Date Published: 7 April 2020

American Botanical Council announce adoption of Saffron via Adopt-an-Herb Program

The American Botanical Council (ABC) has announced1 that Madrid-based Pharmactive Biotech Products, SL, has adopted saffron (Crocus sativus) through ABC's Adopt-an-Herb program. By participation in this scheme Pharmactive2, is helping ABC to expand its nonprofit educational mission and to maintain its HerbMedPro3 database that makes available the latest scientific research about these botanical sources online.

Notes about saffron from ABC

Saffron (Crocus sativus) is an an autumn-flowering perennial also known as saffron crocus and autumn crocus4. The main part of the plant that is used medicinally is the dried stigma. It has been estimated that 50,000–75,000 Crocus sativus plants are required to produce about 1 pound of saffron4,5. With only three stigmas per plant, saffron is among the most expensive spices in the world. It is used as a food additive due to its aroma, color, and bitter taste, as well as in various systems of traditional medicine. It has not been reported in the wild but is thought to descend from wild saffron (C. cartwrightianus).

Saffron's stigmas contain volatile and non-volatile compounds, including terpenes and their esters and carotenoids, all of which are responsible for saffron's color and taste. The petals, which are used less often in medicinal preparations, contain glycosides of the flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol.

Human cultivation and use of saffron has occured over more than 3,500 years, spanning cultures, continents, and civilizations. For example, saffron has been used in the traditional medicines of Egypt, Greece, India, and Persia, where it was used to treat conditions including respiratory disorders, painful urination, and mood disorders (mental health).

Modern uses of saffron include cognitive function and mood support. Some human clinical trials have compared the effects of saffron preparations to leading conventional pharmaceutical drugs used for Alzheimer's disease and mild-to-moderate depression. Other promising areas of research for saffron extracts focus on its anti-inflammatory actions for reproductive health, glaucoma and macular degeneration, and weight loss and exercise. [Notes about saffron based on1 with variation.]

Pharmactive Biotech Products, SL, decision to adopt Crocus sativus

" Pharmactive is more than pleased to adopt one of the most fascinating and valued plants in the world," said Pharmactive Founder and CEO Jean-Marie Raymond.

" Saffron is helping millions of people around the world maintain a positive mood, manage anxiety, and get restorative sleep every day. The excellent safety profile of saffron makes it perfect for different stages of life, including the elderly and adolescents."

Mark Blumenthal, ABC's Founder and Executive Director, said:

" ABC is deeply grateful to our friends at Pharmactive for adopting saffron on ABC's powerful HerbMedPro database. Saffron is a traditional spice, often considered the most expensive in the world. The past decade has witnessed a virtual explosion of scientific and clinical research on the effects of saffron extracts on the human central nervous system, including its positive effects for people with mild-to-moderate depression."

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