Saffron Dosage

Image Credit: Guillaume Paumier / Flickr

What’s the right dose of saffron?

30 mg transposes into about how many stigmas per day?

eileenmcv / Originally posted on Saffron versus Aricept

Answer:

The typical dose used in the studies of saffron versus Alzheimer’s, versus PMS, and versus depression was indeed 30mg. Each flower yields 7mg dried saffron, and I think there are 3 stigmas per flower, so 30mg should be about 13 threads (which is typicallty how it’s sold in the store).  But even less may have a physiological effect (see Wake Up and Smell the Saffron).

There’s also research on saffron and infertility, cancerobesity, and erectile dysfunction. I’ll be rolling out more videos evaluating the latest science on spices and so make sure you’re subscribed to my videos and stay tuned!

Image Credit: Guillaume Paumier / Flickr

Discuss

Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.


27 responses to “What’s the right dose of saffron?

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  1. so do you think it would be better to eat 13 threads of the saffron a day or take a 88.25 mg capsule? The capsule seems like it would be easier and cheaper, and I have recently bought a bottle of capsules. But I have been considering dividing the powder in the capsule and taking only 1/3 of what is in it per day. Any advice on that would be awesome! Also just for others who may consider taking saffron instead of prozac, this is my experience.
    I have been on and off prozac for 20 years. It helps my depression but I get “blah” and lazy with severe decrease in libido. And one of my side effects has been weight gain. It makes me want to just eat and eat and eat some more! So my doctor then put me on wellbutrin xl to combat those side effects, which did work, but then I got migraines and terrible muscle pains, which I then had to take migraine medicine for and have trigger point injections for the neck and back pain. So I have been off the prozac again for about 3 months, but recently got back to low place where I was desperate. I came across Dr. Greger’s youtube video 2 days ago. I immediately went to the health food store and purchased saffron capsules (still worried about the 88.25 mg dose being off from the 30 mg in the video). So far I have only taken them for 2 days and have not yet noticed an improvement in depression, but I hope to. What I did notice was no desire to overeat or cravings. AND so far there is no decrease in libido. AND I seemed to have a little more get up and move than normal. So I am hopeful.

      1. I myself started to take the 88.25 mg of saffron because I saw rave reviews on Amazon. Being 52years old and in mi-peri menopause all the side effects from low libido to short (super short) tempered. The extreme loss of estrogen is like a drug withdrawal or going on an extreme diet and the side effects are exactly the same. My poor family;( Since I was aware of all this coming into this “time of my life,” I have been trying many different supplements and very conscious of what eat. Taking the saffron supplement was beneficial immediately. The woman above who didn’t notice any change except not craving foods or over eating, I think she would benefit if she continued her daily usage. I saw the same benefits plus a definite mood boost. It’s something I will continue to take daily and am glad that I found this to assist my transition through this period of my life. Surely my family would be “extremely grateful” if they knew how much this aided in my peace and patience;)

        1. Hello,

          I think that saffron is fake!

          Warm regards

          در تاریخ یکشنبه ۲۸ آوریل ۲۰۱۹،‏ ۲۳:۴۰ P.Perez نوشت:

    1. Honey. you poor dear, Start doing yoga, go for regular walks, switch to a palo diet.
      Sounds like your poor body is a Toxic mess.
      Try a natural path ….

  2. The 30mg quoted in the Akhondzadeh S. et al. (2010) paper is NOT just dried saffron. Yes, they refer to 15mg per capsule, but in the preparation section of the article [please email me (hectoraceves1964@hotmail.com) if you need an actual copy for educational purposes] they indicate that this is an extract they are using; but do not indicate the extract ratio. However, they used 120 grams of dried stigmas to obtain their total (I guess) extract. The study lasted 16 weeks (112 days). There were 23 patients in the control arm, taking 30mg/day. So each person took 3,360 mg in the study, leading to a total of 77.28 grams of extract used (if my math is not wrong!). So to obtain the same amount of active ingredients as in the study, one should take about 50mg of dried saffron per day.

  3. Are there any possible negative interactions between taking saffron threads (13 of them as prescribed here over the course of the day) and rhodiola rosea (500mg 2x a day)? I wonder if serotonin syndrome is a possibility?

