One of the most promising strategies for cancer prevention today is chemoprevention using readily available natural substances from vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices . Among the spices, saffron (Crocus sativus, L) a member of the large family Iridaceae, has drawn attention because apart from its use as a flavouring agent, pharmacological studies have demonstrated many health promoting properties including radical scavenging, anti- mutagenic and immuno-modulating effects. In the present study the effects of an aqueous infusion of saffron on two stage skin papillogenesis / carcinogenesis in mice initiated by 7-12 dimethyl benz[a] anthracin (DMBA) and promoted with croton oil were investigated. Significant reduction in papilloma formation was found with saffron application in the pre-initation and post-initation periods, and particular when the agent was given both pre- and post-initation. The inhibition appeared to be at least partly due on modulatory effects of saffron on some phase II detoxifying enzymes like glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and glutahinoe peroxidase (GPx), as well as catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD).