The Info List - Saffron

(pronounced /ˈsæfrən/ or /ˈsæfrɒn/)[1] is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the "saffron crocus". The vivid crimson stigmas and styles, called threads, are collected and dried to be used mainly as a seasoning and colouring agent in food. Saffron, long among the world's most costly spices by weight,[2][3][4] was probably first cultivated in or near Greece.[5] C. sativus is probably a form of C. cartwrightianus, that emerged by human cultivators selectively breeding plants for unusually long stigmas in late Bronze Age Crete.[6] It slowly propagated throughout much of Eurasia
and was later brought to parts of North Africa, North America, and Oceania. Saffron's taste and iodoform or hay-like fragrance result from the chemicals picrocrocin and safranal.[7][8] It also contains a carotenoid pigment, crocin, which imparts a rich golden-yellow hue to dishes and textiles. Its recorded history is attested in a 7th-century BC Assyrian botanical treatise compiled under Ashurbanipal,[9] and it has been traded and used for over four millennia. Iran
now accounts for approximately 90% of the world production of saffron.[10]


1 Etymology 2 Species

2.1 Description 2.2 Cultivation

3 Spice

3.1 Chemistry 3.2 Grades and ISO 3632 categories 3.3 Adulteration 3.4 Types

4 Trade 5 Uses

5.1 Nutrition 5.2 Research

6 History

6.1 Eastern 6.2 Wider Near East 6.3 Western Europe 6.4 The Americas

7 References 8 Bibliography 9 External links

Etymology[edit] Further information: History of saffron A degree of uncertainty surrounds the origin of the English word "saffron". It might stem from the 12th-century Old French term safran, which comes from the Latin word safranum or from Arabic, az-za'faran, having unknown origin.[11] Species[edit] Main article: Crocus sativus Description[edit]

Köhler's Medicinal Plants:





C. sativus.

The domesticated saffron crocus, Crocus sativus, is an autumn-flowering perennial plant unknown in the wild. It probably descends from the eastern Mediterranean autumn-flowering Crocus cartwrightianus,[12][13] which is also known as "wild saffron"[14] and originated in Crete[15] or mainland Greece.[8] An origin in Southwest Asia,[3][16] although often suspected, has been disapproved by botanical research.[17] The saffron crocus probably resulted when C. cartwrightianus was subjected to extensive artificial selection by growers seeking longer stigmas. C. thomasii and C. pallasii are other possible sources.[13][18] As a genetically monomorphic clone,[15] it slowly propagated throughout much of Eurasia. It is a sterile triploid form, which means that three homologous sets of chromosomes compose each specimen's genetic complement; C. sativus bears eight chromosomal bodies per set, making for 24 in total.[19] Being sterile, the purple flowers of C. sativus fail to produce viable seeds; reproduction hinges on human assistance: clusters of corms, underground, bulb-like, starch-storing organs, must be dug up, divided, and replanted. A corm survives for one season, producing via this vegetative division up to ten "cormlets" that can grow into new plants in the next season.[12] The compact corms are small, brown globules that can measure as large as 5 cm (2 in) in diameter, have a flat base, and are shrouded in a dense mat of parallel fibres; this coat is referred to as the "corm tunic". Corms also bear vertical fibres, thin and net-like, that grow up to 5 cm (2 in) above the plant's neck.[19] The plant sprouts 5–11 white and non-photosynthetic leaves known as cataphylls. These membrane-like structures cover and protect the crocus's 5 to 11 true leaves as they bud and develop. The latter are thin, straight, and blade-like green foliage leaves, which are 1–3 mm (0.04–0.12 in), in diameter, which either expand after the flowers have opened ("hysteranthous") or do so simultaneously with their blooming ("synanthous"). C. sativus cataphylls are suspected by some to manifest prior to blooming when the plant is irrigated relatively early in the growing season. Its floral axes, or flower-bearing structures, bear bracteoles, or specialised leaves, that sprout from the flower stems; the latter are known as pedicels.[19] After aestivating in spring, the plant sends up its true leaves, each up to 40 cm (16 in) in length. Only in October, after most other flowering plants have released their seeds, do its brilliantly hued flowers develop; they range from a light pastel shade of lilac to a darker and more striated mauve.[20] The flowers possess a sweet, honey-like fragrance. Upon flowering, the plants are 20–30 cm (8–12 in) in height and bear up to four flowers. A three-pronged style 25–30 mm (1.0–1.2 in) in length, emerges from each flower. Each prong terminates with a vivid crimson stigma, which are the distal end of a carpel.[12][19] Cultivation[edit]

bulbs for vegetative reproduction

The saffron crocus, unknown in the wild, probably descends from Crocus cartwrightianus. It is a triploid that is "self-incompatible" and male sterile; it undergoes aberrant meiosis and is hence incapable of independent sexual reproduction—all propagation is by vegetative multiplication via manual "divide-and-set" of a starter clone or by interspecific hybridisation.[21][13] Crocus sativus
Crocus sativus
thrives in the Mediterranean maquis, an ecotype superficially resembling the North American chaparral, and similar climates where hot and dry summer breezes sweep semi-arid lands. It can nonetheless survive cold winters, tolerating frosts as low as −10 °C (14 °F) and short periods of snow cover.[12][22] Irrigation is required if grown outside of moist environments such as Kashmir, where annual rainfall averages 1,000–1,500 mm (39–59 in); saffron-growing regions in Greece
(500 mm or 20 in annually) and Spain
(400 mm or 16 in) are far drier than the main cultivating Iranian regions. What makes this possible is the timing of the local wet seasons; generous spring rains and drier summers are optimal. Rain immediately preceding flowering boosts saffron yields; rainy or cold weather during flowering promotes disease and reduces yields. Persistently damp and hot conditions harm the crops,[23] and rabbits, rats, and birds cause damage by digging up corms. Nematodes, leaf rusts, and corm rot pose other threats. Yet Bacillus subtilis
Bacillus subtilis
inoculation may provide some benefit to growers by speeding corm growth and increasing stigma biomass yield.[24]

harvesting, Torbat-e Heydarieh, Iran

The plants fare poorly in shady conditions; they grow best in full sunlight. Fields that slope towards the sunlight are optimal (i.e., south-sloping in the Northern Hemisphere). Planting is mostly done in June in the Northern Hemisphere, where corms are lodged 7–15 cm (3–6 in) deep; its roots, stems, and leaves can develop between October and February.[19] Planting depth and corm spacing, in concert with climate, are critical factors in determining yields. Mother corms planted deeper yield higher-quality saffron, though form fewer flower buds and daughter corms. Italian growers optimise thread yield by planting 15 cm (6 in) deep and in rows 2–3 cm (0.8–1.2 in) apart; depths of 8–10 cm (3–4 in) optimise flower and corm production. Greek, Moroccan, and Spanish growers employ distinct depths and spacings that suit their locales. C. sativus prefers friable, loose, low-density, well-watered, and well-drained clay-calcareous soils with high organic content. Traditional raised beds promote good drainage. Soil organic content was historically boosted via application of some 20–30 tonnes (20–30 long tons; 22–33 short tons) of manure per hectare. Afterwards, and with no further manure application, corms were planted.[25] After a period of dormancy through the summer, the corms send up their narrow leaves and begin to bud in early autumn. Only in mid-autumn do they flower. Harvests are by necessity a speedy affair: after blossoming at dawn, flowers quickly wilt as the day passes.[26] All plants bloom within a window of one or two weeks.[27] Stigmas are dried quickly upon extraction and (preferably) sealed in airtight containers.[28] One freshly picked flower yields an average 30 mg (0.0011 oz) of fresh saffron or 7 mg (0.00025 oz) dried; roughly 150 flowers yield 1 g (0.035 oz) of dry saffron threads; to produce 12 g (0.42 oz) of dried saffron, 1 kg (2.2 lb) of flowers are needed; 1 lb (0.45 kg) yields 0.2 oz (5.7 g) of dried saffron.[25] To glean 1 lb (450 g) of dry saffron requires the harvest of 50,000–75,000 flowers; a kilogram requires 110,000–170,000 flowers.[29][30] Forty hours of labour are needed to pick 150,000 flowers.[31] Spice[edit] Chemistry[edit]

