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Scientific Name:
Crocus sativus
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Evidence of Activity
Literature Reviews
The flavanoid kaempferol, found in Crocus sativus (saffron) and capable of interacting with pleiotropic proteins, may provide an alternative for preventing hepatocellular carcinoma with no adverse effects. Sharma 2021
Due to its anthocyanins, flavonoids and terpenoids, Crocus sativus (saffron) can be beneficial for treating convulsions, tumors, oxidative-related diseases, inflammation, memory impairments, and depression and can also be beneficial for treating skin diseases because of its anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, depigmenting, and repairing activities. Rigi 2021
Amongst a variety of complementary or alternative medical treatments, Crocus sativus, (saffron), St. John's wort, omega-3 fatty acids, and S-adenosyl-L-methionine had the highest levels of evidence for the treatment of mild-to-moderate depression. Warnick 2021
A review of in vitro and in silico studies reported that Crocus sativus (saffron) may provide immunomodulatory and anti-asthmatic activity in patients with respiratory symptoms due to COVID-19 with crocin reducing the COVID-19-related cytokine cascade and downregulating angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) gene expression while astragalin and crocin may inhibit SARS-CoV-2 protease and spike protein. Mentis 2021
Crocus sativus (saffron) has exhibited antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antidepressant, hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic, and memory-enhancing activity. While clinical studies have focused mainly on Alzheimer's, depression, and anxiety disorders, more trials are needed to study dosage, toxicology, mechanism of action, and efficacy against other diseases including hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and cancer. 2021
Kaempferitrin, a glycoside of kaempferol which is found in Crocus sativus (saffron), has shown antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic, anti-osteoporotic, antidepressant, anthelmintic, immunostimulatory, pro-apoptotic, cardioprotective, anticancer, and anticonvulsant activity, as well as insulin-mimetic potential, according to this review of pharmacological and analytical data. Patel 2021
An editorial is provided for Crocus sativus (saffron) extract and its constituents, noting that natural products or their organic compounds have inspired numerous drugs. Pitsikas 2021
An article presents a comprehensive review of the research into the pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, and structure of crocins, published between 1984 and 2020, including evidence of the effects on neurodegeneration, cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, liver diseases, depression, arthritis, tumors, and diabetes. Song 2021
A review of Mediterranean foods with neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory potential concludes that saffron (Crocus sativus), broccoli, walnuts, and tigernuts (chufa de Valencia) may hold promise for patients at risk of vision loss. Valero-Vello 2021
A review of immunomodulatory effects of Crocus sativus found that saffron and its bioactive constituents increase immunoglobulin (Ig) G, interleukin (IL-) 2, interferon (IFN) γ, and IFN-γ/IL-4 ratio, but decrease IgM, IL-10 levels and IL-4 secretion, recommending it for the treatment of diseases such as asthma and cancer. Khazdair 2021
A systematic narrative review lists saffron (Crocus sativus) among other components of an anti-inflammatory diet advocated as an alternative approach to the prevention or treatment of viral respiratory diseases. Vahid 2021
A review suggests that saffron (Crocus sativus) may alleviate symptoms of COVID-19, including anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Husaini 2021
A review addresses the potential of saffron (Crocus sativus) and its constituents to prevent or delay the onset and progression, as well as to ameliorate the symptoms, of Alzheimer's disease based on mechanistic evidence. Zandi 2021
Saffron (Crocus sativus) has shown protective activity against vancomycin-induced nephrotoxicity in preclinical studies. Rahmani 2021
A review summarizes the neuroprotective potential of saffron (Crocus sativus) and its constituents in the treatment of cerebral ischemia stroke. Azami 2021
This review brings attention to the underexplored potential of saffron (Crocus sativus) and its constituents in the treatment of schizophrenia. Pitsikas 2021
