Study Finds Turmeric Is As Effective As Prozac For Treating Depression

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turmericResearchers with the Department of Pharmacology of Government Medical College in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, India performed a study comparing the effects of turmeric (curcumin) and Prozac (fluoxetine). The randomized and controlled clinical study determined turmeric was as effective as Prozac in treating major depressive disorder. Turmeric treatment was also absent of dangerous side effects often found in Prozac use.

The objectives of the trial was to compare the efficacy and safety of curcumin with fluoxetine (Prozac) in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). The study observed 60 patients diagnosed with MDD. Patients were  randomized in a 1:1:1 ratio for six weeks in an observer-masked treatment using fluoxetine (20 mg) and curcumin (1000 mg) both individually or in combination. To determine the efficacy of each treatment, the main variable used was response rates according to the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, 17-item version (HAM-D17 ). They also employed a second efficacy variable which examined the mean change in HAM-D17 rating after the six week observation period.

Turmeric is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family. The average person may best recognize turmeric as a spice commonly used in Indian cuisine. The active compound curcumin is known to have a wide range of medicinal benefits including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antitumour, antibacterial, and antiviral activities. In India, turmeric has been used for thousands of years as a remedy for stomach and liver ailments. Turmeric can also be used topically to heal sores due to its antimicrobial properties.

According to the study:

We observed that curcumin was well tolerated by all the patients. The proportion of responders as measured by the HAM-D17 scale was higher in the combination group (77.8%) than in the fluoxetine (64.7%) and the curcumin (62.5%) groups; however, these data were not statistically significant (P = 0.58). Interestingly, the mean change in HAM-D17 score at the end of six weeks was comparable in all three groups (P = 0.77). This study provides first clinical evidence that curcumin may be used as an effective and safe modality for treatment in patients with MDD without concurrent suicidal ideation or other psychotic disorders.

This marks the first published study using a randomized and controlled clinical trial which indicates the efficacy of turmeric (curcumin) in treating serious depression. Results show that turmeric is just as effective as Prozac and possibly more effective than other depression drugs on the market. It is important to note the study does not account for the negative effects (side effects) that come with Prozac. Prozac is known to cause suicidal ideation and/or other psychotic disorders, however, these are not present when treating with turmeric. The use of turmeric as a treatment for depression is safer and less taxing on the body when compared to treatment with pharmaceutical drugs. These results are not surprising given the comparison of synthetic treatments vs natural.

The anti-depressant market reaches annual profits of about $12 billion. This number is expected to increase to $13.5 billion by 2018. These medications do not help cure depressions but instead mask symptoms and create a life long reliance on them. Utilizing natural treatments coupled with a holistic approach of assessing lifestyle, diet and the root cause of depression is an approach that is much more effective both in cost and curing patients. It is important to keep in mind that the pharmaceutical industry is a business before anything else. We are seeing a growing body of evidence to suggest natural treatments are much safer and effective when treating a variety of diseases, disorders and illnesses. It’s time they get more attention.


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CE provides a space for free thinkers to explore and discuss new, alternative information and ideas. The goal? Question everything, think differently, spread love and live a joy filled life.

  1. Linda

    It’s great for more than that too. Yum with almost anything, even baked beans, sprinkle on organic cob corn, cereal etc.

    • Joe it seems you are getting the word out as witnessed by the pharma trolls and what I refer to as indoctrinated repeaters. We live in an age where science has been replaced with what is akin to science for hire where stats can be made to say anything. Also used as fear tactics which reroute people back into mainstream medicine for maximum health damage. So much written about this one has to be asleep or part of the medical cult not to see it.Beyond the ‘science” and it’s minions we see turmeric getting great results in a variety of ways, depression being just one. It is no accident that many herbal formulas are using turmeric in their mixture.

      Joe keep up the good work. The people that need this will benefit and the pharma gestapo can pound salt. 😉

  2. waltinseattle

    probably works for similar reason that aspirin works. anti inflamatories both. as is now bring shown…mind is of the body and mind is mostly as hidden to consciousness as are all the cellular comings and goings. new age fluff aside…we are finslly understsnding what shsmans have long suspected…but western rationslism and ego have refused to countenance

  3. Jackie Davidson

    In the studies quoted here how was the turmeric given. How much powdered turmeric is needed to get 1000mg? Daily? Does anyone know? Also does anyone grow turmeric? What climate and soils does it prefer?

    • Kbizzy

      Tumeric contains curcumin, but it is NOT tumeric, curcumin is the topic of interest, tumeric just has a high amount and the easiest/cheapest source of getting curcumin.

      The “black pepper” absorption thing has been debunct as well, sprinklingly black pepper is not the same as consuming peperine to the extent needed to actually produce an “absorption” difference.

    • Rebecca

      1000mg = 1G
      1/4 tsp = 1250mg or 1.25G

      Black pepper increases efficacy

      Not recompense if you have gallstones, bile duct issues, or are being treated for breast cancer. Speak with your care provider for additional information.


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