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Articles: Saffron

Then brilliant—and valuable—orange stigmas of Crocus sativus. Photo: Jennifer Lee Segale

The box arrived by mail on an afternoon in late September. I rushed out the front door, late for an appointment, only to be halted by a big cardboard carton on my doorstep. Hoping to deal with unpacking its contents later, I tried to push it aside with my foot. To my surprise, it didn’t budge. I toppled over, spilling my mug of peppermint tea all over it. Oh, yeah, it’s the saffron, I thought—15,000 corms of Crocus sativus to be exact.

I fell in love with saffron about two years ago—and probably long before that considering how much I crave Spanish, Indian, and other foods containing ample amounts of this delicious spice. I have been growing and studying plants professionally for more than 17 years with a persisting tangent into the tea and botanical beauty industry for the past 8 years. One winter, I read up on the medicinal benefits of saffron and learned that saffron, when applied topically, has positive health effects on the skin and hair with circulatory and antioxidant benefits. Being a plant person first and a ...


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