Safranal: from an aromatic natural product to a rewarding pharmacological agent

Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2013 Jan;16(1):12-26.


Safranal, the main component of Crocus sativus essential oil, is thought to be the main cause of saffron unique odor. It is now about eighty years that this compound has been discovered and since then different scientific experiments have been done investigating its biological-pharmacological activities. Safranal effects in CNS have been more attractive to scientists and an escalating number of papers have been published regarding its neuropsychological effects. These promising properties of safranal propose its presence as a therapeutic agent in future, although there is a great need for further clinical trials and toxicological studies. In this review article, according to Scopus ®, Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge®, Scientific Information Database (SID) ® and Pubmed ® all papers published until July 2012 were thoroughly discussed and a brief note of each study was prepared.

Keywords: Crocus sativus; Review; Saffron; Safranal.