Study finds curcumin, the main polyphenol in turmeric, as effective as Prozac in treating depression
A recent study published in Phytotherapy Research shows that curcumin, the main polyphenol in turmeric, is as at least as effective as fluoxetine (Prozac) in treating depression.
Not only can it help ease symptoms of depression, but it does so safely, without the potential to cause suicidal thoughts, weight gain and even changes in blood pressure and heart rate that can lead to shock and death — some of the many side effects which have been linked to Prozac.
The study, conducted by researchers from the Department of Pharmacology at the Government Medical College in Bhavnagar, India, assessed groups of people who took curcumin capsules and Prozac, either individually or combined. Twenty people took 500 mg curcumin capsules twice daily, 20 took 20 mg of Prozac daily, and the remaining 20 people took a combination of the two. The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, a questionnaire designed to gauge the severity of a person’s depression level, was given to assess any changes in mood among the individuals who participated in this study.
The importance of turning to natural methods instead of prescribed drugs
The findings showed that curcumin worked just as well as Prozac, acting as the “first clinical evidence that curcumin may be used as an effective and safe modality for treatment in patients with MDD without concurrent suicidal ideation or other psychotic disorders.” MDD stands for “Major Depressive Disorder.”
Although experts are quick to point out that such findings are preliminary and are not meant to necessarily become a substitute for drugs approved by the FDA, many people are hesitant to trust FDA suggestions due to admissions from the agency that negatively impact health. For example, through the years, the FDA has admitted that chicken meat sold in the U.S. contains arsenic, and more recently, has come forward with statements that some acne products can actually be fatal.
Other health benefits of turmeric, plus a healthy turmeric tea recipe
Therefore, turning to natural alternatives to help heal is often a choice made by those seeking to improve or maintain their health. Turmeric, which is a part of the ginger family, has been known to help aid conditions that range from acne and clogged arteries to improving inflammation-related ailments, depression and insomnia.
To enjoy these benefits, a tea made with curcumin can help. By boiling 1/4 cup of grated fresh turmeric root (or 1 tablespoon ground turmeric) with 2 tablespoons of grated fresh ginger root in 4 cups of water, a healthy turmeric tea that serves four people can easily be prepared. Add lemon or a natural sweetener if preferred.