According to the most recent depression statistics from the CDC, 1 in 20 Americans age 12 and older report current depression.
The pharmaceutical industry claims that more than 20 percent of Americans take some sort of prescribed mood or mind-altering medication.
Two new studies have revealed very good evidence that the spice, saffron, may offer an effective alternative to anti-depressants.
A report published this year analyzed data from six different studies that all tested saffron for use with depression. This “meta-analysis” reported promising results:
“In the placebo-comparison trials, saffron had large treatment effects….”
A second analysis from the University of Florida confirmed the effectiveness of saffron:
“A large effect size was found for saffron supplementation vs placebo control in treating depressive symptoms….”
In other words, two analyses of numerous studies confirmed that saffron is superior to placebos in treating depression. More importantly, the data in both analyses revealed no difference between the effectiveness of saffron and the effectiveness of the antidepressants tested!
At the same time, there is still considerable debate about whether antidepressants work better than placebos at all:
The article, “The Emperor’s New Drugs: An Analysis of Antidepressant Medication Data Submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration,” published in Prevention and Treatment in 2002, looked at data for the six most popular anti-depressants at the time. The analysis maintained that the drugs worked no better than placebos:
“Approximately 80% of the response to medication was duplicated in placebo control groups…. Improvement at the highest doses of medication was not different from improvement at the lowest doses. The proportion of the drug response duplicated by placebo was
significantly greater with observed cases…. If drug and placebo effects are additive, the pharmacological effects of antidepressants are clinically negligible.”
Examiner.com interviewed Dr. Lopresti, a lead researcher in one of the saffron studies regarding these results:
Lopresti commented, “What’s been found in the literature over the last ten years is that people with depression have high levels of inflammation and free radical damage associated with oxidative stress.”
Saffron contains substances that treat these issues.
According to Examiner.com, Lopresti’s review determined that the relatively small dosage of 15mg of saffron taken twice a day is sufficient to see results.
As always, share information about any alternative treatments you try with all your medical professionals.