Research

Saffron



At The Naked Pharmacy, we ensure that all of our supplements are made with effective strength bioactives, so they are clinically proven to work.

We aim for each supplement to be scientifically supported by multiple randomised placebo-controlled studies. All clinical trial studies we use to support our supplements are undertaken on human patients, using the exact same dosage and formulation of the product. The scientific studies are published in peer review journals.

What can Saffron do for you?



Research is now showing that a variety of mental health conditions are affected by the health of the gut, not just the central nervous system. Saffron helps reduce the reactivity of the nervous system to stress because it helps the body to cope better, sleep better and react better to nervousness and mood imbalance.

Safranal is the primary bioactive in saffron. We know it’s most effective at a concentration of 3.5% so that’s what you’ll find in our Saffrosun supplement.


Saffron has multiple polyphenolic and flavonoid bioactives within its flower. It has three bioactives that are carotenoid type compounds, related to the carotenoids 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 shows that saffron bioactives work on serotonin production in the gut, where 90% of the happy hormone is produced.
If you’d like for more information on the available evidence which details and supports the efficacy of saffron, follow the links below.



The scientific studies to support our claims on saffron are published in the following peer review journals:

Study: The Effects of a Saffron Extract (affron®) on Menopausal Symptoms in Women during Perimenopause: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study

  • 12-week, parallel-group, double-blind, randomised controlled trial
  • 86 female participants

The aim of this study was to examine the tolerability and efficacy of a standardised saffron extract (affron®) on menopausal complaints in perimenopausal women.

Based on data collected from 82 participants, saffron was associated with greater improvements in mood and psychological symptoms compared to the placebo. There was also a significantly greater reduction in the PANAS negative affect score (P = 0.043) compared to the placebo. Saffron intake was well tolerated with no reported major adverse events.

The authors concluded that the saffron extract, affron®, administered for 12 weeks at a dose of 14 mg twice daily was associated with greater improvements in psychological symptoms. Further studies in perimenopausal women presenting with varying severity of menopausal symptoms, using different doses of saffron will be useful to examine in future clinical trials.

Study: Comparison of petal of Crocus sativus L. and fluoxetine in the treatment of depressed outpatients: a pilot DB RCT by Akhondzadeh Basti A et al, 2007

RCT Randomised placebo controlled

— Double Blind
— 40 Human participants
— P value: <0.0001

The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of petal of C. sativus with fluoxetine in the treatment of depressed outpatients in an 8-week pilot double-blind randomized trial.

The authors concluded that the petal of C. sativus was found to be similarly effective as fluoxetine in the treatment of mild to moderate depression and the study is supportive of other clinical trial studies which demonstrate the antidepressant effect of C. sativus.

Study: A DB, RCT, placebo-controlled trial of saffron stigma (Crocus sativus L.) in mothers suffering from mild-to-moderate postpartum depression by Tabeshpour J et al, 2017

— RCT Randomised placebo controlled
— Double Blind
— 60 Human participants
— P value: <0.01

The aim of this study was to assess the effects of saffron (Crocus sativus L.) on mothers suffering from mild-to-moderate postpartum depressive disorder (PPD).

The authors concluded that the effect of saffron (Crocus sativus L.) when administered to treat minor PPD in breastfeeding mothers, had a more significant impact on the BDI-II (Beck Depression Inventory-Second Edition) than the placebo.

Study: Crocin, the main active saffron constituent, as an adjunctive treatment in major depressive disorder: RCT, DB, pilot clinical trial by Talaei A et al, 2014

— RCT Randomised placebo controlled
— Double Blind
— 40 Human participants
— P value: <0.0001

The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of crocin, the main active constituent of saffron, as an adjunctive treatment in major depressive disorder (MDD).

The authors concluded that the effect of crocin had a positive impact of symptoms of depression and could be considered for administration in the treatment of in MDD

Study: A DB, RCT and placebo-controlled trial of Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) in the treatment of anxiety and depression by Mazidi M et al, 2016

— RCT Randomised placebo controlled
— Double Blind
— 60 Human participants
— P value: <0.001

The aim of this study was to assess the effects of saffron extract for the treatment of anxiety and depression using a 12-week double-blind, placebo-controlled trial design.

