In Crocologia – A Detailed Study of Saffron, the King of Plants, Sally Francis and Maria Teresa Ramandi present the first translation into English of Johann Ferdinand Hertodt’s seminal 1671 work Crocologia, a book uniquely devoted to the medical uses of saffron. Hertodt discusses saffron’s origin, related species, cultivation, selection, properties and lists all its pharmaceutical preparations. Hertodt then journeys through diseases of the human body, presenting saffron-containing formulae for their treatment.

The two authors complement the translation with a biography of Hertodt, and detail saffron’s botany, current production, uses, its changing reputation as a drug, and review findings from new medical research. There is a full Glossary, and translation of a contemporary animadversion of Crocologia by Hertodt’s rival, Wenzel Maximilian Ardensbach.