Curcumin may work as well as antidepressants according to a study which found that curcumin, commonly found in the Indian spice turmeric worked as efficiently as antidepressants such as Prozac.

The study by Baylor University looked at participants divided into three groups. One of the groups took 500mg of curcumin twice daily, the second group took a standard dose of Prozac and the third was given a combination of both.

After the six week period, curcumin was found to have relieved many of the symptoms of depression, just as effectively as Prozac.

Researcher Dr Ajay Goel, M.D., Director of Epigenetics and Cancer Prevention at Baylor University said of the study, “It was a surprise to us to see that curcumin actually worked as well as the antidepressant.”

What Makes Curcumin So Effective?

Curcumin has many anti-inflammatory properties and one of them is its ability to enhance the formation of new brain cells and increase overall levels of serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline in the brain.

Curcumin is a much safer alternative to drugs like Prozac that come with various negative side effects,  some of which may include anything from suicidal thoughts to digestive problems. By comparison, no similar side effects of curcumin have been discovered.

The study highlights the importance of curcumin in treating various illnesses because of the role it plays in relieving inflammation in the body which can be a major contributor to diseases.

Study Source: Phytotherapy Research: Efficacy and safety of curcumin in major depressive disorder: a randomized controlled trial.