A preliminary assessment of a combination of rhodiola and saffron in the management of mild-moderate depression.
Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2018 ;14:1821-1829. Epub 2018 Jul 13. PMID: 30034237
Objective: The medicinal plantsL. (rhodiola, golden root) andL. (saffron) have been shown separately to induce significant effects in depression. The objective of this study was to assess a fixed combination of rhodiola and saffron in mild-moderate depression.
Methods: In this observational study conducted with general practitioners (GPs), 45 adults (aged 18-85 years) suffering from mild or moderate depression (International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision definition) and reaching a score on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression of 8-18 were supplemented with a combination of rhodiola and saffron extracts (one tablet, 154 mg of rhodiola and 15 mg of saffron; recommended dose two tablets per day for 6 weeks).
Results: After 6 weeks (D42) of supplementation, Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression scores (primary outcome) decreased significantly by 58%±28.5% (from 13.6±2.3 at D0 to 5.6±3.8 at D42,<0.0001; n=41). Score improvement was reported in 85.4% of patients. A significant drop in both Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale anxiety and depression scores was also observed at D42, the decrease being significant from 2 weeks of supplementation. At the end of the study, both GPs and patients deemed there was a significant improvement in depression (Clinical Global Impression - improvement and Patient Global Impression of Change). Safety was excellent, and no serious adverse effects were recorded.
Conclusion: Results of this observational study performed in primary care suggest that the combination of rhodiola and saffron tested could be useful for the management of mild-moderate depression and improve depressive and anxiety symptoms. A double-blind placebo-controlled study is needed to confirm these results.