Saffron: The golden spice with therapeutic properties on digestive diseases

Hassan Ashktorab, Akbar Soleimani, Gulshan Singh, Amin Amr, Solmaz Tabtabaei, Giovanni Latella, Ulrike Stein, Shahin Akhondzadeh, Naimesh Solanki, Marjorie C. Gondré-Lewis, Aida Habtezion, Hassan Brim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Citations (Scopus)


Saffron is a natural compound that has been used for centuries in many parts of the world as a food colorant and additive. It was shown to have the ability to mitigate various disorders through its known anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Several studies have shown the effectiveness of saffron in the treatment of various chronic diseases like inflammatory bowel diseases, Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis as well as common malignancies of the colon, stomach, lung, breast, and skin. Modern day drugs generally have unwanted side effects, which led to the current trend to use naturally occurring products with therapeutic properties. In the present review, the objective is to systematically analyze the wealth of information regarding the potential mechanisms of action and the medical use of saffron, the “golden spice”, especially in digestive diseases. We summarized saffron influence on microbiome, molecular pathways, and inflammation in gastric, colon, liver cancers, and associated inflammations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number943
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2019


  • Cancer
  • Colitis
  • Colon
  • Gastritis
  • Gastrointestinal diseases
  • Hepatitis: pancreatitis
  • Inflammation
  • Liver
  • Microbiome
  • Pancreas
  • Saffron
  • Stomach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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