Crocus sativus

Viridian Nutrition Saffron

  • £20.15

The extract comes from the rich orange stigma of the Crocus Sativus L. flower. Sourced from the Middle East where the climate and soil provide the perfect growing conditions, the Saffron is harvested by family farmers, using traditional knowledge to ensure the optimum concentration of active metabolites.

VIRIDIAN NUTRITION are meticulous about their quality of ingredients that goes into their products and with Viridian Nutrition sometimes the smallest detail matters.

Carefully hand-picked in the early morning before the sun becomes too strong, the stigmas are gently removed and dried. A patented extraction process then ensures the saffron metabolites are preserved and standardised the actives.

Saffron (Crocus sativus) has a long history of use for improving mood and mental health. A traditional Chinese medicine text from the Mongol dynasty for example states that “...long-term ingestion causes a person’s heart to be happy,” and considerable modern research supports this traditional mood enhancing use of saffron. Interestingly, simply smelling saffron has been shown to lower the stress hormone cortisol and reduce symptoms of anxiety.

Saffron stigmas contain numerous bioactive properties that offer potent beneficial effects. Crocin, which is responsible for the deep red colour and safranal that provides the aroma saffron exerts are just two.

Several possible mechanisms of action may explain the mood enhancing effects of saffron including improvements in the action of the neurotransmitter serotonin, enhancement of brain functions such as of memory and learning, antioxidant effects and protecting the brain against the damaging effects of chronic stress.


To date 6 clinical trials have found saffron (30 mg extract/ per day) to be effective as a stand-alone therapy for the treatment of mild to moderate depression. These studies have revealed that saffron is superior to placebo ) and as efficacious as treatment with a tricyclic antidepressant or a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. Further, it was found that saffron was equally well or significantly better tolerated than these antidepressant medications.


Further to these findings, 50 older outpatients diagnosed with major depressive disorder were randomly assigned to receive either 60mg saffron or 100mg sertraline daily for 6 weeks. It was reported that the symptoms of depression in both groups decreased over the duration of the trial with no advantage apparent to either treatment. This shows that saffron performs comparably to sertraline in older adults with MDD and may offer benefits as a drug-free treatment.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are frequently associated with sexual dysfunction and can affect desire, arousal, and orgasm. The addition of saffron to SSRI treatment in men and women experiencing sexual dysfunction has been shown to reduce this side effect. In men saffron significantly improved erectile function and intercourse satisfaction And in women saffron improved arousal, pain, and lubrication.

Although no direct comparative studies have been performed the clinical effects of saffron are like St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum). Reductions in depression scores with saffron over a six-week period have been shown to be approximately 55% while those for St John’s Wort vary from 37-62%.

Low mood is an early sign of depression, and as discussed saffron is an effective herb in the reduction in mood related symptoms. A study looked 30 mg standardised saffron extract vs placebo on emotional wellbeing in 56 randomly assigned healthy adults with subclinical feelings of low mood and anxiety for 8 weeks. Physiological and psychological parameters were analysed, with crocetin urinary levels calculated and a series of questionnaires performed to determine depressive symptoms at 4 visits to the laboratory. Results showed a significant increase in urinary crocetin levels in those receiving the saffron supplement, this was directly associated with the lowering of depressive scores. The authors noted that heart rate variability decrease was directly associated with acute saffron intake highlighting the efficacy in reducing the stress response to a stressful stimulus.



Following the promising research into depressive symptoms, saffron has shown further evidence of its potent action in those with insomnia symptoms. One study that randomly assigned 28mg of standardised saffron extract to 63 healthy adults (aged 18- 70) with self-reported sleep problems for 28 days, found greater improvements in the Insomnia Severity Index in those receiving the standardised saffron extract vs the placebo group. Further improvements were seen in the restorative sleep questionnaire as well as Pittsburgh Sleep Diary sleep quality ratings in those receiving the saffron extract.



