The history of saffron cultivation reaches back more than 3,000 years.

According to the traditional Kashmiri legends, saffron was brought to the region by two Sufi ascetics, Khwaja Masood Wali and Hazrat Sheikh Shariffudin, during the 11th and 12th centuries AD. A golden-domed shrine and tomb dedicated to those Sufis can be found in the saffron-trading village of Pampore.

In late Hellenistic Egypt, Cleopatra used saffron in her baths so that lovemaking would be more pleasurable. During his Asian campaigns, Alexander the Great used Persian saffron in his infusions, rice, and baths as a curative for battle wounds. Alexander's troops imitated the practice from the Persians and brought saffron-bathing to Greece.

Sumerians used wild-growing saffron in their remedies and magical potions. Non-Persians also feared the Persians' usage of saffron as a drugging agent and aphrodisiac. Aulus Cornelius Celsus prescribes saffron in medicines for wounds, cough, colic, and scabies.

                       
 
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