Colchicum, Colchicum autumnale, Colchicum speciosum, Colchicum vernum, Colchique, Colchique d'Automne, Cólquico, Crocus, Dame Sans Chemise, Fall Crocus, Faux-Safran, Gowri Gedde, Meadow Saffran, Meadow Saffron, Mysteria, Naked Ladies, Naked Lady, Safran Bâtard, Safran des Prés, Son-Before-The-Father, Tue-Chien, Tue-Loup, Upstart, Vellorita, Wild Saffron, Wonder Bulb.


Overview Information

Autumn crocus is a plant. The seed, bulb, leaves, and flower are used to make medicine. But all parts of the plant are considered toxic.

Despite serious safety concerns, autumn crocus is used for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), gout, and an inherited fever disorder called familial Mediterranean fever.

How does it work?

All parts of autumn crocus contain colchicine. This is the same active ingredient used in a prescription medication for gout and familial Mediterranean fever. Colchicine works by stopping cells in the body from dividing and growing.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • An inherited fever disorder (familial Mediterranean fever).
  • Gout.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of autumn crocus for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Autumn crocus is UNSAFE. It is poisonous, and can cause burning of the mouth and throat, vomiting, diarrhea, liver and kidney problems, blood disorders, nerve problems, shock, organ failure, and death. There have been reports of poisoning when autumn crocus was mistaken for onions, wild garlic, or wild leeks and eaten.

If you have gout or familial Mediterranean fever, it is much safer to use colchicine prescribed by your healthcare provider. Prescription colchicine contains a set amount of medicine. The amount of colchicine in autumn crocus can vary from plant to plant.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's UNSAFE for anyone to use autumn crocus, but pregnant women have extra reasons to avoid use. Autumn crocus might cause birth defects.



Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

  • Colchicine interacts with AUTUMN CROCUS

    Autumn crocus contains colchicine. Taking autumn crocus along with colchicine might increase the effects and side effects of colchicine.



The appropriate dose of autumn crocus depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for autumn crocus. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References


  • Brvar, M., Kozelj, G., Mozina, M., and Bunc, M. Acute poisoning with autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale L.). Wien.Klin Wochenschr. 3-31-2004;116(5-6):205-208. View abstract.
  • Boisramé-Helms J, Rahmani H, Stiel L, Tournoud C, Sauder P. Extracorporeal life support in the treatment of colchicine poisoning. Clin Toxicol (Phila) 2015;53(8):827-9. View abstract.
  • Brncic N, Viskovic I, Peric R, et al. Accidental plant poisoning with Colchicum autumnale: report of two cases. Croat Med J 2001;42(6):673-5. View abstract.
  • Burnham TH, ed. Drug Facts and Comparisons, Updated Monthly. Facts and Comparisons, St. Louis, MO.
  • Jaspersen-Schib R, Theus L, Guirguis-Oeschger M, et al. [Serious plant poisonings in Switzerland 1966-1994. Case analysis from the Swiss Toxicology Information Center]. Schweiz Med Wochenschr 1996;126:1085-98. View abstract.
  • Kritikos A, Spertini O. Reversible granulocyte abnormalities after accidental ingestion of Colchicum autumnale. Blood 2017;130(1):95. doi: 10.1182/blood-2017-02-766410. View abstract.
  • Nagesh KR, Menezes RG, Rastogi P, et al. Suicidal plant poisoning with Colchicum autumnale. J Forensic Leg Med 2011;18(6):285-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jflm.2011.04.008. View abstract.
  • Sundov Z, Nincevic Z, Definis-Gojanovic M, et al. Fatal colchicine poisoning by accidental ingestion of meadow saffron-case report. Forensic Sci Int 2005;149(2-3):253-6. View abstract.
  • Wollersen H, Erdmann F, Risse M, Dettmeyer R. Accidental fatal ingestion of colchicine-containing leaves - toxicological and histological findings. Leg Med (Tokyo) 2009;11 Suppl 1:S498-9. doi: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2009.01.080. View abstract.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
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