Structure of picrocrocin:[32]

  β–D-glucopyranose derivative

  safranal moiety

reaction between crocetin and gentiobiose. Components of α–crocin:



contains more than 150 volatile and aroma-yielding compounds. It also has many nonvolatile active components,[33] many of which are carotenoids, including zeaxanthin, lycopene, and various α- and β-carotenes. However, saffron's golden yellow-orange colour is primarily the result of α-crocin. This crocin is trans-crocetin di-(β-D-gentiobiosyl) ester; it bears the systematic (IUPAC) name 8,8-diapo-8,8-carotenoic acid. This means that the crocin underlying saffron's aroma is a digentiobiose ester of the carotenoid crocetin.[33] Crocins themselves are a series of hydrophilic carotenoids that are either monoglycosyl or diglycosyl polyene esters of crocetin.[33] Crocetin
is a conjugated polyene dicarboxylic acid that is hydrophobic, and thus oil-soluble. When crocetin is esterified with two water-soluble gentiobioses, which are sugars, a product results that is itself water-soluble. The resultant α-crocin is a carotenoid pigment that may comprise more than 10% of dry saffron's mass. The two esterified gentiobioses make α-crocin ideal for colouring water-based and non-fatty foods such as rice dishes.[5] The bitter glucoside picrocrocin is responsible for saffron's flavour. Picrocrocin
(chemical formula: C 16H 26O 7; systematic name: 4-(β-D-glucopyranosyloxy)-2,6,6-trimethylcyclohex-1-ene-1-carboxaldehyde) is a union of an aldehyde sub-molecule known as safranal (systematic name: 2,6,6-trimethylcyclohexa-1,3-diene-1-carboxaldehyde) and a carbohydrate. It has insecticidal and pesticidal properties, and may comprise up to 4% of dry saffron. Picrocrocin
is a truncated version of the carotenoid zeaxanthin that is produced via oxidative cleavage, and is the glycoside of the terpene aldehyde safranal.[34] When saffron is dried after its harvest, the heat, combined with enzymatic action, splits picrocrocin to yield D–glucose and a free safranal molecule.[32] Safranal, a volatile oil, gives saffron much of its distinctive aroma.[7][35] Safranal
is less bitter than picrocrocin and may comprise up to 70% of dry saffron's volatile fraction in some samples.[34] A second molecule underlying saffron's aroma is 2-hydroxy-4,4,6-trimethyl-2,5-cyclohexadien-1-one, which produces a scent described as saffron, dried hay-like.[36] Chemists find this is the most powerful contributor to saffron's fragrance, despite its presence in a lesser quantity than safranal.[36] Dry saffron is highly sensitive to fluctuating pH levels, and rapidly breaks down chemically in the presence of light and oxidising agents. It must, therefore, be stored away in air-tight containers to minimise contact with atmospheric oxygen. Saffron
is somewhat more resistant to heat. Grades and ISO 3632 categories[edit]

Red threads and yellow styles from Iran

High quality red threads from Austrian saffron

Pure Kashmiri saffron package

is not all of the same quality and strength. Strength is related to several factors including the amount of style picked along with the red stigma. Age of the saffron is also a factor. More style included means the saffron is less strong gram for gram, because the colour and flavour are concentrated in the red stigmas. Saffron
from Iran, Spain
and Kashmir
is classified into various grades according to the relative amounts of red stigma and yellow styles it contains. Grades of Iranian saffron are: "sargol" (red stigma tips only, strongest grade), "pushal" or "pushali" (red stigmas plus some yellow style, lower strength), "bunch" saffron (red stigmas plus large amount of yellow style, presented in a tiny bundle like a miniature wheatsheaf) and "konge" (yellow style only, claimed to have aroma but with very little, if any, colouring potential). Grades of Spanish saffron are "coupé" (the strongest grade, like Iranian sargol), "mancha" (like Iranian pushal), and in order of further decreasing strength "rio", "standard" and "sierra" saffron. The word "mancha" in the Spanish classification can have two meanings: a general grade of saffron or a very high quality Spanish-grown saffron from a specific geographical origin. Real Spanish-grown La Mancha saffron has PDO protected status and this is displayed on the product packaging. Spanish growers fought hard for Protected Status because they felt that imports of Iranian saffron re-packaged in Spain
and sold as "Spanish Mancha saffron" were undermining the genuine La Mancha brand. Similar was the case in Kashmir
where imported Iranian saffron is mixed with local saffron and sold as " Kashmir
brand" at a higher price.[37] In Kashmir, saffron is mostly classified into two main categories called "Mongra" (stigma alone) or "Laccha" (stigmas attached with parts of the style).[38] Countries producing less saffron do not have specialised words for different grades and may only produce one grade. Artisan producers in Europe and New Zealand have offset their higher labour charges for saffron harvesting by targeting quality, only offering extremely high grade saffron. In addition to descriptions based on how the saffron is picked, saffron may be categorised under the international standard ISO 3632 after laboratory measurement of crocin (responsible for saffron's colour), picrocrocin (taste), and safranal (fragrance or aroma) content.[39] However, often there is no clear grading information on the product packaging and little of the saffron readily available in UK is labelled with ISO category. This lack of information makes it hard for customers to make informed choices when comparing prices and buying saffron. Under ISO 3632, determination of non-stigma content ("floral waste content") and other extraneous matter such as inorganic material ("ash") are also key. Grading standards are set by the International Organization for Standardization, a federation of national standards bodies. ISO 3632 deals exclusively with saffron and establishes three categories: III (poorest quality), II, and I (finest quality). Formerly there was also category IV, which was below category III. Samples are assigned categories by gauging the spice's crocin and picrocrocin content, revealed by measurements of specific spectrophotometric absorbance. Safranal
is treated slightly differently and rather than there being threshold levels for each category, samples must give a reading of 20–50 for all categories. These data are measured through spectrophotometry reports at certified testing laboratories worldwide. Higher absorbances imply greater levels of crocin, picrocrocin and safranal, and thus a greater colouring potential and therefore strength per gram. The absorbance reading of crocin is known as the "colouring strength" of that saffron. Saffron's colouring strength can range from lower than 80 (for all category IV saffron) up to 200 or greater (for category I). The world's finest samples (the selected, most red-maroon, tips of stigmas picked from the finest flowers) receive colouring strengths in excess of 250, making such saffron over three times more powerful than category IV saffron. Market prices for saffron types follow directly from these ISO categories. Sargol and coupé saffron would typically fall into ISO 3632 category I. Pushal and mancha would probably be assigned to category II. On many saffron packaging labels, neither the ISO 3632 category nor the colouring strength (the measurement of crocin content) is displayed. However, many growers, traders, and consumers reject such lab test numbers. Some people prefer a more holistic method of sampling batches of threads for taste, aroma, pliability, and other traits in a fashion similar to that practised by experienced wine tasters.[40] However, ISO 3632 grade and colouring strength information allow consumers to make instant comparisons between the quality of different saffron brands, without needing to purchase and sample the saffron. In particular, consumers can work out value for money based on price per unit of colouring strength rather than price per gram, given the wide possible range of colouring strengths that different kinds of saffron can have. Adulteration[edit] Despite attempts at quality control and standardisation, an extensive history of saffron adulteration, particularly among the cheapest grades, continues into modern times. Adulteration was first documented in Europe's Middle Ages, when those found selling adulterated saffron were executed under the Safranschou code.[41] Typical methods include mixing in extraneous substances like beetroot, pomegranate fibres, red-dyed silk fibres, or the saffron crocus's tasteless and odourless yellow stamens. Other methods included dousing saffron fibres with viscid substances like honey or vegetable oil to increase their weight. Powdered saffron is more prone to adulteration, with turmeric, paprika, and other powders used as diluting fillers. Adulteration can also consist of selling mislabelled mixes of different saffron grades. Thus, in India, high-grade Kashmiri saffron is often sold and mixed with cheaper Iranian imports; these mixes are then marketed as pure Kashmiri saffron, a development that has cost Kashmiri growers much of their income.[42][43] Safflower
is a common substitute sometimes sold as saffron. The spice is reportedly counterfeited with horse hair, corn silk, or shredded paper. Tartrazine
or sunset yellow have been used to colour counterfeit powdered saffron.[44] Types[edit]

