Turmeric May Be the Natural Alternative To Depression Medications

Turmeric May Be the Natural Alternative To Depression Medications
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Within the last 20 years the effectiveness of turmeric in treating depression has been suggested through multiple clinical studies. As a holistic alternative to potentially dangerous and addictive medications such as Prozac, this breakthrough calls for additional research into the natural treatment of mental health.

When compared to turmeric, Prozac seems like a much less viable option. Prozac can actually increase the likeliness of suicidal thoughts, birth defects in pregnant women, sexual dysfunction, weight gain, insomnia and a plethora of other negative side effects.


There is evidence in clinical tests that the active ingredients in turmeric has alleviated stress and depression within test animals, but human testing still needs a firm grounding. Considering the fact that many people ingest the spice daily, testing is far less dangerous than it would be with chemically processed drugs.

Turmeric is anti-aging, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory super spice. Turmeric is a member of the ginger family. Known as “The Queen of Spices”, it can be found in many Indian dishes for its wonderful pepper-like flavor and golden color. It has been around for centuries in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to treat a wide variety of health problems, going from pain control to fighting cancer.

The research

The core medicinal component in turmeric is the curcumin, a major active ingredient which yields several health benefits. Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties pair with prevention of cancer, Alzheimer’s and chronic disease among several other key benefits.

The focus here, however, is on curcumin’s ability to fight depression. A 2006 study done by the School of Basic Medical Science at Peking University was inspired by earlier tests that showed the antidepressant effects of curcumin.


The study concludes that there are multiple ways in which “chronically stressed animals, and by extension humans”, with stress-related depression can benefit from turmeric’s main active ingredient.

Furthermore, a 2009 study published in the Scientific World Journal suggests that curcumin can stimulate the release of serotonin and dopamine (both essential chemicals for positive mental health). The study concludes that “a need for clinical trials in order to explore the antidepressant efficacy and safety profile of curcumin is emphasized.”

A 2014 study done by Dr Adrian Lopresti from the School of Psychology and Exercise Science studied the effects of curcumin on 56 volunteers with a major depressive disorder. Half were treated with a patented curcumin extract (500mg twice daily) and the other half took a placebo for eight weeks. Dr Lopresti found that curcumin was significantly more effective than the placebo in improving several mood-related symptoms in the volunteers.


According to Dr Lopresti, previous studies had found strong links between inflammation in the body and depression and that curcumin influenced several biological mechanisms including inflammation, so this study suggest that depression can be treated with a substance that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and that depression is not all about brain chemicals such as serotonin.

Dangers of Depression Medication

With patients that take antidepressants, about 30% remain unaffected and the remaining patients are never fully freed of their ailment, not to mention the wealth of negative side effects and lethal potential when combined with certain foods and other drugs.

Considering the billions of dollars pumped into the global antidepressant trade in recent years, it’s no wonder holistic treatment such as turmeric have fallen under the bus. The plant rhizome and common kitchen spice has been used for health much longer than modern treatments, about 4000 years, and remains a staple in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine.


Hopefully future studies will reveal greater insight to natural treatment of depression, a mental health burden that is estimated to be the second most common illness among humans within the next couple of years.

What you can do

Dr. Andrew Weil recommends that if you want to try turmeric or curcumin supplements to see if they help improve mood, you should look for products standardized for 95% curcuminoids that also contain piperine or black pepper extract to improve turmeric absorption. Follow the dosage instructions on labels, however be aware that you shouldn’t use turmeric if you have gallstones or bile duct dysfunction, and pregnant women shouldn’t use it without their doctors’ approval. Also if you take other medications, you should consult with your doctor to make sure the turmeric supplement don’t interfere with other medications you take.

To learn more about the healing properties of turmeric and about 12 other reasons to ass it to your diet read our other post: 12 Reasons You Should Eat More Turmeric – Including Golden Milk Recipe to Treat Many Ailments. Also read my article how to optimize turmeric absorption so you can enjoy its maximum health benefits.

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One Response to Turmeric May Be the Natural Alternative To Depression Medications

  1. Joseph says:

    Is there anyone who can recommend where to get it and under what brand. My issue is that I don’t trust any ole bottle that says “Tumeric.” It could be yellow baking flour for all I know. How do I find a trustworthy source. And please don’t comment unless you have proof….as in…you’ve seen the manufacturing process with your own eyes.

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