This review highlights the anti-metastatic potential of saffron (Crocus sativus), crocin, and crocetin, including mechanisms of action such as reduction of CD34 and suppression of Wnt/β-catenin, Ras/ERK, P38, DCLK1, EMT, matrix metalloproteinases, and urokinases. Arzi 2021
A review of neuroprotectant compounds currently in clinical development for the treatment of eye diseases includes saffron (Crocus sativus). Hill 2021
A review collates the evidence for safranal as a useful agent against diseases associated with oxidative stress. Nanda 2021
A review summarizes the evidence of the effects of saffron (Crocus sativus) on cardiovascular diseases with a focus on antiatherosclerosis, antimyocardial ischemia, anti-ischemia reperfusion injury, and improvement in drug-induced cardiotoxicity. Su 2021
A review of clinical and preclinical evidence of the effects of saffron (Crocus sativus) on cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease, found that crocin appears to regulate glutamate levels, reduce oxidative stress, and modulate Aβ and tau protein aggregation while suggesting that more clinical studies are needed. D'Onofrio 2021
A narrative review compiles data from 155 studies on antidepressant-like medicinal plants, finding the studies on saffron (Crocus sativus) among the most relevant in preclinical and clinical studies. Moragrega 2021
A review highlights the potential of apocarotenoids derived saffron (Crocus sativus) in the management of age-related macular degeneration. Camelo 2020
A review appraises the anticancer, chemopreventive, and antitumor properties of saffron (Crocus sativus) and its major bioactive constituents (crocin, crocetin, and safranal), discussing the relevant preclinical and clinical data, as well as patents. Lambrianidou 2020
A molecular screening of phytochemicals from Indian spices identified a constituent of Crocus sativus (saffron) with potential inhibitory activity against SARS-CoV-2 main protease. Kumar 2020
A review focuses on the antioxidant activities of saffron (Crocus sativus) bioactive constituents (i.e. crocin, crocetin and safranal), such as reduction in malondialdehyde (lipid peroxidation) and nitric oxide levels and increases in glutathione and antioxidant enzymes levels. Cerdá-Bernad 2020
A literature review of preclinical and clinical studies addresses the nutritional and health benefits of saffron (Crocus sativus) and its constituents (safranal, crocin, and picrocrocin), including neuroprotective, anxiolytic, antidepressant, learning, and memory-enhancing effects. Abu-Izneid 2020
A review of traditional Persian medical textbooks identified saffron (Crocus sativus) among the most researched medicinal plants with a potential to mitigate the new coronavirus causing severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV-2), partly due to antiviral activity. Bahramsoltani 2020
A review of animal and humans studies supports the use of saffron and its major constituent crocin for neuroprotective effects and cognition improvement in Alzheimer's disease and stress-related cognitive dysfunction. Saeedi 2020
Original data and a review of previous preclinical evidence concludes that specific crocins and other Crocus sativus (saffron) components are associated with protective effects in neurodegenerative retinal diseases. Maggi 2020
This review found potent therapeutic effects of saffron (Crocus sativus) and its petal flavonoid kaempferol on disorders of the respiratory system, including relaxation of tracheal smooth muscles and reduction of inflammatory marker levels in lung tissues. Kianmehr 2020
This review focuses mainly on clinical and preclinical studies of neuroprotective properties, including pharmacokinetics and pharmacology, of saffron and its constituents in models of psychiatric and neurodegenerative brain disorders. Bian 2020
This review lists saffron among the most investigated medicinal plants for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration, as well as provides up-to-date information on the effects, treatments, safety, and efficacy of these plants. Bosch-Morell 2020
A review summarizes research on the effects of saffron and its components on the amelioration of the inflammatory symptoms in autoimmune and non-autoimmune diseases, such as arthritis, osteoarthritis, atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, brain ischemia, diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disease. Poursamimi 2020
