It is a well known fact that Ayurvedic medicines are made up of herbs and plants; hence the news on deforestation is always a bad news for Ayurveda too. According to Ayurveda, you can seldom see a plant which does not have any medicinal property. Let us examine the Ayurvedic properties of one herb, saffron or Crocus Sativus seen in Indian soil, especially in the Kashmir valley. The herb is commonly called kumkum in Ayurveda and it is used in the treatment of a variety of physical and mental conditions. It is one of the main medicinal plants which help in balancing the doshas vata, pita and kapha in the human body.

``According to Ayurveda, it is ama or toxic body wastes that lead to unhealthy conditions. Hence it is important to remove the toxins from the body and provide nutrition to the cells. Kumkum is one of the main ingredients used in Ayurvedic medicines which assist to perform both these tasks, says Rajpath Rai, an Ayurvedic practitioner based in Kolkata.

Saffron is also used in treating hyper pigmentation and it also has analgesic qualities. It has also been used in treating gynaecological problems, insomnia and vision problems. The herb has such significance in Ayurveda that you can see the plant being grown in the herbal gardens of various Ayurvedic centres. Even many a kerala ayurvedic center which is far away from the Kashmir Valley, the homeland of kumkum -- has grown this herb in their herbal garden in order to ensure its availability during the preparation of some drugs.