Using Saffron and Sunlight to Strengthen Your Eyes
By Karen Wang, author of Happy Foods - 100 Mood-Boosting Recipes
Saffron, the royal spice, is so-called because it is the most expensive spice in the world.
It comes from the flowers of Crocus sativus, and each violet-colored flower has three vivid crimson-red stigmas or pistils in the center. These are the delicate threads of saffron that, when dried, have graced the tables of pharaohs, kings and queens, and gourmands since ancient times. And its brilliant golden hue has been used in dying fabric, particularly favored by Buddhist monks.
Healers and physicians also prize Saffron. These golden threads are considered Sattvic (pure) in Ayurveda because it balances all three doshas.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, saffron is sweet, slightly cold, and benefits the heart and liver meridians. And helps to eliminate toxins.
Although the list of health benefits is long, saffron is most noted for its ability to elevate mood, soothe the nervous system, and rejuvenate tissues.
In addition, saffron is a rich source of carotenoids, such as crocin and crocetin, that are important in maintaining healthy retinal cells. These powerful antioxidants help in protecting the retina from damage caused by exposure to intense light. They can also restore retinal cells damaged by oxidative stress and age-related macular degeneration.
Here is a beautiful and powerful practice created by David to honor the healing properties of saffron and sunlight. Doing this will benefit your vision and bring about a feeling of calm, peace, and gratitude.
Begin by making saffron tea by infusing the golden strands into a jar of filtered water, then allow the saffron to permeate the water for about 30 minutes. Take a few sips of this radiant mixture 2 – 3 times a day while inwardly doing the salutation to the sun.
[Recipe: 10 – 12 ounces filtered water + 8 – 10 strands saffron]
This saffron water can be kept in the fridge for up to a week for maximum potency.
By David Crow, L.Ac.
The following is a transcript excerpted from Module 2 of my course An Herbalist’s Journey Through the Body’s 9 Power Centers: Botanical Remedies & Contemplative Practices for Illuminated Whole-Being Health. presented by The Shift Network.
A really nice herb is saffron because saffron looks like sunlight. It looks like little threads of sunlight. It's a brilliant orange-red color. I'm sure you're familiar with it. Saffron loves sunlight.
Saffron is good for our eyes. Saffron improves circulation, and saffron is warming. Therefore, we have all these associations with sunlight in that one plant. Now, what we can do is we can give attention to the eyes, and through the eyes, to the light that is external to us. That's the essence of worship.
Worship is what we put our attention on. Devotion is what we pay attention to. There are all these rituals, ceremonies, pujas, and all these kinds of things all over the world of worshiping fire, and through fire, worshiping the sun or directly worshiping the sun.
What we can do now is the practice of saffron “Surya Namaskar”.
It looks like liquid sunlight.
You have your saffron tea. It is liquid sunlight. It has been captured by the saffron crocus on very hot, sunny days in hot, sunny climates. We close our eyes. We sip. We taste. We taste the sunlight.
With our eyes closed, we feel how the taste, the liquid pervades into the head, into circulation, into the eyes. We do this with an intention.
I am offering my eyes this nourishment of saffron so that my eyes will be more aware of sunlight.
That way, we are taking sunlight inwardly in an herbal, liquid form, and we are very consciously, deliberately, with intention sending it to the eyes. Where our attention goes, our physiological energy flows. By placing the attention in the eyes while drinking saffron, the saffron will go to the eyes. It will anyway, but we can enhance it.
As we offer the saffron to the eyes, we do it with a purpose.
Say to yourself: I will be more aware of sunlight. I am taking this saffron to make me more mindful of sunlight. It's an offering to the divinity in our eyes, and it's an offering to the divinity outwardly of the sun. Therefore, it is Surya Namaskar. I greet you, Namaste/Namaskar. I greet you, sunlight. I greet you, sunlight, by offering you saffron and water.
Then, take a deep breath. Stretch a little bit.
Doing this practice will welcome the healing powers of saffron and the sun for your eyes and heart.
Where to purchase saffron grown in California:
Grown in Spain: