Saffron has a reputation for being the most expensive spice in the world. It can also help help with insomnia, but don’t worry — you don’t have to go broke to get a good night’s sleep.
According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicinejust a few weeks ago, it’s the extract from saffron, not the actual spice, that gave their participants sweet dreams. The researchers observed 55 people between the ages of 18 to 70 who reported having sleep problems. They were given 14 mgs. of saffron extract twice a day for 28 days and found that it not only eased their insomnia, but improved the overall quality of their sleep.
This isn’t the first time saffron extract has made headlines for helping people, though. Back in 2012, Dr. Oz hailed the spice supplement for its ability to curb hunger and put a stop to over-snacking between meals. It was particularly effective at lowering sugar cravings, which led to shedding pounds quicker.
On top of better sleep and weight loss, Psychology Today cites several studies that show saffron soothing anxiety, depression, and overall mood. No, it’s not just that people are happier when they have enough rest and healthy weight — the studies found that saffron promotes balance between dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin hormones, which all factor into our emotional well-being and mental health.
Again, you don’t have to worry about the cost of saffron extract being as astronomical as the pure spice (just one ounce can reportedly set you back $72.95). Supplements like Life Extension Optimized Saffron with Satiereal ($21.41, Amazon) are much more budget-friendly. You just take one pill twice a day to soak in all the saffron goodness.
More studies need to be done to confirm all of the benefits of saffron extract, but these perks for insomnia, weight loss, and mood are certainly a great place to start.
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This article originally appeared on our sister site, WomansWorld.com.