As the integrative physician recently explained to mbg, a 2011 clinical study of 35 women found the strong smell of saffron supported healthy levels of cortisol, which is the body's main stress hormone. And when taken orally, clinical trials have found that saffron can even help support a positive mood. Furthermore, consuming 30 milligrams of saffron daily, Harry says, may also help ease stress levels.
"Psychosocial interactions and heart rate variability improvements have even been demonstrated in research leveraging saffron extract supplementation," adds mbg's vice president of scientific affairs Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN.
Along with other plants like ashwagandha and curcumin, saffron is a botanical that packs a pleasantly calming punch.* All that to say, it's no wonder Harry likes to turn saffron into a refreshing, soothing beverage—aptly named saffron lemonade. Here's how to make it.