Autumn crocus (aka meadow saffron or naked ladies) is a plant used in homeopathic medicines. It is a perennial herb that grows in meadows. It has roots with a bulb called corm. The plant also has slender leaves and purple flowers arising from long tubes flowering in autumn, followed by fruits containing seeds. Chemical composition: The corm contains a highly toxic alkaloid called colchicine.
Medical benefits: All parts of the plant are toxic. The bulb in highly diluted form (with traces of poisonous substance removed) is anti-inflammatory and analgesic and used in homeopathic medicines for acute gout and rheumatism. It also forms the part of homeopathic medicines used to cure vomiting, stomach and intestinal inflammation, limb neuritis (pain in limb nerves), bronchitis and ulcerative colitis. Colchicine is important chemical and used for genetic experiments and research.
Contraindications: Colchicine containing medicines should not be taken for long time. Use only under strict supervision of professional herbalist. Excessive doses cause many adverse effects, nausea, gastric problems and damage to internal organs. It is advisable only during acute pain. It is contraindicated to pregnant and nursing women.