Saffron in phytotherapy: Pharmacology and clinical uses



Saffron (stigmates of Crocus sativus L.) has been used for medicinal purposes for millenaries. Throughout history, uses against cancer and depressive mood can regularly be identified. These applications have also been in the focus of modern research. Promising and selective anti-cancer effects have been observed in vitro and in vivo, but not yet in clinical trials. Antidepressant effects were found in vivo and in clinical pilot studies. Saffron extracts thus have the potential to make a major contribution to rational phytotherapy.


Crocus sativus Pharmacology Clinical application Depression Cancer 

Safran in der Phytotherapie: Pharmakologie und klinische Verwendung


Safran (Stigmata von Crocus sativus L.) wird seit Jahrtausenden für medizinische Zwecke verwendet. Im Verlauf der Geschichte lässt sich regelmäßig die Verwendung gegen Krebsleiden und bei depressiver Verstimmung identifizieren. Diese Anwendungen waren auch Schwerpunkt der modernen Forschung. Vielversprechende und selektive Effekte gegen Krebs wurden in vitro und in vivo beobachtet, während antidepressive Effekte sowohl in vivo als auch in klinischen Pilot-studien bestätigt wurden. Safranextrakte haben daher das Potenzial, einen wesentlichen Beitrag zur rationalen Phytotherapie zu leisten.


Crocus sativus Pharmakologie Klinische Verwendung Depression Krebs 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mathias Schmidt
    • 1
  • Georges Betti
    • 2
  • Andreas Hensel
    • 3
  1. 1.Herbresearch GermanyTussenhausenGermany
  2. 2.Medicinal & Aromatic Plants R&D, Les Algorithmes – Aristote ASophia AntipolisFrance
  3. 3.Institute for Pharmaceutical Biology und PhytochemistryMünsterGermany

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