Saffron could help in treating children with ADHD: Study

A new study has shown that Saffron, a popular exotic spice grown in Kashmir, could be as effective as commonly prescribed drugs for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

The results of a pilot study carried out by scientists at Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran were recently published in Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology. ADHD is a medical condition where the affected person has differences in brain development and brain activity. This affects attention, the ability to sit still, and self-control.

ADHD can affect a child at school, at home, and in social relations. This short-term pilot study in children between 6-17 years old with ADHD has shown that saffron is “as effective at controlling symptoms as methylphenidate, the commonly prescribed drug Ritalin”.

The researchers have concluded that Saffron may be “a promising herbal alternative for treating ADHD, particularly for the 30 percent of patients who do not respond to or cannot tolerate stimulants like methylphenidate”. The randomized, double-blind pilot study used Saffron and methylphenidate in 54 patients over a 6-week period. 

The results showed that there was “no significant difference in effectiveness as well as similar frequency of adverse effects”. “This is a very interesting study and an intriguing finding. It is worthy of replication and further study to understand the mechanism of action,” Harold S Koplewicz, MD, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology was quoted as saying.