Saffron, the universal mood booster
You are not depressed, but to say that you are overflowing with pleasure in life? Well no. In that case, supplementation with saffron may give you a boost, concludes according to a human study that has been published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine.
Saffron contains substances with an antidepressant effect. [Phytother Res. 2005 Feb;19(2):148-51.] According to some trials, saffron extracts work just as well against depression as a medicine such as fluoxetine. [J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Feb 28;97(2):281-4.]
Although the majority of all these studies comes from Iran, and we actually need studies from reserachers in other countries as well, the antidepressant effect of saffron has recently been confirmed in a meta-study. [J Integr Med. 2013 Nov; 11 (6): 377-83.]
The researchers experimented with 128 subjects, who, although not depressed, were reporting low mood. The researchers divided the test subjects into 3 groups and gave the first group a placebo every day for 4 weeks. Two other groups received a capsule each day containing 22 or 28 milligrams of the saffron extract Affron respectively. Affron is standardized to safranal and crocin.
Affron is a product of the Spanish Pharmactive Biotech Products SL. [pharmactive.eu] That company sponsored the trial. The standard dose advised by Pharmactive is 28 milligrams of Affron per day.
Supplementation with saffron improved all aspects of the mood of the subjects somewhat. Certainly the 28 milligram dose made the subjects feel a bit less depressed, angry and tired. Moreover, the supplement made them feel more vital & strong [Vigour].
"Overall, the results demonstrated the effectiveness of Affron, a botanical extract from saffron (Crocus sativus L.) on improving low mood, and stress in otherwise healthy participants", summarize the researchers.
"Given the excellent safety profile of this food herb, the well-known issues associated with the tricyclics and SSRI's and the current absence of management tools for low mood, there is now a strong case for using saffron in the long-term and prophylactic management, where appropriate, of low mood states."
Complement Ther Med. 2017 Aug;33:58-64.
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