meadow saffron


Medicinal plant rich in colchicine, a molecule used to treat gout attacks. Consume only in the form of a ready-to-use medicine and with a medical prescription, this plant can be very toxic.


Portuguese name: meadow saffron
Binomial name: Colchicum autumnale L.
French name: Colchique d’automne , safran bâtard
English name: autumn crocus
German name: Herbst-Zeitlose, Herbstzeitlose
Italian name: Colchico d’autunno




Colchicine, lipids and tannins.

parts used

Bulbs and seeds to extract colchicine.


Anti-inflammatory, anti-inflammatory and blocks cell division.


– Gout (gout attacks)
– Muscular or joint rheumatism
– Acute arthritis crisis

Secundary effects

Gastrointestinal disorders such as: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; blood diseases; neurological disorders. For the complete list, read the leaflet.


Ask your pharmacist and read the leaflet.


Ask your pharmacist and read the leaflet.


– Pills (containing colchicine)

Consume only in the form of a ready-to-use medicine and with a medical prescription.

Where does meadow saffron grow?

Meadow saffron grows especially in the mounts of the Alps in Europe. It can also be found on other continents such as Asia or Africa. The plant reaches a height of between 5 and 40cm. It is a perennial plant, meaning it can live for several years.

When to harvest meadow saffron?

Do not collect autumn saffron yourself, as it is a very toxic plant (see also notes). It can only be consumed after an industrial process by which colchicine is extracted. Flowering occurs between August and November in Europe.

Interesting Observations

– Bear in mind that the whole plant is rich in colchicine, a poisonous alkaloid if used improperly, but it can also be an effective medicine in the case of gout attacks and other rheumatic diseases. 🇧🇷Consume only in the form of ready-to-use medicine and with a medical prescription, do not consume especially in the form of tea or medicine prepared by yourself.

Poisoning by chewing saffron seeds or flower is often fatal and is manifested by increased salivation, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, colic and general paralysis. [Source: and Destination Santé SAS]

Meadow turmeric poisoning is a medical emergency that usually requires intensive care. There is currently no antidote (updated March 2014). The doctor usually prescribes activated charcoal to remove toxic substances.

– Flowering of meadow crocus usually occurs in autumn.

Also read our full file on gout .

How to distinguish Bear’s garlic (Allium ursinum) from meadow crocus (Colchicum autumnale) and lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis)?
Firstly, bears garlic has a garlic smell, the other two do not. In addition, it is useful to observe the leaves:
– Bear’s garlic : the upper side is shiny and the underside is opaque, the consistency of the leaves is delicate.
– Lily-of-the-valley: the upper side is opaque and the underside is shiny, the consistency of the leaf is flexible.
– Meadow saffron: the leaves have a firm and resistant consistency.
In case of doubt, always consult a specialist in medicinal and harvesting plants.

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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