Saffron: The History

Saffron harvest: Bronze Age frescoes, Santorini island

Before about 3500 years of saffron was first mentioned in writing. They found ancient papyrus scrolls from the estimated 16th Century BC, which described more than 30 recipes saffron for medical use are available. It is recommended that the saffron in it for the eyes, head, with anemia, to strengthen the heart, with nervous disorders, with members suffering from festering wounds, treat ulcers, for bladder and liver ailments.

From Greek mythology, Zeus is that sleeping on a bed of saffron, muses and nymphs were safrangewandet, queens and princesses took over this later. The Phoenicians used saffron as a spice and medicinal agents know, they learned he had probably by the Indians.

Dioskrides mentioned saffron as a remedy for rheumatism and drunkenness. Dyed with saffron veil their women: it dispel the lice and make merry. Hippocrates recommended in the 4th Century BC against the saffron "many kinds of diseases," mainly for gynecological and obstetric. The tonic, heart tonic and aphrodisiac effects of psychoactive saffron was known in pre-Christian times.

 

Saffron gatherers: Minoan fresco, Knossos

Even in ancient times was saffron a luxury item and because saffron was so expensive, there were also forgeries: Pliny (Roman historian) wrote. "Nothing is so much distorted as saffron" To combat the forgers were "saffron Schauer" ordered the heavy were armed. It imposed penalties including the death penalty.

In ancient Rome, people scattered in front of important people saffron flowers. In the theaters was to refresh and perfume with saffron water sprayed over the audience. The saffron plant was dedicated to the goddess Diana. In many cultures it was customary for the bridal veil to yellow with saffron.

 

Saffron harvest (from manuscript Tacuinum Sanitatis, 15th century)

Today, saffron is expensive, even more so in the Middle Ages. In the 14th and 15 Century Venice was the supremacy of saffron. At that time saffron was the most expensive and most sought after commodity. It even led wars because of this (eg the 1374 war of saffron Balsthal).

In the Middle Ages, the saffron in gynecological disorders, in obstetrics, eye diseases, skin diseases, heart problems, against stomach and intestinal wall in colic, he was pain-relieving and antiseptic.

The consumption of too much saffron it is harmful: 5-10 grams of saffron often lead to bloody diarrhea, noise-like conditions, vomiting, dizziness and bleeding in the uterus, 20 grams can be fatal. One described the former as "the cheerful, laughing death." In the first stage of a strong urge to laugh, then palpitations, dizziness and hallucinations. Later comes a paralysis of the central nervous system, leading to death. In the Middle Ages it was used in order to clear enemies out of their way. In Islamic medicine, the saffron to strengthen the sex drive was used.

 

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