Monday, June 17, 2024
HomeHealth ConditionsADHDCould Saffron Be An Alternative Treatment for ADHD?

Could Saffron Be An Alternative Treatment for ADHD?

A study investigating the effects of saffron in children and teens suggests its potential as an alternative herbal treatment for ADHD.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodivergent disorder often seen in childhood and adolescence.

It is a chronic disorder that results in problems such as poor concentration and impulse control. Methylphenidate, commonly known as Ritalin, is a stimulant that is commonly prescribed for patients with ADHD.

An estimated 30% of patients do not benefit from typically prescribed stimulants, either because they simply do not work for them or because of side effects.

Possible herbal treatment for ADHD

Researchers from the Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran recently decided to compare the safety and effects of saffron as an alternative treatment for ADHD and methylphenidate in 54 patients diagnosed with ADHD, aged 6 to 17 years, over a six-week period.

The article was published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology


The results of this study found no significant differences between the scores given by both parents and teachers from both the saffron and methylphenidate groups. The frequency of adverse events was also similar between groups.

The researchers concluded that the short-term use of saffron capsules as an alternative treatment for ADHD appears to provide the same effect as methylphenidate.

However, a larger controlled study with longer durations of treatment with saffron and methylphenidate is needed to further analyze whether saffron could be used as an herbal treatment for ADHD.


  1. Baziar S, Aqamolaei A, Khadem E, et al. Crocus sativus L. versus methylphenidate in treatment of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A randomized, double-blind pilot study. J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2019;29(3):205-212. doi:10.1089/cap.2018.0146

Jade Evans MPharm
Jade Evans MPharm
Jade obtained her Master of Pharmacy degree from Cardiff University, UK in 2015 and then went on to work as a Pharmacist within the NHS, across both the hospital and community sectors. In 2017, she began her work for the medical news bulletin and moved to Perth, Australia. She is now working at Perth Children’s Hospital working in the Anaesthetic and Pain Management Research Group.


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