Crocus sativus L.

Family: Iridaceae


Family Synonyms

Common Names

kesar (Hindi), avarakta (Sanskrit), saffron (English), zafrah (Arab), keshar (Guzrati), safran (German).

Local Availability

Chittagong and Sal forests of Bangladesh.

Worldwide Availability

Crocus sativus is currently known to grow in the Mediterranean, East Asia, and Irano-Turanian Region. it apparently originated in the area of Iran, Turkey and Greece, but now it is also successfully cultivated in such European countries as Spain, Italy, F

Botanical Description 35

Crocus sativus is required well-drained soil to grow, also nutritionally poor soil, where the types of salts mostly light and medium. It has hermaphrodite flowers, which are pollinated by butterflies

Common Ethnobotanical Use 36

In the treatment of cancer, saffron is mostly used, and also used in dental and gingival pain, seizures, hepatic disorders, vomiting, cognitive disorders, cough, depression, insomnia, lumbago, asthma, bronchitis, cardiovascular disorders, spasm, flatulence, fever and colds. In the traditional medicine, saffron is used as a diaphoretic, eupeptic, tranquilizer, expectorant, aphrodisiac, abortifacient, emmenagogue. Saffron is recognized as an adaptogen in Indian ayurvedic medicine.

Chemical Constituents

Compound Name Compound in Plant Parts Reference
Vanillic acidPetal12
trans-p-Coumaric acidPetal; Pollen12, 18
ThymineStigma; Petal2, 12
AdenosineStigma; Pollen2, 18
p-Hydroxybenzoic acidPetal; Pollen12, 18
Isovanillic acidPetal12
4-HydroxyphenylethanolPetal; Pollen12, 14, 18
KaempferolPetal12, 16
Kaempferol-7-glucosidePetal12, 16, 9
Protocatechuic acidPetal; Pollen12, 18
Kaempferol-3,7-diglucopiranosidePetal12, 16
Benzyl beta-D-glucosideStigma13
Kaempferol-3-O-beta-glucopyranoside Petal; Stigma12, 16, 17
Beta-CaroteneStigma9, 8
Vitamin BPetal12
Vanillic acid methyl esterPetal12
4-Keto-isophoroneStigma3, 14
SafranalStigma1, 6, 11, 3, 13, 14, 9
2-Phenylethyl alcoholStigma14
EucarvoneStigma3, 14
2,6,6-Trimethyl-cyclohexan-1,4-dioneStigma3, 14
Delphinidin 3-O-glucosideStigma16
Petunidin 3-O-glucosideStigma16
Delphinidin 3,5-diglucosideStigma16
LycopeneStigma10, 9, 8
CrocinStigma1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
CrocetinStigma1, 6, 4, 10, 3, 7, 9, 8
PicrocrocinStigma; Petal1, 6, 2, 11, 12, 5, 13, 3, 9, 8
trans-Crocetin (beta-D-glucosyl)-(beta-D-gentibiosyl) esterStigma15, 11, 2
trans-Crocetin di-(beta-D-glucosyl) esterStigma15, 11
5-Hydroxy-7,7-dimethyl-4,5,6,7-tetrahydro-3H-isobenzofuranone 5-O-beta-D-gentibiosideStigma15
4-Hydroxymethyl-3,5,5-trimethyl-cyclohex-2-en-1-one 4-O-beta-D-gentibiosideStigma15
2-Methyl-6-oxo-2,4-hepta-2,4-dienoic acid, O-beta-D-gentibiosyl esterStigma15
4-Hydroxy-2,6,6-trimethyl-cyclohexen-1-carbaldehyde 4-O-beta-D-gentibiosideStigma15, 13
4-Hydroxy-2,6,6-trimethyl-1-cyclohexene carboxylic acid 4-O-beta-D-glucopyranosideStigma15, 13
4R-Hydroxy-3,5,5-trimethyl-cyclohex-2-en-1-one 4-O-beta-D-glucopyranosideStigma15, 13
