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How much Saffron extract should I take? Recommended & Safe daily dosages

Saffron (Crocus sativus), is the world’s most expensive spice. Did you know that up to 75,000 saffron blossoms are harvested by hand to produce only a pound of saffron spice?

Whilst saffron has traditionally been used to flavour food, what we are interested in are its historical medicinal uses as well as the recent research focusing on saffron’s potential antidepressant and serotonin boosting properties. In this article we are going to look at the recommended and safe dosages for optimum results.

Saffron contains over 150 actives including Picrocrocin, for instance, which is the primary substance responsible for the strong taste. Safranal brings saffron its characteristic odour and fragrance. As well as Crocin, which delivers the intense orange colour along with many of it’s potential medicinal qualities from powerful carotenoids and antioxidants that can protect your body from free radical damage.

To help you evaluate the optimal saffron dosage for your needs, let’s review the beneficial dosages used in recent studies:

Saffron and depression

A meta analysis of 5 double blind randomised studies found that 30mg of saffron extract daily may be effective in reducing depressive symptoms in persons with the mild to moderate depressive disorder. The potency of this dosage compared positively to reference drugs (fluoxetine and imipramine).[1]

Our experience has found that 50-100mg of saffron extract is the optimal dosage to compensate for environmental and dietary factors.

Saffron and symptoms of PMS

In one double blind randomised study, 30mg of saffron extract daily helped reduce PMS symptoms by half for 76% of the participants while placebo only helped 8%, suggesting relatively potent effects.[2]

Our experience has found that 50-100mg of saffron extract is the optimal dosage to compensate for environmental and dietary factors.

Saffron and Appetite control

A study featuring healthy overweight women found that a high dose (176.5mg) of saffron extract may help reduce snacking and increase self-reported satiety.  Satiereal, a Crocus sativus L extract, reduces snacking and increases satiety in a randomized placebo-controlled study of mildly overweight, healthy women. [3]

Saffron and blood pressure

A study involving 230 males found that 26 weeks of saffron supplementation at 60 mg daily promoted a blood pressure decrease (from 127/74 down to 112/66).[4]

Sexual function (women)

A study featuring overweight women reporting sexual dysfunction found that 30mg saffron daily for a minimum of 4 weeks may help promote sexual functioning (lubrication, pain, arousal, and desire).[5]

Sexual function (men)

A study of men who experienced erectile dysfunction as a result of Fluoxetine treatment noted an improvement in erectile scores after 4 weeks of saffron supplementation (30mg/day).[6]

What to look out for when purchasing a Saffron supplement?

Because of the high cost of producing saffron extract, many supplements on the market cut corners and use Xinjiang Saffron or American Saffron, a similar looking powder created from Carthamus tinctorius L, also known as safflower. Unfortunately, whilst this looks like saffron this is not real saffron and does not contain Safranal, Crocin or Picrocrocin.

To get results, It is essential that you purchase a saffron supplement that contains real, high-quality Crocus Sativus. 

Even better, choose a standardised saffron extract which provides specific Safranol and Crocin contents.

A ‘saffron extract’ is a natural, manufactured powder extracted from saffron. This extraction process removes impurities and ensures the active components in saffron are not damaged, which means that 400mg of saffron stigmas may be required to produce 100mg of the saffron extract. As a result, this 100mg is far more potent and pure than the original 400mg.

If you want a potent Saffron extract look no further than Better Nutrition Labs Saffron Extract, featuring high strength 50mg natural Crocus Sativus extract and the equivalent of 200mg saffron per capsule, providing 1mg of Safranol and 3.50mg of Crocin.


[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4643654/

[2] Crocus sativus L. (saffron) in the treatment of premenstrual syndrome: a double-blind, randomised and placebo-controlled trial.” PubMed. Web. 13 Jun. 2018  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18271889.

[3] “Satiereal, a Crocus sativus L extract, reduces snacking and increases satiety in a randomized placebo-controlled study of mildly overweight, healthy women.” PubMed. Web. 13 Jun. 2018  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20579522

[4] “A prospective double-blind randomized placebo-controlled study of the effect of saffron (Crocus sativus Linn.) on semen parameters and seminal plasma antioxidant capacity in infertile men with idiopathic oligoasthenoteratozoospermia.” PubMed. Web. 13 Jun. 2018  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20824894

[5] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23280545

[6] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22552758


2018-06-29T06:05:10+00:00

About the Author:

Dara is passionate about health and wellness, and loves sharing the latest findings from the leading thinkers in nutrition.

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