Saffron, also known as golden spice, has been giving our food a special taste, color and smell for many years. Research has shown that this expensive spice as an antioxidant can help improve the function of the immune system and increase energy levels. Saffron is a spice and food color additive. Saffron reduces blood fat and cholesterol. Saffron is sedative, appetizing, antispasmodic, prevents heart disease and cancer, strengthens memory and lowers blood pressure. Saffron plant is used in the treatment of asthma, skin diseases, eye diseases, urinary tract infections, jaundice, premature menstruation, bloating, stomach pain and anemia.
Saffron helps digestion and strengthens the stomach and is used as a painkiller, especially for gum pain. The properties of saffron include relieving abdominal pain, antidepressant plant, prevention of heart disease and reduced vision in old age, expectorant, anti-cancer properties, treatment of asthma and respiratory diseases, nervous attacks, insomnia, heartburn, skin dryness and many other diseases. Owing to the properties of saffron for women, saffron infusion is effective for moderate to severe abdominal pain and upper abdomen. By virtue of the wide range of benefits of saffron for men and women, we strongly recommend adding this fragrant spice to all foods and we hope you always have a healthy and vibrant body.
An Introduction to Iranian Saffron and Its Origin
Many brands around the world and Iran are producing and distributing saffron. But Iranian saffron is undoubtedly one of the best saffron in the world, which is cultivated in some provinces of Iran with special climatic conditions. Most Iranian saffron is cultivated in Khorasan and saffron produced in this region is also known as the best saffron in Iran and the world. Currently, Iran is one of the main regions of saffron cultivation in the world. The main areas of saffron cultivation in Iran include Khorasan Razavi and South Khorasan provinces. More than 100,000 families in the cities of Ghaen, Birjand, Torbat-e Heydarieh, Khaf, Gonabad, Bajestan, Mashhad, Taybad, Ferdows and Sarayan are cultivating saffron. The most important area under saffron cultivation in Iran can be considered Ghaenat, because saffron in this region is also known as the jewel of Ghaenat in Iran. But the region that has the highest volume of saffron production is Torbat Heydariye. Gonabad saffron is also registered as organic saffron and world agricultural heritage, because the saffron of this region is prepared in a completely traditional way by irrigating the aqueduct. Other provinces of Iran that are currently engaged in saffron cultivation include Fars, Lorestan, Zanjan, Hormozgan and Qazvin provinces.
The main origin of saffron is the Middle East. The age of saffron in Iran can be attributed to the Achaemenid period. At that time, saffron was grown as a wild flower and used to flavor foods and the body. It is said that Darius the Achaemenid used saffron with milk to perfume his body. According to historical evidence, the first export of saffron from the Parthians to China, Greece and Rome, and it seems that Iran has been the first exporter of saffron in the world. Because of its many healing properties, saffron has long been considered by Iranian physicians and used for treatment. According to Sumerian sources, saffron was used for therapeutic purposes. Saffron dye has been also used to dye fabrics and write royal decrees. Among other historical documents that prove the antiquity and history of saffron in Iran, one can mention an ancient painting that was discovered in northwestern Iran in which saffron was used to paint that painting.
Exports & Imports in the World
Iran and Spain are among the countries in which saffron production and consumption culture has long existed and are among the first and oldest saffron exporting countries in the world. In the following, the countries producing saffron will be examined.
According to the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Iran has a share of 92-95% of the world’s total saffron production. Of course, most of its production is not registered globally like domestic consumption, which is not in the global statistics. The cities of Birjand, Ghaen, Ferdows in South Khorasan Province, Gonabad and Torbat Heydariyeh in Khorasan Razavi and the provinces of North Khorasan, Isfahan, Kerman, Fars and Yazd enjoy a privileged status for saffron production and produce a quality product. In recent years, the southern and western cities of the country have also started cultivating saffron and have been able to produce quality saffron using modern agricultural methods and greenhouse cultivation together with using modified onions.
As the largest producer and exporter of saffron, Iran produces $ 587 million annually, about 50% of which is sold to Spain. Spanish saffron, like Iranian saffron, is of high quality, but the volume of Spanish saffron production is not significant compared to its imports.
After Spain, Hong Kong is in second place with $ 96 million. The UAE is the third largest importer of Iranian saffron with $ 89 million. In 2017, Iran exported about 400 tons of saffron to 60 countries. The leading countries after Spain, Hong Kong and UAE are Afghanistan, China, Italy, Qatar, Germany, France, Kuwait, Georgia, Taiwan, Netherlands, Bahrain, Oman, Australia, Japan, UK, Morocco, Switzerland, Belgium, Canada, Singapore, India, Hungary, Turkey, Malaysia, Iraq, Pakistan, South Africa, Poland, Philippines, Greece and Austria. In the world ranking after Iran, Spain is the largest producer of saffron in the world.
Universities in Spain have conducted extensive research on saffron and are considering suitable conditions for growing saffron and informing farmers. The climate of the regions where saffron is grown in Spain is similar to the thriving areas of saffron cultivation in Iran, such as Ghaenat. The annual production of Spanish saffron is 25 tons per year. However, it is one of the main exporters of saffron in the world. Spain accounts for 20.7% of world exports with a volume of $ 57.08 million. The United States, Saudi Arabia and Italy are the three countries that are among the first export destinations of Spanish saffron. Greece is the main producer of European saffron, while Spain is the main exporter of European saffron. Greece ranks fifth in global saffron exports in which exports saffron to France, Poland, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Germany. Most saffron is imported to this country from countries such as Italy, Iran, Spain and France.