from different producer countries, picked and dried in different ways gives rise to different end qualities.

The various saffron crocus cultivars give rise to thread types that are often regionally distributed and characteristically distinct. Varieties (not varieties in the botanical sense) from Spain, including the tradenames "Spanish Superior" and "Creme", are generally mellower in colour, flavour, and aroma; they are graded by government-imposed standards. Italian varieties are slightly more potent than Spanish. The most intense varieties tend to be Iranian. Various "boutique" crops are available from New Zealand, France, Switzerland, England, the United States, and other countries—some of them organically grown. In the US, Pennsylvania Dutch
Pennsylvania Dutch
saffron—known for its "earthy" notes—is marketed in small quantities.[45][46] Consumers may regard certain cultivars as "premium" quality. The "Aquila" saffron, or zafferano dell'Aquila, is defined by high safranal and crocin content, distinctive thread shape, unusually pungent aroma, and intense colour; it is grown exclusively on eight hectares in the Navelli Valley of Italy's Abruzzo
region, near L'Aquila. It was first introduced to Italy by a Dominican monk from Inquisition-era Spain[when?]. But the biggest saffron cultivation in Italy is in San Gavino Monreale, Sardinia, where it is grown on 40 hectares, representing 60% of Italian production; it too has unusually high crocin, picrocrocin, and safranal content. Another is the "Mongra" or "Lacha" saffron of Kashmir
(Crocus sativus 'Cashmirianus'), which is among the most difficult for consumers to obtain. Repeated droughts, blights, and crop failures in Kashmir combine with an Indian export ban, contribute to its prohibitive overseas prices. Kashmiri saffron is recognisable by its dark maroon-purple hue; it is among the world's darkest, which hints at strong flavour, aroma, and colouring effect. Trade[edit] Main article: Saffron

Sale of saffron in Iran

Almost all saffron grows in a belt from Spain
in the west to India in the east. The other continents, except Antarctica, produce smaller amounts. In 2014, 250 t (250,000 kg) were produced worldwide.[47] Iran
is responsible for around 90–93% of global production, and much of their produce is exported.[10] A few of Iran's drier eastern and southeastern provinces, including Fars, Kerman, and those in the Khorasan region, glean the bulk of modern global production. In 2005, the second-ranked Greece
produced 5.7 t (5,700 kg), while Morocco
(the Berber region of Taliouine), and India (Kashmir), tied for third rank, each producing 2.3 t (2,300 kg).[10]

India and İspanya (Spain) saffron at market in Turkey

In recent years, Afghan cultivation has risen. Azerbaijan, Morocco, and Italy are, in decreasing order, lesser producers. Prohibitively high labour costs and abundant Iranian imports mean that only select locales continue the tedious harvest in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland—among them the Swiss village of Mund, whose annual output is a few kilograms.[8] Microscale production of saffron can be found in Australia (mainly the state of Tasmania),[48] China, Egypt, parts of England[49] France, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Sweden (Gotland), Turkey (mainly around the town of Safranbolu), the United States (California and Pennsylvania), and Central Africa.[3][33] Saffron
prices at wholesale and retail rates range from US$500 to US$5,000 per pound, or US$1,100–11,000/kg. In Western countries, the average retail price in 1974 was $1,000 per pound, or US$2,200 per kilogram.[3] In February 2013, a retail bottle containing 0.06 ounces could be purchased for $16.26 or the equivalent of $4,336 per pound or as little as about $2,000/pound in larger quantities. A pound contains between 70,000 and 200,000 threads. Vivid crimson colouring, slight moistness, elasticity, and lack of broken-off thread debris are all traits of fresh saffron. Uses[edit]

threads are soaked in hot—but not boiling—water for several minutes prior to use in cuisine. This helps release the aromatic components.

Main article: Saffron

Dried saffron

Nutritional value per 1 tbsp (2.1 g)

Energy 27 kJ (6.5 kcal)


1.37 g

Dietary fibre 0.10 g


0.12 g

Saturated 0.03 g

Trans 0.00 g

Monounsaturated 0.01 g

Polyunsaturated 0.04 g


0.24 g


A 11 IU


(0%) 0 mg


(1%) 0.01 mg


(0%) 0.03 mg


(2%) 0.02 mg


(1%) 2 μg


(0%) 0 μg


(2%) 1.7 mg


(0%) 0 μg


(0%) 0 IU



(0%) 2 mg


(1%) 0.01 mg


(2%) 0.23 mg


(2%) 6 mg


(29%) 0.6 mg


(1%) 5 mg


(1%) 36 mg


(0%) 0.1 μg


(0%) 3 mg


(0%) 0.02 mg

Other constituents

Water 0.25 g

Kaempferol 4.3 mg

Ash 0.11 g

Link to USDA database entry

Units μg = micrograms • mg = milligrams IU = International units

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults. Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Saffron's aroma is often described by connoisseurs as reminiscent of metallic honey with grassy or hay-like notes, while its taste has also been noted as hay-like and sweet. Saffron
also contributes a luminous yellow-orange colouring to foods. Saffron
is widely used in Persian,[50] Indian, European, and Arab cuisines. Confectioneries and liquors also often include saffron. Saffron
is used in dishes ranging from the jewelled rice and khoresh of Iran,[51][52] the Milanese risotto of Italy, the paella of Spain, the bouillabaisse of France, to the biryani with various meat accompaniments in South Asia. One of the most esteemed use for saffron is in the preparation of the Golden Ham, a precious dry-cured ham made with saffron from San Gimignano. Common saffron substitutes include safflower (Carthamus tinctorius, which is often sold as "Portuguese saffron" or "açafrão"), annatto, and turmeric (Curcuma longa). Saffron
has a long history of use in traditional medicine.[53][54] Saffron
has also been used as a fabric dye, particularly in China and India, and in perfumery.[55] It is used for religious purposes in India[citation needed].

