Tart with exotic overtones of saffron, this golden hued lemonade delights the taste-buds in late summer warm days. Saffron softens the tartness of limes adding a different twist to a classic summer drink. Not only wonderfully refreshing, this beverage also delivers some great health benefits.
Eastern View: Limes are popular in the summer because they are cooling. Both limes and lemons do this by opening the pores in your skin, allowing heat to release by way of your sweat. As your sweat glands are a detoxifying channel; limes aid in detoxification in the summertime. And, we are not quite out of summer yet!
Saffron too has a cooling effect. So, when hot tempers flare on those dog-days of summer, saffron keeps you even keeled, restoring balance. Saffron is a blood purifier which will help with any symptoms of overheating, heat rashes, migraines and hot-flashes.
Despite its cost, many medical practitioners consider saffron’s health benefits to be worth their weight in gold. Saffron has its importance in Ayurveda, Chinese, Unani, and Tibetan medicine.
In Ayurveda reference of Saffron is found in the ancient books (Vedas). Its snigdha (oily) and laghu (light) properties, along with its bitter taste pacifies all doshas. Saffron also has a unique vipaka (post digestive process) of helping assimilate nutrition. It is also hot in potency and said to pacify and support all three doshas (vata, pitta and kapha). Saffron is considered a sattvic food which means it calms and grounds the central nervous system too.
It has been traditionally prescribed to control phlegm, improve respiratory function and as a lung tonic. Saffron has bronchodilator effects it helps in improving pulmonary oxygenation hence it’s used in conditions like whooping cough, asthma, cold, cough, and throat ailments. Saffron has properties to improve vision and correct weak eyesight.
Saffron is a cardio tonic and has anti-atherosclerotic effects which help in lowering blood cholesterol and triglycerides. This spice is a powerful liver tonic and carminative. It is used for the improvement of digestion and increases appetite. It helps in ailments like indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea, acidity, spleen ailments.
Sedative action of saffron helps in curing insomnia, a pinch of saffron taken with warm milk at night helps curing insomnia. Saffron is also known for its exhilarant and antidepressant activity which leads to the sense of well being. The effects of saffron in the improvement of depression are excellent.
Saffron also possesses aphrodisiac properties hence it’s used to cure impotence. Saffron is most useful in enhancing the vitality of men. The positive effects of saffron include increasing libido, enhancement of erectile function, and amelioration of semen quality.
Ayurvedic medicines containing saffron are used to treat acne, dry skin, blemishes, dark circles around eyes and several such skin ailments. It helps to beautify skin by enhancing its glow.
Saffron is considered as blood purifier and anti–inflammatory in nature. Saffron is also known to produce positive effects on people with neuro-degenerative disorders. Saffron promotes learning, memory retention, and recalling capacity. It is useful in the treatment and management of age related mental impairment. Saffron has been known as an effective and safe treatment for early Alzheimer’s disease. These gorgeous red stigmas help to rejuvenate body and act as “Rasayana.” They improve body immunity plus increase energy level.
Western View: Saffron contains several plant-derived chemical compounds that are known to have been anti oxidant, disease preventing, and health promoting properties.
Their flower pistils compose several essential volatile oils, but the most important of them all is safranal which gives saffron its pleasant flavor. Other volatile oils in saffron are cineole, phenethenol, pinene, borneol, geraniol, limonene, p-cymene, linalool, terpinen-4-oil, etc.
This colorful spice has many non-volatile active components; the most important of them is α-crocin, a carotenoid compound, which gives pistils their natural golden-yellow color. It also contains other carotenoids, including zeaxanthin, lycopene, α- and ß-carotenes. These are important antioxidants that help protect the human body from oxidant-induced stress, cancers, infections and acts as immune modulators.
The active components in saffron have many therapeutic applications in many traditional medicines as antiseptic, antidepressant, antioxidant, digestive, anti-convulsant.
This novel spice is an excellent source of minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, selenium, zinc and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. The human body uses manganese and copper as co-factors for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is essential for red blood cell production and as a co-factor for cytochrome oxidasesenzymes.
Additionally, it is also rich in many vital vitamins, including vitamin-A, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin-C that is essential for optimum health.
2 teaspoons raw cane sugar
1 pinch saffron
1 cup water
Heat the saffron in a plate over boiling water for five minutes. Then pulverize in a mortar and pestle. Add two tablespoons of warm water and soak. When brewed (after approximately 10 minutes), add sugar and stir until it dissolves in a glass.
Add lime and water and serve.
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