Austin, TX—Pharmactive Biotech Products has adopted saffron through the American Botanical Council’s (ABC) Adopt-an-Herb botanical research and education program, according to a press release.

Saffron (Crocus sativus) is an autumn-flowering perennial, and one of the most expensive spices in the world: The part of the plant used medicinally and as a spice is the dried stigma, and saffron has only three stigmas per plant, the release notes. The stigmas contain terpenes and their esters and carotenoids; the petals, used less often, contain glycosides of the flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol.

It has been traditionally used in Egypt, Greece, India, and Persia, for respiratory disorders, menstrual disorders, painful urination, and mood disorders, according to the release. Modern applications focus largely on cognitive function and mood support; some human clinical trials have compared the effects of saffron preparations to pharmaceutical drugs used for Alzheimer’s disease and mild-to-moderate depression. Other promising areas for research on saffron include anti-inflammatory action, glaucoma and macular degeneration, and weight loss.

Pharmactive’s adoption supports ABC’s HerbMedPro database, ensuring that the resource remains up to date for researchers, health professionals, industry members, students, consumers, and other members of the herbal and dietary supplement and natural medicine communities.
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Pharmactive’s Founder and CEO Jean-Marie Raymond said in the release: “Pharmactive is more than pleased to adopt one of the most fascinating and valued plants in the world. Saffron is helping millions of people around the world maintain a positive mood, manage anxiety, and get restorative sleep every day. The excellent safety profile of saffron makes it perfect for different stages of life, including the elderly and adolescents.”

Mark Blumenthal, Founder and Executive Director of ABC, added: “ABC is deeply grateful to our friends at Pharmactive for adopting saffron on ABC’s powerful HerbMedPro database. Saffron is a traditional spice, often considered the most expensive in the world. The past decade has witnessed a virtual explosion of scientific and clinical research on the effects of saffron extracts on the human central nervous system, including its positive effects for people with mild-to-moderate depression. In fact, the emerging saffron research is so impressive that ABC published a review of the clinical literature in HerbalGram issue 110.”

Pharmactive is a privately owned company that develops and manufactures standardized natural ingredients supported by scientific evidence. It is the first company to introduce a standardized saffron extract for mood management.