Historical uses of saffron: Identifying potential new avenues for modern research

Author(s): S.Zeinab Mousavi, S.Zahra Bathaie

Background: During the ancient times, saffron (Crocus sativus L.) had many uses around the world; however, some of them were forgotten throughout the history. But saffron’s uses came back into attention during the past few decades, when a new interest in natural active compounds arose. It is supposed that understanding different uses of saffron in past can help us in finding the best uses for today.
Objective: Our objective was to review different uses of saffron throughout the history among different nations.
Results: Saffron has been known since more than 3000 years ago by many nations. It was valued not only as a culinary condiment, but also as a dye, perfume and as a medicinal herb. Its medicinal uses ranged from eye problems to genitourinary and many other diseases in various cultures. It was also used as a tonic agent and antidepressant drug among many nations.
Conclusion(s): Saffron has had many different uses such as being used as a food additive along with being a palliative agent for many human diseases. Thus, as an important medicinal herb, it is a good candidate withmany promising potentials to be considered for newdrug design.

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