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Saffron: HOW IT WORKS Series


Scientific Research into Saffron

saffron how it works

Saffron has got to be one of the most versatile spices out there – not only is it used as a fabric dye, in perfume and in a variety of delicious dishes from all over the world, it also has a long rich history of use in traditional medicine. We can trace back saffron’s use in treatment as far as the Sumerian civilisation during the Early Bronze ages and it’s been part of traditional practice ever since – you might say it had a colourful past.

Our aim at The Naked Pharmacy is to show how science is catching up with tradition by bringing the clinical research into the light. We are harnessing the exciting qualities of saffron in our products too.

So, how does Saffron work on the body?

Firstly, what is in Saffron?

Saffron has multiple polyphenolic and flavonoid bioactives within its flower. It has 3 bioactives that are carotenoid type compounds, related the carotenes found in carrots, but with a different chemical structure. The primary bioactives are  Safranal, Crocin, and Picrocrocin and are compounds with multiple effects on different bodily systems.

Research in this area is ongoing, so we will keep you updated on new research on  how these three biocatives work and how they have an impact on the body.

Research shows that saffron actives are work on serotonin production in the gut where 90% of the happy hormone is produced.

How else are these Compounds working?

We know that saffron compounds are having an effect on the synapses and we also believe that most of the effect is happening in the gut, rather than the brain. Because of the gut-brain axis and the nerve connection between them, serotonin production in the gut can have an impact on mental health issues, such as nervousness, mood balance, sleep quality etc – basically all of the things that keep your mental health stable.

It’s also thought that there’s an effect on other hormone levels that are produced in the gut too, for example, early morning cortisol levels. Spoiler alert: your gut health is very important! It is also believed that saffron bioactives have neuroprotective effects, so they have an anti-inflammatory impact on the nerve connection between the gut and brain.

Research is now is showing that a variety of mental health conditions are affected by the health of the gut and not the central nervous system.

Saffron helps reduce the reactivity of the nervous system to stress because of a helping the body to cope better, sleep better and react better to nervousness and mood imbalance.

We’re certain saffron’s going to enjoy a positive reputation in health going forward, as it has for the last few thousand years.

Note: We will update this post as further research is published.


The Naked Pharmacy Saffrosun is made with the exact effective strength of bioactives proven to work in clinical trials. Each batch is tested so that we can guarantee strength and quality of our ingredients.

Saffrosun | Organic Saffron For Emotional Balance

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