Nutrition[edit] Dried saffron is composed of 65% carbohydrates, 6% fat, 11% protein (table) and 12% water. In comparison to other spices or dried foods, the nutrient content of dried saffron shows richness of nutritional value across B vitamins and dietary minerals (table). In a serving of one tablespoon (2 grams), manganese is present as 28% of the Daily Value while other nutrients are negligible (table). Research[edit] One limited meta-analysis concluded that saffron supplementation improved symptoms in patients with major depressive disorders[56] and a review indicated that it helped with mild to moderate depression.[57] History[edit] Main article: History of saffron

A detail from the " Saffron
Gatherers" fresco of the "Xeste 3" building. It is one of many depicting saffron; they were found at the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
settlement of Akrotiri, on the Aegean island of Santorini.

The documented history of saffron cultivation spans more than three millennia.[12] The wild precursor of domesticated saffron crocus is probably Crocus cartwrightianus. If C. sativus is a mutant form of C. cartwrightianus, then it may have emerged by human cultivators selectively breeding specimens for unusually long stigmas in late Bronze Age
Bronze Age
Crete.[6] It slowly propagated throughout much of Eurasia
and was later brought to parts of North Africa, North America, and Oceania. Eastern[edit]

Buddhist adepts wearing saffron-coloured robes, pray in the Hundred Dragons Hall, Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum, Singapore.

was detailed in a 7th-century BC Assyrian botanical reference compiled under Ashurbanipal.[9] Documentation of saffron's use over the span of 3,500 years has been uncovered.[58] Saffron-based pigments have indeed been found in 50,000-year-old depictions of prehistoric places in northwest Iran.[59][60] The Sumerians later used wild-growing saffron in their remedies and magical potions.[61] Saffron
was an article of long-distance trade before the Minoan palace culture's 2nd millennium BC peak. Ancient Persians cultivated Persian saffron ( Crocus sativus
Crocus sativus
'Hausknechtii') in Derbena, Isfahan (modern day Iran), and Khorasan (modern day Afghanistan) by the 10th century BC. At such sites, saffron threads were woven into textiles,[59] ritually offered to divinities, and used in dyes, perfumes, medicines, and body washes.[62] Saffron
threads would thus be scattered across beds and mixed into hot teas as a curative for bouts of melancholy. Non-Persians also feared the Persians' usage of saffron as a drugging agent and aphrodisiac.[63] During his Asian campaigns, Alexander the Great used Persian saffron in his infusions, rice, and baths as a curative for battle wounds. Alexander's troops imitated the practice from the Persians and brought saffron-bathing to Greece.[64] Conflicting theories explain saffron's arrival in South Asia. Kashmiri and Chinese accounts date its arrival anywhere between 2500–900 years ago.[65][66][67] Historians studying ancient Persian records date the arrival to sometime prior to 500 BC,[5] attributing it to a Persian transplantation of saffron corms to stock new gardens and parks.[68] Phoenicians then marketed Kashmiri saffron as a dye and a treatment for melancholy. Its use in foods and dyes subsequently spread throughout South Asia. Buddhist monks wear saffron-coloured robes; however, the robes are not dyed with costly saffron but turmeric, a less expensive dye, or jackfruit.[69] Monks' robes are dyed the same colour to show equality with each other, and turmeric or ochre were the cheapest, most readily available dyes. Gamboge is now used to dye the robes.[70] Some historians believe that saffron came to China with Mongol invaders from Persia.[71] Yet saffron is mentioned in ancient Chinese medical texts, including the forty-volume pharmacopoeia titled Shennong
Bencaojing (神农本草经: "Shennong's Great Herbal", also known as Pen Ts'ao or Pun Tsao), a tome dating from 300–200 BC. Traditionally credited to the fabled Yan ("Fire") Emperor (炎帝) Shennong, it discusses 252 phytochemical-based medical treatments for various disorders.[72] Nevertheless, around the 3rd century AD, the Chinese were referring to saffron as having a Kashmiri provenance. According to Chinese herbalist Wan Zhen, "[t]he habitat of saffron is in Kashmir, where people grow it principally to offer it to the Buddha." Wan also reflected on how it was used in his time: "The flower withers after a few days, and then the saffron is obtained. It is valued for its uniform yellow colour. It can be used to aromatise wine."[67] Wider Near East[edit] The Minoans portrayed saffron in their palace frescoes by 1600–1500 BC; they hint at its possible use as a therapeutic drug.[58][73] Ancient Greek legends told of sea voyages to Cilicia, where adventurers sought what they believed were the world's most valuable threads.[22] Another legend tells of Crocus and Smilax, whereby Crocus is bewitched and transformed into the first saffron crocus.[59] Ancient perfumers in Egypt, physicians in Gaza, townspeople in Rhodes,[74] and the Greek hetaerae courtesans used saffron in their scented waters, perfumes and potpourris, mascaras and ointments, divine offerings, and medical treatments.[63] In late Ptolemaic Egypt, Cleopatra used saffron in her baths so that lovemaking would be more pleasurable.[75] Egyptian healers used saffron as a treatment for all varieties of gastrointestinal ailments.[76] Saffron
was also used as a fabric dye in such Levantine cities as Sidon
and Tyre in Lebanon.[77] Aulus Cornelius Celsus prescribes saffron in medicines for wounds, cough, colic, and scabies, and in the mithridatium.[78] Western Europe[edit]

Preserved "Safran", Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde, Karlsruhe, Germany

was a notable ingredient in certain Roman recipes such as jusselle and conditum.[79][80][81][82] Such was the Romans' love of saffron that Roman colonists took it with them when they settled in southern Gaul, where it was extensively cultivated until Rome's fall. With this fall, European saffron cultivation plummeted. Competing theories state that saffron only returned to France with 8th-century AD Moors or with the Avignon
papacy in the 14th century AD.[83] Similarly, the spread of Islamic civilisation may have helped reintroduce the crop to Spain
and Italy.[84] The 14th-century Black Death caused demand for saffron-based medicaments to peak, and Europe imported large quantities of threads via Venetian and Genoan ships from southern and Mediterranean lands such as Rhodes. The theft of one such shipment by noblemen sparked the fourteen-week-long Saffron
War.[85] The conflict and resulting fear of rampant saffron piracy spurred corm cultivation in Basel; it thereby grew prosperous.[86] The crop then spread to Nuremberg, where endemic and insalubrious adulteration brought on the Safranschou code—whereby culprits were variously fined, imprisoned, and executed.[87] Meanwhile, cultivation continued in southern France, Italy, and Spain.[88] The Essex town of Saffron
Walden, named for its new specialty crop, emerged as a prime saffron growing and trading centre in the 16th and 17th centuries but cultivation there was abandoned; saffron was re-introduced around 2013 as well as other parts of the UK (Cheshire).[49][89] The Americas[edit] Europeans introduced saffron to the Americas when immigrant members of the Schwenkfelder Church
Schwenkfelder Church
left Europe with a trunk containing its corms. Church members had grown it widely in Europe.[45] By 1730, the Pennsylvania Dutch
Pennsylvania Dutch
cultivated saffron throughout eastern Pennsylvania. Spanish colonies in the Caribbean bought large amounts of this new American saffron, and high demand ensured that saffron's list price on the Philadelphia commodities exchange was equal to gold.[90] Trade with the Caribbean later collapsed in the aftermath of the War of 1812, when many saffron-bearing merchant vessels were destroyed.[91] Yet the Pennsylvania Dutch
Pennsylvania Dutch
continued to grow lesser amounts of saffron for local trade and use in their cakes, noodles, and chicken or trout dishes.[92] American saffron cultivation survives into modern times, mainly in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.[45]


