Saffron is a spice that many people use for cocking but do not know its health benefits. In addition to the belief in herbal medicine that saffron is very helpful for our health, new studies have confirmed its benefits.
Today we will focus on saffron benefits for psychological health. Some studies were conducted on saffron or its extracts and found that it is effective for improving psychological health.
One study tested saffron extract on mild and moderate depression at the dose of 20–30 mg/day twice daily. Although it is a natural compound, saffron extract efficacy was comparable to fluoxetine and imipramine in improving these conditions. Another experiment tested 30 mg/day of crocin, which is extracted from saffron, for 4 weeks of on patients with major depression. The result was a significant improvement in mood. Not only depressed people can benefit from saffron as another study tested its extract on healthy adults. The dose was 28 mg/day of the extract which resulted in improving mood, stress, anxiety and even sleep quality according to self-evaluation. Crocin (30 mg/day for 8 weeks) reduced the symptoms of depression in subjects with metabolic syndrome as reported by a different study.
You might ask how saffron can be as effective as pharmaceutical medication in treating depression. According to the mentioned studies, the antidepressant effects of saffron are attributed to safranal and crocin. It is believed that these 2 components inhibit neuronal reuptake of dopamine, serotonin (5‐HT), and norepinephrine.
One way to increase the efficacy of saffron is to mix it with Shilajit as Shilajit contains Fulvic Acid. This acid increases the absorption of any ingested substance which increases its efficacy. You can simply dissolve your preferred dose of Shilajit in a cup of warm milk or warm water and then add saffron to it. Grinding saffron before using it with liquids makes it release more of its components.
Phytotherapic use of the Crocus sativus L. (Saffron) and its potential applications: A brief overview