The health benefits of turmeric are only just now reaching the modern western world in many ways. It is only within the past decade or so that medical researchers across the EU and N. America have been examining something that Asia has known for millennia… Turmeric is great for treating a lot of ailments.
Turmeric has been known to react to physical aches, pains, and chronic issues. It can reduce inflammation, regulate blood pressure, and help with a whole host of other bodily problems. But, how does it stack up when it comes to treating some not so obvious health related issues? Can turmeric be used to treat anxiety?
What is Anxiety?
For many, anxiety is something that is very often difficult or impossible to define. It is a mental battle that millions around the world face regularly, if not every single day. It causes racing heart rates, heavy sweats, feelings of intense dread and panic, the list goes on. But, what exactly is anxiety at its core?
Anxiety is an emotional response to certain situational triggers. All of us can feel it, even those who don’t suffer from generalized anxiety disorders. You may feel anxious about your first day at a new job, or perhaps anxious about a first date. These are completely normal and don’t need to be worried about too much.
The real issue with anxiety arises when it begins to persist and manifest regularly over seemingly innocuous triggers. Those who suffer from anxiety disorders can find themselves feeling a deep sense of panic and anxiousness for no reason whatsoever. This is the mind’s fight or flight response being flipped by deep memories of past trauma, chemical imbalances, or subconscious triggers being perceived.
This is the type of anxiety that researchers aim to test and treat with natural compounds in turmeric.
Treating Anxiety With Turmeric
Turmeric itself is a plant that is part of the curcuma longa family (the same family as ginger). It is rich in vitamins and other healthy compounds that make ingesting it not only delicious, but beneficial. The most crucial of these compounds is Curcumin.
Curcumin is the compound that medical research has found carries the most benefits for treating health related issues--both physical and mental. It is the study of Curcumin ingestion that has led to incredible revelations about anxiety treatment.
You see, research shows that Curcumin helps to increase levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. These are both hormone compounds that deal with the mind’s ability to perceive happiness, alertness, joy, engagement, etc,. These are essentially the ‘feel good’ chemicals that the brain produces daily.
When levels of dopamine and serotonin are down, feelings of depression and anxiety will begin to rise. So it shows that raising these levels in the brain can reduce anxiety and depression drastically.
Similar studies have also shown that Curcumin can help to protect the brain from harmful anxiety causing sulfates. These are compounds that can be found in various foods, and raise toxicity levels in the brain that hamper brain function. These sulfate preservatives are hard to avoid, but protecting yourself against them can actually be done with Curcumin.
The evidence for how effective Curcumin is in treating anxiety is pretty overwhelming. In fact, there is actually research to show that turmeric Curcumin might be more effective than Prozac when treating anxiety and depression symptoms. This is pretty incredible to believe when you consider how easily Curcumin can be administered into the system daily.
So, the evidence is all there. Anxiety is something that many of us face daily and have to struggle through with harsh antidepressants. But, there is a chance that turmeric Curcumin could relieve a lot of these symptoms through regular ingestion.
How to Dose Turmeric for Anxiety
When it comes time to try and dose out your turmeric Curcumin, you have to understand the difference between the compounds. Turmeric itself is the actual plant ground into powder form. Curcmin is the compound which exists naturally within the plant. This is important to know before you begin taking your turmeric supplements or adding turmeric powder into your diet.
Most clinical trials referenced for turmeric and anxiety tested Curcumin doses between 250mg-1,000mg. This was proven to be safe and effective to take daily for extended periods of time (4-6 week periods).
It is important to note that only about 3% of turmeric powder is Curcumin by volume. So if you take 1,000mg of turmeric powder, you are only dosing about 30mg of Curcumin. However, Curcumin supplements will generally contain between 150-250mg of Curcumin per capsule.
It’s always important to consult a physician before you introduce any new compound into your daily diet. This is because there can always be a risk of negative side effects even with a natural compound like turmeric Curcumin. Once you have been approved by a medical professional, you can begin taking turmeric Curcumin as advised.
It is important to remember that it is wise to start out small, and work upward. Start with 150mg of Curcumin per day and see how you feel after several weeks. If there is no noticeable change, increase the dosage by 50-100mg until you reach the spot where you feel it helping.
Anxiety is a monster that rages inside, and one that no one deserves to face alone. Treating anxiety and depression can feel like a losing battle, but centuries old methods have once again proven beneficial. Turmeric Curcumin may not be a miracle cure, but it is helpful in suppressing feelings of anxiety. That alone is pretty amazing.