The genus Crocus L.: A review of ethnobotanical uses, phytochemistry and pharmacology

Ano: 2021

Industrial Crops and Products, 2021, 171, 113923.


Autores/as: Eila Mohtashami, Mohammad Sadegh Amiri, Mahin Ramezani, Seyed Ahmad Emami, Jesus Simal-Gandara.


Crocus L. is a genus of perennial plants in the family Iridaceae. Numerous research regarding healing effects of Crocus spp. on human diseases are being published worldwide. Crocus sativus L. is the most studied species of this taxa, however, other Crocus species are also being used traditionally in different countries. The most commonly used plant part of C. sativus is the stigma, known as saffron. Traditional practitioners were using saffron for treating depression, inflammations and gastrointestinal, liver, respiratory, urogenital, eye and skin diseases. In modern studies, saffron and its constituents have been used for treating cancer, liver fibrosis, fatty liver, metabolic diseases, retinal damage, asthma, depression, inflammation and neurodegeneration. Inflammation and oxidative damage are crucial factors in the pathogenesis of these diseases and Crocus spp. has been used for treating inflammatory diseases in both traditional and modern research. This may result from the presence of anthocyanins and flavonoids as anti-oxidant components and safranal (monoterpenoid), crocin and crocetin (carotenoid) as anti-inflammatory components. These compounds can be considered as potential drug candidates for treating different respiratory, retinal, metabolic and neural ailments. In this review, general information regarding botany, ethnobotany, chemical profile, and pharmacological effects of different Crocus species and their constituents have been summarized.

Jesús Simal Gándara

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