Is Saffron A Natural Anti-Depressant? See What Experts Say

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Thanks to increased awareness, depression is being recognized as a real health issue that demands attention. While medical intervention is often required to manage symptoms like anxiety and insomnia, natural supplements can also help alleviate the problem if not treat it entirely. You’ll be surprised to know that many experts and studies talk about saffron being a natural anti-depressant, which can be combined with regular treatment to help fight mild to moderate symptoms.

Is Saffron A Good Anti-Depressant?

Beyond its culinary prowess, saffron has garnered scientific interest for its potential mental health benefits. Recent studies have shed light on saffron’s remarkable properties as a natural anti-depressant, offering a glimmer of hope to those seeking solace from the clutches of depression.
Nutritionist Rashi Chowdhary discussed the effectiveness of saffron powder in combating depression symptoms in an Instagram post. She emphasized that depression treatment usually involves a combination of improving gut health, considering therapy, fixing sleep cycles, and having sufficient emotional support from family and friends, which collectively contribute to healing depression. However, Rashi Chowdhary acknowledged that saffron can be considered as an alternative to synthetic antidepressants for the treatment of mild to moderate depression. Nevertheless, she emphasized the need for more research, but it’s a promising start.
Also Read: This Simple Test Will Tell You If The Saffron You Just Bought Is Adulterated

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How Saffron Relieves Depression Symptoms:

Research published in the National Library Of Medicine reveals that saffron may be helpful in treating depressive symptoms. In three studies comparing saffron supplementation to antidepressant groups (fluoxetine or imipramine), significant improvements in depressive symptoms were observed among participants in both conditions.
Rashi Chowdhary also mentioned in her post that research has concluded that saffron can be equally beneficial in treating mild to moderate depression.
1. Crocin extract from saffron has shown an effect in managing anxiety among rats, where 50mg/kg of crocin significantly reduced anxiety rates.
2. In several studies, saffron’s effects were found to be similar to antidepressant medications. In a 6-week randomized and double-blinded clinical trial, 30mg capsules of saffron per day showed a similar effect in managing mild to moderate depression among 30 adults.
3. It has been reported that ethanol extract of saffron petals possesses antidepressant activity. An 8-week pilot double-blind randomized trial revealed that 30mg/day of saffron petal extract had a positive effect on mild to moderate depression among 40 adult outpatients.
While these studies give us hope for a natural solution to manage depression, the research is still in the nascent stages. The study published in the National Library Of Medicine warned that “long-term follow-ups are needed before firm conclusions can be made regarding saffron’s efficacy and safety for treating depressive symptoms.” Nonetheless, the takeaway we get is that if not used for treatment, saffron can be used as a mood enhancer and to reduce symptoms.
It’s a great idea to add saffron to your meals to lift up your mood, and we have the perfect saffron recipes to help you do it. You can try kesar tea, saffron chicken, or even saffron lemon drink.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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