Saffron is a plant resembling onion, 45 cms high. Commercial saffron consists of the dried stigma and tops of the styles of the flowers. It is one of the world's costliest herbs. Saffron is more popular in the Tibbi than in the Ayurvedic medicine.
Saffron contains an essential oil which consists of terpenes, terpene alcohols and esters. Its other constituents are croon and picrorocin.
Saffron is largely used in indigenous medicine across India. It enjoys a great reputation as a drug which strengthens the functioning of stomach and promotes its action. The drug also counteracts spasmodic disorders, that is, sustained involuntary muscle contraction. It is a stimulant and promotes libido.
Saffron is beneficial in the treatment of several digestive disorders, especially flatulent colic.
The herb is useful in promoting and regulating menstrual periods. It soothes lumbar pains which accompany menstruation. Saffron is also beneficial in the treatment of other ailments concerning women such as leucorrhoea and hysteria. Pessaries of saffron are used in painful conditions of the uterus.
Saffron is useful in treating skin disorders. A paste of the herb can be used as a dressing for bruises and superficial sores.
Precautions: The drug should not be taken in large doses by pregnant women as it may cause abortion.