Saffron: A golden condiment and arepositoryof nutraceutical potential

MONIKA THAKUR, NEHA SHARMA

Abstract


Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) is one of the worlds most valuable condiments, whose dried stigmas have been used since antiquity for culinary and medicinal purposes. The ethnobotanical data reveal that the plant and stigma extracts have many medicinal properties. On the basis of ethnobotanical data, lots of research has been done to determine the nutraceutical potential of saffron. The studies reveal that saffron extracts increase memory retention; reduce coronary artery disease and blood pressure, have anti-depression, anti-inflammatory, antigastric, anti-parkinsonian, anti-mutagenic, tumoricidal, cytotoxic, anti-hyperglycemic, pancrease protective effects and many more. Saffron being a rich source of carotenoids also has anticancer and antitumor properties. Being a repository of medicinal benefits, the potential can further be explored and exploited to develop new formulations and this golden condiment can be used as a complete and promising functional food.

Keywords


<italic>Crocus sativus</italic>, Indigenous medicine, Golden condiment, Nutraceutical potential

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