We are becoming increasingly interested in saffron. A while ago, you almost never heard of this herb. Soon, you may hear about it as often as the top herbs, because the studies on, and uses of, this herb are piling up. . . . 

Previous research has already shown that saffron is as effective as Prozac for depression (Progr Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 2007;31:439–42), as effective as Donepezil for Alzheimer's Disease (Psychopharmacol 2010;207:637-43) and beneficial for glaucoma (BMC Complement Altern Med 2014;14:399). Topically, saffron gel has been shown to significantly improve erectile dysfunction (J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med 2015 [epub ahead of print] May 6.pii:2156587215583756).

And now, new research has shown that saffron is beneficial for athletes in training and for people who are working out.

Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is the pain and discomfort that can be experienced for a few days after strenuous exercise. It is experienced as stiffness, tenderness and pain during activity. It is problematic for people in training because, aside from the discomfort, it can limit exercise and training.

This double-blind, placebo-controlled study gave either a placebo or 300mg of saffron powder or 75mg of the NSAID indomethacine to thirty-nine nonactive men for ten days, starting a week before exercise and continuing until three days after.

The placebo group experienced severe pain for three days after the exercise, but pain in the saffron group was 11.2 times lower after 24 hours. The antiinflammatory drug group took three days for the pain to go away, but the saffron group had no pain after 48 hours. 

The researchers concluded that saffron is more effective than indomethacine for DOMS.

Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine 2015;25:105-12

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