The Queen’s Spice: Saffron Spiritual Meaning, Myth and Magic

A field full of Saffron flowers with a tree in the background.

The Magic of Saffron

As the fabled world’s most expensive spice, Saffron has long embodied the essence of wealth, affluence, and luxury. Consequently, queens of lore luxuriated in baths gilded in Saffron and enjoyed its aphrodisiac qualities. Moreover, there’s a mystical power within Saffron wherein many have found their pathway to the universe’s secrets.

Saffron and the Lure of Opulence and Fortune

Greek mythology gives us perspective on how this wondrous purple flower became synonymous with wealth and opulence. According to lore, this was the reason Greek sailors would make the long, arduous journey to the island of Cilicia. The lure of the storied crocus flowers growing therein proved tempting to those hoping to increase their fortunes.

The Secret to Cleopatra’s Beauty

Queen Cleopatra herself would testify to Saffron’s provocative and sensual power. As legend would have it, the “Queen of Kings” would take baths steeped in the luxurious flower. Moreover, she credited this ritual for her legendary beauty and the source of her uncanny magnetism over men.

Saffron’s Psychic Connection

The alluring dawn-colored Saffron petals tell a tale of the flower’s psychic resonance, as purple is the color of mysticism and intuition. For instance, In India, it is tradition to apply a paste consisting of saffron and sandalwood paste to the forehead to ready the mind to receive spiritual insight.

Saffron is Worth Its Weight in Gold

To say that Saffron is captivating is to understate its seductive power. There’s something transcendent about the flower, alluring about its spice, and a magnificence overall that makes Saffron worth its weight in gold.

A deep purple Crocus flower moistened with water.

Saffron and Fertility

Even though the plant itself is sterile, there are interesting parallels between Saffron and fertility. The Phoenicians would bake saffron into crescent-moon-shaped cakes and present them as a gift to the moon and fertility goddess Ashtoreth. In Persia, women would wear a ball made of saffron at the base of their stomach during pregnancy to help expedite a speedy delivery.

Saffron and Male Fertility*

Research shows Saffron can help with male infertility due to its antioxidant properties. This is in part because oxidative stress can harm virility, thus introducing an antioxidant like Saffron can help to improve sperm motility.

*(See FDA Disclaimer)

Light, blue-violet Saffron flowers in the foreground, with gravestones out of focus in the background.

Drink Saffron Milk to Improve Fertility

If you and your partner have difficulty conceiving, try drinking a glass of milk spiced with just a pinch of saffron and see if it improves your odds.

Easing Menstrual Cramps with Saffron*

A woman’s menstrual cycle is at the crux of fertility and pregnancy. Without an active pregnancy, the uterine lining must be shed, which can be a rather painful experience. However, Saffron can help ease this experience by relaxing the muscles of the womb, alleviating the pain of the uterine contractions causing the cramps.

*(See FDA Disclaimer)

A field full of purple and white crocus flowers near a mountainside.

Saffron Milk to Alleviate Menstrual Pain

A simple glass of milk with just a smidgen of powdered saffron can be an effective remedy for unrelenting menstrual cramps. Alternatively, if you have an aversion to milk, you can mix honey, saffron, and warm water to the same effect.

Consume No More Than a Strand of Saffron a Day

You can drink this beverage either in the morning or the night and even preemptively a couple of days before the onset of your period to help lessen symptoms. Do keep in mind, however, that you want to keep the amount of saffron you ingest daily to a minute amount — no more than a strand.

Red Saffron spice on a wooden spoon.

A Warning to Pregnant and Nursing Mothers About Saffron

Also, if you’re a lactating, nursing mother, it’s best advised that you don’t consume saffron, as there are often additives that you may not want to transmit to your suckling child. Likewise, pregnant mothers should also avoid consuming saffron, as it can cause contractions that can lead to miscarriage.

Magical Ways to Use Saffron

The wafting, uplifting aroma of saffron incense can help focus the mind, improving concentration and clarity and lifting the spirits. Saffron enhances psychic power and increases the potency of spell work and can also help strengthen protection spells and charging of energy.

A field of saffron flowers in bloom.

Unlocking the Prophetic Eye with Saffron

Drinking liquid that contains saffron can help with envisioning the future. In Indian tradition, saffron is mixed with sandalwood paste and applied to the forehead to help calm the mind and nerves before meditation.

Love, Beauty, and Saffron

For attracting love and maintaining beauty, Saffron is an ideal herb. The Sumerians would often use saffron as an ingredient in love potions. The Egyptians commonly used saffron to increase feelings of lust and enhance sexual pleasure, as it is a powerful aphrodisiac and supreme in love sachets and oils.

Saffron sprigs in a cork-sealed glass jar, sitting outside on a mossy stump.

Attracting Wealth with Saffron

As the world’s most expensive spice, Saffron has long been associated with wealth and fortune. It was often used in the most valuable perfumes and ointments in the Ancient Mediterranean. The Persians would weave glorious golden saffron threads within their royal carpets and funeral shrouds.

Consecrating with Saffron

Saffron can be used for consecrating and cleansing magical tools and sacred spaces, exorcisms, and purification.

Saffron Fun Fact: Raise the Wind

The Persians would use saffron to “raise the wind.” Wind power was crucial to Persian culture and was used to moderate the temperature in their homes and storehouses.

Sprigs of fresh saffron on a white plate, sitting amid saffron flowers.

Saffron in Mythology

Saffron and its connection to unrequited love are told best by a notable Hellenistic legend. Crocus had his eyes on a beautiful woodland nymph near Athens named Smilax and set out to win her love and affection.

Smilax Grows Bored of Crocus

Initially, Smilax was infatuated with Crocus, but feelings quickly faded, and she grew bored of him. However, Crocus would not relent and persisted in his aggressive advances.

Crocus Transformed into Saffron Flower

To relieve herself of her newfound burden, Smilax turned Crocus into a saffron crocus flower. The orange stigmas to this day have come to symbolize the warm yet yearning glow of undying and unrequited love.

A person holding a pile of saffron sprigs in their cupped hands.

Saffron Cultivating and Harvesting

Saffron is a perennial plant. It flowers in the autumn, and it’s purple buds only just begin to appear during the month of October, just as other plants are releasing their seeds and losing their petals. Saffron flowers vary in color, from pastel shades of lilac to darker, crimson-tinted mauve and maroon.

Saffron is Sterile

Saffron flowers give off a pleasant aroma, almost similar to honey.  The saffron plant is sterile, and cannot reproduce without outside intervention.  Hence it is incredibly rare if not impossible to find saffron growing in the wild, however wild saffron does exist.

A spoon full of saffron sprigs.

Saffron Enjoys Warm Weather

Saffron thrives in warm and arid weather. It enjoys summer breezes and mostly dry climates, although it can withstand some cold and brief periods of exposure to snow.

Saffron Loves Spring and Rain

Saffron has an affinity for spring weather with plenty of rain, followed by summer weather that is mostly dry. If lucky enough to be doused with rain prior to flowering, saffron will be produced abundantly.

Rain and Cold While Flowering is Bad for Saffron

However, if unlucky enough to encounter rainy and chilly weather while flowering, saffron is usually prone to becoming diseased and these conditions result in a much lower yield.  Saffron detests the shade and loves to bask in the full light of the sun, preferably on a slope that engages sunlight meaningfully.

Saffron flowers in dirt.

FDA Disclaimer

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