^ "Saffron – Definition and More". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 21 November 2012.  ^ Rau 1969, p. 53. ^ a b c d Hill 2004, p. 272. ^ "World's COSTLIEST spice blooms in Kashmir". Rediff. Retrieved 7 January 2013.  ^ a b c McGee 2004, p. 422. ^ a b Negbi 1999, p. 1. ^ a b McGee 2004, p. 423. ^ a b c Katzer, G. (2010). " Saffron
( Crocus sativus
Crocus sativus
L.)". Gernot Katzer's Spice
Pages. Retrieved 1 December 2012.  ^ a b Russo, Dreher & Mathre 2003, p. 6. ^ a b c Ghorbani 2008, p. 1. ^ "Saffron". Online Etymology Dictionary, Douglas Harper. 2016. Retrieved 25 May 2016.  ^ a b c d e Deo 2003, p. 1. ^ a b c Grilli Caiola 2003, p. 1. ^ Kafi et al. 2006, p. 24. ^ a b Rubio-Moraga et al. 2009. ^ Grigg 1974, p. 287. ^ Plant. Syst. Evol., 128, 89, 1977 ^ Negbi 1999, p. 28. ^ a b c d e Kafi et al. 2006, p. 23. ^ Willard 2002, p. 3. ^ Negbi 1999, p. 30–31. ^ a b Willard 2002, pp. 2–3. ^ Deo 2003, p. 2. ^ Sharaf-Eldin et al. 2008. ^ a b Deo 2003, p. 3. ^ Willard 2002, pp. 3–4. ^ Willard 2002, p. 4. ^ Negbi 1999, p. 8. ^ Hill 2004, p. 273. ^ Rau 1969, p. 35. ^ Lak, D. (11 November 1998). "Kashmiris Pin Hopes on Saffron". BBC News. Retrieved 11 September 2011.  ^ a b Deo 2003, p. 4. ^ a b c d Abdullaev 2002, p. 1. ^ a b Leffingwell 2002, p. 1. ^ Dharmananda 2005. ^ a b Leffingwell 2002, p. 3. ^ Amjad Masood Husaini; Azra N. Kamili; M. H. Wani; Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva; G. N. Bhat (2010). Husaini, Amjad M., ed. "Sustainable Saffron
( Crocus sativus
Crocus sativus
Kashmirianus) Production: Technological and Policy Interventions for Kashmir". Functional Plant Science & Biotechnology. UK: Global Science Books. 4 (2): 118. ISBN 978-4-903313-67-2. ISSN 1749-0472.  ^ Amjad Masood Husaini; Badrul Hassan; Muzaffar Y. Ghani; Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva; Nayar A. Kirmani (2010). Husaini, Amjad, ed. " Saffron
( Crocus sativus
Crocus sativus
Kashmirianus) Cultivation in Kashmir: Practices and Problems". Functional Plant Science & Biotechnology. UK: Global Science Books. 4 (2): 110. ISBN 978-4-903313-67-2. ISSN 1749-0472.  ^ Verma & Middha 2010, p. 1–2. ^ Hill 2004, p. 274. ^ Willard 2002, pp. 102–104. ^ "Kashmiri Saffron
Producers See Red over Iranian Imports". Australian Broadcasting Corp. 4 November 2003. Retrieved 29 September 2011.  ^ Hussain, A. (28 January 2005). " Saffron
Industry in Deep Distress". London: BBC News. Retrieved 15 September 2011.  ^ Hooker, Lucy (13 September 2017). "The problem for the world's most expensive spice". BBC.  ^ a b c Willard 2002, p. 143. ^ Willard 2002, p. 201. ^ Monks, Keiron (3 September 2015). "Iran's homegrown treasure: the spice that costs more than gold". CNN. Retrieved 22 January 2016.  ^ Courtney, P. (19 May 2002). "Tasmania's Saffron
Gold". Landline. Australian Broadcasting Corp. Retrieved 29 September 2011.  ^ a b Granleese, Bob (16 November 2013). "Interview: Meet the saffron producer: 'It seemed ridiculous that the UK didn't grow it'". The Guardian.  ^ Simmons, Shirin (October 2007). A Treasury of Persian Cuisine. Stamford House Publishing. pp. 37–38. ISBN 978-1-904985-56-3.  ^ "Persian Jewelled Rice with Lamb (Gheymeh Nesar)". 11 July 2017.  ^ "Persian Chicken & Aubergine Stew (Bademjan-Ghooreh Mosama)". 20 August 2017.  ^ Mousavi, S. Z.; Bathaie, S. Z. (2011). "Historical uses of saffron: Identifying potential new avenues for modern research". Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine. 1 (2): 27–66.  ^ Basker, D; Negbi, M (1983). "Uses of saffron". Journal of Economic Botany. 37 (2): 228–236. doi:10.1007/BF02858789. JSTOR 4254486.  ^ Dalby 2002, p. 138. ^ Hausenblas HA; Saha D; Dubyak PJ; Anton SD (November 2013). "Saffron ( Crocus sativus
Crocus sativus
L.) and major depressive disorder: a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials". Journal of Integrative Medicine. 11 (6): 377–383. doi:10.3736/jintegrmed2013056. PMC 4643654 . PMID 24299602.  ^ Lopresti AL; Drummond PD (2014). " Saffron
(Crocus sativus) for depression: a systematic review of clinical studies and examination of underlying antidepressant mechanisms of action". Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental. 29: 517–527. doi:10.1002/hup.2434. PMID 25384672.  ^ a b Honan, W. H. (2 March 2004). "Researchers Rewrite First Chapter for the History of Medicine". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 September 2011.  ^ a b c Willard 2002, p. 2. ^ Humphries 1998, p. 20. ^ Willard 2002, p. 12. ^ Willard 2002, pp. 17–18. ^ a b Willard 2002, p. 41. ^ Willard 2002, pp. 54–55. ^ Lak, D. (23 November 1998). "Gathering Kashmir's Saffron". BBC News. Retrieved 12 September 2011.  ^ Fotedar, S. (1999). "Cultural Heritage of India: The Kashmiri Pandit Contribution". Vitasta. Kashmir
Sabha of Kolkata. 32 (1): 128. Archived from the original on 29 September 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2011.  ^ a b Dalby 2002, p. 95. ^ Dalby 2003, p. 256. ^ Finlay 2003, p. 224. ^ Hanelt 2001, p. 1352. ^ Fletcher 2005, p. 11. ^ Hayes 2001, p. 6. ^ Ferrence & Bendersky 2004, p. 1. ^ Willard 2002, p. 58. ^ Willard 2002, p. 55. ^ Willard 2002, pp. 34–35. ^ Willard 2002, p. 59. ^ Celsus 1989. ^ Way, A. (1843). Promptorium parvulorum sive clericorum, lexicon Anglo-Latinum princeps, recens. A. Way. Camden soc. p. 268. Retrieved May 18, 2016.  ^ Pratt, A. (1855). The Flowering Plants of Great Britain. The Flowering Plants of Great Britain. Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. p. 180. Retrieved May 18, 2016.  ^ Napier, R., ed. (1882). A Noble Boke Off Cookry Ffor a Prynce Houssolde Or Eny Other Estately Houssholde. Elliot Stock. pp. 104–105. Retrieved May 18, 2016.  (Reprinted verbatim from a rare manuscript in the Holkham Collection.) ^ " Conditum
Paradoxum – Würzwein" [ Conditum
Paradoxum – Spiced Wine] (in German). Translated by R. Maier. 1991. Retrieved 3 February 2012.  ^ Willard 2002, p. 63. ^ Willard 2002, p. 70. ^ Willard 2002, p. 99. ^ Willard 2002, p. 101. ^ Willard 2002, pp. 103–104. ^ Willard 2002, p. 133. ^ " Saffron
spice returns to Essex after 200 years". BBC News. 7 November 2014.  ^ Willard 2002, p. 138. ^ Willard 2002, pp. 138–139. ^ Willard 2002, pp. 142–146.

