Saffron is widely used as a spice in Iranian, Arabian, Central Asian, European, Pakistani, Indian, Spanish and Turkish cuisines. Saffron is harvested from the autumn flowering plant Crocus sativus, a member of the Iris family. It is native to Asia Minor, where it has been cultivated for thousands of years being used in medicines, perfumes, dyes, and as a flavouring for foods and beverages.
Medical research into saffron has found it helps in Alzheimer's disease, has potential as an anti-tumor agent and inhibits DMBA-induced skin carcinoma when treated early. Both saffron stigmas and petals are said to be helpful for depression, are effective in relieving symptoms of PMS and it may also have a protective effect on the heart. Saffron crocins and crocetin have been found to inhibit breast cancer cell proliferation. Research is currently being done using saffron to inhibit macular degeneration and allergic disorders.
Our premium quality saffron is grown in Canterbury, New Zealand using biodynamic methods. The method is ecologically oriented. It endeavours to understand how nature does things and formulates methods that are most natural. The main aim is to create healthy soil for healthy plants and sustainable productivity.
Biodynamic agriculture is a method of organic farming that treats farms as unified and individual organisms, emphasizing the interrelationship of the soil, plants and animals as a self-nourishing system without external inputs insofar as this is possible. As in other forms of organic agriculture, artificial fertilizers and toxic pesticides and herbicides are avoided. Regarded by some as the first modern ecological & sustainable farming system, biodynamic farming has much in common with other organic approaches. Methods unique to the biodynamics include the use of fermented herbal and mineral preparations as compost additives, organic and mineral field sprays and the use of an astronomical sowing and planting calendar. Biodynamics originated out of the work of Rudolf Steiner.