Effects of a Topical Saffron (Crocus sativus L) Gel on Erectile Dysfunction in Diabetics: A Randomized, Parallel-Group, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial

J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2015 Oct;20(4):283-6. doi: 10.1177/2156587215583756. Epub 2015 May 6.


Erectile dysfunction is a man's persistent or recurrent inability to achieve and maintain erection for a satisfactory sexual relationship. As diabetes is a major risk factor for erectile dysfunction, the prevalence of erectile dysfunction among diabetic men has been reported as 35% to 90%. This randomized, parallel-group, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial investigated the effects of a topical saffron (Crocus sativus L) gel on erectile dysfunction in diabetic men. Patients were randomly allocated to 2 equal groups (with 25 patients each). The intervention group was treated with topical saffron, and the control received a similar treatment with placebo. The 2 groups were assessed using the International Index of Erectile Function Questionnaire before the intervention and 1 month after the intervention. Compared to placebo, the prepared saffron gel could significantly improve erectile dysfunction in diabetic patients (P < .001). This preliminary evidence suggests that saffron can be considered as a treatment option for diabetic men with erectile dysfunction.

Keywords: Crocus Sativus L; diabetes; erectile dysfunction; saffron.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Crocus / chemistry*
  • Diabetes Complications / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Complications / physiopathology
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Erectile Dysfunction / drug therapy*
  • Erectile Dysfunction / etiology
  • Erectile Dysfunction / physiopathology
  • Gels / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage*


  • Gels
  • Plant Extracts

Associated data

  • IRCT/201404071769N1