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Review of Crocus sativus L. (petal) in the treatment of mild-to-moderate depression: A double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trial


Depression, a common disease of adulthood, results from biochemical changes in the brain. Despite various treatments available, including MAOIs, TCAs, and SSRIs, many of these drugs produce adverse reactions. There’s a need for more effective and less toxic agents. Saffron, the world’s most expensive spice, has shown potential as an anticancer agent and memory enhancer. This study focuses on the efficacy of saffron petals, a cheaper part of the plant compared to the stigma, in treating mild-to-moderate depression.


This 6-week randomized and double-blind clinical trial was conducted at Roozbeh Psychiatric Clinic between July 2004 and March 2006. The study aimed to assess the efficacy of Crocus sativus petals in treating mild-to-moderate depression.


Thirty-six patients completed the trial, with a few dropouts in both the saffron and placebo groups. The study found no significant differences in dropout rates between the two groups. The results indicated that saffron petals have a significant effect on alleviating depression compared to the placebo, without evident side effects.Authors: Somayeh Rahaiee, Sohrab Moini, Maryam Hashemi, and Seyed Abbas Shojaosadat


Esmail Moshiri a, Afshin Akhondzadeh Basti b, Ahamad-Ali Noorbala c, Amir-Hossein Jamshidi d, Seyed Hesameddin Abbasi e, Shahin Akhondzadeh


Received 22 June 2006, Accepted 24 August 2006, Available online 18 September 2006.