Therapeutic properties of saffron and its chemical constituents

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Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) is a light purple flower with reddish colored stigma. It is one of the most expensive spices with a range of quality in its color and aroma. A few key countries involved in saffron commercialization are Spain, Iran, Greece, Morocco, India and China. The main chemical constituents found in saffron are safranal, picrocrocin, crocetin and its glycoside, crocins. These constituents have been reported with pharmacological activities largely responsible for abundant of health benefits. In this review, current findings on pharmacological activities of saffron and its main constituents were reviewed to support for the therapeutic role of saffron. Although adultery issues are commonly compounded problem in obtaining pure saffron, its health benefits as a chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic agent, effectiveness in the control of depression and anxiety, improvement in memory and endocrinological related issues have been supported by several clinical trials. Based on these research studies, saffron could be one of the significant natural products which needed much attention for its potential therapeutic roles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5 - 13
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Natural Products
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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