Saffron contains an impressive variety of plant compounds that act as antioxidants — molecules that protect your cells against free radicals and oxidative stress.
Notable saffron antioxidants include crocin, crocetin, safranal, and kaempferol.
The effects of Crocus sativus (saffron) and its constituents on nervous system: A review.
Saffron or Crocus sativus L. (C. sativus) has been widely used as a medicinal plant to promote human health, especially in Asia. The main components of saffron are crocin, picrocrocin and safranal. The median lethal doses (LD50) of C. sativus are 200 mg/ml and 20.7 g/kg in vitro and in animal studies, respectively. Saffron has been suggested to be effective in the treatment of a wide range of disorders including coronary artery diseases, hypertension, stomach disorders, dysmenorrhea and learning and memory impairments. In addition, different studies have indicated that saffron has anti-inflammatory, anti-atherosclerotic, antigenotoxic and cytotoxic activities. Antitussive effects of stigmas and petals of C. sativus and its components, safranal and crocin have also been demonstrated. The anticonvulsant and anti-Alzheimer properties of saffron extract were shown in human and animal studies. The efﬁcacy of C. sativus in the treatment of mild to moderate depression was also reported in clinical trial. Administration of C. sativus and its constituents increased glutamate and dopamine levels in the brain in a dose-dependent manner. It also interacts with the opioid system to reduce withdrawal syndrome. Therefore, in the present article, the effects of C. sativus and its constituents on the nervous system and the possible underlying mechanisms are reviewed. Our literature review showed that C. sativus and its components can be considered as promising agents in the treatment of nervous system disorders.
KEYWORDS: Crocin; Crocus sativus; Nervous system; Saffron; Safranal
Crocin and crocetin are carotenoid pigments and responsible for saffron’s red color. Both compounds may have antidepressant properties, protect brain cells against progressive damage, improve inflammation, reduce appetite, and aid weight loss. Ref: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29391933 and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23638289
Saffron and crocin improved appetite, dietary intakes and body composition in patients with coronary artery disease.
Introduction: Central obesity is an independent risk factor for coronary artery disease (CAD). It can increase cardio-metabolic risks through hypertension, hyperlipidemia and insulin resistance. Saffron and its bioactive compounds (crocin and crocetin) can modify some of metabolic disorders through multiple mechanisms. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of saffron and crocin on lipid profile, appetite, dietary intakes, anthropometric indices and body composition in patients with CAD. Methods: This 8 weeks randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled trial was conducted on 84 patients with CAD between the ages of 40 and 65 years old. Participants were randomly divided into groups to receive a daily supplement of 30 mg saffron aqueous extract (SAE) or 30 mg crocin or placebo. Appetite, dietary intake, anthropometry, body composition, biochemical analysis were assessed before and after the study. Results: In SAE and crocin group, anthropometric and some body composition variables revealed a pattern of improvement after intervention. Decrease in body mass index (BMI), waist circumference and fat mass values in SAE group was significantly more than crocin group (P < 0.001). There was no significant difference at the end of study in lipid profile parameters. Both SAE and crocin yielded significant decrease in energy and dietary intake mean values (P < 0.001 and P = 0.046), while it remained unchanged in the placebo group, also the appetite decreased significantly in SAE and crocin group (P < 0.001 and P = 0.029, respectively). Conclusion: The results of present study regarding anti-obesity feature of SAE and crocin in patients with CAD was promising. However the SAE was better in appetite suppressing, dietary intake and central obesity reduction.
Appetite; Coronary Artery Disease; Crocin; Fat Mass; Saffron; Waist Circumference
Safranal: from an aromatic natural product to a rewarding pharmacological agent.
- Pharmaceutical Research Center, Department of Pharmacodynamy and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, I.R. Iran.
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.
Crocus sativus; Review; Saffron; Safranal
Safranal gives saffron its distinct taste and aroma. Research shows that it may help improve your mood, memory, and learning ability, as well as protect your brain cells against oxidative stress (4Trusted Source).
Lastly, kaempferol is found in saffron flower petals. This compound has been linked to health benefits, such as reduced inflammation, anticancer properties, and antidepressant activity. Ref: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23497863
A review of the dietary flavonoid, kaempferol on human health and cancer chemoprevention.
- Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Kaempferol is a polyphenol antioxidant found in fruits and vegetables. Many studies have described the beneficial effects of dietary kaempferol in reducing the risk of chronic diseases, especially cancer. Epidemiological studies have shown an inverse relationship between kaempferol intake and cancer. Kaempferol may help by augmenting the body’s antioxidant defence against free radicals, which promote the development of cancer. At the molecular level, kaempferol has been reported to modulate a number of key elements in cellular signal transduction pathways linked to apoptosis, angiogenesis, inflammation, and metastasis. Significantly, kaempferol inhibits cancer cell growth and angiogenesis and induces cancer cell apoptosis, but on the other hand, kaempferol appears to preserve normal cell viability, in some cases exerting a protective effect. The aim of this review is to synthesize information concerning the extraction of kaempferol, as well as to provide insights into the molecular basis of its potential chemo-preventative activities, with an emphasis on its ability to control intracellular signaling cascades that regulate the aforementioned processes. Chemoprevention using nanotechnology to improve the bioavailability of kaempferol is also discussed.
SUMMARY Saffron is rich in plant compounds that act as antioxidants, such as crocin, crocetin, safranal, and kaempferol. Antioxidants help protect your cells against oxidative stress.