Turmeric is a plant that is commonly ground up to make a spice frequently found in curries and other flavorful foods. While it is delicious and flavorful, you might be wondering how a spice can help depression. We reviewed various scientific studies and articles and broke down the benefits of turmeric and what they mean for depression.
What is Depression?
Before we answer how turmeric can help depression, it’s important first to understand what depression is. While many people associate depression with just feeling sad, there are actually numerous symptoms that someone with depression can experience. According to the American Psychiatric Association, depression is an illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Symptoms of depression include feeling sad, loss of interest in things you once enjoyed, changes in appetite, sleep issues, fatigue, feeling worthless or guilty, or thoughts of death. While depression is a serious illness, it is treatable, and turmeric is an option for helping those experiencing depression.
A Little More About Turmeric
Turmeric is a well-known and widely used anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, and more studies are being conducted on its benefits every day. The compounds found in turmeric are called curcuminoids, and curcumin is the most beneficial of these curcuminoids. Curcumin is the curcuminoid most highly linked to helping with mental health, including depression.
Turmeric is also full of vitamins including vitamin B6 and vitamin C. Vitamin B6 is essential for your immune system, nervous system, and metabolism. Vitamin C helps to boost your immune system, supports brain function, and helps to regulate your mood.
Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties help reduce swelling in the body, ease joint pain, heal bruises quicker, and help speed up recovery time after workouts.
To learn more about turmeric and its long history, you can read our blog post here.
How does Turmeric Help Depression?
According to a study conducted by the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore, the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at the Monash University in Australia, and the National University Hospital in Singapore, curcumin — the powerful curcuminoid found in turmeric — has been proven to alleviate symptoms of depression. In the study, they reviewed six clinical trials where curcumin was compared against a placebo taken by patients with depression. They found no adverse reactions to consuming the curcumin and noted that “curcumin appears to be safe, well-tolerated, and efficacious among depressed patients.
Another study, conducted by the Department of Pharmacology at the Government Medical College in India, found clinical evidence that shows curcumin can be used as a safe and effective treatment in patients with major depressive disorder.
Additionally, there are recent studies that have linked chronic inflammation to depression. Although it is unclear if one causes the other, it has become clear that chronic inflammation and depression exacerbate each other. Because of the anti-inflammatory properties found in turmeric, it can help treat chronic inflammation and lessen the ongoing impact chronic inflammation has on depression.
As research comes out about turmeric and curcumin, we’re excited to learn more about the benefits of turmeric on not only physical health but mental health as well. Interested in experiencing these benefits for yourself? Head over to our store and try out our non-GMO, maximum strength, turmeric curcumin supplement!