Mental stimulation is among the health benefits of saffron. Various studies have shown that the stigma of it, the actual saffron, and its petals have similar mood benefits as antidepressant drugs.
Safranal and crocine, two compounds present in saffron, regulate neurochemicals such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine which help reduce symptoms in mild to moderate depression even without conventional psychiatric medications. In fact, a two-month trial of 40 depressed individuals was conducted in Iran, and random patients were assigned to take 20 mg of Prozac per day while others receive 15 mg of the saffron rose petal twice daily, researchers found that saffron has similar effects with the antidepressant drug. It affects the endocrine system and helps reduce stress and anxiety.
Since ancient times, people have been using saffron to relax the mind and promote peaceful sleep due to its sedative properties. Moreover, saffron promotes learning and memory retention.
Meanwhile in Japan, it is encapsulated and is used for treating memory loss and Parkinson’s disease. Crocine also helps prevent age related mental degradation such as Alzheimer’s disease.