Most women have had some sort of Premenstrual Syndrome, (PMS), at some point in their life. PMS can consist of cramping, mood swings, fatigue, gastrointestinal issues, along with other symptoms like acne, insomnia, water retention, depression, and of course, anxiety.
Hormonal anxiety is a bit more difficult for people to deal with, since its based on bodily functions rather than an emotional response. This basically means that it is more difficult to deal with, and harder to calm the body down with typical mindfulness methods and tools.
Enter the spice saffron. Saffron is an amazing spice that is derived from the flower known as “saffron crocus”. It is the most expensive spice, since it takes about 70,000 crocus flowers to produce just one pound of dried saffron. It may be expensive, but what I love about this, is that you only would have to buy it once, since the only thing you do with it, is smell the contents!
Since saffron had been used for PMS for thousands of years, a group of scientists had decided to focus on creating an actual study about it. A double blind study out of Iran was once performed, testing the theory of saffron and PMS. The original study had the subjects ingest 30 mg/day of the saffron, and the results showed a significant decrease in symptoms between the patients who ingested the saffron from the ones who did not. It was later determined, by the same people, that sniffing saffron alone, can have the same results. They determined that the smell alone was enough to trigger a hormonal response, causing changes within the body. This study had the subjects sniff saffron for 20 minutes. Apparently, by sniffing saffron, it can help balance out the hormone levels, and by doing so, can decrease overall anxiety symptoms in people.
This was music to my ears!! For me, who has suffered crazy anxiety two days, like clockwork, before my cycle every month, it was a no brainer. So about a year ago, since it's always been my passion to be my own guinea pig, I gave it a try, and I had noticed a significant difference. Unlike the study, I would just take a few good sniffs out of the jar, so not the 20 minutes as recorded, yet still noticed my body start to calm after about 10 minutes or so. Is it the perfect remedy? Not really, since it seems that the relief is temporary. Maybe it would help me more, if I sat there with the bottle under my nose for 20 minutes for longer lasting affects. BUT, the funny thing is, what I do recognize is that if I sniff the saffron for one months’ cycle, the next months’ symptoms aren’t as bad. And there have been months that I’ve gone without needing to sniff at all. Coincidence? Is it really the saffron, my body just being normal that month, or is it a psychosomatic response? Either way, it seems to work, it is much cheaper than other remedies, and carries no side affects. It is also a way of not putting harmful substances into the body. So, for me, when I am near my cycle, and start to feel a little tense and anxiety build, and my typical mindfulness techniques aren’t working as well as they should, I’ll assume its my hormones. I’ll sniff some saffron, and keep it close by for a couple of days as symptoms arise. The beauty is that the saffron sniffing can alleviate other PMS symptoms along with anxiety.
So, if you are one of those people who suffer from hormonal anxiety, or anxiety related to PMS in your life, saffron sniffing may be one of the tips to try. It seems to work for me, which is my reasoning for bringing this forth to you, but you be the judge. For the small amount of money, and the relief and/or piece of mind you can get, it’s well worth the experiment!
One spice container of saffron costs between $12 and $18, but I have seen it online for around $9.00. Shop around, but remember that you only have to purchase this once!
I have to say, I really love this method! I have been sniffing saffron now, for about 20-30 minutes, after I start to feel anxiety symptoms....with amazing results! This has to be one of the best tips for hormonal anxiety, and hope you will give it a try yourself! Although, you may want to change out the bottle after a year or so, since the smell starts to deteriorate after that time.
Still a cheap remedy!
Happy saffron sniffing!
Love and peace... XO
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Michelle has a BS, E-RYT, YACEP, CHN, CLYL, and Y12SRL.