Autumn Crocus

Other Name(s):

Colchicum, Colchicum autumnale, Colchicum speciosum, Colchicum vernum, Colchique, Colchique d'Automne, Cólquico, Crocus, Dame Sans Chemise, Fall Crocus, Faux-Safran, Meadow Saffran, Meadow Saffron, Mysteria, Naked Ladies, Safran Bâtard, Safran des Prés, Tue-Chien, Tue-Loup, Upstart, Vellorita, Wonder Bulb.

Overview

Autumn crocus is a plant. The seed, bulb, and flower are used to make medicine.

Despite serious safety concerns, autumn crocus is used for arthritis, gout, and an inherited disease called familial Mediterranean fever.

How does it work?

The seeds of autumn crocus contain colchicine. This is the same active ingredient used in a prescription medication for gout and Mediterranean fever. Colchicine works by reducing the chemicals that cause joint swelling (inflammation) in people with these diseases.

Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Arthritis.
  • Gout.
  • Familial Mediterranean fever, an inherited disease.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of autumn crocus for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

QUESTION

Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

Side Effects

Autumn crocus is UNSAFE. It is considered a poison, and can cause burning of the mouth and throat, vomiting, diarrhea, liver and kidney problems, blood disorders, nerve problems, shock, organ failure, and death. There have been reports of poisoning when autumn crocus bulbs were mistaken for onions and eaten.

If you have gout or familial Mediterranean fever, it is much safer to use colchicine prescribed by your healthcare provider. Prescription colchicine contains a set amount of medicine. The amount of colchicine in autumn crocus can vary from plant to plant.

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's UNSAFE for anyone to use autumn crocus, but pregnant women have extra reasons to avoid use. Autumn crocus might cause birth defects.

Interactions


ColchicineInteraction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Autumn crocus contains colchicine. Taking autumn crocus along with colchicine might increase the effects and side effects of colchicine.

SLIDESHOW

Vitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough? See Slideshow

Dosing

The appropriate dose of autumn crocus depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for autumn crocus. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Reviewed on 6/14/2021
References

Brinker F. Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions. Sandy, OR: Eclectic Medical Publ, 1997.

Burnham TH, ed. Drug Facts and Comparisons, Updated Monthly. Facts and Comparisons, St. Louis, MO.

Jaspersen-Schib R, Theus L, Guirguis-Oeschger M, et al. [Serious plant poisonings in Switzerland 1966-1994. Case analysis from the Swiss Toxicology Information Center]. Schweiz Med Wochenschr 1996;126:1085-98. View abstract.

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