PTSD & Turmeric, the healthy antidepressants?
Being British, there is nothing more we love than a good old curry. The thought of it brings feelings of warmth, cosy, comfort food. We all have “Go to” comfort food, no matter what our nationality is, but for me, if I had the choice on a cold, damp evening, it would be curry whether it be a Korma or a Tikka Masala. But what if there was more to it?
Research shows there is. It is a simple ingredient called “Turmeric” or Curcumin. It is now documented that this simple fragment spice can work better than Prozac and there have been studies carried out to prove it.
There was study on rats carried out by Glenne Schafe, PhD, a psychology professor at Hunter College in New York City. He created a diet for the rats which was rich in turmeric, creating the Pavlovian test. Rats were introduced to a test which instilled fear, however when the rats ate the turmeric filled food, it was found that is suppressed their fear.
“We showed that rats freely fed a diet enriched with curcumin have impaired encoding of fear memories,” Schafe said. “We also showed that rats with a pre-existing fear memory can lose that memory when it is recalled while they are eating a curcumin-enriched diet.”
As survivors, who have been left with traumatic memories or flashbacks this can mean a world of difference! It shows that the memories of our past events can be lessened to a degree by impairing the “Fear memory”
It has also been shown that Turmeric can boost neurotransmitters of serotonin and dopamine in our brains. Prozac can boost these too, but which would you prefer? Prozac or a natural spice?
Researchers from the Government Medical College (Bhavnagar, Gujarat, India) published the results of the first study. They took 60 volunteers with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) to partake in the study, half of the group was given Fluoxetine (Prozac), the other half Turmeric. It was discovered that the curcuminoid in Turmeric was just as effective but without the side effects!
Don’t think of it as a new spice either, in Medieval England they called it Indian Saffron and used it to dye clothes yellow, little realizing it medicinal, therapeutic effects as not only a booster to help us feel less stressed and happy, but it also helps with diabetes. It is an anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. It kills bladder and lung cancer cells, detoxifies your liver, lowers cholesterol, improves cognitive thinking, and helps increase your life span. It has some amazing healing properties and it all comes from the rhizome (rootstock) of the Curmuma Longa plant with its chemical compound, curcumin. There have been several peer-reviewed scientific articles published about its effectiveness.
We are all busy through the day and don’t always have the time to throw a curry together on an evening after a long hard day at work but we can still fit it into our daily routine. In the UK, when we make chicken salad, chicken in mayonnaise for a sandwich, we throw in some Turmeric in the mayo as we mix it up and Viola! Coronation Chicken sandwich. Or it can be taken as a herbal supplement.
One website, which I completely love and adore is iHerb! They stock all kinds of wonderful herbs, spices and supplements. The prices are low and they give back to you too for being a loyal shopper, as well as helping out with charities. They share the love of what they offer.
You can find their Turmeric supplements, just click here.
Popcorn tossed in turmeric
So next time you are feeling depressed, down, feeling anxious and need a boost, reach out for Turmeric. It’s like a little hug in a warm spice…
(NB: I hope you like the iHerb website, I do not receive any payments or endorsements etc from the company)