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Saffron Linked to Improved Postpartum Depression Symptoms

Saffron is famous for being the most expensive spice in the world. In addition to making food more delicious, it has long been used in traditional medicine as an antiseptic, antidepressant, antioxidant, digestive, and anti-convulsant. Now a recent study suggests that saffron may help alleviate the symptoms of postpartum depression.


60 new mothers who were suffering from postpartum depression participated in the study. Half of the women were given 15mg of saffron per day over the course of eight weeks, while the other half acted as a placebo. Researchers used the Beck Depression Inventory-Second Edition (BDI-II) to assess the severity of postpartum depression


At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted greater improvements on the BDI-II in the saffron group, when compared with the placebo group. The mean scores for the saffron group decreased from 20.3 to 8.4, and from 19.8 to 15.1 in the placebo group. The final assessment found that 96% of the saffron group were in remission, compared to 43% of the placebo group.


Researchers from Mashhad University of Medical Sciences in Iran led the study. It was published online ahead of print on October 7, 2017, in the journal Phytomedicine.


Saffron is a common ingredient in East Indian and Middle Eastern cooking. Previous studies suggest that saffron may help relieve asthma, whooping cough, and regular cough by loosening phlegm. It may also help with vision. It has also been used in traditional medicine to aid people with sleep problems, gas, and depression.

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