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Saffron has been shown to lower stress hormones in the body and improve mood.

Do the cold and dark winter days have you feeling down? Whether you experience the winter blues or seasonal affective disorder (SAD), changes in your mood and energy this time of year can lead to sadness and withdrawal.

Several herbs and supplements have been studied for their role in supporting mood disorders, including St. John’s wort, omega-3 fatty acids, and 5-HTP. Saffron is a commonly used spice that has also been investigated in multiple studies for its ability to improve mood balance, symptoms of perceived stress, and sleep quality. 

Saffron contains numerous bioactive compounds, such as safranal and crocin, responsible for most of its therapeutic actions. Through its antioxidant effects, anti-inflammatory activity, and ability to modify specific brain chemicals such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, saffron has been shown to lower stress hormones in the body and improve mood.  

The value of saffron has been assessed in healthy adults with self-reported mood disorders. In one randomized, placebo-controlled study, participants who took a saffron extract for four weeks had significant improvements in mood and symptoms of perceived stress and nervousness, including less tension, sadness, anger, fatigue, and confusion. Research also points to the ability of saffron to improve sleep difficulties in adults and symptoms of nervousness, social phobia, and sadness in youth ages 12–16.

Saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world, resulting in it being one of the most adulterated. Choose authenticated saffron supplements, such as ones certified by ISURA®, to ensure the use of a high-quality product. Consider saffron to help overcome feelings of sadness, sleep troubles, and sluggishness, and beat the winter blues.