This is the first study of saffron to treat premenstrual syndrome (PMS) in humans.

First, the details.

  • Women, 20 to 45 years old, with regular menstrual cycles and PMS for at least 6 months were studied.
  • After monitoring the women for 2 menstrual cycles, they were randomly assigned to take saffron capsules 30 mg/day (15 mg morning and evening) or placebo for an additional 2 menstrual cycles.
  • Neither the researchers nor the women knew the treatment given (blinded).

And, the results.

  • At the end of the study, 76% of the women taking saffron had a 50% or greater reduction in PMS symptoms, vs 8% of the women taking placebo, a significant difference.
  • There were significant differences between groups in the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale scores — a 21-question multiple choice questionnaire used to rate the severity of a patient’s depression.

The bottom line?
It’s a small study, but deserves to be followed-up with another.

5/8/08 22:10 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.