Turmeric For Depression & Anxiety: Is Curcumin A Good Antidepressant
The prestigious Curcuma longa root is one of the most beneficial medicinal herbs of our time. This member of the ginger family contains turmeric, a robust rhizome with numerous healing properties.
Widely used in southern Thai and Indian cuisine, turmeric is now getting recognition as more than just a kitchen spice. But, does turmeric help with depression, anxiety, and stress relief?
Depression And Neuroplasticity Curcumin And Neuroprotection
The 1990s witnessed the rise of the neurotrophic hypothesis of depression, which associated chronic stress and depression with a deficit in BDNF and demonstrated that traditional antidepressants increased BDNF expression . Hence, by the early 2000s, studies progressively exhibited increasing evidence of the presence of cellular atrophy and neuronal death in major depressive disorder. Studies also showed increased growth factor levels associated with antidepressant therapies such as physical exercise , antidepressants , electroconvulsive therapy , or lithium . This supports the hypothesis that the neurotrophic effects of antidepressants account for their efficacy in treating MDD, with some authors even viewing BDNF as an essential determinant of antidepressant efficacy .
We have already underlined the neuroprotective effect that curcumin could exert via its inhibition of inflammatory pathways and the mitigation of glutamate excitotoxicity . This is particularly illustrated by a study conducted by Choi et al. in which curcumin administration permitted an improvement of the depressive behavior induced by chronic unpredictable stress in mice alongside reduced hippocampal neuronal cell death, attenuated long-term depression, increase in BDNF, and COX-2 inhibition, suggesting neuroprotection via anti-inflammatory effects. Curcumin can also exert neuroprotective effects by stimulating the production of neurotrophic factors, especially BDNF.
Benefits Of Turmeric / Curcumin For Anxiety Dosage & Precautions
Anxiety refers to a group of disorders that interfere with an individuals ability to function and hinders their daily routine.
It is characterized by feelings of stress, restlessness, and tiredness which build up over time and can be detrimental to their lifestyle.
It can damage their relationships, progress at work and ability to focus on a task at hand.
Some forms of anxiety disorder are panic attacks and social phobia, wherein the person avoids interacting with people for fear of being judged or rejected.
Although it is often confused with the feeling of anxiousness, anxiety is a long-term mental illness that is far more impactful on a person affected by it.
Treatment usually involves therapy and medication in some cases.
Curcumin is a naturally yellow compound which is a critical component of the spice, turmeric.
It has been used throughout history as it is believed to display excellent healing properties.
It was one of the core ingredients of many Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines.
Scientists have gained interest in its use as a pharmacological agent as it regulates cell signals and aids several disease conditions.
It could also be used to treat mental illnesses due to its ability to relieve stress while boosting neural signals.
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Anthonys Organic Turmeric Root Powder
Turmeric is traditional Asian medicine and cooking spice that has been valued for its healing properties for thousands of years. Anthonys Organic Turmeric Powder is a powerhouse of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It has an intense aroma and fantastic taste.
Curcumin is the primary active compound in turmeric root. For people with anxiety who have automatic negative thoughts, curcumin has been shown to help alleviate the symptoms. Anthonys Turmeric powder has no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives.
What About Curcuminis It Valuable For Your Health
Curcumin extract or supplements from turmeric have been shown to be very effective for overall inflammation, hay fever, depression , Alzheimers, anxiety, heart disease, lowering cholesterol, psoriasis, lowering blood sugar, joint pain from rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohns disease, and cancer.
Curcumin can be valuable for most any health issue related to inflammation in the body. If you do suffer from inflammation, you can start your day off with this turmeric & lemon morning elixir. An interesting way to get a couple more superfoods into your daily diet, and fight inflammation in your body
Although there are plenty of beneficial side effects of turmeric, there are some adverse side effects of turmeric/curcumin that need to be considered as well.
Lets take a look at a few of the most common negative symptoms associated with this super spice ingredient.
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How To Use Turmeric For Anxiety
On the basis of the current research results, there is a definite scope of including turmeric in the mainstream treatment protocol for anxiety and depression.
Nevertheless, you should inform your doctor if you are planning to introduce turmeric as a self-medication or herbal option for anxiety or depression.
It is totally unwise to consider turmeric as a substitute for the antidepressants prescribed by your doctor.
Study #: Curcumin Reduces Symptoms Of Mood Disorders
A double-blind placebo study recruited 56 individuals with major depression. It was led by Adrian Lopresti, Ph.D. at Murdoch University Australia, and published in 2014 in the Journal of Affective Disorders.
