Background: Crocus sativus L. (saffron), which belongs to the Iridaceae family, is widely cultivated in Iran. Cardiovascular effects of saffron has been established in some studies but the effects of chronic administration of saffron (C. sativus) stigma aqueous extract on blood pressure has not been investigated.
Objectives: In this study the effects of saffron (C. sativus) stigma aqueous extract on blood pressure of normotensive and desoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA)-salt induced hypertensive rats, in chronic exposure was evaluated.
Materials and methods: Five weeks administration of three doses saffron aqueous extract (10, 20 and 40 mg/Kg/day) and spironolactone (50 mg/Kg/day) in different groups of normotensive and hypertensive rats (at the end of 4 weeks treatment by DOCA-salt) was carried out and their effects on mean systolic blood pressure (MSBP) and heart rate (HR) were evaluated using tail cuff method. The duration of the effect of saffron on systolic blood pressure (SBP), was also evaluated.
Results: Our results indicated that chronic administration of saffron aqueous extract could reduce the MSBP in DOCA salt treated rats in a dose dependent manner. This compound did not decrease the MSBP in normotensive rats. The data also showed that antihypertensive effects of saffron did not persist.
Conclusions: It is concluded that saffron aqueous extract possesses antihypertensive and normalizing effect on BP in chronic administration.
Keywords: Blood Pressure; Crocus; Desoxycorticosterone.