? How is the oil used to make candles, cosmetics and shampoos?
Every ounce of saffron has 2,240 drops of oil—about 0.12 ml for every pound of flower. The oil used to make any of these fragrances and other products comes from the leaves of the saffron plant. Saffron oil is derived from all parts of the plant except the seeds, which is extracted by mechanical and physical means. The seeds are not necessary to make a fragrant scent, but they are quite distinctive and very rare. Most of the fragrances that are made from saffron are fragrance blends that include some or all of a fragrance extract made from the seeds. The oil from the leaves also smells pleasant to the nose and has a faint sweet smell that is characteristic of saffron oil.
What do you use to cut down on the cost of saffron? Is it still worth its cost now?
Saffron is actually quite expensive to grow and to produce. It’s the first and most profitable component of the plant, so when the price is too high, you make a point of growing saffron to keep the cost down. You can cut costs by growing saffron during cooler winters where it’s more productive and you can use those leaves to cover windows and doors so no pests are able to get in!
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