A review found low-quality evidence for the use of Crocus sativus, among other plants, in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Ayati 2020
An evidence-based review of in vitro and in vivo studies suggests that saffron extracts have selective toxic and preventive effects on cancers and may reduce the toxicity of cancer drugs. Shakeri 2020
Crocus sativus may be of use in the treatment and management of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in light of the traditional Unani medicine, according to this review. Nikhat 2020
A review of antihypertensive medicinal plants lists Crocus sativus among other species. Verma 2020
This paper reviews the known molecular mechanisms of crocin's effect on multiple types of cancer including colorectal, pancreatic, breast, prostate, and leukemia, characterized by the inhibition of tumor growth and metastasis. Veisi 2020
A review summarizes the recent findings on the beneficial effects of saffron (Crocus sativus) on ocular neurodegenerative diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy, retinitis pigmentosa, age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma, among others. Fernández-Albarral 2020
A review of studies (including 9 clinical) on saffron and its constituents, such as crocin, on eye disorders found evidence of benefits for retinal degeneration, macular edema and diabetic maculopathy, decreases in intraocular pressure in patients with glaucoma, and improvements in visual acuity. Sepahi 2020
Expression of Concern on "Crocus sativus L. (Saffron) Stigma Aqueous Extract Induces Apoptosis in Alveolar Human Lung Cancer Cells through Caspase-Dependent Pathways Activation". [No abstract] International 2019
This review summarizes the chemical composition of Crocus sativus stigmas, perianth, stamens, leaves, and corms, including intraspecies variation, as well as pharmacological activities (antihypertensive, hypolipidemic, antitumor, antidepressant, and immunomodulatory, among others). Mykhailenko 2019
A review sums up the recent preclinical evidence on the protective properties of saffron (Crocus sativus) in cancers of the gastrointestinal tract. Naeimi 2019
This review discusses the biosynthesis and pharmacokinetic properties of crocetin, as well as provides a comprehensive study on it biological activities, toxicity, mechanism of actions, and clinical trials data. Hashemi 2019
A review of pharmacological and therapeutic evidence of saffron and its main components alone, or in combination with other pharmaceuticals, on memory function, learning ability, and seizures suggests saffron (Crocus sativus) may be effective in improving cognitive abilities and seizure control. Rajabian 2019
A review summarizes the therapeutic value of crocin in autoimmune diseases, including ulcerative colitis, asthma, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. Korani 2019
A review summarized the anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activities of saffron (Crocus sativus), associating them with reductions in serum levels of multiple cytokines, antagonistic effects on NF-?B and PPAR-?, and inhibition of key pro-inflammatory enzymes. Zeinali 2019
A review identified Crocus sativus among medicinal plants that can significantly reduce neuronal damage in traumatic brain injury. Keshavarzi 2019
This review summarizes the influence of saffron on the microbiome, molecular pathways, and inflammation in gastric, colon, liver cancers, and associated inflammations. Ashktorab 2019
Crocus sativus is reported to be among plants shown to exhibit relaxant effects on tracheal smooth muscle, via stimulation of ß2-adrenoceptors, according to this review. Shakeri 2019
A review of preclinical and clinical evidence for dietary plants and their chemical constituents as nutraceuticals relevant to both cognitive decline in normal aging and in dementia discusses the potential of saffron. Howes 2019
Crocus sativus is listed among medicial plants that have been used for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Talaei 2019
A review examines the therapeutic potential of saffron in diseases associated with inflammation, such as dermatitis, asthma, atherosclerosis, neurodegenerative and digestive diseases. Pashirzad 2019
This review highlights recent findings on the antileukemic effects of saffron and its underlying molecular targets, concluding that emerging evidence suggests saffron has a selective toxicity effect against leukemic cells while being safe for normal cells. Moradzadeh 2019
