The glow of saffron-yellow is unique and unmistakable. The name alone, which comes from the arabic za’farãn, marks the characteristic color of the noble spice and bears the meaning “being yellow”. Not only delicious dishes may be colored and refined with this prime ingredient – textile and clothing, too, has been given shining colors for thousands of years thanks to the king of spices. To accomplish a full-bodied saffron-yellow, a large number of the fine threads of the saffron crocuses. To make one kilogram of coloring agent, 100 000 to 200 000 blossoms are required.
The color of wealth and power – saffron in antiquity and at courtyards
In antiquity it was common practice to color with saffron on the mediterranean island of Santorin. In Rome, the marginal stripes of the Toga, the robes of the magistrate, were toned used the precious spice. At a roman wedding, the bride would wear a saffron colored veil on top of her clothing – a tradition, which was adapted in a large number of cultures. Later, at noble courtyards, women would dress in beautifully shining saffron-yellow silk dresses. For a very long time, the expensive color was a symbol of the highest class – the nobility – and stood for wealth, exclusivity and prosperity in Europe. In China, too, the color indicated one belonging to the highest ranks of society. It was reserved for solely for the emperor and for the buddhist monks. It was strictly forbidden for the common folk.
Saffron – the color of the gods
In India, however, saffron and the yellow-orange color has no material meaning. Instead, it primarily has a spiritual significance. It does stand for luxury and wealth, but for the divine, for meditation and for inner peace. Saffron is understood to be holy, as its shining color bears a likeness to the color of the rising sun. According to Hinduism, the saturated saffron-yellow is the color of the gods. The Sadhus, the wandering monks, traditionally wear – just like the buddhist monks – clothing that has been dyed using saffron. In both religions, meditation – with the goal of enlightenment – is an important part of the spiritual practice.
A relaxed life with saffron and mediation
Meditation not only has a central role in a large number of religions, but – regardless of spiritual aspects – in todays hectic world, it can be an invaluable tool for slowing down, self reflection and raising awareness. Once one has learned the technique, one can already achieve a more relaxed life with only a few minutes a day. Besides contemplative meditation, where one practices while sitting still, there are active forms of mediation too – such as yoga. In combination with Ayurvedic cuisine and medicine, where we also find saffron as an important element, you can integrate relaxation, a healthy diet and a balanced way of life in your every day life for a greater quality of life.