  4. Hi everybody,
    Saffron supplements are available now, you don’t need to take the strands, as you don’t know how many mg you are really taking. One piece of advice, when you purchase your saffron supplement, make sure you’re buying a supplement made with a saffron extract with a minimum of 2% safranal. According to the clinical studies for the saffron to be effective you need to take 30 mg of this specific saffron extract. There are suplements for mood out that contain 88.25 mg of a saffron extract with ONLY .03% SAFRANAL, this is NOT AN EFFECTIVE DOSE. I’ve been taking a saffron supplement for over a year now and I was able to stop my Celexa prescription and continue just with the saffron supplement. Saffron may low you blood pressure, other than that no side effects for me.

  5. Hey, I need some information. It’s not clear whether “30 mg saffron” is talking about just Saffron or if it’s talking about extract. I need to know whether 30 mg of regular ol’ saffron would be appropriate or if a different weight of regular saffron would equal 30 mg of what would be in a saffron extract. A guy below in the comments said it was 50 mg but isn’t there a site anywhere for example saying how much of each active component actually constitutes the whole herb? Also what about safflower vs saffron?

  6. Is there any nutritional facts on the use of Tamarind, one of the main tasty ingredients in Pad Thai Noodles, Worcestershire Sauce, and other Indian and Eastern dishes. How much is ideal to consume? And is Tamarind helpful?

  7. I do not know about Tamarind…I know about saffron. Yesterday I bought from my nearest arabic store 2 saffrons: normal small saffron herbs in very small container from Iran and Saffron Extract from Spain (this is oil typed). So I tried it out both. This is my 3d time trying saffron. This time i did experiment and checked if this is real saffron or fake one (from youtube). Yes mine was real saffron (if colour does not turn to orange colour instantly and if threads are still dark red colour). I drink saffron with warm water (just a little bit to make water colour bright yellow) and I also drink water with saffron extract oil. I drink both and even i smelled it for few times to see if any effect. Then i go out for walk and come back home, showered, then i felt i was so sleepy. It actually made me sleepy, relaxed. I went to bed. I slept okay (i dont have insomnia, so I had no problems with sleep) So today is my 2d day of drinking. I added extract to my morning coffee. so far I am okay. I did not feel anything yet. I hope it helped a little.

    1. i tried saffron for the first time ever yesterday and again today. i bought a very highly rated authentic persian saffron from a company that supplies spices and ingredients to gourmet restaurants. i was impressed by the chefs who commented on the authenticity and quality and it sold me. i placed a few strands in a gallon bottle of spring water and have made coffee and tea with it as well as mixed it into unsweetened fruit juice. The first effect i noted shortly afterward was a feeling of well being and relaxation. i was so relaxed even after a cup of coffee and a cup of green tea that i fell asleep for a couple hours and had marvelous detailed dreams that i actually remembered in complete detail upon waking which is highly unusual. when i woke up i felt a feeling of contentment in my chest/heart area and my mind, like from the top of my head to my heart area. i know that might sound crazy. i opened my bible to read as i normally do when i wake up and along with the feeling of wellness in my heart i felt more closeness, love and respect than for God than i usually have. it was a great contentedness and peace with Him and myself. i know that might sound strange to some people but i am a very spiritual person yet have experienced depression rather than the joy the bible speaks of so i had been praying about it and discovered saffron is effective for depression. I turn to God and the basics of healthy diet and exercise and lean on natural healing alternatives rather than doctors and pharmaceuticals and have done this for over 20 years, have eliminated all glueten sugar and junk food from my diet, drink only spring water, my diet is as clean as it gets, organic, so the mild but chronic depression had stumped me. i tried rhodiola but it made my heart race & made me feel light headed so i had to discontinue it. i can honestly say this feeling i felt after preparing the coffee and tea with the saffron infused water was like joy and complete contentment. i believe it was from the natural magnesium the saffron contains. Needless to say this will become my daily practice. The only other different thing i did the last few days besides the saffron was try tigernut flour which also has a high percentage of natural magnesium. it has a slightly gritty nutty texture and mixes well with coconut flour and makes awesome hearty paleo pancakes that are packed with healthy fiber and nutrients, so i attribute the feelings of wellness in my heart and mind to the extra magnesium found naturally in the saffron and the tiger nut flour. tiger nut flour is also called sedge and interestingly just yesterday i noticef the bible mentions a name of a town near Egypt which means “place of sedge” (phihahiroth) where Israel camped when they first left Egypt, and also mentions the crocus in Song of Solomon, which as we know saffron is the stygma of the crocus).

