The Healing Duo Logo
The Healing Duo Logo

Saffron as Effective as Ritalin in ADHD Treatment

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Fresh Squeezed Blog/Stress/Saffron as Effective as Ritalin in ADHD Treatment

ADHD has become one of the most common childhood disorders. Over 6 million U.S children ages 4-17 have ADHD, and the number continues to grow each year. Despite popular belief, adults also suffer from ADHD. 60% of children diagnosed with ADHD, will continue to have symptoms into adulthood. Recently, there has been a surge in girls and adult women (particularly moms) diagnosed with ADHD as well.

ADHD has negative effects on both children and adults. It can cause deficits in social skills, low self-esteem, decreased academic achievement (difficulty focusing, poor time management skills, impulsiveness, restlessness), and difficulty coping with stress. Those with ADHD are also at a higher risk of motor vehicle accidents and substance abuse.

The standard treatment is pharmacotherapy, with the most common prescribed drug being methylphenidate (Ritalin). While Ritalin has increased the quality of life in many, it does come with negative side effects such as sleeping disturbances, loss of appetite, and heart arrhythmias. In addition, 30% of children do not respond to the medication, or adverse reactions cause poor compliance.

Due to these negative side effects many look to alternative medicine. One study of interest compared crocus sativus (aka saffron) to methylphenidate. Results showed that saffron had the same efficacy with fewer side effects compared to methylphenidate in children with ADHD. Saffron has an antidepressant action, that works on altering different chemicals and receptors in the brain. In essence, it inhibits the re-uptake of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. Meaning it increases these two chemicals in the brain, which helps combat ADHD symptoms. Research has found significantly lower levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the those with ADHD, which can be the cause for symptoms in many individuals. Medications such as stimulants (Ritalin and Adderall) also work by modulating the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. Saffron also increases GABA in the brain. GABA promotes relaxation, relieves muscle tension, and has anti-anxiety effects. In other words, it targets that hyperactivity component in ADHD.

In my clinical experience there are many natural approaches that can be used that successfully treats ADHD. In this preliminary study, saffron shows great promise. Depending on the individual and their symptoms other herbs, vitamins, minerals, and dietary changes have proven to be effective.

Like, share, or comment below! Don’t forget to check out our disclaimer before commenting!

Important Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only; it is NOT meant to substitute professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should NOT use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem/disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please schedule an appointment or call 203-693-1429 for individualized natural medicine.


Baziar, Sara, et al. “Crocus Sativus L. Versus Methylphenidate in Treatment of Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Randomized, Double-Blind Pilot Study.” Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 2019, doi:10.1089/cap.2018.0146.

customer1 png

Hi, We are The Healing Duo

Dr. Pamela Santapaola and Dr. Giovanni Nelson write and medically review all the content.

Enjoy the latest insights and rejuvenating tips straight from the source—serving up invigorating stories, nourishing advice, and a splash of clarity to your health and wellness routine.

Someone Reading a Copy of Superfoods For SuperHealth

Get Our Best Selling eBook!

Just like many of our clients, you're probably seeking natural ways to nourish your body and thrive.

Our comprehensive eBook is meticulously crafted to guide you through the world of nutrient-rich foods, enabling you to derive your daily vitamins from what you joyfully put on your plate.

Are you eager to transform your diet and revitalize your health? Your path to wellness begins here:



9 Mott Ave Suite 203
Second Floor
Norwalk, CT 06850

Get in Touch

Office Hours

Monday: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday: 2:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Wednesday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Friday: Closed
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

© Copyright 2024 The Healing Duo - All rights reserved.