Saffron is considered one of the most precious treasures on Earth. Its name was derived, as early as the 12th century, from the old French term "safran". His Majesty the Saffron was revered by the saints, and its colors tinted the garments of world’s nobility!
One of the earliest records of saffron use is found in cave paintings. They were created by cavemen some 50,000 years ago, in the territory of present-day Iran, with the red colours containing traces of the precious dye.
Throughout history, in Ancient Egypt, saffron was used by Cleopatra and other pharaohs as a seductive essence.
Persians are believed to have been the first to discover the "red gold", and with the increase of maritime trade, they spread it across the world.
People started using it in their daily lives: in their rituals, to dye textiles and in cosmetics.
The first written evidence of use of this gentle treasure was found in a botanical record compiled by Ashurbanipal, in the 7th century BC. There, the use of saffron is mentioned in the treatment of about 90 diseases. Slowly but majestically, saffron crocus reached as far as North America and Oceania.
As an exotic spice, saffron was highly valued in Greece for its aromatic and coloring properties. It was used frequently for the treatment of insomnia and reduction of headache after excessive drinking of Greeks favorite wine.
One of the most interesting legends relates that the emperor Mogol Akbar loved the smell of crocuses, so much that saffron fields were planted around the windows of the palace’s bathrooms. The idea was that, when the wind blew, the fragrant aroma of the flower could come through the open windows and spread the pleasant aroma.
However one thing is certain, no substitute of this small, precious flower has yet been discovered!