Saffron is a beautiful herb that is used as a spice in cooking and is gaining a lot of traction in its use as an anti-depressant. Saffron is thought to have this beneficial effect through it’s modulation of neurotransmitters such as:
- Dopamine, that contributes to feelings of pleasure and satisfaction
- Serotonin, which is the body’s natural “feel good” chemical
- Norepinephrine, which increases alertness, attention and arousal
In a double blind randomized human trial, forty adults diagnosed with major depression were divided into two groups- placebo group and the saffron group. The saffron group took 30 mg of a well absorbed saffron, twice daily. After 6 weeks:
- Those taking saffron improved their score on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (used to access depression) by 56% compared to placebo which was 22%.