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Saffron Properties

Saffron Saffron helps in the digestive process, carminative, and also helps regulate menstruation. Saffron is used as a coloring and flavoring agent because of its pungent colour and aromatic flavor.
In large doses it can affect the color of urine, sweat, and other body secretions, turning them bright yellow. It can also produce a state of drunkenness, dizziness, vertigo, and headaches. There is no toxicity when taken in recomended dosage.
The bitter properties of Saffron bestow it with tonical properties for the stomach and digestive properties, while the crocetia that it contains has a effect on reducing cholesterol.
In Gynecology, it is sometimes recomended to help alleviate uncomfortable menstruation or the lack of menstruation; however, it must always be used with caution. Saffron also stimulates sweating and is sometimes used to help reduce fevers.
Saffron can also be used topically. It is one of the ingredients used in oral rinses to help clear up canquer sores and is often used to reduce the discomfort of teething infants.
Verma SK. Bordia A.
Institution Department of Medicine and Indigenous Drug Research Centre, RNT Medical College, Udaipur (India).
Antioxidant property of Saffron in man.
Indian Journal of Medical Sciences. 52(5):205-7, 1998 May.
50 mg of Saffron dissolved in 100 ml of milk was administered twice a day to 20 human subjects. Lipoprotein oxidation susceptibility (LOS) was estimated initially and after 3 and 6 weeks. There was a constant decrease in LOS during this period. From a mean of 66.4 +/- 3.18 it decreased to 38.3 +/- 2.8 in 10 healthy individuals and from 76.0 +/- 3.72 to 48.8 +/- 3.0 in 10 patients of CAD. The significant fall (P < 0.001) in LOS indicates the potential of Saffron as an antioxidant.

Institution University of Nebraska Medical Center, Eppley Institute for Cancer Research and Allied Diseases, Omaha 68198-6260, USA.
Saffron chemoprevention in biology and medicine: a review.
Cancer Biotherapy. 10(4):257-64, 1995 Winter.
A growing body of evidence indicate that carotenoids possess anticarcinogenic, anti-mutagenic and immunomodulating effects. Saffron obtained from the dried stigmas of Crocus sativus L., is an important spice, rich in carotenoids, consumed commonly in different parts of the world. Our laboratory first reported the anticancer activity of saffron extract (dimethyl-crocetin) against a wide spectrum of murine tumors and human leukemia cell lines. The present report reviews the role of saffron in serving as a chemopreventive agent in modifying cancer risk. Dose-dependent cytotoxic effect to carcinoma, sarcoma and leukemia cells in vitro were noted. Saffron delayed ascites tumor growth and increased the life span of the treated mice compared to untreated controls by 45-120%. In addition, it delayed the onset of papilloma growth, decreased incidence of squamous cell carcinoma and soft tissue sarcoma in treated mice. Understanding the mechanisms of action of saffron have been solitarily based on their carotenoid-like action. Our results indicated significant inhibition in the synthesis of nucleic acids but not protein synthesis. It appears now that saffron (dimethyl-crocetin) disrupts DNA-protein interactions e.g. topoisomerases II, important for cellular DNA synthesis. [References: 41]
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