Many people are suffering from anxiety and depression all over the world. Some of them don’t even have the means to get the therapy and the medication they need.
But what if there were a common spice that can be as effective as the usual prescription drugs prescribed for anxiety – without the side effects and the overwhelming cost?
A recent study has found that turmeric curcumin can possibly be as effective as Prozac.
Because there are so many studies being carried out on turmeric’s potency in treating a huge host of health issues, turmeric’s new found anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties might become an effective substitute to strong antidepressant drugs.
The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric are well known. Because of its curcuminoids compounds, turmeric can fight inflammation in the body by inhibiting cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) and 5-lipooxygenase (5-LOX) – enzymes linked to inflammation.
It’s evident in the scientific literature that the use of turmeric to fight chronic inflammation among humans and animals is very successful.
And because inflammation also plays a role in the development of anxiety and depression, turmeric might be a natural alternative everyone can use.
According to the finding of a study published in JAMA Psychiatry, there was 30% increase of neuroinflammation among those with clinical depression.
Antidepressant medications are frequently prescribed for people with anxiety disorders. Although depression-related research outweighs the number of studies on the anxiety disorders, it is still instructive to read about antidepressant trials focussed on depression.
“Efficacy and Safety of Curcumin in Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial” is a recent study done to compare the safety and efficacy of turmeric curcumin in patients with major depressive disorders.
This 6-week study was comprised of 60 depressed patients who were divided into 3 groups.
- 1st group was given 20mg of Prozac
- 2nd group was given 1000mg of curcumin
- 3rd group was given both 20mg of Prozac and 1000mg of curcumin
The group who received 1000mg of curcumin alone did as well as the group given Prozac. The group who received Prozac only showed a slight improvement compared to the other 2 groups.
In conclusion, the groups taking curcumin have shown improvements with no significant differences in the results. The researchers say that this study is the first clinical evidence that curcumin can possibly be used as a safe and effective mode of treatment for individuals suffering from major depressive disorders.
Turmeric stimulates the release of serotonin and dopamine in the brain
It was also indicated that promising results of curcumin was due to its ability to inhibit monoamine oxidase. High levels of this enzyme can be found in the brains of depressive patients and is believed to be linked to depression.
And because turmeric has the ability to stimulate the release of the two “happy hormones” serotonin and dopamine in the brain, taking curcumin may address anxiety and improve an individual’s emotional well-being.
Another study published in the journal “Brain Research” has also examined the effects of curcumin on laboratory rats that were exposed to stress protocols. Their findings say that curcumin doses on the rats showed beneficial effects in reducing stress. Stress is a significant factor in the anxiety disorders.
Anxiety is common among those suffering from dietary deficiency of DHA (omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid). This deficit of fatty acids can lead to several cognitive disorders. Eating more salmon, sardines, mackerel, trout, tuna, herring and other fatty fish will help supply the needed DHA in the body.
But the typical Western diet lacks DHA because its sources are usually only found in some states. It’s a lot easier to get DHA’s precursor ALA (?-linolenic acid) in our daily diet, but it requires proper body synthesis for it to be converted to DHA.
A UCLA study found that when ALA and turmeric curcumin are taken together, curcumin can enhance the ALA synthesis to DHA. When this happens, it can result to an elevated DHA content in the brain. These findings can impact the prevention of cognitive diseases – particularly those who can’t consume the right amount of DHA in their diet.
Turmeric is definitely one of the superfoods known today and the list of its health benefits goes on and on.
If a definitive dosage of turmeric curcumin is declared as a safe substitute to antidepressive medications, it will be a huge life-changer and relief to the patients who can’t afford the usual treatments and medications being offered today. For now, supplementation of turmeric curcumin is a great solution to naturally prevent anxiety and depression.
Katrina Rice is a mom and a freelance writer. She strongly believes in the concept of holistic wellness through healthy and natural living, travelling and immersing one’s self in new activities. A self-proclaimed health enthusiast, she hopes to inspire more people to take action on their health and mental well-being with the use of natural treatments.