Saffron is one of the oldest and most exotic and expensive spices in the world. Saffron, in fact, comprises the deep reddish-brown thread-like stigmas of the saffron flowers. The stigmas are handpicked from each flower with an estimated 75,000 flowers being required to yield one pound of saffron! Saffron is valued as a food flavouring, for its medicinal properties and for topical application; it is credited with purifying, antibacterial and skin-lightening properties. Soak a couple of strands of saffron in a tablespoon of milk or cream of milk, add sandalwood powder, a little turmeric and honey and apply. Wash this off after 15-20 minutes. A drop of saffron extract may also be added to face massage oil for a spot of indulgence and glowing skin.