Saffron was traditionally used to relieve fever, against cramps and as a sedative. Doctors also applied it as a cure for dysentery, measles, fever, jaundice, cholera, diabetes, urinary tract infections and, used externally, against bruising and rheumatism. In the Middle East, saffron has been considered a memory stimulant for centuries. Since ancient times, it has also been viewed as an aphrodisiac: its constituent crocus is a natural stimulant. There has been extensive research into the effects of saffron worldwide and results suggest the spice can have a positive effect on many defects.
For example, it has been said that saffron has the same function with depression as Prozac, thus improving the mood, without the negative side effects of its constituent fluoxetine. Saffron contains carotene and crocetin, which could positively affect cancer therapy and decrease blood pressure.