Traditionally, the medicinal properties of saffron included its use to treat stomach cramps, flatulence, respiratory ailments, blood disorders, heart diseases, and an aphrodisiac. It is a folk remedy for headaches and colds and has antidiarrheal and antidysentery properties. It is useful in treating scanty menstruation and poor seminal mobility.
Modaghegh et al. (2008) conducted trials on 10 people who were administered saffron tablets and showed a reduction in both high systolic and arterial blood pressure.
Saffron’s medicinal properties included its ability to alleviate symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, according to a 2008 study published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. However, because it is used to break blood clots, those on blood-thinning medications, or women who experience heavy menstruation, should avoid saffron altogether.
Saffron is a perennial herb that is unknown in the wild and has been cultivated for over 3,000 years. It is believed to be a mutant of the wild C. cartwrightianus of the Iridaceae family. Its key constituents are safranal, crocin, carotenoids, glycoside forms, terpene derivatives, anthocyanins, flavonoids, the vitamins riboflavin and thiamine, and amino acids, proteins, and starch.
Hippocrates and Galen’s mention using saffron to improve digestion, reduce flatulence and colic, and calm the nerves of adults and children. Avicenna in Book II of Canon of Medicine (al-Qanun fi al-tib) describes various medicinal uses of saffron, including its use as an antidepressant, hypnotic, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, bronchodilator, aphrodisiac, labor
inducer, and emmenagogue. Most of these effects have been studied in modern pharmacology and are well documented.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, saffron is claimed to be useful in conditions related to the heart and liver. It invigorates blood
supply, releases toxins, and relieves high fevers and related conditions caused by pathogenic heat. Saffron is also used as a herbal cure for colds and coughs and in dentistry. The pharmacological data on saffron and its constituents, including crocin, crocetin, and safranal, are similar to those found in Avicenna’s monograph (Phytotherapy Research., 2013, Hosseinzadeh,
Saffron was also one of the Greco-Roman times’ most valued and expensive aromatic spices. It was associated with fertility and romance, and nobles used it to perfume clothes and baths. Homer states that the Greek gods Zeus and Jupiter lay on a bed of saffron to enhance amorous emotions. There are references to the spice in the Bible.