Since ancient times Saffron has been considered valuable. The trade of Saffron was also flourishing in the Middle Ages, so much so that at that time its adulteration was largely practiced (ie. the sale of similar plants for the price of the real ones!).
In Ayurveda Saffron is used as a blood purifier and for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is considered an aphrodisiac, in addition to having the property of enhancing the tonic properties of other herbs (eg Shatavari). It is a plant highly beneficial for women while its aroma is loved by men who could use the Saffron Attar as a perfume.
The Attar of Saffron is produced by steam distillation of the stigmas of the saffron flower and it is blended in oil of sandalwood that acts as a fixative. The blend of these two substances creates a scent that is reminiscent of incense. In Ayurveda this plant is considered sattvic and bearer of devotion (Bhakti).
The first part of this Attar consists of notes of incense followed by a deep sparkling scent (given by sandalwood). This Attar is considered the most important one for the heart chakra.
Saffron is used in different blends of ayurvedic oils, one of which is the Kumkumadi Taila. In this oil saffron improves the skin tone while other components of Taila have anti-wrinkle and skin repairing properties.
In western herbal tradition the stigmas of its flowers are used to regulate menstruation and as antispasmodic. In Ayurveda Saffron is considered an excellent regulator of the female hormone system.
In massage saffron oil is used:
1 - as an antispasmodic, having also balancing propertirs (relaxes and tones);
2 - to nourish and enhance the skin tone;
3 - for women massage, even though this plant is not recommended in pregnancy.
From a subtle point of view, saffron elevates the heart chakra and gives spiritual peace. This quality in my opinion is further reinforced by the presence of the essential oil of sandalwood, which perfectly complements it.
For more info about aromatherapy treatments and custom made natural products with essential oils contact Healing Aromas - Guelph ON at: firstname.lastname@example.org