Author: Shernide Delva
Feeling down? Lift your mood by “spicing up” your life!
Saffron, an extravagant herb commonly used in Indian, Turkish, and Persian cuisine, is gaining popularity as an alternative treatment for depression.
Saffron is a flower that must be carefully hand-picked and dried. The process is extremely laborious making saffron one of the most expensive spices in the world. Luckily, it does not take much of the spice to make a huge difference in your health.
The Benefits of Saffron are Endless.
Saffron has traditionally been used for its healing properties in treating asthma, insomnia, Alzheimer’s disease, joint pain and dry skin. Women have found the spice to be beneficial for menstrual cramps and some men use it to boost fertility.
However, what really stands out is the spice’s proven ability to reduce depression and anxiety.
Saffron for Mental Health: A Depression Fighter?
Researchers determined in clinical trials that saffron improves mild to moderate depression symptoms. Patients were given 30mg of saffron a day over a period of six to eight weeks. The outcome was that saffron was equivalent in effectiveness to therapeutic doses of antidepressants.
What Does This Mean for Mental Health?
- Depression is a major health problem affecting 1 in 10 adults.
- Drug antidepressants are taken by 11% of Americans for mental illness and depression.
- Close to 90% of Antidepressant users suffer from various side effects like abnormal bleeding and sexual dysfunction.
- A natural alternative could be a great way to combat depression without those hindering side effects.
Although researchers do not know why saffron produce antidepressant effects, researchers believe the high antioxidant content of saffron could have something to do with it.
Sexual Dysfunction is one of the most common side effects of using antidepressants and in a 2012 study, results show that using 15mg doses of saffron along with antidepressant medication could improve sexual function in both men and women.
You should also consider looking at alternative methods of treatment that also can improve your mental health such as:
- Optimizing your Vitamin D
- Getting Plenty of Sleep
- Proper Nutrition
- Taking Omega 3 fats which have been proven useful for mood regulation.
Interested in Using Saffron for Depression?
- Make sure you are buying 100% real saffron from a reputable dealer.
- Ensure that the saffron only consists of the red filaments as those are the most beneficial.
- Soak the saffron in broth, milk or warm water before you cook with it. This increases the potency and makes the saffron more effective.
- An alternative way to use saffron would be to add it into a tea or some milk to consume. Combine at least ten strands of the saffron into your drink with some sweetener of your choice. Mix it well and enjoy.
- When taken at night, Saffron can also help treat depression that is associated with insomnia.
In addition to the mood-lifting properties of saffron, it also can help control compulsive eating. In 2010, a clinical trial showed that the mood enhancing properties of saffron could contribute to decrease snacking habits.
If you tend to reach for a snack when you are feeling down, try taking saffron as a way to curb those urges. Saffron mood boosting properties could help aid in maintaining a healthy exercise and nutrition regimen.
What the Future Holds for Saffron
Saffron continues to be researched for its antidepressant properties. The properties in saffron could be beneficial for treating mental illnesses like Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorders and other emotional and cognitive conditions.
Only time will tell where this ancient form of treatment will fit into our modern world.
Saffron is a great option for those looking for alternative treatment options for mild to severe depression symptoms. Remember to always talk to your doctor before making any changes in your treatment plan and medications. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135