Crocus sativus

A small deciduous perennial that grows from a corm (a rounded underground storage organ). The leaves are linear with a silvery central stripe and goblet shaped, aromatic, pale purple flowers with orange-red stigmas, blooming in the autumn months.

Family: Iridaceae

Which probiotic is it in?: Saffron is a key herb in Bio-Live Women.

Habit and cultivation: Although this plant can tolerate the cold winters well, its ultimate environment is hot dry summer breezes similar to the Mediterranean climate, and direct sunlight in areas that slope towards the sun. Now grown in many areas of the world under conditions to suit the individual regions.

Actions (known for): Antiseptic, anti-depressant, anti-oxidant, digestive, anti-convulsant, emmenagogue and nervine tonic.


Native to South Eastern Asia, saffron derives its name from the Latin word safranum meaning yellow. Documented for more than 3,000 years as the world’s most expensive spice. Traditionally used in Persia for depression. Used for cooking, as a dye, medicinally and to flavor coffee. Continues to be the world’s most expensive spice.

Parts used:

Flower pistils (stigma).

Constituents (bio available chemicals):

Crocin, a-crocin, safranal, cineole, phenethenol, pinene, borneol, geraniol, limonene, p-cymene, linalool and terpinen-4-oil.

Nutritional constituents:

Vitamins: A, C, Folates, B3 and B6. Minerals: potassium, sodium, zinc, manganese, calcium, iron and copper.


Assists in the control of blood pressure and heart rate, adjunct cancer therapy, anti-depressant, Alzheimer’s disease and menstrual disorders.


1.5g daily.

British Herbal Pharmacopoeia

Cautions for therapeutic doses

Pregnancy and breast feeding.

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