All about saffron > A Little History
Saffron holds the sheets of love
The saffron crocus is connected with the love act but it tends to cause sleepiness in excess doses!
It is said that one day Zeus decided to lie down on a bed of saffron in order to increase his passion in his sexual activities. The same went for Jupiter, who mixed in some lotus and hyacinth blossoms. (Homer)
The oldest known reference to saffron as a sexual stimulant and energizing agent comes from a Chinese book of medicine dating from 2600 BC.
The Phoenicians spent their wedding night on yellow sheets that had been dyed with saffron. Through them, saffron was introduced into Semitic culture and appears in the Song of Solomon in which he compares his wife on their wedding day to a garden in which "korkom" grows (the Hebrew word for saffron).
On their wedding day Carthaginian and Phoenician brides would cover their faces with a veil dyed with saffron.
In Rome, saffron was associated with love, and patrician men and women adopted a recommendation from Dioscorides, a Greek physician, who suggested it as a stimulant. It even had a reputation for corrupting Vestal virgins! At the thermal baths, there were even saffron baths to revitalize revellers.
But what is it in saffron that fills the head with vapours and the extremities with warmth?
Firstly, it contains phytosterol, a powerful plant hormone, as well as unstable volatile alkaloids called safranin and crocin. You only need to crumble a few strands onto a dish just before serving to release all its benefits.
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