Over a period of 8 weeks, the study participants received a high-quality extract containing turmerics main compound curcumin.
The results showed a significant reduction in symptoms of depression. However, even more impressively in this context, participants also saw their anxiety levels reduce.
Turmeric for anxiety Loprestis team concluded:
Curcumins positive antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects are likely due to its ability to normalize specific physiological pathways. It appears to elevate neurotransmitters such as serotonin while lowering stress hormones, such as cortisol and is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Curcumin also provides protection to the brain.
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Turmeric Ameliorates Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder
It is found to increase the level of antioxidant enzymes and thereby can also help in reducing relapse of such depressive episodes.
Apart from that curcumins ability to balance neurotransmitters, reduce inflammation and improve antioxidant defenses benefits in bipolar disorder.
Can Food Help Anxiety
Lets face it, stress-induced anxiety is common. Living in a high-pressure society with never-ending to-do lists, tight deadlines, and not enough hours in the day can trigger a lot of angst. Luckily, your diet can help. Research suggests that there is a connection between the foods we eat and our mood, and there is data to suggest the need to focus on nutrient-dense whole foods to help keep us feeling more calm and less anxious.
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Depression Can Be Extreme
Theres something called the cognitive triad of depression in psychology that was proposed by Aaron Beck, an American psychiatrist and a professor emeritus in the department of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, way back in 1976. Its a state where three depressive feelings intersect – feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, and not being valued. Such individuals often view themselves as not loved, stranded, ruined or lacking. They tend to relate their unsavoury experiences to their physical, mental and moral shortcomings. They tend to feel unreasonably guilt-ridden, and start believing that they are valueless, blamable and excluded. They get into a state where they are unable to view themselves as individuals who can succeed and be recognised. This further leads to withdrawal and loneliness, which further worsens the mood.
Each one of us has suffered from such negative feelings at some point of time, perhaps, the levels may have varied from person to person. Here the importance lies in recognising these feelings in oneself and taking corrective measures before these intensify to an extent where people are compelled to even take the ultimate step.
According to the World Health Organisation , depression is a highly prevalent disorder affecting more than 350 million people of all ages across the world.
How To Choose And Use Turmeric Essential Oil
Turmeric essential oil is available in health stores and online and is very affordable! Dont be deceived by the size of the bottle turmeric essential oil is very potent, and a little goes a long way.
Look for a turmeric essential oil that is CO2-extracted, which means its extracted with as little heat as possible. CO2 extraction also doesnt involve using any chemicals like hexane or ethanol.
If youre making homemade aromatherapy products, its helpful to know that turmeric essential oil blends nicely with ginger, cinnamon, blood orange, grapefruit, ylang ylang, vanilla and cardamom essential oils.
- For stress relief and aromatherapy: diffuse or inhale two to three drops of turmeric essential oil.
- For skin: Add one to two drops of turmeric oil to face washes, skin lotions, serums and face masks for an added antiseptic and anti-inflammatory boost. And remember that it can also help with hyper-pigmentation of the skin.
- For external use, including inflammation and pain relief: create a massage oil by diluting five drops of turmeric essential oil with five drops of a carrier oil and apply it to areas of concern.
- For internal use: Only very high-quality oil brands should be used internally, which means a USDA-certified organic turmeric oil that is 100 percent pure and therapeutic grade. Add one drop of turmeric essential oil to water or mix one drop of turmeric oil with a teaspoon of honey or a smoothie. This is an easy alternative to taking turmeric oil capsules.
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Turmeric Combats Anxiety & Stress
Various animal studies mentioned above have depicted curcumins efficacy in reducing stress and anxiety.
One of the principal action is regulating various neurotransmitters, followed by protecting brain cells and protecting cognition and memory.
In other words, curcumin not only works as an anxiolytic but also as a cognitive enhancer.
A study published in Phytotherapy Research, 2015 showed that adding the curcuminoid-piperine combination to standard antidepressant therapy resulted in a significant reduction in anxiety and depression in major depressive disorder.
Incorporate It In Your Meals
Adding turmeric powder into your meals can be one of the easiest ways of taking turmeric.
Cooking with turmeric may not be as effective as oral curcumin supplements.
Besides, the amount of curcumin present is never labeled on most of the commercially available kitchen turmeric powder so it is difficult to ascertain the exact amount to be added for maximum benefits.
Yet, if you chance upon high-curcumin turmeric, you can add one teaspoon of it to enjoy optimal results.
