Mental Health Home > Does Saffron Work?
People who are thinking about using saffron supplements medicinally may wonder if saffron works. Saffron is claimed to be beneficial for several uses, such as treating depression, cancer, insomnia, and baldness. Preliminary studies have shown that saffron may be effective at treating depression. However, more research is necessary to determine if saffron is effective for any use.
Does Saffron Work? -- An OverviewWhile saffron is best known as an expensive spice, it is also used medicinally as an herbal supplement. As with most other supplements, saffron is claimed to be beneficial for many different uses, such as for the following conditions:
- Baldness (when applied to the scalp)
- Dry skin
- Fright and shock
- Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis)
- Indigestion or heartburn
- Painful menstrual periods (dysmenorrhea)
- Premature ejaculation
- Spitting up blood
- Whooping cough.
Studies on the Effectiveness of SaffronA few small, early studies indicate that saffron may be effective at treating depression. In fact, one study suggested that saffron may work as well as imipramine (Tofranil®) for mild to moderate depression, although this study has been criticized for using an imipramine dosage that may not be high enough for treating depression.
For most other uses, there is insufficient evidence to suggest that saffron really is effective for these various uses. More research is necessary before any conclusions can be made.