Saffron is an East Indian plant that is a member of the ginger family and is used as a spice and food color. The underground stems are used in some cultures to treat certain stomach problems. The substance in Indian saffron that gives it a yellow color (curcumin) is being studied in the treatment of cancer, Alzheimer disease, cystic fibrosis, and psoriasis. The scientific name is Curcuma longa. Also called jiang huang and turmeric.
Saffron is the costliest spice in the world and is extracted from the flowers of saffron crocus—Crocus sativus.
Researchers have discovered a psychrophilic bacterial strain, called Rhodonellum psychrophilum GL8, at the high altitude Pangong Tso Lake in the Himalayas.