Saffron-based pigments have been found in the prehistoric paints used to illustrate beasts in 50,000 year-old cave art found in today's Iraq (north-west of Persian Empire). Later, the Sumerians used saffron as an ingredient in their remedies and magical potions. Sumerians did not cultivate saffron. They gathered their stores from wild flowers, believing that divine intervention alone enables saffron's medicinal properties. Such evidence provides evidence that saffron was an article of long-distance trade before Crete's Minoan palace culture reached a peak in the 2nd millennium BC.
Saffron is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth as a medicine for up to 6 weeks. Some possible side effects include dry mouth, anxiety, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, change in appetite, and headache. Allergic reactions can occur in some people.
Taking large amounts of saffron by mouth is POSSIBLY UNSAFE.
Uses in Medicine
Saffron gets mention even in the oldest Ayurvedic treatises like Charaka Samhita & Sushruta Samhita (approx. 500 B.C). It is an important ingredient of many medical recipes. Mentioned as Kumkum or Kesar it is also attributed several synonyms like Kashmiran, Bahleeka, Rudhira and Sankocha. Singh and Chunckar (1972) records its mentioned in Ayurvedic texts as below:
Benefits of saffron
(medicinal properties of saffron)
Saffron has been known since Antiquity as a remedy for all pains, without claiming to be a universal medicine, it is however a natural solution for many health problems in our times.
Scientific Name(s): Crocus sativus L. Family: Iridaceae
Common Name(s): Saffron , za'faran
Saffron has widespread traditional uses. It has demonstrated efficacy in mild to moderate depression; however, a limited number of quality clinical trials exist. Potential exists for a role in the treatment of cancer and age-related macular degeneration.