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Saffron Bulbs- Back Yard Diva

The Saffron Crocus

It has long been the most expensive spice in the world by weight, ten times more costly than vanilla. The reason saffron carries a hefty price tag is that its production is extremely labor intensive. It takes 80,000 crocus flowers to make only 500 grams of saffron after toasting. Despite its cost, many herbalists and natural health enthusiasts consider saffron’s health benefits to be worth their weight in gold. Saffron is a reddish-golden colored spice derived from the styles and stigmas of the flower of the saffron crocus (Crocus sativus). Used primarily for culinary purposes, a seasoning for rice dishes, pasta and more

In ancient cultures, saffron was used to relieve stomach aches and kidney stones and also as an agent in improving the circulation of blood. Saffron contains a number of carotenoids which are believed to be largely responsible for a number of saffron’s health benefits, including inhibiting skin tumors, improving arthritis and improving eye and vision health. Saffron also contains the compound “crocin”, which scientists believe to be the primary compound responsible for recent study results which found saffron promotes learning, memory retention, and recall capacity. Among the multiple health benefits of saffron are the treatment of asthma, menstrual discomfort, depression, atherosclerosis, whooping cough, and many other health problems. Some studies have also indicated that saffron may also have anti-cancer properties as well.

Growing Saffron at home is easy!
Saffron is planted in fall in moist, well-drained soil and it can be planted in full sun to partial shade. The corms are planted 3-4 inches deep, spaced 6 inches apart. Once the ground freezes,  mulch the garden bed heavily and keep it watered if the winter is too warm and dry. The Saffron crocus will grow in approximately zones 6 and up, in colder areas lift corms after the first light frost/freeze and transfer to a container for indoor blooms. Remember the corms must “believe” it has been winter, so if you are planning to grow indoors you will have to trick them.

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