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Saffron petals help wounds to heal

Saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world, obtained from the autumn flowers of the saffron crocus (Crocus sativus).

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Each flower usually produces only three stigmas, which are picked by hand and dried at a low temper- ature. Around 150,000 flowers are needed for one kilogram of pure saffron. Although the petals also contain many valuable natural substances, up to now they have been thrown away. HLS researchers therefore developed a method for extracting those valuable ingredients from saffron petals. This Accelerated Solvent Extraction used several different solvents, the extracts of which were then analysed for their components using HPLC. The flower extracts were tested on cell-based wound healing models: human skin cells which are artificially damaged in the laboratory. Treating the cells with the extract improved heal- ing and produced more VEGF growth factor, which ensures that wounds heal faster. These findings could lead to the devel- opment of an innovative natural product.

FHNW School of Life Sciences

FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland School of Life Sciences Hofackerstrasse 30 CH - 4132 Muttenz
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