saffron helps women struggling with depression and anxiety of perimenopause

Perimenopause is the time when your body makes the transition into menopause. You may start feeling some of the symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, night sweats, erratic periods and vaginal dryness. You may also experience sleep problems, depression and anxiety. Saffron can help.

Perimenopause often starts happening in your forties, but, for some women, it may start sooner.

In a new double-blind study, 82 perimenopausal women who were suffering menopausal symptoms were given either a placebo or 14mg of saffron extract twice a day for 12 weeks.

Saffron did not help physical symptoms like hot flashes. But the good news is that it was significantly better than the placebo at improving mood and psychological symptoms. On the Greene Climacteric Scale, anxiety improved by 33%, and depression improved by 32%: both significantly better than placebo. On the Short Form-36 Health Survey, a measure of quality of life, saffron was shown to significantly improve emotional problems, energy/fatigue and emotional well being.

Though the current study did not find that saffron helps the physical symptoms of perimenopause, earlier research has found that it does help both the physical and psychological symptoms of menopause. A double-blind study of menopausal women suffering from hot flashes and depression found significantly greater improvement on saffron for both hot flashes and depression (Arch Gynecol Obstet 2018;297(3):717-724). The women in this study were suffering worse and more frequent hot flashes than the women in the current perimenopause study. When combined with other herbs, other studies have also shown saffron to help the physical and psychological symptoms of perimenopause (J Caring Sci 2019;8:181–189).

This study adds to the rapidly growing body of evidence that saffron is a valuable herb for depression and anxiety and that it may be a valuable herb for women going through menopause too.


J Menopausal Med 2021;27():e8


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


For comprehensive help with your health, including mental health and reproductive health, make an appointment to see Linda Woolven nowLinda’s clinic is now open for virtual appointments.

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