Saffron vs. Prozac for Depression

Millions of Americans suffer from depression every year, a disabling disease that can end up fatal due to suicide. †In my last Care2 feature, Treating PMS with Saffron, I detailed remarkable benefits of the spice saffron on the emotional and physical symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. The researchers noticed a significant drop in symptoms of depression as well, and so decided to put saffron to the test. See my NutritionFacts.org video pick above for the head-to-head test of the simple spice versus the drug Prozac for the treatment of clinical depression.

Remember saffron from my videos†Saffron for the Treatment of Alzheimerís and†Saffron Versus Aricept? See my blog†Natural Alzheimerís Treatment for some context and my post on other natural remedies:†Amla: Indian Gooseberries vs. Cancer, Diabetes, and Cholesterol.

If one little flower can do that, what might a diet full of plants achieve? Studies have found less depression among vegetarians, but maybe people who are happier go on to eat healthier rather than the other way around. One can’t prove cause and effect unless you put that to the test too, which was done this year. Researchers found that by removing all meat, fish, poultry, and eggs from people’s diets they could significantly improve mood scores after just two weeks! It can take drugs like Prozac a month or more to take effect.

The way drugs like Prozac work is by elevating levels of serotonin, the so-called happiness hormone.† Did you know there’s serotonin in plants? I certainly didn’t, but there’s serotonin, melatonin, dopamine, and all sorts of human neurotransmitters in plants. So much so that there’s been a call to start treating depression with “high-content sources of serotonin” such as pineapples, bananas, kiwis, plums, and tomatoes. And what are the side effects–maybe you’ll get a seed stuck in your teeth or something?

For more, check out my videos on the wrong way to boost serotonin by taking potentially dangerous tryptophan supplements, better ways to boost serotonin to fight disorders like premenstrual depression, and perhaps the best way exemplified by findings from a double-blind, placebo-controlled study on the successful use of butternut squash seeds to treat social anxiety disorder.

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you havenít yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here and watch my full 2012 presentation†Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death.

Image credit: Tom Varco / Wikimedia Commons

Related:
Spices: Antioxidants in a Pinch
Green Tea Brain Wave Alteration
Improving Mood Through Diet

53 comments

Jeanne R
Jeanne R7 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R7 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R7 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R7 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R7 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne R1 years ago

TYFS

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Froodo F.
Past Member 2 years ago

I hope you will share such type of impressive contents again with us so that we can utilize it and get more advantage. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

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Mike Smith
.4 years ago

Taking 30 milligrams of Saffron a day for 6 weeks has the same depression reducing properties as 20 milligrams of fluoxetine (Prozac). Saffron enhances the activity of (mood boosting) neurotransmitters such as dopamine (Journal of Ethnopharmacology)

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Natasha Salgado
Past Member 4 years ago

Depression is a very complex illness and each individual reacts to different meds and therapy in their own way. There is no miracle cure currently available or proper diagnosis either. Interesting post-thx

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LMj Sunshine
James Merit4 years ago

Interesting info, thank you.

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