Saffron supplementation may boost sexual performance and treat depressive symptoms
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Health problems do not usually exist in isolation – they are often interconnected and can amplify each other. The reciprocal relationship of depression and erectile dysfunction is a case in point. Having a persistently low mood and low self-esteem could lead to sexual dysfunction, because, as the National Institute of Mental Health points out, men are more likely to lose interest in activities.
As a result, this lack of enthusiasm could mean that men might not find sex as appealing.
Struggling to maintain an erection could intensify depressive symptoms too through an increased sense of unfulfillment and disappointment.
While these issues are complex and may not necessarily be related, evidence does suggest interventions that target both can prove effective.
Saffron spice, which is harvested by hand from the crocus sativus flower, has shown promise as an all-rounder.
Take depression first. In a review of five studies, saffron supplements were significantly more effective than placebos at treating symptoms of mild-to-moderate depression.
Other studies found that taking 30 mg of saffron daily was just as effective as Fluoxetine, Imipramine, and Citalopram — conventional treatments for depression.
Additionally, fewer people experienced side effects from saffron compared to other treatments.
What’s more, both the saffron petals and thread-like stigma appear to be effective against mild-to-moderate depression.
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Saffron’s sexual promise
Studies have shown that saffron may have aphrodisiac properties — especially in people taking antidepressants.
An aphrodisiac is a food or drug that arouses sexual instinct, brings on desire, or increases sexual pleasure or performance.
In one study, taking 30 mg of saffron daily over four weeks significantly improved erectile function over a placebo in men with antidepressant-related erectile dysfunction.
Additionally, an analysis of six studies showed that taking saffron significantly improved erectile function, libido, and overall satisfaction but not semen characteristics.
Furthermore, in women with low sexual desire due to taking antidepressants, 30 mg of saffron daily over four weeks reduced sex-related pain and increased sexual desire and lubrication, compared to a placebo.
When is erectile dysfunction most likely the result of emotional problems?
It’s more likely to be an emotional problem if you only have erection problems some of the time.
“For example, you get an erection when waking up in the morning, but not during sexual activity,” explains the NHS.
According to the health body, anxiety and depression can be treated with counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
CBT is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave.
“A GP might recommend sex therapy, either on its own or in combination with other psychotherapy,” says the NHS.
There’s usually a long wait for these services on the NHS.
As the NHS explains, you can also pay to see someone privately.
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