Scientists and researchers have been looking for the cure to neurodegenerative illnesses like Alzheimer’s and depression for decades, hoping that the answer lies in a future medical advancement. However, it may be that humans have known the cure for thousands of years without even knowing it.

An Ancient Herb Remedy

Saffron has been cultivated and harvested by humans for over 3,500 years, and it collected from the beautiful crocus sativus flower. The reach of saffron spans continent and cultures, and has been used for centuries as a cure to a wide range of illnesses and conditions.

Recent mainstream coverage of saffron has focused on its use as a weight loss method. This has sparked renewed public interest in the herb, but weight loss barely scratches the surface of what saffron can do for you. Recent research conducted that reveals saffron may have incredible healing powers for neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s and depression.

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An Alzheimer’s Cure?

In 2010, a 22-week long study was conducted as a randomized, double blind controlled trial to test the impact that saffron could have on the management of Alzheimer’s disease. The results of this study confirmed that a twice-daily 15 mg dose of saffron was just as effective at combating mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s as the synthetic drug donepezil (Aricept). This is one of the commonly prescribed drugs for Alzheimer’s but it tends to have several unpleasant side effects, like vomiting. Saffron on the other hand, did not.

Saffron the Equivalent of Anti-Depressants

Alzheimer’s isn’t the only type of neurodegenerative condition that saffron may be able to help. The petals of the plant that saffron is derived from have also been proven to be the near equal of fluoxetine (Prozac) as a treatment for depression. According to a study published back in 2007 to Progress In Neuropsychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 15 mg of Crocus sativus petals were found to be as effective as 10 mg of the chemical Prozac. By the end of the study, 25% of patients with mild to moderate depression had begun a full remission.

Expense over Effect?

While saffron shows huge potential as a neuropathic drug, it is hindered somewhat in its potential by the cost it takes to produce it. Each crocus sativus plant bears no more then four flowers a year, each with only 3 red stigmas from which the saffron can be collected. For this reason, it takes approximately 150 flowers to yield just 1,000 mg of dried saffron threads, which puts the price at around $1,000 a pound.

The Healing Benefits of Saffron

Although it’s a little on the expensive side, saffron has been experimentally proven to potentially cure all of the following common ailments, which may be worth the price. These are common ailments that modern medicines are still looking for a cure to.

  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Cardiac Hypertrophy
  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • Inflammation
  • Liver cancer
  • Multiple Sclerosis

So while saffron may be a little on the expensive side, as far as organic healing herbs go, it really has no equal. The brain is one of the most complex organ in the body, and anything that has the potential to heal neurodegenerative diseases is certainly worth talking about. Besides, no matter how pricy saffron may get, it’s a far cheaper alternative to expensive synthetic medicines.

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