It’s no secret that plants and herbs have been used in the treatment of physical ailments for thousands of years including mental health. From St. John’s wort to Kava kava, there’s a long list of herbal remedies for nearly everything that ails you.
Due to many consumers having no luck with traditional medications in treating depression or even worse experiencing adverse reactions, many people have started turning to the ancient practice of homeopathic remedies. There may be one staple spice sitting in your pantry right now that could possibly be more effective at treating depression than Prozac.
The aromatic powder, turmeric, which is derived from the ginger family is now becoming increasingly popular with patients interested in a more natural way of handling one the most common mental health issues. Before we discuss how using turmeric for depression may be better than filling a prescription let’s talk about what this popular spice is.
What is turmeric?
Native to Indonesia and Southern India, turmeric has been cultivated for over five thousand years. It’s generally used in curries and is bright yellow in colour, which gives mustard its intense complexion. Turmeric has also been used throughout history as an anti-inflammatory, textile dye and condiment.
Study of Turmeric versus Prozac in treating depression.
Research done at the Department of Pharmacology, Government Medical College in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, India, involved studying the effectiveness of turmeric on patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder.
Turmeric was compared against Prozac or fluoxetine in 60 patients. After a six-week treatment phase they found that after having been assessed using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, each group was comparable in success regarding a decrease in their major depression.
While this was a relatively small study it provides the first evidence that utilizing turmeric for depression could possibly be used as a safe treatment for many patients.
Why turmeric for depression over pharmaceutical drugs?
The market for anti-depressants is expected to reach annual profits over 13 billion dollars by 2018. Traditionally medications created in a lab for such mental illness such as major depressive disorder only mask the symptoms and create what is often a life long dependency in patients.
If you had the choice to choose less invasive techniques in the management of depression such as, therapy, lifestyle and diet changes and couple that with the use of natural herbs instead of chemicals created in a lab, imagine the possibilities.
Of course noting the large sum of money in in the above mentioned paragraph, the pharmaceutical industry is a business first and foremost and you should keep that in mind when looking ahead to how soon you could be seeing more traditional methods of treating and possibly curing depressive episodes with herbs such as turmeric.
Supplements such as these are not regulated by the FDA although some manufacturers do require their products to undergo rigorous testing for efficacy and product quality. It’s always important to remember to discuss any medical changes with your physician and certainly any pharmacological changes you may be thinking about.
Additional benefits of turmeric for the body
- Cancer prevention
- Regulation of digestive health
- Promoting a healthy heart
- Treatment of Alzheimer’s and possible prevention
- Cholesterol and Diabetic benefits
In conclusion, you will start seeing a growing number of evidence suggesting that natural treatments are much more safe and effective and you are encouraged to keep apprised of all the new information coming out concerning these ground-breaking studies.
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