Saffron supplement is a product that contains saffron as a main ingredient and is taken as a dietary supplement. Saffron is a spice that is believed to have various health benefits. Saffron supplements refer to supplements made with saffron extract.
Consuming the spice itself provides several documented health benefits (reducing appetite, regulating blood sugar, etc.).
However, the main reason behind growing interest in saffron supplements is that the product purportedly helps improve mood.
One highly-rated pack of saffron capsules brings in approximately $30K/month on Amazon.
Saffron supplements are part of the Mood Supplements meta trend.
(Searches for “mood supplements” have increased by 4900% over the past 12 months.)
Sales of mood support supplements are growing by 75% YoY.
And certain subcategories, like mood-boosting juice concentrates, have grown by 13,943% over the last year.
Notably, there’s currently a surge in R&D for technologies that extract the active compounds from mood-boosting plants (like ashwagandha and saffron).
Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)
Question: What is Saffron Supplement?
Answer: Saffron supplement is a dietary supplement that contains saffron extract. Saffron is a spice that comes from the Crocus sativus flower. It has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments.
Question: What are the health benefits of saffron supplement?
Answer: Saffron supplement is a spice that contains a host of plant compounds that act as powerful antioxidants and protect cells against free radicals and oxidative stress that can lead to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and neurodegenerative disorders. Some of the main active antioxidants in saffron supplement are crocin, crocetin, safranal, and kaempferol. Saffron supplement may also help improve mood, memory, libido, and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) by modulating brain chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin.
Saffron supplements may have various health benefits, such as:
- Providing antioxidants: Saffron contains several plant compounds that act as antioxidants, which are molecules that protect the cells from oxidative stress and free radical damage. Some of these compounds include crocin, crocetin, safranal, and kaempferol.
- Improving mood and treating depressive symptoms: Saffron may have antidepressant properties and help improve mood, memory, and learning ability. Several studies have shown that saffron supplements can reduce symptoms of mild-to-moderate depression and may be as effective as some conventional antidepressants.
- Enhancing sexual function and libido: Saffron may have aphrodisiac effects and improve sexual function and libido in both men and women. Some studies have suggested that saffron supplements can improve erectile function, sperm quality, sexual arousal, and orgasm in men with erectile dysfunction or infertility. Similarly, some studies have indicated that saffron supplements can reduce sexual pain, increase lubrication, and enhance sexual satisfaction in women with sexual dysfunction.
- Supporting weight loss and appetite control: Saffron may have anti-obesity effects and help reduce body weight and fat mass. Some studies have found that saffron supplements can decrease appetite, snacking frequency, and food intake. Saffron may also modulate the levels of hormones and neurotransmitters involved in appetite regulation, such as leptin, ghrelin, serotonin, and dopamine.
- Protecting eye health: Saffron may have beneficial effects on eye health and vision. Some studies have shown that saffron supplements can improve retinal function and prevent or delay the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is a leading cause of blindness. Saffron may also protect the eyes from oxidative stress and inflammation
Question: How does Saffron Supplement work?
Answer: The active compounds in saffron supplement are believed to work by increasing levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin and dopamine. These neurotransmitters are associated with mood regulation and can help improve symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Question: What are the side effects of saffron supplement?
Answer: Saffron supplement is generally safe for most people to consume in moderate amounts, up to 1.5 grams per day. However, some people may experience allergic reactions, such as itching, rash, swelling, or difficulty breathing. Saffron supplement may also interact with some medications, such as antidepressants, blood thinners, blood pressure drugs, and diabetes drugs. Therefore, it is advisable to consult a doctor before taking saffron supplement if you have any medical conditions or are taking any medications. Saffron supplement should also be avoided by pregnant and breastfeeding women, as it may cause uterine contractions or affect milk production.
Saffron supplements are generally safe for most people when taken in recommended doses for short-term use. However, some people may experience some side effects, such as:
- Allergic reactions: Some people may be allergic to saffron or its components and develop symptoms such as rash, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing. People who are allergic to other plants in the same family as saffron, such as ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, or daisies, may be more likely to have an allergic reaction to saffron.
- Gastrointestinal disturbances: Some people may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, or bloating after taking saffron supplements. These effects may be more common or severe with high doses or long-term use of saffron.
- Bleeding disorders: Saffron may have anticoagulant effects and increase the risk of bleeding or bruising. People who have bleeding disorders or take blood-thinning medications should consult their doctor before taking saffron supplements.
- Low blood pressure: Saffron may lower blood pressure and cause hypotension in some people. People who have low blood pressure or take medications that lower blood pressure should monitor their blood pressure levels and use caution when taking saffron supplements.
- Mood changes: Saffron may alter the levels of brain chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine. This may cause mood changes or interfere with the effects of antidepressants or other drugs that affect the central nervous system. People who have mood disorders or take psychiatric medications should consult their doctor before taking saffron supplements.
Question: How to use saffron supplement?
