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Saffron Side Effects: What You Need to Know

saffron in a cup


Saffron has been used in natural remedies and as a food coloring for millennia. It has recently been gaining attention for its potential benefits to human health. Saffron side effects are rare and mild.

However, this spice can cause allergic reactions in some people. So, if you’re sensitive to certain foods or medications, you should consult your doctor before incorporating saffron into your diet.

In addition, the price of saffron varies depending on where it comes from and the quality of the threads. You may need to spend more money than usual when buying saffron because you want top-quality products.

To learn more about saffron side effects, read on!

Potential Saffron Side Effects

Saffron is generally considered safe for most people when taken in small amounts as a spice in food or as a supplement in capsule form. But when taken in larger quantities for medicinal purposes, it can cause some side effects. These include:


Saffron allergies are rare, but they do exist. The most common reaction to saffron is contact dermatitis, which causes redness and swelling of the skin, and other symptoms include blisters and itching. If you have a severe reaction to saffron or any other herb, stop taking it immediately and see your doctor immediately because it could be an allergic reaction or something else.

Mood swings

The mood-altering effects of saffron may be due to the presence of crocin. Saffron is often used as a treatment for depression and anxiety because of these mood-altering properties.

It can also help people who struggle with insomnia get a good night's sleep by reducing their anxiety levels and helping them relax before bedtime.

However, saffron is not recommended for people with bipolar disorder because it can trigger manic episodes in those suffering from it.


Some research has shown that saffron may increase the risk of miscarriage in pregnant women.

A study published in 2012 in the journal Phytotherapy Research found that taking 25 milligrams of saffron daily for two weeks during pregnancy could lead to a miscarriage. The researchers tested this theory by giving saffron to pregnant mice; they found that the mice had higher levels of fetal resorption (the death of fetuses).

While these results cannot be applied directly to humans, pregnant women should avoid using saffron until more research is done on its safety during pregnancy.


Dizziness is a common side effect of taking saffron. It's caused by the release of histamine in the body, dilating blood vessels and lowering blood pressure. This reaction can be uncomfortable but usually goes away after a few hours or days of continued use. If your dizziness does not improve or worsens, stop using saffron and contact your healthcare provider for further evaluation.


Vomiting is another common side effect of taking saffron. Vomiting can occur as early as 10 minutes after ingesting saffron capsules or powder, according to It's caused by high levels of histamine in the body that cause stomach irritation and nausea.

Vomiting typically disappears within 24 hours of stopping treatment with saffron supplements but may persist longer if you continue taking them while ill from other causes such as food poisoning or stomach flu.


Saffron is known to cause hypersensitivity reactions in some people, and it is one of the most common side effects of saffron. The symptoms of this allergic reaction include itching and rashes that may occur anywhere on the body—however, most cases of saffron allergy resolve after discontinuation of therapy.


Saffron can also cause numbness in some people who take it regularly. Numbness usually occurs on the lips, mouth, fingers, and toes due to taking too much saffron supplement or overeating food containing saffron (such as paella).

A person may have difficulty feeling hot and cold sensations while ingesting foods containing saffron and feel tingling and itching sensations in their hands and feet when they touch something warm or cold.

This side effect only occurs if you take too much saffron supplement or overeat food with this spice, so it should go away once you stop using this medicine or change your diet accordingly.


The most common side effect of saffron is diarrhea, which is not a side effect as much as it interacts with other medications or supplements. If you are taking any medications for heart disease or blood pressure, you should avoid taking saffron because it can cause your blood pressure to drop too low or increase your risk of kidney failure.

Blood in Urine or Stool

Taking saffron may also cause bleeding from the hemorrhoids, which can lead to blood in your stools or urine. You should stop taking this supplement if you notice bleeding from any part of your body, especially if it does not stop after several days.

Saffron may cause blood in the urine or stool as a side effect when taken in large doses over a long period (more than 10 grams per day). This is not dangerous but should still be reported to your healthcare provider right away so they can determine whether the blood is coming from your kidneys or some other part of your body.

Stomach Pain

Some people experience stomach pain when they take saffron supplements. This may be due to the high levels of certain chemicals in saffron, such as picrocrocin, safranal, and crocin.

These chemicals can irritate the lining of your stomach and intestines. If you experience stomach pain after taking saffron, stop using it immediately and contact your healthcare provider.

Bleeding From Eyelids, Nose, or Lips

Some people experience nose bleeds or bleeding from their gums after taking saffron supplements or food containing saffron as an ingredient. It's unknown exactly why this happens with saffron use. Still, some experts suspect it may be related to an allergic reaction or low blood pressure caused by dehydration during exercise (exercise-induced hyponatremia).

How much saffron should I use?

The right amount of saffron depends on how you want to use it. For example, if you're going to make a good cup of tea or a few tablespoons of rice, then you should use a pinch or less.

If you want to make saffron rice or other foods that require more saffron, you may need to use more. Traditionally, one gram (1/30 ounce) is added to each cup of milk or water. For example: if you want to make 2 cups of saffron milk, add 2 grams (2/30 ounce) of saffron threads.

What is the right time to drink saffron milk?

The right time to drink saffron milk is after your meals or before bedtime. You can also drink it whenever you feel like drinking it. If you want to consume it on an empty stomach, it is good to drink it first thing in the morning or last thing at night.


As you can see, even the most natural foods and remedies can come with a list of side effects. With saffron, there are only a handful of common side effects. Some people experience mild stomach upset, but consuming more saffron is unlikely to alleviate this issue. Avoiding taking too much saffron might be the best way to prevent these other side effects.

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