A recent study compared the effects of a kitchen spice to a pharmaceutical drug on patients with ADHD and found them equally effective.
In a small scientific study, saffron (Crocus sativus) was measured to be just as useful as the hard-core stimulant methylphenidate (MPH – Ritalin and other brands) in treating kids diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
A team of researchers from Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran conducted a randomized double-blind 6-week pilot study and published their findings in April 2019. Noting that ADHD is one of the top neuropsychiatric conditions of childhood and adolescence, the scientists wanted to determine the safety and “efficacy” (effectiveness) of the two substances, one herbal and the other synthetic.
Children 6-17 years old who met the criteria of ADHD as outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), the “taxonomic and diagnostic tool published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA).”
The study participants’ symptoms were assessed using the Teacher and Parent Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Rating Scale-IV (ADHD-RS-IV) at baseline and weeks 3 and 6.
The ADHD Rating Scale-IV uses parental ratings about how often a fidgety child exhibits each ADHD symptom based on DSM-IV criteria. Parents report symptomatic frequency at home over the previous 6 months. The ADHD-RS-IV is completed independently by the parent and scored by a clinician and consists of two subscales: inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity.
Of the 64 juvenile patients who began the trial, 50 made it to the finish line. The numbers speak for themselves:
“Changes in Teacher and Parent ADHD Rating Scale scores from baseline to the study end were not significantly different between the saffron group and the MPH group…The frequency of adverse effects was similar between saffron and MPH groups.”
The Iranians concluded that short-term therapy with saffron capsules was equally safe and effective as methylphenidate for treating ADHD children. They called for larger controlled studies with longer treatment periods to confirm their pilot study.
This novel research is helpful at a couple of levels.
First, many people prefer trying a natural remedy over a doctor-prescribed pharmaceutical drug.
Second, while the symptoms of ADHD are real enough, the medical condition is poorly understood by the same experts who have rushed in with Big Pharma drugs to “rescue” these “at-risk” kids:
“No one knows exactly what causes ADHD, but certain things are known to play a role.”
You read that right. Doctors have no idea what causes ADHD. Doctors invented ADHD as a label for children who act out excessively. They claim that ADHD is inherited, passed down from parents to their offspring, and on to theirs, and so on.
The experts have linked the following factors to ADHD – but are quick to admit they are guessing and don’t know for certain why some kids are disruptive, hyperactive, and have short attention spans:
The mental disorder inventors and self-styled experts on treating ADHD say it isn’t related to eating too much sugar, food additives, allergies, and immunizations. They aren’t sure if the rising number of unruly children is due to more “illness” or more shrinks armed with diagnostic standards:
“It is not clear whether more children have ADHD or more children are receiving a diagnosis of ADHD.”
The clear winners of this game are the drug manufacturers who make the highly-addictive amphetamines the doctors decided are best suited to treat ADHD since “more children with ADHD are getting treatment for a longer period.”
The FDA has approved dosing kids as young as 6 years old with speed! A new drug “is the first and only extended-release orally disintegrating tablet (ODT) for the treatment of ADHD.” In plain English, these amphetamine tablets melt in the mouth.
In 2016, Dr. Mukund Gnanadesikan, a child and adolescent psychiatrist in Napa, California, worried about a new Big Pharma solution for ADHD – a candy-flavored amphetamine:
“I’m not a big fan of controlled substances that come in forms that can be easily abused – and certainly a chewable drug falls into that category.”
Another fact few people know is that the APA has been busy inventing new “behavioral illnesses” for over 50 years. The psychiatric professionals behind the DSM have added 244 new “diseases” to their diagnostic bible, raising the number of billable mental conditions from 130 to 374.
As I have written before, prescribing Big Pharma drugs to innocent children is one the most evil scams going. The corporate profits are enormous while families suffer from drug-related costs and the threat of addiction to these doctor-endorsed mind-altering chemicals:
“When the last edition of the DSM-IV was published, identifying the symptoms of various illnesses in children, there was a jump in the medication for children. Some states even have laws that allow protectives agencies to forcibly medicate, and even make it a punishable crime to withhold a prescribed medication.”
For a culinary spice, saffron isn’t cheap – the wholesale price ranges from about $1000-$5000 per kilogram (2.2 pounds) or $1-5 per gram (1,000 mg). The Iranian researchers gave their study participants a daily dose of 20-30 mg, equivalent to 3-15 cents for the higher amount, 90 cents to $1.50 a month.
A one-month supply of Big Pharma amphetamine Ritalin costs anywhere from $18 for 5mg doses to $53 for 20mg strength.
Not only is saffron affordable as a treatment option for ADHD it has other health benefits, too. Up with spices, down with addictions!