4S-Hydroxy-3,5,5-trimethyl-cyclohex-2-en-1-one 4-O-beta-D-glucopyranosideStigma15, 13
TricrocinStigma2, 3, 8
Crocusatin FStigma10, 7, 9, 8
Crocusatin GStigma2
Crocusatin HStigma2
Crocusatin IStigma2
2-Formyl-5-methoxyfuranStigma; Petal2, 12
Crocusatin CStigma2
4-Hydroxy-3,5,5-trimethylcyclohex-2-enoneStigma; Petal; Pollen2, 12, 18
Crocusatin BStigma; Petal2, 12, 14
4-Hydroxy-2,6,6-trimethyl-3-oxocyclohexa-1,4-dienecarbaldehydeStigma; Pollen2, 18
2-Hydroxy-3,5,5-trimethylcyclohex-2-ene-1,4-dioneStigma2, 14, 12
4-Hydroxymethyl-3,5,5-trimethylcyclohex-3-enolStigma2, 3
UracilStigma; Pollen2, 18
Pyridin-3-ylmethanolStigma; Petal; Pollen2, 12, 18
Crocetin mono(beta-D-glucosyl) esterStigma2, 9
Crocusatin JStigma2
Crocusatin KPetal12
Crocusatin LPetal12
(3S),4-Dihydroxybutyric acidPetal12
Crocusatin DPetal12
Crocusatin EPetal; Pollen12, 18
Protocatechuic acid methyl esterPetal12
Kaempferol 3-O-beta-D-(2-O-beta-D-glucosyl)glucopyranosidePetal12
TribulusterinePetal12, 16
Rosmarinic acidPetal; Pollen12, 18
PhytoeneStigma10, 9
Kaempferol 3-O-sophoroside-7-O-glucosideStigma10
Kaempferol 3,7,4'-tri-O-glucosideStigma16, 17
Quercetin 3-O-sophorosideStigma16, 17
6-Hydroxy-3-(hydroxymethyl)-2,4,4-trimethylcyclohexa-2,5-dienone 6-O-beta-D-glucopyranosideStigma16
(2Z)-3-Methylpent-2-enedioic acid 1-[1-(2,4,4-trimethyl-3,6-dioxocyclohexenyloxy)-O-beta-D-glucopyranosid-6-yl] esterStigma; Petal13, 12
(5S)-5-Hydroxy-7,7-dimethyl-4,5,6,7-tetrahydro-3H-isobenzofuran-1-one O-beta-D-glucopyranosideStigma13
(1R,5S,6R)-5-(Hydroxymethyl)-4,4,6-trimethyl-7-oxabicyclo[4.1.0]heptan-2-one O-beta-D-glucopyranosideStigma13
(1R)- 3,5,5-Trimethylcyclohex-3-enol O-beta-D-glucopyranosideStigma13
2-Phenylethyl O-beta-D-glucopyranosideStigma13
(4S)-4-Hydroxydihydrofuran-2-one O-beta-D-glucopyranosideStigma13
(4R)-4-Hydroxydihydrofuran-2-one O-beta-D-glucopyranosideStigma13
(4S)-4-(Hydroxymethyl)-3,5,5-trimethylcyclohex-2-enone beta-D-glucopyranosideStigma13
2,4,4-Trimethyl-3-carboxaldehyde-5-hydroxy-1-cyclohexanone 2,5-dieneStigma3
2,6,6-Trimethyl-1,3-cyclohexadiene-1-carboxylic acidStigma14
Kaempferol 7-O-sophorosideStigma14
Kaempferol 3-O-gentiobiosideStigma17
Isorhamnetin 3,4'-di-O-glucoside9
Petunidin 3,5-di-O-glucosideStigma16
5-Hydroxy-7,7-dimethyl-4,5,6,7-tetrahydro-3H-isobenzofuranone 5-O-beta-D-glucopyranosideStigma16

Pharmacological Evidence

Plants Parts Extract Type Activity Reference
Ethanol Cervical Cancer 1
Water Breast Cancer 28
Water Lung Cancer 29
Water; Ethanol Prostate Cancer 30
Ethanol Lung Cancer 31
Ethanol Rhabdomyosarcoma 32
Methanol Colon Cancer 33
Methanol Antibacterial 19
Aqueous Antiarthritic 34
Methanol; Aqueous Antiasthmatic 21
Ethanol Antidiabetic 22
Methanol Antidiabetic 23
Aqueous; Ethanol Anticonvulsant 25
Aqueous Cardioprotective 26
Whole Plant
Aqueous Antiulcerant 24
Aqueous; Ethanol; Acetonitrile CNS Depressant 27


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