Saffron is one of the most talked about ingredients in integrative medicine. It has shown significant abilities to help stabilize mental health issues according to recent ongoing and previously conducted research.
With patients becoming more aware of integrative medicine and natural remedies and a shift away from conventional pharmaceuticals we are seeing a large amount of interest in what types of formulas and ingredients can help with issues like mental health, depression, stress, etc.
In this blog we’ll dig into some of the key aspects of mental health conditions like depression and what natural ingredients like Saffron can do for your patient’s well being.
Saffron is the Dried Stigma of the Plant called Crocus Sativa.
Eastern Medicine has utilized its incredible applications for centuries to cure mood-related ailments using Saffron.
The Dried stigma has therapeutic properties and exerts effects of an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory agent, serotonergic, neuroendocrine, and neuroprotective substance.
It has 4 bio-active compounds namely crocins, crocetins, picrocrocin, and safranin.
The positive effects of Saffron in helping reduce the effects of depression –
- A meta-analysis of 6 double-blind RCTs was conducted in IRAN including 230 individuals having significant levels of depression. In this, Saffron proved its efficacy as an antidepressant where each of the individuals was given 30 mg of Saffron per day. It proved to be highly effective as compared to conventional antidepressants or placebo.
- Patients with Mild to moderate symptoms of depression can easily be treated with adequate doses of Saffron over up to 6 weeks. This is according to a randomized controlled trial (RCT) comparing citalopram to saffron and was measured by the HAMD and the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAMA).
- In another double-blind RCT using a higher dose of Saffron (up to 50 mg Daily) against placebo to treat patients with mild to moderate depression over 12 weeks, it was found that Saffron reduced the effects of depression significantly as measured by the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI).
- Another double-blind RCT took place in 2015 where the researchers looked specifically at the stigma component crocin of Saffron. The dosages were set to 15 mg twice daily and 40 patients were taken for the experiment. Significant score improvement was found on the BDI over 4 weeks in comparison to placebo.
- Recently, another bunch of researchers compared Saffron 15 mg twice daily against fluoxetine 20 mg daily. The goal was to treat mild to moderate postpartum depression over 6 weeks. Significantly better results were achieved.
- Another study in 2019 found that daily consumption of 60 mg of Saffron against 100 mg of Sertraline helped in reducing depression symptoms in people over 60 years of age. This was according to the HAMD scale.
Summarizing the Significant Benefits of including Saffron in your Patient’s Supplementation
- Saffron is highly superior to placebos and other conventional antidepressants.
- No Serious adverse effects were recorded.
- It exhibits cardioprotective effects in patients that have comorbid depression and shows prior histories of post-percutaneous coronary interventions.
- Daily consumption of Saffron twice over 4 to 6 weeks was required to show significant betterment in the person suffering from depression.
The clinical bottom line regarding the usage of Saffron to treat depression, anxiety, and stress is that it has great anti-depressant effects.
However, more research is needed to launch it into clinical implementation for the technical treatment of depression in patients. Although the research previously done has shown significantly better results.
Potentially, large-scale trials are needed to prove the credibility of Saffron for mass adoption to treat depression in comparison to conventional antidepressants.