Therapeutic effects of Crocus sativus: An overview of systematic reviews

Document Type: Review Article


1 1Student, Student Research Committee, Medical Plants Research Center, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, I.R. Iran

2 2Research Assistant, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, I.R. Iran


Background and aims: Crocus sativus is of medicinal plants possessing many beneficial effects in treatment of various disorders. This study aimed to overview the therapeutic effects of Crocus sativus on the basis of reviews and systematic reviews. Methods: Computerized search of review articles was performed using PubMed, Google Scholar, Scopus and Web of Science, Medline database from 1996 to 2015. Results: Searches identified 8 reviews and systematic reviews of therapeutic effects of Crocus sativus. Despite remarkable difference in interventions, and type of studies carried out on this plant (in vivo and in vitro), it seemed to have many therapeutic effects on the treatment of various types of diseases. In all the reviews, the objectives were similar, e.g. inhibition of growth of cancer cell lines, analgesic activity, improvement of health condition and treatment of some disease but the type of study (in vivo and in vitro) (animal studies: rat, mouse, guinipig, rabbit) and content was quite different. The most common effects of Crocus sativus were anti-carcinogenesis, tumoricidal, anti-depressant, antihypertensive, anticonvulsant, antitussive, anti-genototoxic and cytotoxic effects, anti-Alzheimer’s, antitussive, anxiolytic, aphrodisiac, antioxidant, anti-nociceptive, anti-inflammatory, relaxant activity, and effects on the gastrointestinal tract, on ocular blood flow and on retinal function, effect on coronary artery diseases, and hypnotic, and anesthetic effects. Conclusion: The results of various studies on Crocus sativus showed that it has a lot of therapeutic effects on the treatment of various types of diseases. However, to be able to use these results in our daily life, additional clinical trials with larger sample size and longer duration may be required to evaluate its toxicity and safety in each and every case of its therapeutic effects.


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