The scientists at the Bhavnagar Government Medical College’s Department of Pharmacology (Gujarat state, India) conducted a study where they compared the impact of Prozac (fluoxetine) and turmeric (curcumin). According to the controlled and randomized clinical research, it was established that turmeric is as effective in the treatment of major depressive disorder as Prozac. The treatment involving turmeric was devoid of any harmful side effects which are many times seen in the case of use of Prozac.
The goal of the study the comparison of the effectives and safety of curcumin against fluoxetine (Prozac) in patients suffering from major depressive disorder or MDD. 60 of those patients were positively diagnosed for MDD. The researchers randomized the patients in 1-1-1 ratio for 6 weeks. The treatment was observer masked and used 1000mg curcumin, 20mg fluoxetine and the combination of both.
The primary variable for measuring the effectiveness of the treatment was response rates based on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale 17-item version or HAM-D17. Another secondary effectiveness variable was to examine the mean change in the HAM-D17 rate after completion of 6 weeks.
Turmeric is part of the rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant belonging to the ginger family. It is widely known as a common spice in the Indian cuisine. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric. It is well known for its medicinal properties. It has potent antioxidant properties, and anti-inflammatory benefits. It also has strong antiviral, antibacterial, and antitumor benefits.
Indians have been using turmeric for remedying many disorders of the liver and stomach. You can also use it topically for healing sores because of its antimicrobial benefits.
The Findings of the Study
The researchers found that all the patients tolerated curcumin without any issues. They found that the response proportion measured under HAM-D17 scale was higher within the combination group (at 77.8 percent) compared to individual groups – 62.5 percent for curcumin and 64.7 percent for fluoxetine group.
But the data was not of much significant from a statistical perspective (P=.58). The mean alteration in the HAM-D17 score on completion of 6 weeks was similar in all the 3 groups at P=.77.
So the researchers concluded with clinical evidence that turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin, could be used as a safe and effective modality for treating patients suffering from MDD without worrying about concurrent suicidal ideation and other forms of psychotic disorders.
It was the first study to be published that used controlled and randomized clinical trial. It shows the effectiveness of curcumin (in turmeric) for the treatment of serious depression.
The researchers came with results that showed that turmeric has same effectiveness as in Prozac or it could be even more effective compared to the other drugs available for treating depression. Interestingly, the study didn’t focus on any of the side effects of Prozac.
Earlier research has already shown that Prozac is capable of causing suicidal ideation and possibly other psychotic disorders. But these side effects were not found when the patients were given turmeric treatment.
Besides, using turmeric for treating depression was found to be safer and much less strenuous to the patients’ bodies against the use of other pharmaceutical drugs. It is concluded that this was because of the differences between natural and synthetic treatments.
The market for anti-depressants generates more than $12 billion in profits every year. It is likely to grow to $13.5 billion in the next 3 years. Such medications actually cover up the symptoms rather than curing depressions, causing you to rely on them for your entire life.
It is more reasonable in terms of costs and actual cure if you use natural treatments along with an overall holistic approach to evaluate your diet, lifestyle and the underlying cause behind depression. Always remember that the pharmaceutical industry is in the business of making money.
There are more and more clinical evidences which are showing that natural treatments are effective and safer for different illnesses, disorders and diseases. More people should take advantage of them now.
Source: Collective Evolution