Saffron vs. Prozac

Saffron vs. Prozac
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A head-to-head test of the spice saffron versus Prozac for the treatment of clinical depression.

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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.

In the double-blind, randomized, and placebo-controlled trial of saffron for PMS symptoms, the researchers also noticed a significant drop in symptoms of depression as well. Well, duh; it’s probably because they just felt so much better. But, researchers decided to put it to the test.

Millions of Americans suffer from depression each year; a disabling disease that can even end up fatal—due to suicide.

Enter saffron. A double blind, randomized trial: saffron versus Prozac. For six weeks, 40 outpatients diagnosed with clinical depression got capsules containing the spice saffron—or, identical-looking capsules, containing Prozac.

Within just one week, a significant drop in depression symptoms that got better and better throughout the six weeks. One of those lines is the Prozac group; the other, the saffron group. And, as you can see, it doesn’t really matter which is which, because they both worked equally well. Of course, 20% percentage of Prozac users suffered from sexual dysfunction—an all too common side effect—whereas not one did in the saffron group.

“[P]atients and their families may view [quote unquote] alternative medicine that is, those treatments that are not traditionally taught in medical schools or generally practiced by clinicians, as being complementary or even superior to conventional medicine.” But in the majority of cases, there is simply no evidence to support that.

But, in the case of saffron, the evidence is growing.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Nick Brooks and alubavin via flickr

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.

In the double-blind, randomized, and placebo-controlled trial of saffron for PMS symptoms, the researchers also noticed a significant drop in symptoms of depression as well. Well, duh; it’s probably because they just felt so much better. But, researchers decided to put it to the test.

Millions of Americans suffer from depression each year; a disabling disease that can even end up fatal—due to suicide.

Enter saffron. A double blind, randomized trial: saffron versus Prozac. For six weeks, 40 outpatients diagnosed with clinical depression got capsules containing the spice saffron—or, identical-looking capsules, containing Prozac.

Within just one week, a significant drop in depression symptoms that got better and better throughout the six weeks. One of those lines is the Prozac group; the other, the saffron group. And, as you can see, it doesn’t really matter which is which, because they both worked equally well. Of course, 20% percentage of Prozac users suffered from sexual dysfunction—an all too common side effect—whereas not one did in the saffron group.

“[P]atients and their families may view [quote unquote] alternative medicine that is, those treatments that are not traditionally taught in medical schools or generally practiced by clinicians, as being complementary or even superior to conventional medicine.” But in the majority of cases, there is simply no evidence to support that.

But, in the case of saffron, the evidence is growing.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Nick Brooks and alubavin via flickr

Doctor's Note

This is the third of three videos on the latest saffron research. Saffron for the Treatment of PMS begins the series, followed by Wake Up and Smell the Saffron, which described what even the scent of saffron may be able to do. If this one plant can have such a significant effect, what about a whole diet filled with plants? See Improving Mood Through Diet. I also have a four-part video series on other plants that may be helpful, starting with Human Neurotransmitters in Plants and ending with The Best Way to Boost Serotonin.

For further context, check out my associated blog posts: Saffron vs. Prozac for Depression and Hibiscus Tea: The Best Beverage?

Update: In summer 2017, I did a few new videos on saffron that might interest you: Best Food for Antidepressant-Induced Sexual Dysfunction and Saffron for Erectile Dysfunction.  

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

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