Saffron! Exotic Erotic?

January 24, 2020

Foods that jump start sexual desire. Are they for real?

Writing today about aphrodisiac foods and today ‘s subject is saffron. Saffron is a beautiful little flower native to Asia and the Middle East. It has been promoted for centuries for it’s aphrodisiac properties and utilized by people in those regions to enhance sexual function.

Although, “I’m just mad about saffron, saffron’s mad about me,” hasn’t always borne up to scientific rigor, there is one unique area where saffron has been shown to have aphrodisiac properties.

People who suffer from depression and take SSRI antidepressant medications like Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, and Lexapro often develop sexual side effects from the medication – inability to have an orgasm, difficulty with sexual arousal, ineffective lubrication and  inability to achieve erections.

Here’s where saffron comes in. A study by Kashani and others showed saffron to be a natural way to reduce the sexual side effects caused by SSRI medications. Specifically, in women it improved arousal and lubrication. So it’s terrific in that instance and scientific rigor backs up its benefit.

In another small pilot study, saffron improved erectile dysfunction in men, but has yet to be verified in larger investigations.

So, where I get this stuff? You can get it online and in health stores. As it’s a spice to improve and enhance food dishes, you may find it in your favorite market.

But before you go out and buy a bunch of saffron, make certain that you talk with your healthcare professional about whether or not it’s healthy and if it’s right for you.

This is Dr. Jim for Be Healthy! Be Happy! Power your path to happiness. Subscribe to Be Healthy! Be Happy! with Dr. Jim on YouTube and stay tuned for additional segments when I talk about pistachios,  fenugreek, maca and chocolate as aphrodisiacs foods.


Kashani, L., et al, 2013. Saffron for treatment of fluoxetine-induced sexual dysfunction in women: randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study. Hum Psychopharmacol, 2013 Jan;28(1):54-60.

Shamsa, A., et al, 2009. Evaluation of Crocus sativus L. (saffron) on male erectile function: a pilot study. Phytomedicine, 2009 Aug; 16(8): 609-693.