Crocus sativus is included among medicinal plants considered to have potential therapeutic benefit for multiple sclerosis. Mojaverrostami 2018
Saffron was among products considered potentially supposedly effective in the augmentation of standard antidepressant treatment; possible mechanisms of actions, as well as preclinical and clinical evidence for efficacy as stand-alone and adjunct treatments for are discussed. Dome 2018
This review provides an updated overview of in vitro and in vivo investigations on the potential use of saffron's carotenoids crocin and crocetin in cancer therapy and chemoprevention trials. Festuccia 2018
This review examines the chemistry, methods of analysis, pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, efficacy, and safety of saffron (Crocus sativus). Siddiqui 2018
This review summarizes how saffron and its major components exert hypoglycemic effects by inducing insulin sensitivity, improving insulin signaling, and preventing β-cell failure, all mechanisms which combine to achieve better glycemic control. Yaribeygi 2018
Pharmacological properties of saffron petals (a by-product of saffron production) were reviewed, including evidence of antispasmodic, immunomodulatory, antidepressant, antinociceptive, hepato- and renoprotective, antidiabetic, and antioxidant activities. Hosseini 2018
A review on the cardiovascular effects of saffron provides evidence of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-atherogenic, anti-apoptotic, anti-hypertensive, and hypolipidemic activity associated with a number of constituents, including safranal, crocetin, and crocins. Ghaffari 2018
The constituent features and phytotherapeutic uses of saffron (Crocus sativus) are reviewed, including potential applications for depression, neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, atherosclerosis, cancer, and sexual dysfunction. Leone 2018
This paper reviews the chemical componenrs of Crocus sativus floral bio-residues and their pharmacological activities, such as antioxidant, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and hepatoprotective effects. [Article in Chinese] Chen 2018
Based upon a review of scientific literature, as well as case reports, it was concluded that saffron is a potent cardiovascular-protective agent with applications for ischemia-reperfusion injury, diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia. Hatziagapiou 2018
Crocus sativus is included among the plants commonly used for the treatment of neuropathic pain. Forouzanfar 2018
A broad non-systematic review of literature was conducted on the antitumor and anticancer effects of saffron (Crocus sativus) in various types of cancer, including lung cancer, breast cancer, leukemia, skin cancer, and prostate cancer. Khorasanchi 2018
The antioxidant and protective effects of crocin on ischemia/reperfusion injury rats in various organs, such as heart, brain, kidney, stomach, liver, and kidney, are described in detail. Akbari 2018
Saffron, among other Iranian medicinal plants, may alleviate symptoms of premenstrual syndrome according to this review of randomized, controlled trials. Maleki-Saghooni 2018
A 10-year updated review of research, including clinical studies, on herbal medicine in the treatment of psychiatric disorders found high-quality evidence supporting the use of Crocus sativus (saffron) for major depressive disorder. Sarris 2018
Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective properties of Crocus sativus and its constituents were reviewed, with an emphasis on Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Hatziagapiou 2018
The pharmacology of Crocus sativus and its bioactive apocarotenoids (crocin, picrocrocin, and safranal), including their potential mechanisms of action, is reviewed. Bukhari 2018
Anti-tumor effects of crocetin and related molecular targets are reviewed. Moradzadeh 2018
This review addresses published reports on the effects of Crocus sativus, among other herbs, on brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Sangiovanni 2017
The evidence of the effects of saffron (C. sativus) on the nervous and cardiovascular systems, the liver, its antidepressant, anxiolytic, and antineoplastic properties is reviewed. In addition, medicinal use of the plant is alleged to date back to 1627 BC. José Bagur 2017
The review addresses the existing evidence of beneficial effects on cognitive impairment of several botanicals and phytochemicals (Bacopa monnieri, C. sativus, Ginkgo biloba, Theobroma cacao; curcumin, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, resveratrol, and l-theanine). Cicero 2017
