Saffron for the Treatment of PMS

Saffron for the Treatment of PMS
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The spice saffron appears to improve both the emotional and physical symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

PMS is “among the most common health problems reported by women,” affecting approximately one in three, and there’s not much modern medicine has to offer. Ancient traditional medicine, though, in Asia and Persia, used a spice called saffron to treat menstrual disorders. But, what did they know? And, that was 3,500 years ago—in fact, the earliest recorded use of any medicinal plant.

Didn’t they know, though, that you can’t really know anything unless it’s put through a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial? Well, it took 3,500 years, but we finally have it.

Women experiencing PMS for at least six months were randomly assigned to a capsule of saffron, versus a capsule of nothing, and lo and behold, “saffron was found to be effective in relieving symptoms of PMS.”

Check it out. Reported PMS symptoms significantly dropped even within the first cycle, and continued to improve. This included changes in “mood (anxiety, irritability, depression, nervous tension, mood swings and [feelings of being] out of control), behaviour (poor coordination, insomnia, confusion, headache, crying and fatigue), pain (aches, cramps and tender breasts) and [other] physical [symptoms including]…craving[s] and swelling)…”

All thanks to a little spice, from the saffron crocus.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

PMS is “among the most common health problems reported by women,” affecting approximately one in three, and there’s not much modern medicine has to offer. Ancient traditional medicine, though, in Asia and Persia, used a spice called saffron to treat menstrual disorders. But, what did they know? And, that was 3,500 years ago—in fact, the earliest recorded use of any medicinal plant.

Didn’t they know, though, that you can’t really know anything unless it’s put through a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial? Well, it took 3,500 years, but we finally have it.

Women experiencing PMS for at least six months were randomly assigned to a capsule of saffron, versus a capsule of nothing, and lo and behold, “saffron was found to be effective in relieving symptoms of PMS.”

Check it out. Reported PMS symptoms significantly dropped even within the first cycle, and continued to improve. This included changes in “mood (anxiety, irritability, depression, nervous tension, mood swings and [feelings of being] out of control), behaviour (poor coordination, insomnia, confusion, headache, crying and fatigue), pain (aches, cramps and tender breasts) and [other] physical [symptoms including]…craving[s] and swelling)…”

All thanks to a little spice, from the saffron crocus.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Pixel Pro Photography South Africajasonippolito; and Gorgeoux via flickr

Doctor's Note

Remember saffron, from my videos Saffron for the Treatment of Alzheimer’s and Saffron vs. Aricept? See my blog post, Natural Alzheimer’s Treatment, for more context, as well as my post on other natural remedies: Amla: Indian gooseberries vs. cancer, diabetes, and cholesterol. I also have dozens of other videos on women’s health. This is the first of a three-part video series on the latest on this powerful spice (also see Power Plants). Next, Wake Up and Smell the Saffron is even more unbelievable. Finally, I wrap up with a head-to-head comparison: Saffron vs. Prozac.

For additional context, check out my associated blog posts: Treating PMS with SaffronHibiscus Tea: The Best Beverage?Cinnamon for Diabetes; and Treating Breast Pain with Diet.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

PS: How do you like the cool intro/outro? All thanks to Christi, our amazing web developer–wait till you see what else she has in store!

24 responses to “Saffron for the Treatment of PMS

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  1. Remember saffron from my videos Saffron for the Treatment of Alzheimer’s and Saffron Versus Aricept? See my blog Natural Alzheimer’s Treatment for some context and my post on other natural remedies: Amla: Indian Gooseberries vs. Cancer, Diabetes, and Cholesterol. I have another 5 dozen or so videos on women’s health, one of more than a thousand topics I cover. This is the first of a 3-part video series on the latest on this plant powerful spice. Tomorrow’s NutritionFacts.org video-of-the-day Wake Up and Smell the Saffron is even more unbelievable than today’s, and I wrap up with a head-to-head comparison: Saffron vs. Prozac.

    If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.




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    1. Great clean, new look!!!  Nice intro. Great job!

      Now down to business!  Isn’t saffron the most expensive herb on the market?  So what is the cost of keeping my wife happy and preventing me from having to perform the monthly exorcism? ;-)

      Saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world!  So what is the burden of bliss?

