Saffron therapeutic uses began in the Antiquity. In general, saffron extracts and tinctures have been used in traditional medicine thanks to its antispasmodic, eupeptic, sedative, carminative, expectorant, stomach, stimulating, aphrodisiac and abortion qualities among others.
Nowadays, several researcher groups are investigating its antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic effects.
Dyes specialists declare that saffron was known as the "great dye". It was used for dying wool and leather. Saffron yellow colour was kept for the political and religious leaders tunics.
Synthetic colorants had reemplaced saffron interest as a dyer. Nowadays it recovers importance as a natural colorant and it is employed for dying silk, cotton or wool high quality cloths. It is also used for dying human and animal histological tissues.
Women felt attracted by its fascinating colour and they used to utilise it for painting their nails, hair and lips. Saffron was also employed as deodorant or as perfume.
Nowadays saffron is widely used as condiment in gastronomy. It is used to give colour, flavour and aroma to many dishes, some of them universally- known as the paella in Spain or the Rissoto alla milanesa in Italy.
It is also an essential ingredient in several cakes and breads which commemorate secular or religious holidays: Santa Lucia cake in Sweden, Greek islands sweets, the Jews sabbatical bread, etc.
Saffron is used in the food industry as one of the ingredients in dehydrated food stuff, mixes, soups, masala’s, ice cream and many other processed food products.
Saffron was also employed in fitoterapetic treatments and as a ludic element in different celebrations served as an infusion against obesity and drunkenness, and also as aphrodisiac.