Saffron: From Greek mythology to contemporary anti-atherosclerotic medicine. [No abstract] Kakisis 2017
A review is provided of preclinical and clinical evidence of the effects of saffron and its constituents in anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders. Shafiee 2017
The protective role of saffron and its constituents in the pathogenesis of metabolic syndrome is reviewed. Shafiee 2017
Review of scientific evidence supporting the use of Chinese herbal medicine for Alzheimer's disease mentions effects of Crocus sativus on behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia. Howes 2017
The molecular mechanisms of anti-tumor effects of crocin are comprehensively reviewed. Hoshyar 2017
The molecular mechanism of the observed ant-cancer activity of saffron is reviewed. Patel 2017
Neuroprotective properties of dietary saffron: more than just a chemical scavenger? [No abstract] Skladnev 2017
The potential of five commonly used spices, viz. saffron, turmeric, pepper family, ginger and cinnamon, for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease is reviewed. Mirmosayyeb 2017
Crocus sativus (saffron) is one of the "cardiac drugs" recommended by Avicenna, the pharmacological activity of which has been more recently confirmed, according to the review. Sobhani 2017
The evidence of crocin's potential in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease is reviewed. Finley 2017
Saffron is one of the main plants with antiplatelet activity, according to the review of natural products with antiplatelet action. Hirsch 2017
The role of saffron in the management of metabolic syndrome, due to its known antidiabetic, anti-obesity, hypotensive, and hypolipidemic activities, is reviewed. Razavi 2017
An overview is presented of the risk of mycotoxin contamination in various spices including saffron. Kabak 2017
The pharmacological effects of saffron are explored in the context of systems biology and omic technologies. Panchangam 2016
The variety of uses of saffron and several other spices in the industry (including food production, medicine, pharmacology, and cosmetology) is reviewed. Leja 2016
Special Issue "Saffron (Crocus sativus, L.): Omics and Other Techniques in Authenticity, Quality, and Bioactivity Studies". [No abstract] Tsimidou 2016
Clinical evidence for the use of saffron, turmeric, and vitamin E in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease is reviewed. Adalier 2016
Modern scientific evidence (published between 1966 and 2015) concerning potential beneficial effects of Crocus sativus on sperm abnormalities is reviewed. Tahvilzadeh 2016
Saffron (Crocus sativus) is included in the short list of spices that have potential for prevention and treatment of cancer, according to the review of mechanistic studies. Zheng 2016
Crocus sativus (saffron) is included in the complementary and alternative medicine section of Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments clinical guidelines for the management of adults with major depressive disorder. Ravindran 2016
The potential of saffron in the treatment of digestive disorders (including liver cancer, hepatotoxicity, fatty liver, hyperlipidemia, stomach cancer, peptic ulcer, colon cancer, ulcerative colitis, diabetes and pancreas cancer) is discussed. Khorasany 2016
In vitro and animal findings regarding antiinflammatory, antioxidant, and immunomodulatory effects of C. sativus and its constituents are reviewed. Boskabady 2016
The review claims "no support" for the use of saffron in the treatment of male infertility. Yao 2016
Potential of saffron/crocin, among other natural compounds, in the treatment of pediatric cancer is discussed. Ferrucci 2016
The potential of saffron (C. sativus) in the treatment of anxiety disorders and schizophrenia is critically discussed. Pitsikas 2016
The effects of saffron (C. sativus) and its constituents on the nervous system is reviewed, including antitussive, anticonvulsant, antidepressant properties, increase in glutamate and dopamine levels in the brain, as well as interaction with the opioid system. Khazdair 2015
Smooth muscle relaxant activity of Crocus sativus (saffron) and its constituents are reviewed. The possible mechanisms include activation of β2-adrenoceptors, inhibition of histamine H1 and muscarinic receptors, and modulation of nitric oxide signaling. Mokhtari-Zaer 2015