The authors concluded that saffron supplements had a significantly positive effect on the BDI and BAI scores of subjects in comparison to the placebo, and that saffron appears to have a significant impact in the treatment of anxiety and depression disorder.

Study: Efficacy of Crocus sativus (saffron) in treatment of major depressive disorder associated with post-menopausal hot flashes: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial

— RCT Randomised placebo controlled
— Double Blind
— 60 Human participants
— P value: <0.001

The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of saffron (stigma of Crocus sativus) in treatment of major depressive disorder associated with post-menopausal hot flashes.

Fifty-six patients completed the trial. Results from this study revealed that saffron is a safe and effective treatment in improving hot flashes and depressive symptoms in post-menopausal healthy women. On the other hand, saffron, with fewer side effects, may provide a non-hormonal and alternative herbal medicine option in treatment of women with hot flashes.



There are a few key terms to be aware of when reviewing these studies:

Randomised clinical trial
A clinical trial in which the participants are assigned randomly (by chance alone) to different treatments.

Double-blind study
A study in which neither the participants nor the experimenters know who is receiving a particular treatment. This procedure is utilized to prevent bias in research results. Double-blind studies are particularly useful for preventing bias due to demand characteristics or the placebo effect.

Placebo
An inactive treatment used in a clinical trial, sometimes referred to as a “sugar pill.” A placebo-controlled trial compares a new treatment with a placebo, in order to give greater confidence that the result is only due to the test/active ingredient.

P-value
The probability of obtaining the observed results of a test. The lower the p-value is, the more confident we can be of a true result. For example, a p- value of 0.001 confirms a result as 99.9% accurate.

The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI, BDI-1A, BDI-II)
A 21-question multiple-choice self-report inventory created by Aaron T. It’s one of the most widely used psychometric tests for measuring the severity of depression.



At The Naked Pharmacy, we ensure that all of our supplements are made with effective strength bioactives, so they are clinically proven to work.

We aim for each supplement to be scientifically supported by multiple randomised placebo-controlled studies. All clinical trial studies we use to support our supplements are undertaken on human patients, using the exact same dosage and formulation of the product. The scientific studies are published in peer review journals.

What can Saffron do for you?



Research is now showing that a variety of mental health conditions are affected by the health of the gut, not just the central nervous system. Saffron helps reduce the reactivity of the nervous system to stress because it helps the body to cope better, sleep better and react better to nervousness and mood imbalance.

Safranal is the primary bioactive in saffron. We know it’s most effective at a concentration of 3.5% so that’s what you’ll find in our Saffrosun supplement.


Saffron has multiple polyphenolic and flavonoid bioactives within its flower. It has three bioactives that are carotenoid type compounds, related to the carotenoids 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 shows that saffron bioactives work on serotonin production in the gut, where 90% of the happy hormone is produced.
If you’d like for more information on the available evidence which details and supports the efficacy of saffron, follow the links below.



The scientific studies to support our claims on saffron are published in the following peer review journals:

Study: The Effects of a Saffron Extract (affron®) on Menopausal Symptoms in Women during Perimenopause: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study

  • 12-week, parallel-group, double-blind, randomised controlled trial
  • 86 female participants

The aim of this study was to examine the tolerability and efficacy of a standardised saffron extract (affron®) on menopausal complaints in perimenopausal women.

Based on data collected from 82 participants, saffron was associated with greater improvements in mood and psychological symptoms compared to the placebo. There was also a significantly greater reduction in the PANAS negative affect score (P = 0.043) compared to the placebo. Saffron intake was well tolerated with no reported major adverse events.

The authors concluded that the saffron extract, affron®, administered for 12 weeks at a dose of 14 mg twice daily was associated with greater improvements in psychological symptoms. Further studies in perimenopausal women presenting with varying severity of menopausal symptoms, using different doses of saffron will be useful to examine in future clinical trials.

