Turmeric effective in treating depression.

tumericA new study has demonstrated that turmeric, (a spice), is effective in dealing with major depressive orders. Scientists at the Department of Pharmacology of Government Medical College in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, India compared the effects of turmeric and Prozac.

Prozac is one of the most heavily prescribed anti-depressants but has serious side effects including suicidal ideation in young people.

Turmeric is derived from a plant related to the ginger family and is most commonly used as a spice for seasoning food. The active ingredient, curcumin, is known to have a wide range of medical benefits including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-tumour, antibacterial, and antiviral actions.

The study observed 60 patients with major depressive disorder and over a six week period 20 mg of Prozac or 1000 mg of curcumin was provided to patients individually or in combination in a randomized manner on a 1:1:1 basis. To determine the effectiveness of each treatment, the Hamilton Depression scale was utilized.

The researchers noted that curcumin was well tolerated by all the study participants and that this study provided the first clinical evidence that curcumin provides a safe and effective alternative to ant-depressant medication.


Sanmukhani J, Satodia V, Trivedi J, Patel T, Tiwari D, Panchal B, Goel A, Tripathi CB. Efficacy and Safety of Curcumin in Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial.Phytother Res. 2013 Jul 6. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5025..

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