What You Don’t Know About Curcumin

By: Dr. Deedra Mason

There is little doubt you could answer the question “how did you sleep?” however, few people truly understand the signs and symptoms of emotional decline well enough to answer “how are you feeling?”. Symptoms of ennui, anxiety and even depression are extremely common but, for a number of reasons, are still handled with a high variability of success.  While there are multiple possibilities associated with conventional or pharmaceutical treatments, the first concern expressed by many is the side effects of such a medical approach.  A growing number of individuals are looking for alternatives to a drug approach and are willing to explore the benefits of amino acids, Vitamin D3 and even a superhero in the antioxidant world: curcumin.

Roughly, 10% of the US population, according to the CDC’s numbers on mental-emotional distress, suffer from at least one symptom of depression.  Conventional drug approach is an often only a short-term solution, yet, due to the cyclical nature of depression symptoms, medication is a necessary long-term approach in the absence of an alternative.  Other factors practitioners must consider in treating the whole of their patient are the common concerns of weight gain, insomnia, and appetite associated with conventional therapy.  Select practitioners are finding a space in their practice for adjunctive modalities and lifestyle skills.  More and more practitioners regard lifestyle approaches as essential to the health of an individual over the long run.

Multitudes of botanicals are beneficial for mild symptoms of stress and anxiety but seem to miss the target in chronic complaints or more severe signs of depression.   While several botanicals have been optioned as a substitute for medication, none has the same strength in trial after trial as Curcumin for support in symptoms that are more progressive.

Curcumin is the active constituent from Curcuma longa, also known as turmeric.  For centuries, curcumin has been regarded as a super antioxidant for its ability to support a healthy inflammatory response as well as support a healthy nervous system.  Curcumin has clinical studies to support its use in stress health and depression-like symptoms.

The understanding is turmeric’s ability to reduce end products of inflammation make it a prudent choice for limiting the inflammatory impact on levels of serotonin, noradrenaline and even dopamine.  By limiting end products of inflammation that may travel to the brain, turmeric has proven beneficial in managing symptoms of depression.

Beyond what you have heard about turmeric for pain relief, more and more literature is supporting its benefits in mental-emotional health as well.

 

 

Resources:

  • “Depression.” Available at: www.cdc.gov/features/dsdepression/. Accessed: February 12, 2013.
  • Martins R. Evaluation of the nutritional extract Bio-curcumin (BCM-95) to preserve cognitive functioning in a cohort of mild cognitively impaired (MCI) patients over 12 months. Edith Cowan University. Joondalup, Western Australia.
  • Kulkarni S, Dhir A, Akula KK. Potentials of curcumin as an antidepressant. Scientific World Journal. 2009;9:1233-41.
  • Xu Y, Ku BS, Yao HY, Lin YH, Ma X, Zhang YH, Li XJ. Antidepressant effects