While you may be familiar with saffron as a spice – the most expensive one at that – saffron is also popularly consumed as tea. Commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisines especially in Iran, this spice is harvested by hand and delicately handled so as to retain its distinct aroma and subtle taste. To produce one kilogram of spice, it takes a large quantity of harvested saffron blossoms and dried stigmas (saffron threads), which makes it a very prized spice.
Saffron is a popular spice used in cooking, specifically to add colour, flavour, and aroma to different dishes and beverages. Its extract is even used as a base for dyes and as a perfume base for its potent aroma. And like other spices and floral blossoms, saffron can also be made into tea.
How to make saffron tea
Saffron tea is pretty easy to make. All you have to do is steep a few saffron threads in hot water and wait for a minute or two, just like you would a tea bag. Since this spice has a strong and sometimes bitter taste, you can opt to steep the threads along with other tea leaves or herbs and spices. You can also enjoy saffron in iced tea. If you buy saffron tea, you can combine it with other ingredients like lemon, honey, and mint to make a refreshing iced tea version.
Health benefits of saffron tea
Taking saffron tea once a day can contribute to your overall well-being. Here are the following health benefits you can get from saffron tea:
Good for the heart
Saffron contains chemical components that help in reducing blood pressure and protect your heart against cardiovascular diseases. Saffron is said to help in lowering blood pressure as well as cholesterol and triglycerides. Researchers also believe that the high antioxidant content of saffron helps in protecting the heart from heart disease.
Drinking saffron tea might be beneficial in improving your memory. Saffron contains crocin and crocetin, two powerful antioxidants that researchers believe to be helpful in learning and memory function.
Saffron is rich in antioxidants and flavonoids. If you drink saffron tea on a daily basis, you’ll be essentially protected from free radicals that can cause various diseases like cancer. A 2015 study found that saffron’s chemical makeup can have significant effects in preventing and treating different types of cancer.
Nicknamed as the “sunshine spice”, saffron gained this moniker not only because of its vibrant crimson gold pigment alone. This spice is known to boost your mood and alleviate your stress and anxiety. Researchers also found that saffron is effective in treating mild to moderate depression. Drinking saffron tea can be a healthier and natural alternative for people who don’t do well with antidepressants.
Saffron tea brings a lot of health benefits on the table that you would be hard-pressed to say no to. Enjoying this as a refreshing iced tea in the morning or for afternoon tea will boost your mood and alleviate stress, improving your day significantly. Saffron certainly holds a high value as a spice, and I have no doubt it would make for a great addition to your tea selections.