    2. i tried saffron for the first time ever yesterday and again today. i bought a very highly rated authentic persian saffron from a company that supplies spices and ingredients to gourmet restaurants. i was impressed by the chefs who commented on the authenticity and quality and it sold me. i placed a few strands in a gallon bottle of spring water and have made coffee and tea with it as well as mixed it into unsweetened fruit juice. The first effect i noted shortly afterward was a feeling of well being and relaxation. i was so relaxed even after a cup of coffee and a cup of green tea that i fell asleep for a couple hours and had marvelous detailed dreams that i actually remembered in complete detail upon waking which is highly unusual. when i woke up i felt a feeling of contentment in my chest/heart area and my mind, like from the top of my head to my heart area. i know that might sound crazy. i opened my bible to read as i normally do when i wake up and along with the feeling of wellness in my heart i felt more closeness, love and respect for God than i usually have. it was a great contentedness and peace with Him and myself. i know that might sound strange to some people but i am a very spiritual person yet have experienced depression rather than the joy the bible speaks of so i had been praying about it and discovered saffron is effective for depression. I turn to God and the basics of healthy diet and exercise and lean on natural healing alternatives rather than doctors and pharmaceuticals and have done this for over 20 years, have for years eliminated all glueten sugar and junk food from my diet, drink only spring water, my diet is as clean as it gets, organic, so the mild but chronic depression had stumped me. i tried rhodiola but it made my heart race & made me feel light headed so i had to discontinue it. i can honestly say this feeling i felt after preparing the coffee and tea with the saffron infused water was like joy and complete contentment. i believe it was from the natural magnesium the saffron contains. Needless to say this will become my daily practice. The only other different thing i did the last few days besides the saffron was try tigernut flour which also has a high percentage of natural magnesium. it has a slightly gritty nutty texture and mixes well with coconut flour and makes awesome hearty paleo pancakes that are packed with healthy fiber and nutrients, so i attribute the feelings of wellness in my heart and mind to the extra magnesium found naturally in the saffron and the tiger nut flour. tiger nut flour is also called sedge and interestingly just yesterday i noticed
      the bible mentions a name of a town near Egypt which means “place of sedge” (phihahiroth) where Israel camped when they first left Egypt, and also mentions the crocus in Song of Solomon, which as we know saffron is the stigma of the crocus).

  8. Hello

    What is the correct dose of saffron… in stamens ?!

    Saffron is expensive so I have been buying the stamens themselves. So for better or worse, I have been making a “tea” out of “Antonio Sotos Saffron Select Grade Powder 10 g” which I have been buying from Amazon.
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B016XUJ8FI/ref=pe_3187911_189395841_TE_dp_1

    For the last 2 or 3 months I have been consuming about 10 to 20 stamens at at time but it doesn’t seem to be having any effect whatsoever. So I have started upping the dose to roughly 20 to 30 of them.

    Michael Gregor seems pretty blasé about over-dossing. However according to this website
    https://examine.com/supplements/saffron/
    the “upper limit for constant supplementation” is “15mg of saffron twice a day”.

    Measuring out 15mg on conventional kitchen weighing scales is clearly impossible because it is such a small weight. Nonetheless (assuming my Amazon purchase actually *is* pure saffron!), running the numbers, 15mg is 0.015grams, 10g/0.015g ==> 666 doses. Divide by 2 doses per day gets 333 days’ worth of Saffron in that 10g purchase.

    And 333 days is just one 11 months. So that 10g of Saffron should last me not much less that a year.
    However I fear I am now consuming it at a slightly faster rate than that. Should I be worried?

    Thanks

    J

    PS I am in my 50s. I am taking if to help my mood (mild depression), to help stave off dementia and a bit of appetite suppression would be no bad thing as I am (only fractionally) over weight.

  9. For saffron supplementation, the standard daily dose is 30mg, take 15mg twice a day for up to 8 weeks. You can take less, however I not suggest taking more. Saffron in high dosages for a prolonged period of time can be toxic. I would suggest starting out at a lower dosage by breaking the pill open and making hot tea with only half of the pills contents. Or using 3-5 stigmas in the same manner.
    Note: I am not a doctor or an expert on Saffron. I have just done a lot of research based on my circumstances. I have stage 4 breast cancer which I am pretty sure is the reason for my depression. My medication causes fatigue and shortness of breath. This next week is my “off medication week” and will be drinking my first Saffron Tea with 5 stigmas this evening. I will know almost immediately because I am a basket case without my Venlafaxine after not taking it for just one day. I’ll keep you posted in a few days.

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