Bibliography[edit] Books

Celsus, Aulus Cornelius (1989), De Medicina, Loeb Classical Library, L292 (1–4), translated by Spencer, W. G., Harvard University Press, ISBN 978-0-674-99322-8, retrieved 15 September 2011  Dalby, A. (2002), Dangerous Tastes: The Story of Spices (1st ed.), University of California Press, ISBN 978-0-520-23674-5  Dalby, A. (2003), Food in the Ancient World from A to Z, Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-23259-3  Finlay, V. (2003), Colour: A Natural History of the Palette, Random House, ISBN 978-0-8129-7142-2  Fletcher, N. (2005), Charlemagne's Tablecloth: A Piquant History of Feasting (1st ed.), Saint Martin's Press, ISBN 978-0-312-34068-1  Francis, S. (2011), Saffron: The Story of England's Red Gold, With Delicious Saffron
Recipes that Family and Friends will Love, Norfolk Saffron, ISBN 978-0-955-04667-4  Grigg, D. B. (1974), The Agricultural Systems of the World (1st ed.), Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-09843-4  Hayes, A. W. (2001), Principles and Methods of Toxicology (4th ed.), Taylor and Francis, ISBN 978-1-56032-814-8  Hill, T. (2004), The Contemporary Encyclopedia of Herbs and Spices: Seasonings for the Global Kitchen (1st ed.), Wiley, ISBN 978-0-471-21423-6  Humphries, J. (1998), The Essential Saffron
Companion, Ten Speed Press, ISBN 978-1-58008-024-8  Kafi, M.; Koocheki, A.; Rashed, M. H.; Nassiri, M., eds. (2006), Saffron
(Crocus sativus) Production and Processing (1st ed.), Science Publishers, ISBN 978-1-57808-427-2  Hanelt, P., ed. (2001), Mansfeld's Encyclopedia of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops (1st ed.), Springer, ISBN 978-3-540-41017-1  McGee, H. (2004), On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, Scribner, ISBN 978-0-684-80001-1  Negbi, M., ed. (1999), Saffron: Crocus sativus
Crocus sativus
L., CRC Press, ISBN 978-90-5702-394-1  Rau, S. R. (1969), The Cooking of India, Foods of the World, Time-Life Books, ISBN 978-0-8094-0069-0  Russo, E.; Dreher, M. C.; Mathre, M. L. (2003), Women and Cannabis: Medicine, Science, and Sociology (1st ed.), Psychology Press, ISBN 978-0-7890-2101-4  Willard, P. (2002), Secrets of Saffron: The Vagabond Life of the World's Most Seductive Spice, Beacon Press, ISBN 978-0-8070-5009-5 

Journal articles

Abdullaev, F. I. (2002), "Cancer Chemopreventive and Tumoricidal Properties of Saffron
( Crocus sativus
Crocus sativus
L.)", Experimental Biology and Medicine, 227 (1), pp. 20–25, doi:10.1177/153537020222700104, PMID 11788779, retrieved 11 September 2011  Deo, B. (2003), "Growing Saffron—The World's Most Expensive Spice" (PDF), Crop and Food Research, New Zealand Institute for Crop and Food Research (20), archived from the original (PDF) on 27 December 2005, retrieved 10 January 2006  Dharmananda, S. (2005), "Saffron: An Anti-Depressant Herb", Institute for Traditional Medicine, archived from the original on 26 September 2006, retrieved 10 January 2006  Ferrence, S. C.; Bendersky, G. (2004), "Therapy with Saffron
and the Goddess at Thera", Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 47 (2), pp. 199–226, doi:10.1353/pbm.2004.0026, PMID 15259204  Ghorbani, M. (2008), "The Efficiency of Saffron's Marketing Channel in Iran" (PDF), World Applied Sciences Journal, 4 (4), pp. 523–527, ISSN 1818-4952, retrieved 3 October 2011  Grilli Caiola, M. (2003), " Saffron
Reproductive Biology", Acta Horticulturae, ISHS, 650, pp. 25–37, doi:10.17660/ActaHortic.2004.650.1  Leffingwell, J. C. (2002), "Saffron" (PDF), Leffingwell Reports, Leffingwell & Associates, 2 (5), retrieved 15 September 2011  Rubio-Moraga, A.; Castillo-López, R.; Gómez-Gómez, L.; Ahrazem, O. (2009), " Saffron
is a Monomorphic Species as Revealed by RAPD, ISSR and Microsatellite Analyses", BMC Research Notes, 2, p. 189, doi:10.1186/1756-0500-2-189, PMC 2758891 , PMID 19772674  Sharaf-Eldin, M.; Elkholy, S.; Fernández, J. A.; Junge, H.; Cheetham, R.; Guardiola, J.; Weathers, P. (2008), " Bacillus subtilis
Bacillus subtilis
FZB24 Affects Flower Quantity and Quality of Saffron
(Crocus sativus)", Planta Med, 74 (10): 1316–1320, doi:10.1055/s-2008-1081293, PMC 3947403 , PMID 18622904  Verma, R. S.; Middha, D. (2010), "Analysis of Saffron
(Crocus sativus L. Stigma) Components by LC–MS–MS", Chromatographia, 71 (1–2), pp. 117–123, doi:10.1365/s10337-009-1398-z 

External links[edit]

has the text of the 1920 Encyclopedia Americana
Encyclopedia Americana
article Saffron.

