Safran CotchiaFleur de safran
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On the saffron trail

In Belgium, the Cotchia saffron farm is the first professional farm dedicated to saffron, with over 120,000 crocus sativus bulbs and bulblets (nursery) planted. Recognized by the Walloon region as a reference and experimentation center, this saffron farm produces a variety of products derived from saffron, such as liqueurs, jams, syrup, teas, mustard, vinegar and many others.

The Cotchia saffron farm

A Belgian treasure with a thousand saffron flavors

Saffron originated in Europe, its geographical cradle being Greece, with Crocus sativus and its ancestor, Crocus cartwrightianus. It then spread throughout the Mediterranean region, following successive empires before the Roman Empire. Contrary to a mistaken belief that attributed it to the Middle East or perhaps Kashmir, saffron has a rich history in different cultures, continents and civilizations, dating back at least 5,000 years.

When visiting the Cotchia saffron farm, visitors are warmly welcomed by Sabine, who guides them through an interactive tour. They’ll discover the fascinating history of saffron through photos while sampling saffron products. The company is Belgium’s leading professional saffron producer. Visitors can observe the evolution of the company and learn more about the mysterious life of the plant that blooms in October, as well as the precious spice extracted from its flowers: saffron, which costs around 34,000 euros a kilo. This high price is justified by the enormous amount of work required to produce it, and they’ll explain every stage of the process, from preparation to use. They will also learn how to distinguish real from fake saffron by touch.

The experience at the Cotchia saffron farm is a fascinating journey into the history of this precious spice, as well as an opportunity to appreciate the expertise and commitment of the professionals who grow it in Belgium.

The benefits of saffron

Saffron is a spice derived from the dried stigmas of the Crocus sativus flower,
also known as true saffron. Its use dates back to antiquity,
and it has been widely used both as a culinary spice and for medicinal purposes.
Here’s some information on the medicinal use of saffron:

  • 1. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory

    Saffron contains bioactive compounds such as carotenoids, safranal and crocin, which are powerful antioxidants. These substances help neutralize free radicals and can help reduce inflammation in the body.

  • 2. Natural antidepressant

    Studies have suggested that saffron may have antidepressant and anxiolytic properties. It is often used as a complementary treatment to help relieve mild to moderate symptoms of depression.

  • 3. Memory enhancement

    Some research has shown that regular consumption of saffron can improve memory and cognitive function in adults.

  • 4. Mood regulation

    Saffron has been studied for its potential to regulate mood and help reduce symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) in women.

  • 5. Anti-cancer properties

    Preliminary laboratory studies suggest that saffron extracts may inhibit the growth of certain cancer cells. However, further research is needed to confirm these effects and determine their applicability in humans.

  • 6. Anti-diabetic properties

    Animal studies have suggested that saffron can help improve blood sugar regulation and reduce diabetes-related complications.

  • 7. Improved sexual function

    In some traditional cultures, saffron is considered a natural aphrodisiac and is used to improve libido and sexual function.