What is Saffron?
It's a spice made from crocus plants. Not just a cooking ingredient, Saffron has also been used in traditional Persian medicine, where it's often used to treat symptoms of depression and other mental illnesses.
There haven't been many clinical studies on how consuming saffron can effect a patient's mood. However, there has been recent research conducted in Iran, where the spice proved to be surprisingly effective in treating mild to moderate depression. In several studies, saffron did better than a placebo. It even demonstrated an antidepressant effect comparable to Prozac and Imipramine, but with much less side effects.
So if Saffron is so powerful and effective at treating mental illnesses like depression and anxiety, why isn't it more common?
The answer is Saffron in supplement form can only be found online and can be quite pricey compared to other natural remedies. However, while the petal is the expensive part of the herb, you can also take capsules of the stigma part of the plant, which is less expensive, but still contains the mood-lifting properties. It's also high in carotenoids and B vitamins. Studies show a dose of 15 mg twice a day is most effective.
Here's a link to one such supplement on Amazon.