History of saffron cultivation in the world
The history of saffron cultivation dates back to more than 3000 years ago. Today’s cultivated saffron has not been seen in the wild and it is believed that in the Bronze Age (3500 years before the birth of Christ) it was obtained from wild saffron as a mutation.
Saffron in Asia
Traces of saffron dating back 50,000 years have been discovered in Iraq, and later the Sumerians used saffron in their treatments as well as magical medicines.
Saffron was sent to India as a commercial product in 2000 BC. Iranians cultivated saffron in Darbana, Isfahan and Khorasan in the 10th century BC. In these areas, saffron threads were spread inside the bed and boiled water was drunk inside to treat depression.
There is a difference of opinion about the transfer of saffron to South Asia. Traditionally, the date of saffron’s arrival in Kashmir and China is considered to be around 2500-900 years ago.But historians, by studying the documents available in Iran, mention the date of the arrival of saffron from Iran to the mentioned countries around 500 BC or during the occupation and colonization of Kashmir
Saffron in India and China
It is known that saffron entered India and China through Iran. According to many experts, this information indicates that saffron was brought from Iran along with some other spices through Iranian rulers who wanted to expand their gardens and farms in India.
Another theory is that after Iran conquered India, especially Kashmir, the saffron plant was cultivated by the Iranians in Kashmir. The first harvest of saffron is considered to be before 500 AD. Kashmiri saffron was used to treat depression and as a fabric dye
Cultivation of saffron in Kashmir
Currently, saffron is considered one of the main plants of Kashmir. Most of the saffron works in Kashmir are done by hand. Kashmiris believe that the affairs of one hectare of saffron are done with 600-620 workers throughout the year.
They use livestock plows for plowing the land and tractors for plowing and discing
Saffron in China
Saffron is mentioned in ancient Chinese writings around 1600 BC. In the third century AD, a Chinese pharmacist named Wang Chen mentioned Kashmir as the land of saffron. Van mentioned that the saffron flower dries within a few days and then the saffron is removed from it. Saffron is also used to flavor wine due to the uniform golden yellow color it creates.
Some historians believe that saffron was first taken from Iran to other lands by the Mongols. On the other hand, saffron is mentioned in old Chinese sources such as Shennong Benjoying, which is a herbal encyclopedia. In the 3rd century AD, the Chinese considered the origin of saffron to be Kashmir, for example Wan Chen reported that Kashmiris cultivated saffron to offer to the Buddha
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