"Saffron", Darling Biomedical Library, UCLA  "Crocus sativus", Germplasm Resources Information Network, USDA, archived from the original on 10 November 2004 

Related articles

v t e



Batik Dyeing Ikat Kalamkari Katazome Leheria Mordant Reactive dye
Reactive dye
printing Resist Ring dyeing Rōketsuzome Shibori Tie-dye Tsutsugaki

Types of dyes

Dyes Natural Acid Reactive Solvent Substantive Sulfur Vat Disperse

Traditional textile dyes

Armenian cochineal Black walnut Bloodroot Brazilin Cochineal Cudbear Cutch Dyewoods Fustic Gamboge Henna Indigo Kermes Logwood Madder Polish cochineal Saffron Turmeric Tyrian purple Weld Woad


Use of saffron In Scottish Highlands

Craft dyes

Dylon Inkodye Procion Rit


Glossary of dyeing terms List of dyes

v t e

Culinary herbs and spices


Angelica Basil

holy Thai

Bay leaf Indian bay leaf (tejpat) Boldo Borage Chervil Chives

garlic / Chinese

Cicely Coriander
leaf / Cilantro

Bolivian Vietnamese (rau răm)

Culantro Cress Curry leaf Dill Epazote Hemp Hoja santa Houttuynia cordata
Houttuynia cordata
(giấp cá) Hyssop Jimbu Kinh gioi (Vietnamese balm) Kkaennip Lavender Lemon balm Lemon grass Lemon myrtle Lemon verbena Limnophila aromatica
Limnophila aromatica
(rice-paddy herb) Lovage Marjoram Mint Mugwort Mitsuba Oregano Parsley Perilla Rosemary Rue Sage Savory Sanshō leaf Shiso Sorrel Tarragon Thyme Woodruff


(ground seaweed) Ajwain Allspice Amchoor (mango powder) Anise


Asafoetida Camphor Caraway Cardamom


Cassia Celery
powder Celery
seed Charoli Chenpi Cinnamon Clove Coriander
seed Cubeb Cumin

Nigella sativa Bunium persicum

Deulkkae Dill /  Dill
seed Fennel Fenugreek


Fingerroot (krachai) Galangal

greater lesser

Garlic Ginger Aromatic ginger (kencur) Golpar Grains of Paradise Grains of Selim Horseradish Juniper berry Kokum Korarima Dried lime Liquorice Litsea cubeba Mace Mango-ginger Mastic Mahleb Mustard

black brown white

Nigella (kalonji) Njangsa Nutmeg Pomegranate
seed (anardana) Poppy seed Radhuni Rose Saffron Salt Sarsaparilla Sassafras Sesame Shiso
seeds / berries Sumac Tamarind Tonka bean Turmeric Uzazi Vanilla Voatsiperifery Wasabi Yuzu
zest Zedoary Zereshk Zest


Alligator Brazilian Chili

Cayenne Paprika

Long Peruvian Sichuan (huājiāo) Japanese pricklyash Tasmanian Peppercorn (black / green / white)


Adjika Advieh Baharat Beau monde seasoning Berbere Bouquet garni Buknu Chaat masala Chaunk Chili powder Cinnamon
sugar Crab boil Curry powder Doubanjiang Douchi Duqqa Fines herbes Five-spice powder Garam masala Garlic
powder Garlic
salt Gochujang Harissa Hawaij Herbes de Provence Idli podi Jamaican jerk spice Khmeli suneli Lemon pepper Mitmita Mixed spice Montreal steak seasoning Mulling spices Old Bay Seasoning Onion powder Panch phoron Persillade Powder-douce Pumpkin pie spice Qâlat daqqa Quatre épices Ras el hanout Recado rojo Sharena sol Shichimi Tabil Tandoori masala Vadouvan Yuzukoshō Za'atar

Lists and related topics

Lists of herbs and spices

Culinary Australian Bangladeshi Indian Pakistani

Related topics

Chinese herbology Herbal tea Marination Spice


v t e

Ionotropic glutamate receptor
Ionotropic glutamate receptor


Agonists: Main site agonists: 5-Fluorowillardiine Acromelic acid (acromelate) AMPA BOAA Domoic acid Glutamate Ibotenic acid Proline Quisqualic acid Willardiine; Positive allosteric modulators: Aniracetam Cyclothiazide CX-516 CX-546 CX-614 Farampator
(CX-691, ORG-24448) CX-717 CX-1739 CX-1942 Diazoxide Hydrochlorothiazide
(HCTZ) IDRA-21 LY-392098 LY-395153 LY-404187 LY-451646 LY-503430 Mibampator
(LY-451395) Nooglutyl ORG-26576 Oxiracetam PEPA PF-04958242 Piracetam Pramiracetam S-18986 Tulrampator
(S-47445, CX-1632)

Antagonists: ACEA-1011 ATPO Becampanel Caroverine CNQX Dasolampanel DNQX Fanapanel
(MPQX) GAMS Kaitocephalin Kynurenic acid Kynurenine Licostinel
(ACEA-1021) NBQX PNQX Selurampanel Tezampanel Theanine Topiramate YM90K Zonampanel; Negative allosteric modulators: Barbiturates
(e.g., pentobarbital, sodium thiopental) Cyclopropane Enflurane Ethanol (alcohol) Evans blue GYKI-52466 GYKI-53655 Halothane Irampanel Isoflurane Perampanel Pregnenolone
sulfate Sevoflurane Talampanel; Unknown/unsorted antagonists: Minocycline


Agonists: Main site agonists: 5-Bromowillardiine 5-Iodowillardiine Acromelic acid (acromelate) AMPA ATPA Domoic acid Glutamate Ibotenic acid Kainic acid LY-339434 Proline Quisqualic acid SYM-2081; Positive allosteric modulators: Cyclothiazide Diazoxide Enflurane Halothane Isoflurane

Antagonists: ACEA-1011 CNQX Dasolampanel DNQX GAMS Kaitocephalin Kynurenic acid Licostinel
(ACEA-1021) LY-382884 NBQX NS102 Selurampanel Tezampanel Theanine Topiramate UBP-302; Negative allosteric modulators: Barbiturates
(e.g., pentobarbital, sodium thiopental) Enflurane Ethanol (alcohol) Evans blue NS-3763 Pregnenolone


Agonists: Main site agonists: AMAA Aspartate Glutamate Homocysteic acid
Homocysteic acid
(L-HCA) Homoquinolinic acid Ibotenic acid NMDA Proline Quinolinic acid Tetrazolylglycine Theanine; Glycine
site agonists: β-Fluoro-D-alanine ACBD ACC (ACPC) ACPD AK-51 Apimostinel
(NRX-1074) B6B21 CCG D-Alanine D-Cycloserine D-Serine DHPG Dimethylglycine Glycine HA-966 L-687414 L-Alanine L-Serine Milacemide Neboglamine
(nebostinel) Rapastinel
(GLYX-13) Sarcosine; Polyamine site agonists: Neomycin Spermidine Spermine; Other positive allosteric modulators: 24S-Hydroxycholesterol DHEA (prasterone) DHEA sulfate
DHEA sulfate
(prasterone sulfate) Epipregnanolone sulfate Pregnenolone
sulfate SAGE-201 SAGE-301 SAGE-718

