Saffron, which has anti-depressant and memory-enhancing properties, can be as effective at controlling symptoms as methylphenidate, the commonly prescribed drug Ritalin for treating ADHD.
According to the latest study, saffron can treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) in children.
What is ADHD?
1. ADHD is one of the most common neuropsychiatric disorders of childhood and adolescence.
2. More than 10 million cases of ADHD are observed in a year in India, only.
3. Children with ADHD become hyperactive and unable to control their impulses. Or they may have trouble paying attention.
4. Adults with ADHD may also have trouble managing time, being organized, setting goals, self-esteem, relationships and holding down a job.
5. Currently, stimulant medicines like methylphenidate, dexamfetamine, atomoxetine, however these are not a permanent cure but medicines that can help children concentrate better.
6. These medicines might have side effects in the longer term.
What did researchers do?
The study took place at Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran. For the study, researchers included 54 ADHD patients aged six to 17 years and compared the effects of saffron or methylphenidate over a six-week period.
The patients were randomly assigned to receive either 20-30 mg/d methylphenidate or 20-30 mg/d saffron capsules depending on weight.
The findings, published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, showed no significant difference in effectiveness, so they both worked equally.
How can Saffron help?
The results showed that saffron, which has anti-depressant and memory-enhancing properties, can be as effective at controlling symptoms as methylphenidate, the commonly prescribed drug Ritalin for treating ADHD.
Saffron, known as a spice and nutritional supplement in traditional medicine, is particularly an effective herbal remedy for the 30 percent of patients who do not respond to or cannot tolerate stimulants like methylphenidate, which causes side effects like nausea, stomach pain, decreased appetite, insomnia, and headache.
In addition, a computerised test of attention and activity to standard care can reduce the time needed to make a diagnostic decision on the disorder.