Jo Barnes
2022 Journal of Primary Health Care  
Saffron (Crocus sativus L.; Iridaceae) is a perennial herb that produces purple flowers with drooping red stigmas. The plant is indigenous to south-western Asia and southern Europe and now cultivated in many other countries, including Afghanistan, China, India, Iran and New Zealand. The red stigmas are the part used medicinally (after drying), and as a spice and colouring agent in food. Saffron has a long history of traditional use for treatment of abdominal pain, fever, and to stimulate or
more » ... ease menstrual blood flow; uses in traditional Chinese medicine, include for treatment of haematoma, melancholia, convulsions, as a sedative, for 'blood stasis' after childbirth, and eruptions in infectious diseases. Saffron is extremely expensive as more than 150 000 flowers are required to produce 1 kg of stigma material. For this reason, intentional financially motivated adulteration of saffron occurs and may be widespread. Known adulterants of saffron include other plant materials, such as the tepals (often incorrectly described as 'petals') of saffron flowers, stigmas of safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) and calendula (Calendula officinalis), and powdered curcuma (Curcuma longa L.) rhizome, animal material, chalk, synthetic dyes and other substances.
doi:10.1071/hc22067 pmid:35771700 fatcat:5io6yeslbffvhf2644sh55bzvq