What is particularly intriguing is saffron's potential
role in cancer prevention. This was first brought to
public attention in the 1990s by S.C. Nair of the
Amala Cancer Research Centre and Hospital, Kerala,
India. In several papers, Nair showed that saffron and
its components had surprisingly strong anticancer
Some components in saffron act as "topo II"
inhibitors, similar to the chemotherapeutic drug
Adriamcyin. Yet, unlike Adriamycin, saffron is
non-toxic. Nair noted a dose-dependent cancer effect
on carcinoma, sarcoma and leukemia cells in the test
tube. Saffron increased the life span of treated mice
compared to untreated controls by 45 to 120 percent.
In addition, it delayed the onset of papillomas.
Just this November, Indian scientists showed that
saffron decreased the damage to the DNA and the liver
caused by various forms of chemotherapy. Long-term
treatment with crocin of female rats with colon
cancer enhanced their survival without major toxic
effects. "The effects of crocin might be related to
its strong cytotoxic effect on cultured tumor cells,"
Spanish scientists concluded.
Scientists have also shown that extracts of saffron
inhibit cell growth of human tumor cells. Cancer cells
treated with crocin had empty areas, reduced
cytoplasm, and a destruction of their DNA… all
potentially good things for patients. Crocin, they
said, is a "promising saffron compound to be assayed
as a cancer therapeutic agent,"
A provocative study from Greece showed that saffron
was comparable to all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) in
terms of its anticancer activity. ATRA is a form of
vitamin A that is conventionally used to treat some
head-and-neck cancers. Although saffron extracts are
slightly less active than ATRA, they are not
precursors of vitamin A and "could therefore be less
toxic than retinoids, even at high doses."
Moss Report #18 January 7, 2002
Moss Report, July 23, 2006 "Dr. Fikrat Abdullaev, author of over 120 scientific papers and probably the world's leading expert on the medicinal uses and anti-cancer properties of saffron, died suddenly this week".
LINK for more information
|Remember we are NOT Doctors and have NO medical training.|
This site is like an Encyclopedia - there are many pages, many links on many topics.
Support our work with any size DONATION - see left side of any page - for how to donate. You can help raise awareness of CAM.