Mental Health Home > Saffron Side Effects

Although it is a "natural" product, side effects of saffron are possible. In most cases, side effects are merely bothersome and not serious. Such side effects include nausea, drowsiness, and a change in appetite. However, some saffron side effects should be reported to your healthcare provider, such as signs of saffron poisoning, miscarriages, or signs of an allergic reaction.

Saffron Side Effects: An Overview

As with any medication or herbal supplement, side effects are possible with saffron. Although some people assume that natural products (such as saffron) are automatically free of side effects, this is simply not the case. Remember, many poisons and toxins are natural products. In most cases, side effects of saffron are merely bothersome, although some can be serious.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with saffron. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of saffron side effects with you.)

Bothersome Saffron Side Effects

Possibly bothersome (although not usually serious) saffron side effects may include:
  • An increase or decrease in appetite
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting.

Saffron Side Effects to Report

Some side effects with saffron, while occurring infrequently, are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:
  • Anxiety
  • Unusual behavior, such as:
    • Elated mood
    • Rapid speaking
    • Uncontrollable spending
    • Hypersexuality
    • Yellowing of the whites of the eyes or skin (jaundice)
    • Severe or persistent vomiting
    • A spinning sensation (vertigo)
    • Bloody diarrhea
    • Blood in the urine
    • Bleeding, such as nosebleeds
    • Severe dizziness, confusion, or drowsiness
    • Rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Swelling of the mouth or throat
    • Wheezing
    • Difficulty breathing.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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