We got a pound of saffron at the farm in London – and it’s only for use in the kitchen, so it won’t do any harm to some other fruit at the same time.”
He said he would buy saffron in bulk and send it to countries such as Chile, Thailand, Cambodia or Vietnam where saffron is grown in huge quantities to feed the growing local population – and the profits that accrue.
“You have to make a deal with the locals to get things,” he said. “The farmers know their land and they know the people they are feeding.”
‘Very powerful plant’
While most of his saffron goes to food, he has also taken saffron oil and leaves to make medicine, in addition to making jewellery.
“It’s a really powerful plant, it has a calming effect on people, and it was a way of healing a young girl who was diagnosed with epilepsy, who was in the care of my mother,” he said.
Image copyright PA Image caption One of Sir Gokul’s many other designs
The jewellery is a blend of fine saffron leaves, rose petals, a tiny dab of ghee and the pure white gold of his saffron flowers. The gold-leaf edging around the rose petals is adorned with saffron and gold leaf.
“It works as a charm to attract other people because I think saffron, when we use it for making flowers, works as a charm,” he explained.
“It’s the effect it has on everybody that we have. We take a certain person, say someone with Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease, and they have to concentrate for the whole day and they can’t concentrate for a couple of hours.”
A similar blend of saffron flowers – used in traditional Chinese medicine, and also in Ayurvedic medicine, but only in very limited amounts – is sold in South Africa as an herbal remedy for asthma, coughs and colds.
A similar blend of saffron leaves is also sold in South Africa as an herbal remedy for headaches, stomachaches, diarrhoea, earaches, sore throats, nosebleeds, rashes, insomnia, vertigo and migraine headaches, among a number of other conditions.
“It works very well as a medicine with the saffron plants and its leaf stems and stems, too, we take them,” he explained.
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