Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) has shown beneficial aphrodisiac effects in some animal and human studies. (Read more about Saffron and Sexual Health)

The aim of these studies were to assess the safety and efficacy of saffron on selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (anti-depressant) induced sexual dysfunction in women and mean. (Read more about Saffron Supplement for Depression) In this double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled study of women, thirty-eight women with major depression who were given 40 mg/day of fluoxetine in the treatmentfor a minimum of 6 weeks and had experienced subjective feeling of sexual dysfunction entered the study.

The patients were randomly assigned to saffron supplement (30 mg/daily) or placebo for 4 weeks. Measurement was performed at baseline, week 2, and week 4 using the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI). Side effects were systematically recorded. Thirty-four of the women had at least one post-baseline measurement and completed the study. Two-factor repeated measure analysis of variance showed significant effect of time × treatment interaction and treatment for FSFI total score. At the end of the fourth week, patients in the saffron supplementgroup had experienced significantly more improvement in total FSFI, arousal, lubrication, and pain domains of FSFI, but not in desire, satisfaction, and orgasm domains.

Frequency of side effects was similar between the two groups.

In conclusion, it seems saffron may safely and effectively improve some of the fluoxetine-antidepressant medicationinduced sexual problems in women including arousal, lubrication, and pain. ((Kashani L, Raisi F, Saroukhani S, Sohrabi H, Modabbemia A, Nasehi AA, et al. Saffron for treatment of fluoxetine-induced sexual dysfunction in women: randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental. 2013;28(1):54–60.)) In this 4-week randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study, thirty-six married male patients with major depressive disorders whose depressive symptoms had been stabilized on fluoxetine and had subjective complaints of sexual impairment entered the study. The patients were randomly assigned to saffron (15 mg twice per day) or placebo for 4 weeks. The International Index of Erectile Function scale was used to assess sexual function at baseline and weeks 2 and 4.

Thirty patients finished the study. Baseline characteristics as well as baseline and final depressive symptoms scores were similar between the two groups. Effect of time × treatment interaction on the total score was significant. By week 4, saffron resulted in significantly greater improvement in erectile function and intercourse satisfaction domains, and total scores than the placebo group. The effect of saffron did not differ significantly from that of placebo in orgasmic function, overall satisfaction, and sexual desire domains scores. Nine patients (60%) in the saffron group and one patient (7%) in the placebo group achieved normal erectile function at the end of the study. Frequency of side effects were similar between the two groups.

It was concluded that Saffron is a tolerable and efficacious treatment for fluoxetine-antidepressant related sexual dysfunction in men.((Modabbernia A, et al. Effect of saffron on fluoxetine-induced sexual impairment in men: randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2012 Oct;223(4):381-8.))   (Read more about Saffron and the Sex Stress Cycle)

  1. Kashani L, Raisi F, Saroukhani S, Sohrabi H, Modabbemia A, Nasehi AA, et al. Saffron for treatment of fluoxetine-induced sexual dysfunction in women: randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental. 2013;28(1):54–60.
  2. Modabbernia A, et al. Effect of saffron on fluoxetine-induced sexual impairment in men: randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2012 Oct;223(4):381-8.

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