Answer: Saffron supplement can be taken in different forms, such as capsules, tablets, powder, extract, or tea. The dosage may vary depending on the product and the purpose of use. However, a common recommended dose is 30 milligrams per day for mood enhancement or PMS relief. Saffron supplement can also be added to food as a spice or a coloring agent. It has a strong aroma and bitter taste that can enhance the flavor of rice, fish, chicken, soup, salad, dessert, and other dishes.
Question: How much Saffron Supplement should I take?
Answer: The recommended dosage of saffron supplement varies depending on the product. Most supplements recommend taking 30 mg to 50 mg per day. The optimal dosage of saffron supplement may vary depending on the product, the purpose, and the individual. However, most studies have used doses ranging from 15 to 30 mg of saffron extract per day, divided into two or three doses. Some studies have suggested that higher doses of up to 60 mg per day may have more benefits for mood, sexual function, and eye health. However, higher doses may also increase the risk of side effects or toxicity. Therefore, it is advisable to follow the instructions on the product label or consult a healthcare professional before taking saffron supplements.
Question: Can I take Saffron Supplement while pregnant or breastfeeding?
Answer: Pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid taking saffron supplement as there is not enough research on its safety during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Question: What should I look for when buying Saffron Supplement?
Answer: When buying saffron supplement, look for products that contain standardized extracts of saffron. This ensures that you are getting a consistent amount of the active compounds in each dose.
Question: How long does it take for Saffron Supplement to work?
Answer: The effects of saffron supplement may take several weeks to become noticeable. It’s important to take the supplement consistently as directed to see the best results. The time it takes for saffron supplement to work may depend on the dose, the form, the quality, and the individual. However, some studies have reported that saffron supplements may start to show effects within 4 to 6 weeks of daily use for mood, sexual function, and eye health. For weight loss and appetite control, some studies have suggested that saffron supplements may work within 8 to 10 weeks of daily use.
Question: Can I use Saffron Supplement for cooking?
Answer: Yes, you can use saffron supplement for cooking. However, keep in mind that it is more expensive than regular saffron spice and may not have the same flavor profile.
Question: Is Saffron Supplement legal?
Answer: Yes, saffron supplement is legal in most countries. However, it’s important to check your local laws before purchasing or using any dietary supplement.
Question: Are saffron supplements safe to use?
Answer: Saffron supplements are generally considered safe when taken in moderate amounts, as recommended by a health professional or following the manufacturer’s guidelines. However, excessive use of saffron can lead to potential side effects, such as digestive issues, dizziness, or, in rare cases, poisoning. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using saffron supplements, as they may lead to uterine contractions and other complications. Always consult your doctor before starting any dietary supplement.
Question: How to choose a good quality saffron supplement?
Answer: Saffron supplement is one of the most expensive spices in the world due to its labor-intensive harvesting method. Therefore, it is important to choose a reputable brand that offers pure and authentic saffron supplement without any additives or fillers. Some factors to consider when choosing a good quality saffron supplement are:
- The color: Saffron supplement should have a deep red color with no yellow or white parts. The color indicates the concentration of crocin, the main antioxidant in saffron supplement.
- The aroma: Saffron supplement should have a strong and pleasant aroma that resembles honey or hay. The aroma indicates the presence of safranal, another antioxidant in saffron supplement.
- The taste: Saffron supplement should have a bitter taste that lingers on the tongue. The taste indicates the purity and potency of saffron supplement.
- The certification: Saffron supplement should have a certification from an independent laboratory that verifies its quality and safety. Some common certifications are ISO 3632 (International Organization for Standardization), GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice), and USDA Organic (United States Department of Agriculture).
- Quality: Look for products that are certified by third-party organizations, such as NSF International, USP, or ConsumerLab. These organizations test the products for purity, potency, and safety and verify that they contain what they claim on the label.
- Form: Saffron supplements are available in different forms, such as capsules, tablets, liquid drops, or tea bags. Choose the form that suits your preference and convenience. Capsules and tablets may be easier to swallow and measure than liquid drops or tea bags.
- Dosage: Check the amount of saffron extract or powder in each serving and compare it with the recommended dosage for your purpose. Also, check the number of servings per container and the cost per serving to determine the value of the product.
- Ingredients: Read the ingredient list carefully and avoid products that contain unnecessary fillers, binders, additives, or allergens. Also, look for products that contain standardized extracts of saffron that guarantee a certain percentage of active compounds, such as crocin or safranal.
Question: How can I be sure I am purchasing a high-quality saffron supplement?
Answer: To ensure the best quality and potency, consider purchasing your saffron supplements from a reputable company with third-party testing and certification for purity and quality. Reading customer reviews and product labels can also provide insight into the quality of the supplement.
Question: Can saffron supplements interact with any medications?
Answer: Saffron supplements may interact with certain medications, such as antidepressants, blood-thinning medications, and antihypertensives. It is crucial to consult your healthcare provider before taking saffron supplements, especially if you are currently on any medication or have an underlying health condition.
Question: Can I use saffron supplement alongside other dietary supplements?
