How does Saffron work?

There isn't enough information to know how saffron might work.

Are there safety concerns?

Saffron seems safe for most people when used as a medicine. Some potential side effects include anxiety, drowsiness, change in appetite, and headache. Allergic reactions can occur in some people.

Ingesting large amounts of saffron can cause poisoning including yellow appearance of the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes; vomiting; dizziness; bloody diarrhea; bleeding from the nose, lips, and eyelids; numbness; and other serious side effects.

Do not take saffron if:
  • You are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • You are allergic to related plants such as Lolium, Olea, or Salsola.
  • You have bipolar disorder.

Dosing considerations for Saffron.

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

  • For depression: 30 mg/day of a specific saffron extract (Novin Zaferan Co, Iran). A different saffron extract 15 mg twice daily has also been used.
  • For premenstrual syndrome (PMS): 15 mg of a specific ethanol saffron extract twice daily (Department of Cultivation and Development of Institute of Medicinal Plants, Tehran, Iran).
  • For menstrual discomfort: 500 mg of a specific combination product containing saffron, celery seed and anise extracts (SCA, Gol Daro Herbal Medicine Laboratory) taken three times a day for the first three days of menstruation.
  • For Alzheimer's disease: 30 mg/day of a specific saffron product (IMPIRAN, Iran).

Therapeutic Research Faculty copyright

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.