Saffron

Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) is a spice with thousand virtues, in both cuisine and herbal therapy, esteemed as a useful remedy since ancient times.

Castore Durante, in his “Herbario nuovo” wrote:
QUALITIES. It’s hot in the second degree and dry in the first, keeping in itself a little of cold and terrestrial, it opens, repercusses (*), digests, corroborates, and also mollifies. It is adulterated by mixing it with sapa (+), to make it heavier, or by pounding it with safflower: but smell and color allow to reveal the flaw.
VIRTUES. Internally. Saffron comforts the heart, purifies the blood, pushes poisons away from the heart, eaten or drunk, stimulates diuresis and menses, improves the complexion, if used with moderation. Drunk with sapa, it is useful against drunkenness, stimulates luxury, it is useful against jaundice, especially if drunk with sweet wine or malvasia. The root, drunk with sapa, stimulates diuresis, but a two-three drams dosage is mortally poisonous, and so it’s the flower, that is useful against weakness and ulcers of stomach, chest, liver, lung, kidney, and bladder, eaten in food: but the excessive use, and the smell, hurts the head, dulls the intellect, makes man pale, and makes him die laughing, by bringing too much joyfulness.
VIRTUES. Externally. It is useful for paralytic limbs, mollifies indurations of the nerves, and it’s used to make Oxycroceum, that is very useful to this purpose, it is useful mixed in eye powders, that are prepared for eyes, with woman milk, the seed of wild crocus, hand-ground, or suspended at the neck, is efficacious against bites of scorpions and it’s useful against the defects of the bottom and the matrix, put in poultices, and the same holds also for the infections of the ears. Chewing saffron, and then blowing on the face of sleeked women, make their face pale.

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