Even the scent of the spice saffron may reduce stress hormone levels and ease the psychological symptoms of PMS.
The spice saffron is composed of the female reproductive organs of the flower of the saffron crocus. Each flower just produces a few threads, such that you need 50,000 flowers to make a single pound of spice, enough flowers to fill a football field. So no wonder it’s the most expensive spice in the world.
Thankfully, in the double-blind, randomised and placebo-controlled trial of the efficacy of saffron on PMS they found benefits using a tiny amount. What if you could get away with using even less, though?
This has to be, one of the wildest studies I saw published last year. The psychological and neuroendocrinological effects of the odor of saffron. I don’t even know how they even thought up the idea to do the study. “The purpose of this study was to clarify the effects of saffron odor on symptoms unique to women, such as premenstrual syndrome, menstrual pain, and irregular menstruation.”
Another double blind placebo controlled study. How do you blind a smell study? They diluted the saffron so much that you couldn’t even smell it any more. That’s how little they used. So half the women sat there smelling nothing, and the other half sat there smelling, nothing—except they were secretly being given an undetectable whiff of this flower.
And here you go: Significant drop in stress hormone levels and a significant improvement in psychological in symptoms. Unbelievable. “Smelling saffron… is simple and easy, and it seems there is little side effect.”
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Kerry Skinner.
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How's that study for the Power of Plants? Works if you eat the stuff too—see yesterday's NutritionFacts.org video-of-the-day Saffron for the Treatment of PMS. For more flower power see my blog and videos on hibiscus tea (Better Than Green Tea) and chamomile tea (Red Tea, Honeybush, & Chamomile and Chamomile Tea May Not Be Safe During Pregnancy). And hey, broccoli florets are just clusters of flower buds. See The Best Detox, Broccoli Versus Breast Cancer Stem Cells, and 26 other broccoli videos. Don’t like broccoli? There are a thousand other subjects covered! If saffron has such powerful psychological and neuroendocrinological effects, how might it stack against drugs in the treatment of depression? Find out in tomorrow's Saffron vs. Prozac.
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