saffron relieves hot flashes and depression in menopausal women

Hot flashes are horrible. Menopause that comes with hot flashes and depression can be unbearable. But, there’s herbal help. Introducing a new herb for women on International Women’s Day!

Saffron is not a new herb: it is a very ancient one. But the proliferation of scientific research on this beautiful, purple flower is new, and its use as a women’s herb is not well known.

Though not often discussed as a women’s herb, saffron has been shown to have important uses for women. It helps women who are experiencing sexual dysfunction caused by SSRI antidepressants (Hum Psyschopharmacol 2013;28(1):54-60), and it helps women suffering from PMS (BJOG 2008;115(4):515-519). Most recently, saffron was shown to help postprartum depression. Amongst the most proven uses of saffron is its use as an antidepressant.

Putting these two uses together, then, researchers wanted to see what saffron could do for menopausal women who were suffering from both hot flashes and major depressive disorder.

The 56 women in this double-blinds study were suffering from 14 hot flashes a week or more. They were given either a placebo or two 15mg capsules of saffron stigma extract a day for six weeks.

The saffron worked way better. There was significantly greater improvement in scores on Hot Flash-Related Daily Interference Scale and on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. Significant benefits were seen in hot flashes by the fourth week and in depression as soon as the second week. The saffron was as safe as the placebo: a big advantage over hormone therapy and antidepressants.

So, meet saffron! And happy International Women’s Day!


Arch Gynecol Obstet 2018;297(3):717-724


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

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The Natural Path
 is intended for educational purposes only and is in no way intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. For health problems, consult a qualified health practitioner for a comprehensive program.

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