Saffron has been studied as a potential treatment for stress related over-eating. In a group of overweight women, it was found that saffron treatment for 8 weeks resulted in a significant decreased body weight and snacking frequency compared to placebo. “Our results indicate that saffron consumption produces a reduction of snacking and creates a satiating effect that could contribute to body weight loss,” concluded the study investigators.



Because of its demonstrated safety and efficacy for the treatment of depression, saffron was subsequently studied in women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS). A group of women aged 20-45 years with regular menstrual cycles and PMS symptoms received capsule saffron 30 mg/day or capsule placebo for two menstrual cycles (cycles 3 and 4). Treatment with saffron was found to be very well tolerated and effective in relieving depressive and overall PMS symptoms. Saffron also comes in Viridian Magnesium B6 & Saffron complex which is a High-Potency Magnesium And Vitamin B6



The primary change in the perimenopausal and menopause period is the reduction in the activity of the ovaries and the subsequent reduced capacity to produce the sex hormone oestrogen. Although, the adrenal glands and adipose tissue may continue to produce some oestrogen it is a small amount and far lower than that of a woman of reproductive age.

Following positive findings for the effect of saffron on depression in young and middle-aged individuals, a group of researchers evaluated the effect of saffron in 60 menopausal females with major depressive disorder associated with hot flashes. The participants were randomly allocated to 15mg saffron twice daily or placebo for 6 weeks. A significant positive interaction was reported between the saffron intervention and the timeframe to conclude a positive effect on both mood and hot flash severity. 

Due to the potential side effects of hormonal therapy, studies such as this look to investigate non-drug alternatives to ease the symptoms of menopause and mood.


Saffron has traditionally been used to preserve cognitive function with age and modern research supports a protective effect of saffron against Alzheimer’s disease. Two human clinical studies in this area have been published. In the first, treatment of people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease with saffron (30 mg per day) for 16 weeks resulted in significantly better improvements in cognitive function than placebo. In the second study treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease with saffron was compared to standard medication (donepezil) over 22 weeks. Saffron was found to be as effective as donepezil with a lower incidence of side effects.


Fibromyalgia is a debilitating chronic condition which is a challenge for the medical community to treat. Given the condition’s array of symptoms that includes mental health. Duloxetine is a serotonin-noradrenaline uptake inhibitor drug that is often prescribed to address mood and anxiety in those diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Adult Fibromyalgia outpatients were randomised to receive either 15mg saffron or 30mg duloxetine daily, after the first week the intervention was doubled and remained so until week 8 which marked the end of the trial. Over the period of 8 weeks, both treatment groups demonstrated a decrease in the scores for the pain and mood assessment scales. In addition, at each assessment point no difference was observed between the saffron and duloxetine groups. From these results it can be concluded that saffron performed in a comparable manner to duloxetine in terms of improved pain and mood symptoms.



The results of a clinical study suggest saffron may also be beneficial for early age-related macular degeneration,. Saffron has been studied for erectile dysfunction and low sperm count in men, however recent studies have failed to confirm previously reported benefits of saffron in these areas. Saffron also has many antioxidant benefits so would complement a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.

Known to support emotional balance, Saffron extract has been clinically researched to support mood as well as other areas. Saffron contributes to emotional balance, helps support relaxation and helps maintain a positive mood.

Directions: As a food supplement, take one capsule daily with food, or as directed by your healthcare professional.

One vegetarian capsule provides a daily dose:

Calendula officinalis)

Ingredient Weight %EC NRV
  Marigold flowers ( 270mg

Saffron (Crocus sativus) extract standardised or providing 2% safranal and 3% crocins


Saffron (Crocus sativus) extract standardised or providing 2% safranal and 3% crocins

Formulated with complementary marigold and featuring 100% active ingredients with no artificial fillers and no nasties, Saffron Extract is sourced to Viridian’s strict ethical criteria including no animal testing, GMO or palm oil.