Antidepressant medication comes with a host of unwanted side effects.
From sexual dysfunction to weight gain, there are real costs to these drugs.
And while they work in some, they don’t work for everyone so you might end up trying several, getting all the negative side effects, but no relief.
So, what if there was something in your spice cabinet that might be effective, without the side effects?
Curcumin was found to be as effective as the prescription drug Prozac in a recent randomized trial.
The study called: Efficacy and Safety of Curcumin in Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial opens up a new natural way to combat depression.
The study participants were divided into three groups. Those who received two doses of 500 mg of Curcumin (twice a day), those who got 20 mg of Prozac and those who got both.
The results were the Curcumin recipients got the same benefit as far as depression relief as the Prozac with no side effects.
It was also tested against the antidepressant Tofranil and the results were the same.
The study authors indicated that curcumin’s antidepressant-like activity could be due to an increase in serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine levels in the brain.
A third study has now been done. As reported in the August 2015 issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, another randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial conducted at Tianjin Anding Hospital in China investigated the effects of supplementing antidepressants with curcumin.
The authors wrote: “These findings indicate the potential benefits of… curcumin to reverse the development of depression and enhance the outcome of antidepressant treatments in major depressive disorder.”
The herb seems to relieve oxidative stress and is well known as an anti-inflammatory.
While it has been used as herbal medicine in India for centuries, the first double-blind test was done in 2012, and the results seem to keep getting better.
It doesn’t get much publicity because there is no money in promoting an herb which can’t be patented.
The nice thing about using curcumin is it can be used as a standalone treatment or be used in conjunction with existing medicine without any known negative side effects.
Curcumin is derived from the herb turmeric, but turmeric only contains 5-10% curcumin, but finding curcumin extracts that are 95% pure are not that difficult to find.
IS INFLAMMATION THE CAUSE OF DEPRESSION?
In light of the 2012 study showing the effect of curcumin’s ability to help alleviate severe depression, scientists have been studying the effect of inflammation on the brain and are wondering if it is the cause of the epidemic of depression.
New research is showing the Standard American Diet with emphasis on carbs and use of sugar (including high fructose corn syrup) seems to increase inflammatory markers in the blood, including increasing triglycerides.
The Keto diet has been shown to decrease inflammation in the body in a significant way. More studies are needed to see if it would also help with depression.
But curcumin is shown to be just about as effective as the prescription drug Prozac at alleviating major depression.
Major depression is the 4th leading cause of disability in the world. Its costs are huge in the loss of individual potential in education, relationships and income.
It may be worth discussing with your doctor trying curcumin alone or supplementing your current medicines with this powerful herb.