Colchicine is an alkaloid, originally extracted from plants of the genus Colchicum (Gloriosa superba), also known as "Meadow Saffron". Originally used to treat pain and inflammation in rheumatic complaints, it was also prescribed for its cathartic and emetic effects. Its present medicinal use is mainly in the treatment of gout and it is being investigated for its potential use as an anti-cancer drug. It is also used in Plant Genetics for doubling chromosomes to produce larger, hardier and faster-growing plants.