Saffron Herb

Saffron called “Zaafran” or Kesar locally is another powerful stimulant used to color rice and other dishes in local medicine and increase pigeons flying time. It consists of female parts of the Saffron plant’s stigmas cultivated in Kashmir and colder regions of Iran, Spain, etc. Being quite costly, its fake or mixed substitute is quite common.

Although it is considered a mild stimulant, it is so potent that one or two straws dissolved in 10 ml of water are sufficient to make a high flyer pigeon go into invisibility very fast; and increase its fly time considerably. It is usually soaked in water in minimal quantity, with or without powdered dry Ginger, or boiled in it for a few minutes and fed at 10 PM the night before releasing it the next morning. However, like all stimulants, it proves harmful if the bird lacks adequate food reserves and stamina to sustain the induced and increased flight.