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Why This MD Recommends Saffron Lemonade For Stress Relief + How To Make It

Image by Boris Jovanovic / Stocksy
June 9, 2022

Keeping stress in check is a fundamental pillar of overall wellness, so we at mbg are always looking for creative ways to stay calm. Certain herbs and spices are known for their de-stressing benefits, but one you may not have considered is saffron. Here's why emergency and integrative medicine physician Eudene Harry, M.D., recommends saffron for stress management—plus her favorite refreshing way to sip it.

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The benefits of saffron.

Saffron is a spice that comes from a flower commonly known as saffron crocus (aka Crocus sativus). It's historically been used for a number of purposes, from aiding digestion to combating free radicals, caring for the skin, and protecting your precious eyes and vision1—and Harry calls attention to its nerve-busting benefits, too.

As the integrative physician recently explained to mbg, a 2011 clinical study of 35 women found the strong smell of saffron supported healthy levels of cortisol2, which is the body's main stress hormone. And when taken orally, clinical trials3 have found that saffron can even help support a positive mood. Furthermore, consuming 30 milligrams of saffron daily4, Harry says, may also help ease stress levels.

"Psychosocial interactions and heart rate variability improvements have even been demonstrated in research leveraging saffron extract supplementation5," adds mbg's vice president of scientific affairs Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN.

Along with other plants like ashwagandha and curcumin, saffron is a botanical that packs a pleasantly calming punch.* All that to say, it's no wonder Harry likes to turn saffron into a refreshing, soothing beverage—aptly named saffron lemonade. Here's how to make it.

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How to make Saffron Lemonade:

What you'll need:
  • ¼ tsp saffron
  • 4 cups of water
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste
  • Honey to taste
  • Mint leaves or sprigs
  • Ice
The method:
  1. Combine all your ingredients except the ice in a pitcher and stir.
  2. Allow to steep until the saffron has saturated the water.
  3. Sip and enjoy mindfully for extra de-stressing benefits.
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The takeaway.

Finding simple (and tasty) ways to mitigate stress and stay calm can do wonders for how we feel on a day-to-day basis. Whether you opt for a calming drink, a quick breathing exercise, or a soothing supplement, like mbg's calm+, you'll never regret taking the time to help yourself de-stress.*