Saffron Extract May Help Improve Depressive Symptoms
Saffron is a spice that has strong antioxidant properties. It has been used for centuries in traditional medicine as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory, as well as for gastrointestinal and cardiovascular problems. A new study has found that supplementation with saffron in conjunction with antidepressants may help relieve persistent depressive symptoms.
Participants in the study included 139 adults with persistent depression who were taking a prescribed antidepressant. In addition to their prescribed antidepressant,they took 14 mg of a saffron extract or a placebo daily for 8 weeks. Depression symptoms were measured using the Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale and the Short Form-36 Health Survey.
Participants in the saffron group saw a 41% reduction in depressive symptoms compared to 21% in the placebo group. Participants in the saffron group also had a greater reduction in adverse effects of antidepressants.
The study was conducted by researchers from Murdoch University and the University of Western Australia. It was published online ahead of print on September 2, 2019 in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.