Biological effects and pharmacological activities of saffron of Crocus sativus

iliass Lahmass, Mouad EL KHOUDRI2, Sabir OUAHHOUD, Mouad LAHMASS, Amine KHOULATI, Said BENYOUSSEF, Samira MAMRI, Mouhssine MEZIANE, Ennouamane SAALAOUI


The medicinal uses of saffron (Crocus sativus Linnaeus) have a long history beginning in Asian countries since the Late Bronze Age. Recent studies have validated its potential to lower the risk of several diseases. Saffron has been suggested to be effective in the treatment of a wide range of disorders including coronary artery diseases, hypertension, stomach disorders, dysmenorrhea and learning and memory impairments. In addition, different studies have indicated that saffron has anti-inflammatory, anti-atherosclerotic, antidiabetic, antigenotoxic and cytotoxic activities. The anticonvulsant and anti-Alzheimer properties of saffron extract were shown in human and animal studies. The efficacy of Crocus sativus in the treatment of mild to moderate depression was also reported in clinical trial. Many of these medicinal properties of saffron can be attributed to a number of its compounds such as crocetin, crocins and other substances having strong antioxidant and radical scavenger properties against a variety of radical oxygen species and pro-inflammatory cytokines.


Crocus sativus; pharmacology; crocin; safranal; antioxidant; saffron

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