Study: Comparison of petal of Crocus sativus L. and fluoxetine in the treatment of depressed outpatients: a pilot DB RCT by Akhondzadeh Basti A et al, 2007

RCT Randomised placebo controlled

— Double Blind
— 40 Human participants
— P value: <0.0001

The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of petal of C. sativus with fluoxetine in the treatment of depressed outpatients in an 8-week pilot double-blind randomized trial.

The authors concluded that the petal of C. sativus was found to be similarly effective as fluoxetine in the treatment of mild to moderate depression and the study is supportive of other clinical trial studies which demonstrate the antidepressant effect of C. sativus.

Study: A DB, RCT, placebo-controlled trial of saffron stigma (Crocus sativus L.) in mothers suffering from mild-to-moderate postpartum depression by Tabeshpour J et al, 2017

— RCT Randomised placebo controlled
— Double Blind
— 60 Human participants
— P value: <0.01

The aim of this study was to assess the effects of saffron (Crocus sativus L.) on mothers suffering from mild-to-moderate postpartum depressive disorder (PPD).

The authors concluded that the effect of saffron (Crocus sativus L.) when administered to treat minor PPD in breastfeeding mothers, had a more significant impact on the BDI-II (Beck Depression Inventory-Second Edition) than the placebo.

Study: Crocin, the main active saffron constituent, as an adjunctive treatment in major depressive disorder: RCT, DB, pilot clinical trial by Talaei A et al, 2014

— RCT Randomised placebo controlled
— Double Blind
— 40 Human participants
— P value: <0.0001

The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of crocin, the main active constituent of saffron, as an adjunctive treatment in major depressive disorder (MDD).

The authors concluded that the effect of crocin had a positive impact of symptoms of depression and could be considered for administration in the treatment of in MDD

Study: A DB, RCT and placebo-controlled trial of Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) in the treatment of anxiety and depression by Mazidi M et al, 2016

— RCT Randomised placebo controlled
— Double Blind
— 60 Human participants
— P value: <0.001

The aim of this study was to assess the effects of saffron extract for the treatment of anxiety and depression using a 12-week double-blind, placebo-controlled trial design.

The authors concluded that saffron supplements had a significantly positive effect on the BDI and BAI scores of subjects in comparison to the placebo, and that saffron appears to have a significant impact in the treatment of anxiety and depression disorder.

Study: Efficacy of Crocus sativus (saffron) in treatment of major depressive disorder associated with post-menopausal hot flashes: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial

— RCT Randomised placebo controlled
— Double Blind
— 60 Human participants
— P value: <0.001

The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of saffron (stigma of Crocus sativus) in treatment of major depressive disorder associated with post-menopausal hot flashes.

Fifty-six patients completed the trial. Results from this study revealed that saffron is a safe and effective treatment in improving hot flashes and depressive symptoms in post-menopausal healthy women. On the other hand, saffron, with fewer side effects, may provide a non-hormonal and alternative herbal medicine option in treatment of women with hot flashes.



There are a few key terms to be aware of when reviewing these studies:

Randomised clinical trial
A clinical trial in which the participants are assigned randomly (by chance alone) to different treatments.

Double-blind study
A study in which neither the participants nor the experimenters know who is receiving a particular treatment. This procedure is utilized to prevent bias in research results. Double-blind studies are particularly useful for preventing bias due to demand characteristics or the placebo effect.

Placebo
An inactive treatment used in a clinical trial, sometimes referred to as a “sugar pill.” A placebo-controlled trial compares a new treatment with a placebo, in order to give greater confidence that the result is only due to the test/active ingredient.

P-value
The probability of obtaining the observed results of a test. The lower the p-value is, the more confident we can be of a true result. For example, a p- value of 0.001 confirms a result as 99.9% accurate.

The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI, BDI-1A, BDI-II)
A 21-question multiple-choice self-report inventory created by Aaron T. It’s one of the most widely used psychometric tests for measuring the severity of depression.

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