Did you know a pound (450-grams) of saffron costs between $500-5000? That’s higher than the price of gold!
Originating in Greece, the reason saffron is so expensive is because of how it is made. Each stigma of the crocus sativus flower gets picked by hand, and approximately 210,000 stigmas yield just a pound of saffron.
Despite its hefty price, saffron is a powerful spice used in seasoning, dye, fragrance, and medicine. Because of its unique composition, it provides many different health benefits which is why people choose to take it in the form of a supplement.
However, finding the best saffron supplements is not easy. There are a lot to choose from, so we have made that job easier for you by compiling the list here! In this article, we’ve brought together the top-rated options, so you’ll be able to make an informed decision on which saffron supplement is best for you!
What is Saffron?
Saffron is a thin, thread-like structure of the crocus sativus flower, which is the stigma of this particular plant. Although the plant was originally found in Greece, it is grown throughout the world today. Some of these locations include countries like Iran, India, and Morocco.
A single saffron extract can consist of more than 150 substances. However, the only two important components are: carotenoids and glycosides.
The carotenoids refer to a class of plant chemicals (or phytonutrients). Their role is to improve light energy absorption for photosynthesis which is the process of making food in plants. There are three important carotenoids in saffron; crocin, picrocrocin, and safranal.
Crocin is the most important water-soluble carotenoid that can be found in saffron. It is a diester that is formed by combining two chemical compounds: disaccharide gentiobiose and dicarboxylic acid crocetin. Crocin is what gives saffron its distinct color.
Crocin also has several therapeutic properties. These include qualities beneficial to the treatment of disorders that affect the nervous system like dementia and depression. It also has antitumor and antioxidant effects.
Usually, the crocin concentration is 20mg per 100mg of saffron extract. However, the amount varies among different saffron supplements.
Picrocrocin is responsible for the bittersweet, rustic flavor of saffron. It doesn’t have as many benefits as crocin, but exists exclusively in the crocus sativus flower. This is important because that means that picrocrocin can serve as a biomarker of authenticity for saffron supplements. Buyers and sellers can use it to identify whether saffron products are natural or not.
Another important carotenoid in saffron is safranal. Similar to picrocrocin, it doesn’t possess many beneficial properties, but it is the compound responsible for giving the ancient spice it’s earthy fragrance.
Glycosides are compounds with both sugar and non-sugar molecules combined by a glycosidic linkage. These compounds help plants with the storing of chemicals in their inactive forms. When needed, hydrolysis enzymes can activate them by breaking the sugar part.
Quercetin is a yellow pigment found in plants that has highly anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. It can help with boosting cardiac health, regulating blood sugar, and reducing swelling.
Unlike quercetin, kaempferol reduces the risk of developing certain chronic diseases and improves the antioxidant defense.
Health Benefits of Saffron
Traditionally, people have used saffron extract as a spice in cooking. The distinct taste, flavor, and aroma are known to improve any dish you add it to. However, the benefits of saffron extend beyond the limits of the kitchen.
Several clinical studies have proven saffron to be an antioxidant and neuroprotective substance that can also serve as an antidepressant and appetite suppressant. But, there’s more. Some of the additional benefits it can have are that it:
Improves Nervous System Function
The crocin in saffron extract helps reduce oxidative damage and inflammation in the brain. Its antioxidant effects also help improve symptoms of nervous system disorders like Alzheimer’s.
In addition, the compound enhances cognitive function, which can improve your memory.
Libido, which is a word for sexual desire or drive, may be lower in people suffering from depression or other medical conditions. It can also vary depending on the person’s lifestyle and diet.
While there are several other medications available, saffron serves as an organic way to promote libido. Researchers have consistently proven that saffron has a positive impact on sexual function in both men and women.
It also helps with improving erectile dysfunction in men and dealing with infertility issues. It does not, however, alter semen viability.
Reduces PMS Symptoms
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a commonly-experienced problem amongst women who menstruate. Almost 3 out of 4 women go through some form of PMS. Symptoms of PMS include irritability, depression, mood swings, food cravings, and extreme fatigue.
A 2015 study confirms that 30 mg of saffron extract intake daily drastically reduces the incidence and frequency of PMS symptoms. This means that women consuming it are less likely to experience mild-to-moderate depression and other PMS symptoms.
Our body needs adequate levels of serotonin and dopamine to function properly. These hormones regulate our moods to ensure we stay uplifted and happy. Moreover, recent clinical trials suggest that saffron might be able to serve as a mood booster.
According to one study, saffron extract increased dopamine levels in the brain leading to increased feelings of joy and cheeriness. Meanwhile, another study showed saffron to function as an antidepressant and was linked to reduced symptoms of depression.
These include loss of interest in once pleasurable activities, sleep disturbances, gloomy feelings, and loss of appetite. However, it should not be used as a substitute for prescribed medications in the treatment for depression.
Helps with Weight Loss
Weight loss is often only associated with diet and exercise. However, saffron dietary supplements may also help with weight loss. Saffron extract is thought to reduce fat mass and suppress appetite.
Reviews of the Best Saffron Supplements
PhytoChoice is a trustworthy brand that fuses quality and quantity for the best user experience. We can find the same attention to detail in the PhytoChoice pure saffron extract capsules. The bottle offers a large supply of 60 capsules that should last two months if you follow the recommended dosage guidelines.
