You can substitute saffron tea for coffee if you prefer to avoid the caffeine jitters. You can make hot tea from saffron threads by steeping them in boiling water, or you can chill the tea and drink it cold. Try adding mint, lemon, and honey leaves as well as other herbs and flavors.
What is saffron?
Saffron’s healing properties have made it a prized spice for ages. Crocus sativus is the plant that produces this spice. It is edible, as evidenced by this saffron tea recipe, and can also be used medicinally. A single pound of saffron is produced by 70,000-250,000 flowers, so it is not surprising that saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. A single pound of spice is worth more than a pound of gold.
History of saffron:
For thousands of years, saffron has been considered a valuable commodity in ancient cultures. It is one of the earliest and most prized spices on the planet. Known as the golden dye, saffron was first harvested over 3,500 years ago in central Asia but was mentioned in ancient texts, including the Bible and ancient Chinese medical books, as far back as 1500 BCE.
Saffron takes its name from the Arabic word for yellow (zaffran), and is prized for its gold and red threads. Early trading of this precious spice took place throughout Eurasia, where it was prized as a medicine and aphrodisiac by emperors, kings, and pharaohs. Prior to meeting with suitors, Cleopatra was said to have taken a saffron milk bath.
What does saffron taste like?
There are subtle notes of fruit, honey, or flowers in the flavor of this expensive spice. The taste of saffron is unique and difficult to describe because of the chemical compounds picrocrocin and safranal, which are responsible for its bright yellow coloring and distinct flavor.
Health benefits of saffron
As a highly valued culinary ingredient, this spice has numerous benefits and medicinal properties. Researchers think saffron can be used as a calming agent while mensuration. Here are some other benefits of saffron:
1. Possibly aid against cancer
Saffron contains crocin, a dark orange, water-soluble carotenoids that protect against cancer. The effects of Crocin on human cancer cells have been demonstrated to include leukemia, ovarian and colon adenocarcinomas, as well as soft tissue sarcomas.
2. Mood booster
Among its many uses, saffron is used in the treatment of depression and anxiety. Safranal, crocin, crocetin, are powerful antioxidants found in saffron, among many other compounds. Many clinical trials have examined the medicinal benefits of saffron, and they have suggested that saffron may be able to help with a number of conditions.
More saffron benefits:
Besides being a mood booster and possible aid for depression, anxiety, and cancer, saffron also has these benefits:
- Known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Helps in reduction in appetite and assisting in weight loss.
- Plays an important role in improving mental function.
- Helps relieve the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
- Protects brain cells from oxidative stress.
- Known for aiding in erectile dysfunction and acting as an aphrodisiac.
- Helps treat early stages of macular degeneration.
- Prevents and treats Parkinson’s disease.
- Helps with the prevention and treatment of various types of cancer.
- Reduces cholesterol and has many other cardiovascular benefits.
- Helps in lessening the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Helps improve sleep quality.
- Widely used in beauty products.
Saffron tea recipe:
- 2 cups water
- 6 to 8 strands of saffron
- 1 tsp agave nectar (optional)
- Mint leaves (optional, but a great addition if you want that kick of freshness.)
- Lemon wedge (optional, but again adds a fresh citrusy note to the tea.)
How to make saffron tea?
To make your tea, bring water to a boil, then turn off the heat. In a cup, put the saffron and agave, pour the boiling water on top, give it a stirring and let it sit for a couple of minutes (it will turn the water a bright yellow color due to the saffron). You may add mint and lemon if you wish. And that’s it!
You can prepare a refreshing summer drink by chilling saffron tea. There is nothing like a delicious iced tea made with peaches and saffron! Also try saffron milk tea, which is made with rooibos and cardamom, and can be enjoyed throughout the year.
Variations to saffron tea:
Saffron milk tea: You can boil some saffron strands in water, add some non-dairy milk and sugar, and let it boil. This aromatic creamy saffron tea is all you need in winter.
Saffron masala tea: Crush some cinnamon, black pepper, and cardamom. Boil the dry spices with some saffron strands in water. Add tea and let it boil. Once it’s done boiling you may add some honey and enjoy hot.
Saffron ginger green tea: Grate some ginger and let it simmer in hot boiling water with some saffron strands, add the green tea and let it boil for a minute or so, strain, and serve hot with some lemon and honey.
More healthy herbal teas:
- Mint Tea
- Rooibos Tea
- Oregano Tea
- Chaga Tea
- Moringa Tea
- Parsley Tea
- Mango Leaf Tea
- Immunity Booster Tea
- Pineapple Peel Tea
- Fennel Tea
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- To make your tea, bring water to a boil, then turn off the heat.
- In a cup, put the saffron and agave, pour the boiling water on top, give it a stirring and let it sit for a couple of minutes. It will turn the water a bright yellow color due to the saffron.
- You may add mint and lemon if you wish. And that's it!