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Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet]. York (UK): Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK); 1995-.

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Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet].

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Saffron (Crocus sativus) for depression: a systematic review of clinical studies and examination of underlying antidepressant mechanisms of action

Review published: .

Bibliographic details: Lopresti AL, Drummond PD.  Saffron (Crocus sativus) for depression: a systematic review of clinical studies and examination of underlying antidepressant mechanisms of action. Human Psychopharmacology 2014; 29(6): 517-527. [PubMed: 25384672]

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Saffron, a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, has now undergone several trials examining its antidepressant effects and, in a recent meta-analysis, was confirmed to be effective for the treatment of major depression.

OBJECTIVE: To provide an expanded systematic analysis of the completed clinical studies on saffron and depression, detailing dosages, extract sources, standardisations, safety profile and treatment duration; and, through a narrative review, to examine its potential antidepressant mechanisms of action.

DESIGN: In the systematic review of clinical trials, electronic databases were searched for high-quality, randomised, double-blind studies, with placebo or antidepressant controls. A narrative review of in vivo and in vitro studies was conducted to examine its potential antidepressant mechanisms of action.

RESULTS: In the systematic review, six studies were identified. In the placebo-comparison trials, saffron had large treatment effects and, when compared with antidepressant medications, had similar antidepressant efficacy. Saffron's antidepressant effects potentially are due to its serotonergic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, neuro-endocrine and neuroprotective effects.

CONCLUSIONS: Research conducted so far provides initial support for the use of saffron for the treatment of mild-to-moderate depression. Further research is required to expand our understanding of the role and actions of saffron in major depression.

Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Copyright © 2014 University of York.
Bookshelf ID: NBK292058

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