Each capsule contains 88.50 mg of premium-grade saffron powder. Like most supplements in capsule form, It also includes a very small amount of cellulose and rice flour. Since this is a vegan and FDA-approved product, you can use it without worries.
Taking two capsules each day should keep anxiety levels down and reduce appetite. You will notice considerable weight loss and will be able to maintain an overall better, more positive mood. However, the recommended dosage might not be suitable for everyone. Some individuals may experience symptoms like excess water retention.
- Saffron (88.50mg)
- Large supply
- Vegan product
- FDA approved
- Requires dosage adjustment
This particular saffron supplement packs 90 capsules in one bottle, so you can take it for a long period of time without needing to purchase a new bottle every month.
Each capsule has a small, binding-free design that makes it easy to swallow. You won’t have to drink large gulps of water to get it down your throat. What’s more, this vegetarian formula is geared towards healthy weight loss.
It reduces appetite, so you may find yourself consuming fewer calories.. Plus, it boosts metabolism to increase calorie burning. Because of this, you should see results soon after you begin taking the supplement.
The product is FDA-approved and contains no fillers or allergens. It contains pure and safe-to-use saffron. The company also offers a 60-days satisfaction guarantee to help you feel secure about your purchase.
- Saffron (88.50 mg)
- Great quantity
- Reduces appetite
- 60-days guarantee
- Might cause constipation
If you wish to benefit from saffron’s mood-boosting properties rather than those associated with weight loss, this Body Store Saffron Extract 8825 supplement is a perfect choice. It contains 60 capsules of low-strength saffron that boosts mood with little effect on appetite.
Upon taking it, you will feel almost instantly an increased sense of calmness and optimism. The saffron extract capsules will lower your anxiety levels and promote positive feelings. People suffering from depression may also see some improvement in mood.
This saffron extract product contains all-natural and vegan-friendly saffron. There are no artificial colors, preservatives, or any other ingredients other than pure saffron extract.
- Saffron (88.50 mg)
- Boosts mood
- Good quantity
- Quality verified
- Not geared towards weight loss
The Double Wood Saffron Supplement is a product offering that will save you money as it packs a whopping 210 capsules per bottle with the same price as other competitors whose products do not contain nearly as much pure saffron. You get a massive several-month-long supply of premium-grade saffron capsules which makes it an ideal choice for couples and families.
Since each capsule contains 88.50mg of high-strength saffron, you can expect to experience a lot of benefits. It will help you with controlling your appetite and achieving healthy weight loss results. The dosage is also high enough to help you with maintaining a better mood by increasing your serotonin levels.
Another amazing benefit of this supplement is its ability to help improve retinal function. In fact, the supplement claims to foster the healthy vision of its users. Additionally, the capsules are vegan and non-GMO.
They have a quality certification that means you won’t experience any adverse effects. However, some users did report mild bloating after taking it.
- Saffron (88.50 mg)
- Massive quantity
- Promotes eye health
- Improves mood
- Quality tested
- May cause bloating
The GreenXtract Organic Saffron capsules pack the benefits of two organic substances: saffron and turmeric. Each capsule contains an innovative formula of 88.50 mg saffron and 350 mg turmeric powder. Since it’s organic, there are no toxic ingredients or allergens.
You will find no gluten, soy, or sugar in this product. This eliminates the possibility of experiencing an allergic reaction or severe side effects. Anyone can take it without worry.
The unique combination of turmeric and saffron also provides a supplement with impressive antioxidant properties. Upon consuming this product, you should experience some relief from chronic inflammation and pain. In addition, the saffron that the supplement contains will increase your levels of happy hormones which in turn will improve your mood.
The product comes with 60 capsules at a reasonable price and with a money back guarantee. So if you are dissatisfied for any reason, you can return the supplement for a full refund!
- Saffron (88.50mg)
- Turmeric (350mg)
- Organic formula
- Enhances mood
- Antioxidant properties
- Fully refundable
- Good quantity
- Not pure saffron
Another product on our list that offers a bulk supply of 210 capsules is the Mother Nutrients Saffron Supplement. The vegetarian formula used in these supplements packs nothing but 88.50 mg of pure saffron into each capsule, besides the rice powder or flour needed to create the capsules.
The low-strength saffron extract used in the product makes it suitable for everyday use. You may not find it useful for instant weight loss results, but it does support your immune system and cardiac health.
Some individuals may experience a little irritability after use, but it shouldn’t last long. This particular supplement focuses on improving your overall mood, so you can be more productive and efficient during the day.
Also, the Mother Nutrients Saffron Supplement is FDA-approved. Thus, you can rely on it to provide you with a safe dose of premium saffron extract.
- Saffron (88.50 mg)
- Massive quantity
- May cause slight irritability
It’s hard to deny the fact that saffron is a tiny but mighty spice. Although it is one of the more expensive spices, saffron extract fuels your body and provides numerous benefits like the abilities to improve your nervous system, sexual function, and mood.
You can even use it to reduce your food cravings and get back on a healthy weight loss plan. What’s more, you can easily consume saffron in the convenient form of a supplement.
Above, we discussed the best saffron supplements on the market today. We hope that this guide has been helpful in helping you pick the best supplement for you!
If you enjoyed this article, check out our article on Gotu Kola Powder, which displays properties somewhat similar to those associated with saffron!