Answer: In most cases, saffron supplements can be safely combined with other dietary supplements. However, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional before doing so, as some combinations may interact with each other or enhance the risk of side effects. Saffron supplements can typically be used in combination with other dietary supplements. However, it’s important to consider potential interactions or overlaps in ingredients. If you are taking multiple dietary supplements, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to ensure they are safe to use together and to determine the appropriate dosages for each supplement. A healthcare professional can provide personalized guidance based on your specific health needs and goals.
Question: Are saffron supplements suitable for vegetarians or vegans?
Answer: Saffron supplements are generally suitable for vegetarians and vegans. However, it’s important to check the specific product labeling or consult with the manufacturer to ensure that the supplement is free from any animal-derived ingredients or additives. Most saffron supplements are plant-based and do not contain animal products, but it’s always advisable to verify this information to align with dietary preferences or restrictions.
Question: Are there any natural alternatives to saffron supplements for mood and cognitive enhancement?
Answer: Several natural alternatives can help improve mood and cognitive function, such as St. John’s Wort, ashwagandha, Rhodiola rosea, and omega-3 fatty acids. However, it is necessary to consult a healthcare professional before using any alternative supplement to address mood or cognitive concerns, as individual circumstances can impact their effectiveness.
Question: Can I use saffron in cooking as a way to obtain similar health benefits to saffron supplements?
Answer: Including saffron in your diet through cooking can provide some health benefits related to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. However, the amount of saffron consumed through food sources may not be enough to produce the same therapeutic effects as a more concentrated saffron supplement. For targeted health benefits, it is recommended to use a saffron supplement following the guidance of a healthcare professional or the manufacturer’s instructions.
Question: What is the recommended dosage of saffron extract for therapeutic purposes?
Answer: The recommended dosage of saffron extract can vary depending on the specific health condition being targeted and the individual’s overall health. Typically, saffron extract dosages range from 20 mg to 200 mg daily, divided into two or three doses. It is essential to follow the dosage guidelines provided by your healthcare professional or the supplement manufacturer.
Question: How to store saffron supplement?
Answer: Saffron supplement should be stored in an airtight container away from light, heat, and moisture. Exposure to these factors can degrade the quality and potency of saffron supplement over time. Saffron supplement can last for up to two years if stored properly.
Question: What is the difference between saffron and turmeric?
Answer: Saffron and turmeric are both spices that have yellow-orange color and health benefits. However, they are different plants with different chemical compositions and properties. Saffron comes from the stigmas of the Crocus sativus flower, while turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant. Saffron has a stronger flavor and aroma than turmeric and is more expensive. Saffron contains crocin, crocetin, safranal, and kaempferol as its main antioxidants, while turmeric contains curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin as its main antioxidants. Both spices have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, and neuroprotective effects, but they may have different mechanisms of action and target different pathways in the body.
Question: Can saffron supplement help with weight loss?
Answer: Saffron supplement may help with weight loss by reducing appetite, increasing metabolism, and modulating hormones that regulate fat storage and burning. A study in the journal Nutrition Research found that women who took 176.5 milligrams of saffron extract per day for eight weeks lost more weight and reduced their snacking frequency than those who took a placebo. Another study in the journal Phytotherapy Research found that men who took 200 milligrams of saffron extract per day for 12 weeks had lower body fat percentage and waist circumference than those who took a placebo. However, more research is needed to confirm the efficacy and safety of saffron supplement for weight loss.
Question: Can saffron supplement help with erectile dysfunction?
Answer: Saffron supplement may help with erectile dysfunction by improving blood flow, reducing oxidative stress, and enhancing mood and libido. A study in the journal Phytomedicine found that men who took 200 milligrams of saffron per day for 10 days improved their erectile function and satisfaction compared to those who took a placebo. Another study in the journal Andrologia found that men who took 15 milligrams of saffron twice a day for four weeks improved their erectile function and sexual desire compared to those who took a placebo. However, more research is needed to confirm the efficacy and safety of saffron supplement for erectile dysfunction.
Question: Can saffron supplement help with anxiety?
Answer: Saffron supplement may help with anxiety by modulating brain chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) that regulate mood, stress, and relaxation. A study in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine found that women who took 100 milligrams of saffron per day for 12 weeks had lower levels of anxiety and depression than those who took a placebo. Another study in the journal Journal of Affective Disorders found that people who took 50 milligrams of saffron twice a day for 12 weeks had lower levels of anxiety and depression than those who took a placebo or an antidepressant drug. However, more research is needed to confirm the efficacy and safety of saffron supplement for anxiety.
Question: Can saffron supplement help with insomnia?
Answer: Saffron supplement may help with insomnia by improving sleep quality, reducing stress, and regulating circadian rhythms. A study in the journal Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine found that people who took 300 milligrams of saffron extract per day for seven days had better sleep quality and less daytime sleepiness than those who took a placebo. Another study in the journal Nutrients found that people who drank saffron tea before bedtime for four weeks had better sleep quality and less insomnia than those who drank chamomile tea or water. However, more research is needed to confirm the efficacy and safety of saffron supplement for insomnia.