Characteristics of Saffron plant. Scientific name. Identification, characteristics, origin, content and active ingredients. Medicinal properties attributed. Benefits and uses of Saffron. Preparation and dosage.
Saffron is a herbaceous, bulbous plant from the Iridaceae family. It has long, linear green leaves forming tufts.
The parts used are the stigmas and styles terminations.
Its greatest use is as a food coloring and seasoning but its high price has little use and has been replaced by substitutes.
The saffron plant is native to India, the Balkans and the eastern Mediterranean region. It is cultivated in India, Spain, France and Italy.
The main active ingredients of Saffron are:
Carotenoid glycosides: Crocin (giving their tint strength)
Bitter principle: picroside (4%)
Essential oil: safranal (0.4 to 1.3%), traces of cineol.
Fatty acids: olenólico derivatives.
Carotenoids: lycopene, alpha, beta and gamma carotene.
Fixed oil and starch.
The crocin is an active ingredient with marked lipid-lowering effect; the picroside is a bitter substance, with appetizer and eupeptic action.
Saffron also has properties as a nerve stimulant, emmenagogue, and externally, calms dental and gingival pain, is dental analgesic. Its essential oil is carminative, spasmolytic and eupeptic.
This plant is not of high interest in medicine and by its properties is used as a condiment.
In very high doses, saffron can be emetic, abortifacient and cause dizziness and severe bleeding.
Abortive dose: 10 g
Lethal dose for adult = 20 g. (poisoning cases come mostly from its use as an abortifacient),is risky to take during pregnancy for their abortive power, produces intoxication and can be lethal in doses of 20 g.
- Use in food as seasoning.
- Infusion: 2 g / l. One to three cups a day.
- Tincture (1:10): 20-40 drops three times a day, as a carminative.
- Tincture: apply rubbing the gums.
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