      In the study they gave women 30 mg per day (BID).  So how much does that cost?   1 ounce costs appoximately $115.  1 ounce equals 28,350mg.  divided by 30 = 945 doses.  So I could effectively treat my wife for about 3 years for $115 or $0.12 cents a day!

      Now that is cost effective!!!!

      Great job again and as always!!  And thanks to Christi too!  




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      1.  I found two sources in my town – the local grocery has 1g for ~$20, that’s $566 per ounce! An Asian food market sells a bag of 15g for $1.5 that’s barely $3 / oz… However, if that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. I’ve read that adulteration is a problem in the supply chain.




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    2. Love the new intro and closing! Thank you for shining a light on the subject even women don’t necessarily share with each other. It’s a real problem that never gets properly addressed. Thank you again!




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  2. Ooh  Shiny new graphic.  Like it!

    This reminds me of the “Get the Lead Out” video which raised my awareness about the quality of these natural medicines.  While I suspect pure saffron would unlikely have high concentrations of lead.  A blended capsule with other beneficial herbs, spices and minerals may contain high levels of lead.

    Which is another reason for Organic registration and quality assurance.

    Thanks Micheal!
        (and gang?)




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  3. Good stuff. Other herbs that have been tested: hemp seed, Nut grass (cyperus rotundus), rose, shilajit, ginger, saraca indica, tribulus terrestris, myrrh, saussurea lappa, and many others. Hippocates, I think doesn’t classify it as PMS, though for many reproductive disorders, often used is a flax paste (with other ingredients, sometimes breast milk) rubbed in the uterus.

    Another main herb is shatavari (asparagus root). A different variety also used in chinese medicine. It’s more for reproductive health and cooling heat. I’d guess PMS has various origins: heat, anxiety, stress, phthisis …. And so the proper herb depends on the circumstance. But shatavari is probably good for general health, and asparagus.

    Hippocrates’ use of flax paste rubbed in the uterus is probably also good for maintenance of health.

    For the best “science’ of ancient remedies, seems that would be a chapter in Scientific basis for Ayurvedic therapies.




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  4. If you have Trader Joe’s in your area, they have saffron for a much more reasonable price than other places. However, I’m lost as to how to use it. Any suggestions on how to cook with saffron? And, how much should be consumed in order to reap the benefits for preventing pms symptoms? 




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    1. yes check out lot of Indian recipes use it. I grew up eating it a lot but honestly it never helped my PMS.check out ‘kashmiri’ recipes it grows in that region of india.(sounds familiar? all fine things ‘cashmere’ come from this politically troubled state)




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  5. Is saffron safe? Given it’s potency at helping so many different ailments, does it have any side effects? Although not for my personal use, and although few people, I predict, will be confiding in me that they have PMS, it would be great to know just in case! Thanks in advance.




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  6. Thanks Mr. Greger! I do have a question for you. I am interested in buying “pure” saffron powder to mix in with drinks to help with PMS symptoms and help educate others in my health coaching business. So, I want to try it on my own. Are there any specific saffron types you recommend to do this? If so, which ones are the best? I know there are different types like “powder” and “thread” etc. Which do I go with?




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  7. Hi Michael, Gotta love ancient brillance! My two daughters, both in their twenties, suffer terrible PMS. I will forward this to them but, how much saffron do they need to take? Both are cooks so, would adding saffron to their food produce the same effect?
    Thanks in advance.
    Audrey Pellicano




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  8. I tried this and it works! My typical symptoms for PMS: one good cry and very irritable. I bought 1 gram of saffron, took 2 deep sniffs 2x/day am/pm. I can honestly say, I did not experience any PMS symptons! Love it! Thank you!




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  9. Put saffron in food. Cut up alot of vegetables and greens, put them in water in a big pot. Add 1 tbsp saffron 1tbsp tumeric 1 tbsp rosemary 1tbsp Himalayan salt 1 tbsp black pepper. You don’t need to fry onions they will be totally see through by cooking in water on the lowest crock pot setting or on the stove. In an hour it is ready to eat. Leave it over night for Shabbos lunch and it’s called pareve cholent. Store it in portions in the fridge and take it for a snack or work tomorrow, it doesn’t have to be reheated. Follow me http://twitter.com/@rivkafreeman and http://google.com/+RivkaFreeman




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