Overview

Saffron (Crocus sativus) is a plant. The dried thread-like parts of the flower (stigmas) are used to make saffron spice, food coloring, and medicine.

Saffron contains chemicals that might alter mood, kill cancer cells, decrease swelling, and act like antioxidants. It can take 75,000 saffron blossoms to produce a single pound of saffron spice. Saffron is largely cultivated in Iran and harvested by hand. It's one of the world's most expensive spices.

People commonly use saffron for depression, anxiety, Alzheimer disease, menstrual cramps, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support many of these uses.

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