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Is Turmeric Good For Anxiety And Depression
Curcumins positive antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects are likely due to its ability to normalize specific physiological pathways, says Lopresti. It appears to elevate neurotransmitters such as serotonin, while lowering stress hormones, such as cortisol, and is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
Completely Eliminated My Severe Anxiety Symptoms With Three Supplements
generalized anxiety disorderN-acetyl-glucosamineflaxseed oilturmericTurmeric is not to be confused with curcuminAnti-Anxiety Effects Mechanism of ActionRecent researchBeing “Wired” Related to Anxiety?Update February 2015:Are you still taking these anti-anxiety supplements, and are they still working?Supplement SourceseBay
List of My 29 Anti-Anxiety Supplements N-acetyl-glucosamine Flaxseed oil Turmeric Arginine pyroglutamate Citrulline malate Vinpocetine Vitamin A Taurine Saccharomyces boulardii yeast probiotic Jarro-Dophilus EPS probiotic Inulin Inositol Choline bitartrateProgesterone cream Aloe vera juice Transdermal magnesium cream Horsetail Evening primrose oil Pregnenolone Propolis Curcumin Terminalia chebula Grape seed extract Acetyl-L-carnitine L-carnitine Bacopa monnieri Phosphatidylserine Cetirizineloratadine PiracetamN-acetyl-glucosamineArginine pyroglutamateCitrulline malateInositol Very low dose amisulprideAnti-Anxiety Supplements and Drugs That I Found Also Have Anti-Psychosis Effectsmild psychosisanxiety psychosisandand N-acetyl-glucosamine Amiloride Amisulpride Vitamin C Phosphatidylserine Niacinamide Flaxseed oil N-acetyl-cysteine
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Are There Any Downsides To Using Turmeric For Relaxation
Its fair to ask whether there are any downsides or side effects you should be aware of if you used turmeric as an aid for relaxation.
The most obvious is if you use turmeric as a fix without dealing with the underlying issues. If youre living with ongoing stress, anxiety, or depression, there are plenty of other things you should be doing life style changes, stress management, exercise, getting a checkup, and possibly counseling.
Like anything else you put in your body, there is the possibility for side effects, especially if youre taking a high potency supplement.
While turmeric has been used for centuries in Indian and eastern medical traditions, were still learning about its affects and interactions with other things like medications.
However, turmeric and curcumin is considered safe for most people.
Some people may experience side effects when taking it at higher doses:
- digestive issues
Corticosterone Tryptophan And 5
After the 15 days of rest designed to allow the development of PTSD, corticosterone and tryptophan in the plasma and 5-HT concentration in the brain tissue were assayed according to a previously described procedure . Four rats from experimental group were deeply anesthetized through inhalation with isoflurane and were sacrificed one day after behavioral testing. The plasma was rapidly collected via the abdominal aorta, and the medial prefrontal cortex, amygdala, striatum, and hippocampus were quickly removed from the rat brain in a randomized order. Special care was taken to avoid presacrifice stress and the rats were killed quickly. CORT, TRP, and 5-HT levels were evaluated by a competitive enzyme-linked immunoassays using a TRP antibody , a 5-HT antibody , and a CORT antibody according to the manufacturer’s protocols.
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Measurement Of Sucrose Intake
Intake of sucrose was measured according to a previously described method . Briefly, a sucrose preference test, in which rats were housed in individual cage and given free access to two bottles containing 100 mL water and 100 mL sucrose solution , was performed at 9:00 a.m. After 3 h, the volumes of consumed water and sucrose solution were measured, and the sucrose preference was calculated by the following formula: sucrose preference = sucrose consumption/ × 100 %.
It Has A Gastroprotective Effect
Yadav et. al have documented the gastroprotective action of curcumin. By virtue of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, curcumin reduces inflammation of the gastric lining.
Excessive inflammation and poor diet can contribute to inflammation of the intestine and reduce the permeability of the intestine increasing susceptibility to infections.
Dietary curcumin is found to protect from food pathogens and its anti-inflammatory property can protect stomach health.
Animal study shows that curcumin complex can protect from stress-induced gastric ulcers and also has an antidepressant-like effect.
The gut-brain axis is the communication between the brain and the intestinal functions.
Our appetite is signalled by our brain. Similarly, the bacteria in our gut interact with our brain and disturbance of this bacterial flora indicates why depression presents with gastric symptoms.
Irritable bowel syndrome is a disorder which indicates how emotions and stress factors affect digestion.
A study published in Metabolic Brain Disease,2015 demonstrates that curcumin regulates gut-brain axis in irritable bowel syndrome by increasing the levels of serotonin and BDNF.
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