Meadow saffron medicinal properties and toxicity (Colchicum autumnale)

(Colchicum autumnale)


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Scientific noun: Colchicum autumnale L.

Family: Lily family – Liliaceae

Habitat: In mountains in wed grasslands.

Alkaloids: Colchicine, C 22 H25 NO 6.

Active parts

The whole plant, specially the seeds.

Medicinal properties of colchicum

This plant was used in the past for the treatment of diseases such as gout, rheumatism, or cancer


Very toxic. Formerly poisonings occurred when people used prepared homemade preparations. Many cases of known deaths are due to this reason.


Today, meadow saffron is not used in medicinal preparations so poisoning in people are rare except when it has been confused with saffron.

Not so with animals, because there have been reported many cases of deaths of horses, cows and sheep that have eaten the grass where this plant grows.

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Stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, weakened pulse, convulsions, coma.

Medical treatment

Emetics, gastric lavage.

More information about natural medicine.

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

19 March, 2019

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