The review summarizes in vivo studies on the anti-aging effects of cosmetic application of phytoextract-loaded creams, including those prepared with Crocus sativus. Jadoon 2015
The pharmacology and possible therapeutic uses of saffron and its main active components crocin and safranal are reviewed. Christodoulou 2015
Research on the protective effect of saffron constituents on retinal degeneration is reviewed. Fernández-Sánchez 2015
Research into anticancer properties of saffron (Crocus sativus) is reviewed. Bhandari 2015
Evidence of antidotal or protective effects of saffron against natural and chemical toxicities is reviewed. Razavi 2015
A review is presented of advances in the research on the antioxidant activity of saffron, related to its bioactive compounds, including phenolics and flavonoids as well as crocin and crocetin. Rahaiee 2015
The role of natural carotenoids in cancer chemoprevention is reviewed, highlighting the unusual water-soluble nature of crocin from saffron. Bolhassani 2015
The evidence of neuropharmacological activity of saffron (Crocus sativus) is summarized and discussed. Singh 2015
Evidence for memory-enhancing effects of saffron (Crocus sativus) is reviewed. Pitsikas 2015
Hypericum and saffron extract are the only two herbal remedies for which antidepressant effect has been clinically documented, according to the review. [Article in Polish] Szafrański 2014
Clinical and animal data on the efficacy of saffron supplementation in the treatment of early age-related macular degeneration are reviewed. Bisti 2014
The evidence of anti-cancer effectiveness of saffron (Crocus sativus) is reviewed. Samarghandian 2014
Saffron: a herbal medicine of third millennium. [No abstract] Hosseinzadeh 2014
A comprehensive review of the biological activity and safety of crocin, the primary pigment of saffron, is presented. Alavizadeh 2014
The mechanisms of the observed anti-tumor activity of saffron and its carotenoid components (crocin and crocetin) are discussed. Bolhassani 2014
The potential of saffron in the treatment of leishmaniasis is addressed. Bagherani 2013
Saffron may be of benefit in dry age-related macular degeneration, according to the review of recent research studies to date. Leung 2013
Recent and little documented reports of the phytochemistry, pharmacology, and standard methods for quality evaluation of saffron are reviewed. Gohari 2013
The pharmacology of safranal is reviewed, with a focus on its neuropsychological effects. Rezaee 2013
The potential of saffron (Crocus sativus) and its constituents in cancer chemoprevention is reviewed. Zhang 2013
Preclinical evidence of anxiolytic activity of 32 plant species, which includes Crocus sativus, was reviewed. Sarris 2013
The anti-oncogenic potential of spices, including saffron, is reviewed. Butt 2013
The anti-obesity potential of saffron (Crocus sativus) is reviewed. Mashmoul 2013
Pharmacological properties of saffron (reportedly known since the Late Bronze Age), especially its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, as well as worldwide cultivars, biochemical pathways, active constituents and safety of use in pregnancy are reviewed. Poma 2012
A review of natural plant products used in the treatment of depression provides an overview of the chemical, pharmacological, and clinical aspects of each of the products, including saffron. El-Alfy 2012
Promising clinical effects of Crocus sativus in dementia patients are referenced in the review of ethnobotanical treatment strategies against Alzheimer's disease. Howes 2012
The knowledge of the anti-cancer potential of saffron (Crocus sativus) is reviewed. Gutheil 2012
An evidence-based systematic review of saffron (Crocus sativus), including expert opinion, folkloric precedent, history, pharmacology, interactions, adverse effects, toxicology, and dosing, is provided by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration. Ulbricht 2011
Clinical data produced in studies of saffron (Crocus sativus) in dementia patients is promising, in respect of cognition, but more extensive and reliable data are required, according to the review of the role of phytochemicals in the treatment of dementia. Howes 2011
Saffron is included in the list of agents that ameliorate nephrotoxicity of gentamicin, in the review. Ali 2011
The properties of saffron potentially beneficial for cardiovascular health are reviewed. Kamalipour 2011
Medicinal applications of saffron (Crocus sativus) are reviewed. Bathaie 2010
History of Record
April 2019
November 2021