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Feeling Blue? Lift Your Mood With This Red Spice… And It Relieves Anxiety, Too!

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Feeling Blue? Lift Your Mood With This Red Spice…
And It Relieves Anxiety, Too! about undefined

We all feel down from time to time, especially around the holidays. Maybe you have a case of the holiday blues, or you’re just not bouncing back quickly from a recent life challenge. No matter the cause, feelings of anxiety or depression are complicated; and getting help can be even more so.

Conventional doctors will recommend a prescription antidepressant and perhaps even talk therapy. Both are well and good and there is most certainly a time and a place for these in the treatment of chronic depression. However, it’s important to realize that there are also natural remedies that can help you, and often work without the serious side effects of drugs.

Today, let’s take a closer look at one of the best natural ways to relieve feelings of anxiety and depression that you won’t hear about from your doctor.

We’re talking about a red spice that’s a favorite in Indian, Moroccan, and Middle Eastern cuisine called saffron.

The spice saffron comes from the plant Crocus sativus which has a purple or orange-red flowers with bright red “threads” used to flavor food. But this beautiful plant offers much more than flavor and ornamental value.

Saffron dates back 5,000 years to ancient cultures living in Greece, Rome, and Mesopotamia. It was used as a dye, a seasoning, a perfume, a medicine as well as a symbol of wealth. In fact, there were centuries where saffron was more expensive than gold! This is not surprising when you consider that saffron grew naturally in very few places, so it required human intervention to grow and flourish. Even today harvesting saffron for use as a spice is done by hand because of the delicacy of the plants and seeds.[1]

When it comes to its medicinal history, saffron has long been used to help with brain function.[2] Now, we know why.

Saffron Promotes Your Brain’s “Feel Good” Chemical

Modern day scientific research shows saffron impacts your levels of serotonin – the “feel good” neurotransmitter that elevates your mood. Low serotonin levels are a key driver behind depression.

Experts believe this spice works like a natural anti-depressant because it may “inhibit serotonin reuptake in synapses. Inhibiting synaptic serotonin reuptake keeps serotonin in the brain longer, thereby enhancing its positive effects while combating depression.”[3]

In other words, it works similarly to anti-depressant, serotonin- boosting drugs, by increasing serotonin levels in your brain. And there’s solid science to back this idea up…

In a double-blind, randomized trial, researchers gave 40 participants with depression either 15 mg of saffron or 10 mg of a commonly used anti-depressant for eight weeks. At the end of the trial, the results showed that the spice worked just as well as the drug.[4]

And there’s more good news…

A review of several studies found that saffron worked just as well as two other commonly prescribed antidepressants. Even better? The saffron users reported fewer side effects than the drug users![5] Plus, one study found that saffron also worked to relieve anxiety symptoms.

Relieves Symptoms Of Anxiety

For this trial, 60 patients with anxiety and depression took either 50 mg of saffron or placebo twice daily for 12 weeks. All participants took depression and anxiety tests before treatment, at six weeks of treatment, and at the end.

The data showed that saffron supplements have a “significant impact on the treatment of anxiety and depression disorder.”[6]

Using Saffron To Lift Your Mood

Now, if you’ve ever bought saffron from the spice aisle, you already know it's the most expensive common spice available. That’s because the plant’s red “threads” are the only part of the flower used as a spice and, as we mentioned, must be hand-picked. However, this isn’t the case for supplements, which use the whole saffron plant.

This means, thankfully, that a saffron supplement is much more affordable. In fact, you can get a month's supply of saffron in supplement form for as little as $6 from your local drugstore or favorite online retailer.

Our Takeaway

We believe that saffron can be a big help to many people, especially during the holidays. But as we said before, chronic anxiety or depression is serious.

Sometimes, medical intervention-- which includes prescription drugs and talk therapy-- is necessary to help you feel better. If you’re suffering from chronic anxiety or depression, please seek advice from your doctor or therapy team as soon as possible and most certainly before making any changes to your drug or supplement regimen.

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