Pricey Spice Promising for Depression Treatment

the MPR take:

The world’s most expensive spice may also be an alternative treatment for mild-to-moderate depression, according to a new study published in the journal Human Psychopharmacology. Saffron, the spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, has been found to have had anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiplatelet effects in previous research and recent clinical trials have suggested that it could also be used for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. This review analyzed six clinical trials on the efficacy and safety of saffron in the treatment of major depressive disorder in 230 adult outpatients 18–55 years of age. In two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies, 30mg/day of C. sativus was found to be effective for the treatment of mild-to-moderate depression; 30mg/day of extract of saffron stigma was also found to be as effective as fluoxetine 20mg/day and imipramine 100mg/day for the treatment of mild-to-moderate depression in other studies. Additional research is needed to better understand the mechanisms associated with saffron as a therapy for major depressive disorder as well as developing an optimal treatment schedule, including dose and length of therapy.

Saffron, a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, has now undergone several trials examining its antidepressant effects and, in a recent meta-analysis, was confirmed to be effective for the treatment of major depression.