Saffron, a spice known for flavouring cuisine, might also offer an antidote to premenstrual syndrome, a small study suggests.
It’s thought that the spice might influence depression symptoms via effects on the brain chemical serotonin. Because alterations in serotonin activity are suspected in PMS, a team of Iranian researchers decided to study whether saffron supplements might help relieve these symptoms.
M Agha-Hosseini and colleagues at Tehran University of Medical Sciences randomly assigned 50 women to take either saffron capsules or a placebo twice a day over two menstrual cycles. The women, had all had PMS symptoms for at least six months.
At the end of the treatment period, three-quarters of the women on saffron capsules reported at least a 50% reduction in PMS symptoms.
That compared with only 8% of women in the placebo group, the researchers report in the medical journal
BJOG. In addition, the researchers found, 60% of the saffron group showed a 50% improvement in depression symptoms.
Sources: The Times Of India