Safranal is an organic compound isolated from saffron, the spice consisting of the stigmas of crocus flowers (Crocus sativus). It is the constituent primarily responsible for the aroma of saffron.
It is believed that safranal is a degradation product of the carotenoid zeaxanthin via the intermediacy of picrocrocin.
Safranal is an effective anticonvulsant shown to act as an agonist at GABAA receptors. Safranal also exhibits high antioxidant and free radical scavenging activity, along with cytotoxicity towards cancer cells in vitro. It has also been shown to have antidepressant properties
See Also: Science of Saffron