The dried stigmas and top of the style of Crocus sativus, B.P. The stigmas of Crocus sativus, U.S.P. Spain, France, and Italy.

Characters. - Thread-like styles, each terminated by three long orange-brown stigmas, broadest at the summit. Has a powerful aromatic odour.

Dose. - Of dried saffron, 20 gr. and upwards.

Preparations.

B.P.

Dose.

Decoctum Aloes Compositum.....................................

....1/2-2 fl. oz.

Pilula Aloes et Myrrhae (vide p. 522) ................................

....5-10 gr.

Pulvis Cretae Aromaticus ..........................................

....10-60 gr.

Tinctura Cinchonae Composita...................................

....1/2-2fl. dr.

Tinctura Croci...........................................................

....1/2-2 fl. dr.

Tinctura Opii Ammoniata .........................................

....1/2-1 fl. dr.

,, Rhei ............................................................

....1 2 fl. dr. (stomachic).

,, ,, ...........................................................

....4-8 fl. dr. (purgative).

U.S.P.

Tinctura Croci ............................................................

...1/2-2 fl. dr.

Composition. - The colouring matter of saffron is a glucoside - crocin - soluble in water and easily decomposed by dilute acids. A volatile oil is obtainable both directly from the drug and by the decomposition of crocin. It possesses the odour of saffron.

Impurities. - Saffron is often adulterated with parts of other plants dyed, and with coloured chalk.

Tests. - By throwing saffron on the surface of warm water, the peculiar form of the stigma is at once seen, and admixture of other plants discovered. The chalk is detected by its immediately rendering the water turbid.

Action and Uses. - Saffron has but little action. It is used chiefly as a colouring agent, and as a slight carminative.