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The dried stigmas of Crocus sativus (C. officinalis) (family Iridaceae), formerly used occasionally in flatulent dyspepsia; also formerly used as an antispasmodic in asthma and dysmenorrhea and as a coloring and flavoring agent.
Synonym(s): saffron
[L. fr. G. krokos, the crocus, saffron (made from its stigmas)]


Chinese medicine
A herb, the flower of which contains crocetin; it is used as an antispasmodic, alterative and cardiotonic, and is believed be an aphrodisiac. Saffron has been used to treat anaemia, cardiovascular disease (hypertension, palpitations and tachycardia), delayed menses, obstetrical problems and muscle spasms. 

Herbal medicine
Saffron is used in Western herbal medicine much in the same way as Chinese medicine.
In extreme excess, saffron has caused death in women who have used it as an abortifacient.
References in periodicals archive ?
On a Chill Day, I rise late, wear loose saffron-coloured clothes, have carrot juice for breakfast and kayak to work.
It's a real winter room - a fabulous fireplace, saffron-coloured walls, red Stuart silk tartan curtains and white sofas.
Many of the great experiences in life involve a mix of sensations and eating is one of the original multimedia experiences, in some cuisines, colour has played more important part than others, as, for example, Indian food with its saffron-coloured rice and the lurid red of tandoori chicken.
HE played gigs last year in a saffron-coloured sarong, but will Michael Stipe dare to don a kilt when REM appear at Stirling Castle later this year?
Akshay Kumar's war epic 'Kesari' is as subtle as the overwhelming saffron-coloured turban that he sports in the battle scenes.
The founder and president of the hardline Shiv Sena party, Thackeray, was as famous for his saffron-coloured robes, white beard and tinted sunglasses as his firebrand rhetoric on social issues such as immigration and communalism.
A quality of strangled desire is boiled down to the longing to "put a hand on the shoulder of a woman whose back reminds us of a long-lost friend." Bevilacqua has "saffron-coloured fingers" from smoking, and wore "the habitual expression of a slaughtered ram."
A flurry of snowy Basmati, topped with a trail of saffron-coloured rice, curves along the outer edge of the dish.