Antagonists: Competitive antagonists: AP5
(APV) AP7 CGP-37849 CGP-39551 CGP-39653 CGP-40116 CGS-19755 CPP Kaitocephalin LY-233053 LY-235959 LY-274614 MDL-100453 Midafotel
(d-CPPene) NPC-12626 NPC-17742 PBPD PEAQX Perzinfotel PPDA SDZ-220581 Selfotel; Glycine
site antagonists: 4-Cl-KYN (AV-101) 5,7-DCKA 7-CKA ACC ACEA-1011 ACEA-1328 Apimostinel
(NRX-1074) AV-101 Carisoprodol CGP-39653 CNQX D-Cycloserine DNQX Felbamate Gavestinel GV-196771 Harkoseride Kynurenic acid Kynurenine L-689560 L-701324 Licostinel
(ACEA-1021) LU-73068 MDL-105519 Meprobamate MRZ 2/576 PNQX Rapastinel
(GLYX-13) ZD-9379; Polyamine site antagonists: Arcaine Co 101676 Diaminopropane Diethylenetriamine Huperzine A Putrescine; Uncompetitive pore blockers (mostly dizocilpine site): 2-MDP 3-HO-PCP 3-MeO-PCE 3-MeO-PCMo 3-MeO-PCP 4-MeO-PCP 8A-PDHQ 18-MC α-Endopsychosin Alaproclate Alazocine
(SKF-10047) Amantadine Aptiganel Argiotoxin-636 Arketamine ARL-12495 ARL-15896-AR ARL-16247 Budipine Coronaridine Delucemine
(NPS-1506) Dexoxadrol Dextrallorphan Dextromethadone Dextromethorphan Dextrorphan Dieticyclidine Diphenidine Dizocilpine Ephenidine Esketamine Etoxadrol Eticyclidine Fluorolintane Gacyclidine Ibogaine Ibogamine Indantadol Ketamine Ketobemidone Lanicemine Levomethadone Levomethorphan Levomilnacipran Levorphanol Loperamide Memantine Methadone Methorphan Methoxetamine Methoxphenidine Milnacipran Morphanol NEFA Neramexane Nitromemantine Noribogaine Norketamine Orphenadrine PCPr PD-137889 Pethidine
(meperidine) Phencyclamine Phencyclidine Propoxyphene Remacemide Rhynchophylline Rimantadine Rolicyclidine Sabeluzole Tabernanthine Tenocyclidine Tiletamine Tramadol; Ifenprodil
(NR2B) site antagonists: Besonprodil Buphenine
(nylidrin) CO-101244 (PD-174494) Eliprodil Haloperidol Isoxsuprine Radiprodil (RGH-896) Rislenemdaz
(CERC-301, MK-0657) Ro 8-4304 Ro 25-6981 Safaprodil Traxoprodil
(CP-101606); NR2A-selective antagonists: MPX-004 MPX-007 TCN-201 TCN-213; Cations: Hydrogen Magnesium Zinc; Alcohols/volatile anesthetics/related: Benzene Butane Chloroform Cyclopropane Desflurane Diethyl ether Enflurane Ethanol (alcohol) Halothane Hexanol Isoflurane Methoxyflurane Nitrous oxide Octanol Sevoflurane Toluene Trichloroethane Trichloroethanol Trichloroethylene Urethane Xenon Xylene; Unknown/unsorted antagonists: ARR-15896 Bumetanide Caroverine Conantokin D-αAA Dexanabinol Flufenamic acid Flupirtine FPL-12495 FR-115427 Furosemide Hodgkinsine Ipenoxazone (MLV-6976) MDL-27266 Metaphit Minocycline MPEP Niflumic acid Pentamidine Pentamidine
isethionate Piretanide Psychotridine Transcrocetin

See also: Receptor/signaling modulators Metabotropic glutamate receptor modulators Glutamate
metabolism/transport modulators

v t e

Sigma receptor
Sigma receptor


Agonists: 3-PPP 4-PPBP 5-MeO-DMT Alazocine
(SKF-10047) Amantadine ANAVEX2-73 Arketamine BD-737 BD-1052 Captodiame Citalopram CGRP Cloperastine Cocaine Cutamesine
(SA-4503) Cyclazocine Dehydroepiandrosterone
(DHEA) (prasterone) Dehydroepiandrosterone
sulfate (DHEA-S) (prasterone sulfate) Dextrallorphan Dextromethorphan
(DXM) Dextrorphan
(DXO) Dimemorfan Dimethyltryptamine
(DMT) Ditolylguanidine
(DTG) Donepezil Eliprodil Escitalopram Fabomotizole
(afobazole) Fluoxetine Fluvoxamine Ifenprodil Igmesine
(JO-1784) IPAB Ketamine L-687384 MDMA
(midomafetamine) Memantine Methamphetamine Methoxetamine Methylphenidate Nepinalone Neuropeptide Y Noscapine OPC-14523 Opipramol Pentazocine Pentoxyverine
(carbetapentane) PRE-084 Pregnenolone Pregnenolone
sulfate Pridopidine Racemethorphan
(methorphan) Racemorphan
(morphanol) UMB-23 UMB-82

Antagonists: 3-PPP AC-927 BD-1008 BD-1031 BD-1047 BD-1060 BD-1063 BD-1067 BMY-14802
(BMS-181100) CM-156 Dup-734 E-5842 E-52862
(S1RA) Haloperidol LR-132 LR-172 MS-377 NE-100 NPC-16377 Panamesine
(EMD-57455) PD-144418 Pentazocine Progesterone Rimcazole
(BW-234U) Sertraline SR-31742A

Allosteric modulators: Phenytoin; Positive: Methylphenylpiracetam SOMCL-668

Unknown/unsorted: 3-Methoxydextrallorphan 3-MeO-PCP 4C-T-2 4-IBP 4-IPBS 4-MeO-PCP 5-MeO-DALT 5-MeO-DiPT Amitriptyline Azidopamil Chlorpromazine Clemastine Clomipramine Clorgiline D-Deprenyl DiPT DPT Ibogaine Imipramine KCR-12-83.1 Nemonapride Noribogaine RHL-033 RS-67,333 RTI-55 Saffron Safinamide Selegiline Spipethiane Trifluoperazine W-18 YKP10A


Agonists: 3-PPP Arketamine BD-1047 BD1063 Ditolylguanidine
(DTG) DKR-1005 DKR-1051 Haloperidol Ifenprodil Ketamine MDMA
(midomafetamine) Methamphetamine OPC-14523 Opipramol PB-28 Phencyclidine Siramesine
(Lu 28-179) UKH-1114

Antagonists: AC-927 BD-1008 BD-1067 CM-156 CT-1812 LR-172 MIN-101 Panamesine
(EMD-57455) SAS-0132

Unknown/unsorted: 3-Methoxydextrallorphan 3-MeO-PCE 4-MeO-PCP 5-MeO-DALT 5-MeO-DiPT Clemastine DiPT DPT Ibogaine Nemonapride Nepinalone Noribogaine Pentazocine RS-67,333 Safinamide TMA UMB-23 UMB-82 W-18


Agonists: Berberine Ethylketazocine Fourphit Metaphit Nalbuphine Naluzotan Tapentadol Tenocyclidine

Antagonists: AHD1 AZ66 Lamotrigine Naloxone SM-21 UMB-100 UMB-101 UMB-103 UMB-116 YZ-011 YZ-069 YZ-185

Allosteric modulators: SKF-83959

Unknown/unsorted: 18-Methoxycoronaridine BMY-13980 Butaclamol Caramiphen Carvotroline Chlorphenamine
(chlorpheniramine) Chlorpromazine Cinnarizine Cinuperone Clocapramine Dezocine EMD-59983 Hypericin
(St. John's wort) Fluphenazine Gevotroline
(WY-47384) Mepyramine
(pyrilamine) Molindone Perphenazine Pimozide Proadifen Promethazine Propranolol Quinidine Remoxipride SL 82.0715 SR-31747A Tiospirone
(BMY-13859) Venlafaxine

See also: Receptor/signaling modulators

Authority control

LCCN: sh87006102 N