Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by symptoms like inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.  It often manifests in childhood and can persist into adulthood, making it a lifelong challenge for many individuals. Conventional treatments for ADHD typically involve stimulant medications like Ritalin, psychotherapy and psychological education. While these approaches can be effective, they may also come with side effects and limitations. Therefore, alternative therapies, such as neurofeedback, serious video games, or nutritional supplements have been proposed.

Some natural remedies that have garnered attention in recent years, like ginkgo biloba extract,  Ginseng, Pycnogenol, Bacopa monnieri, Rhodiola rosea and saffron extract. Numerous studies have explored the potential of saffron extract in managing ADHD symptoms. Research suggests that saffron may help improve attention, reduce hyperactivity, and enhance impulse control. This article will talk about the potential benefits of saffron extract for ADHD and how it works.

Saffron dried

What’s Saffron extract?

Saffron, known scientifically as Crocus sativus, is a spice derived from the flower’s stigma. The earliest records of the use of saffron come from ancient Egypt, about thousands of years ago, because of its attractive aroma and bright red color, ancient Egyptian healers used saffron as an antidepressant and herbal remedy for gastrointestinal issues. It has been traditionally used worldwide as an additive and food colorant and even used as a bath spice by Cleopatra. Given its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, saffron extract is also used as a natural remedy to treat several diseases.

Saffron extract, derived from the vibrant red stigmas of the Crocus sativus flower. It contains several bioactive compounds such as: crocin(color source); picrocrocin(flavor source); Saffron safranal(odorant and aromatic source), of which crocin and safranal are the most notable. These compounds are believed to contribute to saffron’s therapeutic properties. There are several clinical trials that have examined the efficacy of saffron in treating ADHD symptoms in adolescents and adults, showing the efficacy of saffron.

How does saffron extract work for ADHD?

Saffron’s effectiveness in ADHD management is attributed to its powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It has the ability to improve the lipid profile and help modulate hypertension, modulate neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin and dopamine. These play crucial roles in regulating mood and attention. Saffron extract exerts psychoactive properties and acts on NDMA and GABA receptors. It improves the secretion of dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline in the central nervous system, and was found to be comparable to that of methylphenidate.

Saffron offers a promising natural remedy for those seeking alternative approaches to managing ADHD symptoms. It’s been proven to enhance attention, reduce hyperactivity, and boost impulse control. Compared with medications, saffron extract is generally well-tolerated and has a low risk of adverse effects with its natural origin can complement existing strategies, offering a natural and well-tolerated option for individuals on their journey towards improved focus and impulse control. Remember, individual responses may vary and it should not replace conventional treatments, consulting a healthcare provider before incorporating saffron extract into your routine is advisable.


Ye Tao