Wake Up & Smell the Saffron

Wake Up & Smell the Saffron
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Even the scent of the spice saffron may reduce stress hormone levels, and ease the psychological symptoms of PMS.

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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.

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, randomized, and placebo-controlled trial of the efficacy of saffron on PMS, they found benefits using just 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 “[P]sychological 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, though? Well, 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 symptoms. Unbelievable. “Smelling saffron… is simple and easy, and it seems [that] there is little side effect.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Serpico via Wikimedia and m-bot 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.

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, randomized, and placebo-controlled trial of the efficacy of saffron on PMS, they found benefits using just 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 “[P]sychological 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, though? Well, 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 symptoms. Unbelievable. “Smelling saffron… is simple and easy, and it seems [that] there is little side effect.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Serpico via Wikimedia and m-bot via flickr

Doctor's Note

How’s that study for the Power Plants? Works if you eat the stuff too; see Saffron for the Treatment of PMS. For more flower power, see my blog post Hibiscus tea: flower power, and videos on both 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 DetoxBroccoli vs. Breast Cancer Stem Cells, and, of course, my other other videos on broccoli. If saffron has such powerful psychological and neuroendocrinological effects, how might it stack up against drugs in the treatment of depression? Find out next, in Saffron vs. Prozac.

For additional context, be sure to check out my associated blog posts: Treating PMS with SaffronHibiscus Tea: The Best Beverage?; and Treating Breast Pain with Diet

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.  

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