saffron helps depression and anxiety in teens with both

As if depression or anxiety is not enough to deal with, many people have to deal with both. But, the evidence is increasingly mounting that one herb may deal with both problems.
Alarmingly, about 85% of people with depression also experience some anxiety; about 90% of people with anxiety suffer some depression (Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci 2016;266(8):725–736). When people suffer from depression and anxiety simultaneously, the condition is more disabling and harder to treat.

One of the most exciting emerging herbs for depression is saffron. In the past two years, two studies have also shown that saffron can help both depression and anxiety in people who suffer from both (J Complement Integr Med 2016;13(2):195-199; Pharmacopsychiatry 2017;50(04):152-60).

Now, the authors of a new study claim that theirs is the first to study saffron for mixed depression and anxiety in kids.

Their double-blind study gave either a placebo or saffron extract to 68 kids between the ages of 12 and 16. All of them suffered from mild to moderate depression and anxiety. The saffron was made from the stigmas of the flower, and people in the saffron group took two 14mg tablets of standardized saffron twice a day for 8 weeks.

Each of the kids took either the saffron or the placebo and then were evaluated for separation anxiety, social phobia, generalized anxiety, panic, obsessions/compulsions, and depression. The saffron produced significantly better improvements in overall symptoms and separately on separation anxiety, social phobia and depression. Overall, the saffron group had a 33% reduction in their symptoms compared to a reduction of only 17% in the placebo group. Anyone who had a greater than 50% improvement in total score was considered to be a responder. While only 11% of the placebo group were responders, 37% of the saffron group were.

The saffron was well tolerated with no adverse effects: it was as safe or safer than the placebo.


J Affect Disord 2018;232:349-357



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For much more on treating depression and anxiety naturally, see our book The Family Naturopathic Encyclopedia.

For more on natural help for Mixed Anxiety and Depressive Disorder, see Vol. 20, No. 10 of The Natural Path.

For comprehensive help with anxiety and depression, make an appointment to see Linda Woolven now.

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