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Saffron may help to treat several health conditions, including depression, asthma, insomnia, and baldness. Preliminary research suggests that some of the compounds in it may have anti-cancer activity, stimulate the secretion of stomach acids, and lower cholesterol and triglycerides. Although saffron is a "natural" substance, it may still cause side effects, such as anxiety, nausea, and drowsiness.

What Is Saffron?

Saffron is an expensive spice that is made from the saffron crocus flower. It is also used as an herbal supplement that is claimed to be helpful for a variety of conditions, including depression, asthma, insomnia, baldness, and many other problems.
(Click Benefits of Saffron for more information on what it is used for, including additional uses.)

How Does It Work?

It is not exactly clear how it works. It seems there are a few different active compounds in it. Early research indicates that some of the compounds in it may have anti-cancer activity, may stimulate the secretion of stomach acids, and can stimulate the contraction of smooth muscles (such as the uterus). Compounds in saffron may also have some effects on lowering cholesterol and triglycerides.

Is It Effective?

Saffron might be effective at treating depression, although further research is needed to confirm the findings of early studies. There is not enough evidence to rate the effectiveness of the supplement for other uses.
(Click Does Saffron Work? for more information.)

Dosing Information

A safe and effective saffron dose for medicinal use has not been established. Therefore, make sure to follow the specific instructions for your particular product.
(Click Saffron Dosage for more information.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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