Crocus Sativus is commonly known as Saffron. It is a perennial plant which grows up-to 20-30 cm, bearing a maximum of four flowers, each with three detailed crimson red stigmas, which form at the distal end of the carpel. These stigmas, along with the styles and stalks, when dried, are used as a seasoning and colouring agent. Saffron is native to Greece and South West Asia, and is mostly cultivated in Greece. It requires irrigation if cultivated in arid regions. It can withstand any kind of climatic conditions.
The oil extracted from Saffron has woody, hay like colour. It has a spicy undertone. The oil is anti-mutagenic, anti-carcinogenic, immunomodulating, and is an antioxidant. Thus, the saffron oil is used in a wide variety of products.
The extraction of oil from saffron is primarily done by the process known as Alcohol Extraction. This process offer a higher soluble solid content, and a greater level of desired compounds than conventional measures of extraction.
The composition of Saffron oil is as follows
Carbohydrates (12.0–15.0 units)
Water (9.0–14.0 units)
Polypeptides (11.0–13.0 units)
Cellulose (4.0–7.0 units)
Lipids (3.0–8.0 units)
Minerals (1.0–1.5 units)
Non-nitrogenous substances ( 40.0 units)
Medicinal Uses: Saffron oil is a great medicine for the heart. It is also used in various other home remedial measures, such as acne treatment, arthritis treatment, treating asthma, cough dyspepsia, sore throat etc. It also improves weak eyesight, and is useful in sexual disorders. Saffron can also help to recover from severe depression disorders.
Household Uses: Saffron extract has immense value when added to various items while cooking. The aroma of saffron adds to the flavour of any dish. The European traders are always eager to find the enchanting aroma of saffron in their dishes.
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