Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Review
. 2016 May;19(5):455-69.

Therapeutic Effects of Saffron (Crocus Sativus L.) in Digestive Disorders: A Review

Affiliations
Free PMC article
Review

Therapeutic Effects of Saffron (Crocus Sativus L.) in Digestive Disorders: A Review

Alireza Rezaee Khorasany et al. Iran J Basic Med Sci. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Saffron, the dried red-orange stigmas of Crocus sativus L, has been known as a flavoring agent, food coloring and traditional herbal medicine. Pharmacological effects of saffron are mainly attributed to crocin, crocetin, picrocrocin and safranal. These components especially crocin, have significant effects including antidepressant and anticonvulsant, analgesic, anti-cancer and other therapeutic effects on different parts of our body namely cardiovascular, immune, respiratory, genital-urinary and central nervous system. According to the reports and findings, saffron plays a key role to cure different digestive system disorders via chemopreventive, inhibition of cell proliferation, induction of apoptosis, antioxidant effects and radical scavenging, genoprotective property, prevention of lipid peroxidation and anti-inflammatory processes. The outcome of the above mentioned mechanisms shows potential therapeutic properties of saffron against liver cancer, hepatotoxicity, fatty liver, hyperlipidemia, stomach cancer, peptic ulcer, colon cancer, ulcerative colitis, diabetes and pancreas cancer and ileum contractions. According to global statistics, the susceptibility to intestinal diseases is considered as a significant matter and can be important in health planning in any community. Several strategies for treatment and prevention of the digestive system diseases have provided that the use of herbal remedies seems effective and useful. Considering the available findings, the present study aims to introduce saffron as a prophylactic and therapeutic agent against gastrointestinal tract disorders. However, further clinical studies seem necessary in various aspects of saffron effects in different parts of body to verify these findings.

Keywords: Crocetin; Crocin; Crocus sativus L; Digestive system; Picrocrocin; Saffron; Safranal.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Major constituents of saffron
Figure 2
Figure 2
Saffron effects on the gastrointestinal tract

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 16 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

References

    1. Jalali-Heravi M, Parastar H, Ebrahimi-Najafabadi H. Characterization of volatile components of Iranian saffron using factorial-based response surface modeling of ultrasonic extraction combined with gas chromatography–mass spectrometry analysis. J Chromatogr A. 2009;1216:6088–6097. - PubMed
    1. Caballero-Ortega H, Pereda-Miranda R, Abdullaev FI. HPLC quantification of major active components from 11 different saffron (Crocus sativus L.) sources. Food Chem. 2007;100:1126–1131.
    1. Bathaie SZ, Mousavi SZ. New applications and mechanisms of action of saffron and its important ingredients. Crit Rev Food Sci. 2010;50:761–786. - PubMed
    1. Hosseinzadeh H, Ziaee T, Sadeghi A. The effect of saffron Crocus sativus stigma, extract and its constituents, safranal and crocin on sexual behaviors in normal male rats. Phytomedicine. 2008;15:491–495. - PubMed
    1. Rios J, Recio M, Giner R, Manez S. An update review of saffron and its active constituents. Phytother Res. 1996;10:189–193.

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback