Saffron’s chemistry expresses otherworldly complexity. It contains over 150 volatile and aroma-yielding compounds – a biochemical symphony that ensures its mystery will never fully be unraveled, at least insofar as its great medicinal power remains refractory to the reductionist gaze of modern pharmacology.
Saffron was historically used for depression in Persian traditional medicine.This early use led to modern-day research into saffron’s impact on mood.
Saffron may be beneficial when long-term treatments are needed to alleviate depression because there are no known side effects associated with taking the herb medicinally. Researchers directly compared the efficacy of saffron stigma extract to that of the antidepressant Tofranil®(imipramine) against significant degrees of depression.
In a double-blinded, single-center trial, scientists randomly divided 30 depressed patients into two groups. They gave 30 mg capsules of saffron 3 times daily to one group. The other group received 100 mgs of Tofranil® 3 times daily. All subjects met the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, criteria for major depression.
Just 6 weeks later, the saffron dose was declared to be equally as beneficial as Tofranil® in the treatment of mild to moderate depression, However, only the Tofranil® group suffered anticholinergic symptoms, such as dry mouth. (An anticholinergic agent blocks the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the nervous system.) Also, the participants taking Tofranil® experienced significant unwanted sedation. The study author concluded that saffron has “therapeutic benefit in the treatment of mild to moderate depression.”
Next, scientists compared the potency of saffron extract to the antidepressant Prozac®(fluoxetine).
Forty adult outpatients who met the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual on Mental Disorders, 4th edition, criteria for depression were randomly assigned to recieve either twice-daily 30mg capsule of saffron stigma or twice-daily capsules of 20 mgs of Prozac®.
At the close of the 6-week, double-blind, randomized trial, saffron was found to be as effective as Prozac® in the treatment of mild to moderate depression. There were no significant differences in unwanted reactions.
These studies clearly establish that saffron is a potent alternative to commonly prescribed antidepressants for treating depression- without the adverse effects
There have been 119 published studies from twelve countries, as well as 99 drug regulatory agency warnings from ten countries plus the European Union, together indicating that antidepressants can cause the following adverse effects:
- Abnormal bleeding or bruising
- Abnormal thoughts
- Akathisia (severe restlessness)
- Birth defects
- Black tongu
- Blurred vision or vision changes
- Crushing chest pain
- Decreased memory or concentration
- Delusional thinking
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Dizziness or faintness
- Dry mouth
- Emotional numbing
- Extreme restlessness
- Heart rate decreases
- Heart attacks
- Homicidal ideation or action
- Impaired driving
- Liver problems
- Low white blood cell count
- Mania or manic reactions
- Memory lapses
- Mood swings
- Muscle spasms
- Neuroleptic malignant syndrome
- Night sweats
- Numbness in extremities
- Panic attacks
- Premature births
- Psychotic episodes
- Risk of breast cancer
- Risk of falls
- Serotonin syndrome
- Severe headache
- Severe muscle stiffness
- Sexual dysfunction
- Shuffling walk
- Slow or difficult speech
- Spontaneous abortion
- Suicidal thoughts or behavior
- Violent behavior
- Weight gain
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Yellowing of skin or eyes
So why not try traditional remedies first?
Medical disclaimer : This information, downloaded from various websites, are intended solely for general purpose. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
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