Fitoterapia. 2021 Jun 17:104969. doi: 10.1016/j.fitote.2021.104969. Online ahead of print.
Crocins, as a kind of water-soluble carotenoid pigment, are a series of ester compounds formed from crocetin and gentibiose or glucose, and mainly distributed among Crocus sativus L. (CSL), Gardenia jasminoides Ellis. (GJE). Crocins exhibit a wide range of pharmacological effects on neurodegeneration, cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, depression, liver disease, arthritis, tumor, diabetes, etc. This review systematically discussed the pharmacologic study of crocins in the aspect of structural characteristic and pharmacokinetics, and summarized the mechanism of treating disease. It summarized the abundant research of crocins from 1984 to 2020 based on the above aspects, which provide a reference for the deeply development and application of crocins.