The stigmas of Crocus sativus Linne (nat. ord. Irideae).

Habitat

Western Asia; cultivated in Spain and France.

Characters

Separate stigmas, or three, attached to the top of the style, about 3 cm. long, flattish-tubular, almost thread-like, broader and notched above; orange-brown; odor strong, peculiar, aromatic; taste bitterish and aromatic

Composition

The chief constituents are - (1) Polyckroite, C44H70O28, an amorphous, brown-yellow Glucoside, soluble in Alcohol and water, splitting into Sugar (Crocose), and red Crocetin, (formerly called Crocin), C36H46O9, soluble in Ether and Alcohol. (2) Picrocrocin, C38H66O17, in colorless, bitter needles, readily soluble in Alcohol and water. (3) A volatile oil, C10H16, 1 per cent. (4) Fixed oil.

Impurities

Marigold, saffron petals, chalk, and oil.

Dose, 5 to 30 gr.; .30 to 2.00 gm.

Preparation

Tinctura Croci. - Tincture of Saffron. Saffron, 100; by maceration and percolation with Diluted Alcohol to 1000. Dose, 1 to 2 fl. dr.; 4. to 8. c.c.

Uses of Saffron.

Saffron is only used to color pharmaceutical preparations, but it is expensive.