Turmeric can stimulate serotonin and dopamine production in the brain. The two hormones are linked with emotional well-being in humans. The bioactive compound curcumin found in turmeric helps treat anxiety by boosting serotonin and dopamine levels naturally. Research suggests that turmeric may be more effective than some antidepressants for treating anxiety and depression.
There is a correlation between inflammation and stress-related disorders like anxiety and depression. In anxiety patients, an increased level of cytokines aggravates neuroinflammation, impairing brain functions that can lead to the development of depression.
Turmeric is effective in mild as well as a major depressive disorder. Read on to learn how turmeric works for anxiety.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is your natural response to stress that causes increased alertness, fear, worry, and physical signs like increased heart rate, and rapid breathing. It is estimated that around 284 million people worldwide suffer from an anxiety disorder in 2017.
The stressful situation in your life may trigger anxiety. The most common situation that may trigger anxiety is the death of a family member, work stress, and financial worry. Also, people with certain personality types are more prone to anxiety disorders. If you have a family history of anxiety or depression, you may be at a higher risk of developing anxiety.
Also, anxiety can worsen the symptoms of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Parkinson’s. To prevent the outcomes of anxiety, curcumin appears to be well-tolerated, and a promising treatment option for all the age groups.
Turmeric and Anxiety
The results of the recent research show that curcumin could be a potential treatment for mood disorders, especially anxiety. Acute stress present in panic disorders can cause high levels of inflammation in anxiety. Also, chronic inflammatory diseases like psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis can influence people’s quality of life leading to anxiety and depression. Curcumin helps relieve symptoms of anxiety by reducing inflammation.
Studies show that turmeric decreases levels of inflammatory interleukin 1β, tumor necrosis factor α. It also increases plasma neurotrophic factor levels and decreases salivary cortisol concentrations which are vital for treating inflammation related to anxiety.
Free radicals can cause inflammation in humans. While curcumin neutralizes excess free radicals in the body to protect against cell damage, they also reduce inflammation by reducing oxidative stress.
Turmeric’s anti-anxiety effects are due to its ability to normalize psychological pathways. Turmeric is good for treating anxiety, it can help improve your sleep, mood, and overall mental health.
Turmeric for Anxiety: What the Scientific Research Says
Turmeric has a long history of medicinal use. Research on exploring the anti-anxiety properties of turmeric is exponentially hopeful.
According to a review study of six clinical trials on 377 people with anxiety and depression, curcumin appears to be a safe and effective treatment option.
A study on using curcumin on its own or with saffron found that different doses of the combination were effective in reducing anxiolytic symptoms in people with major depressive disorder.
Same results were found in two different studies that looked into the efficacy and safety of curcumin for anxiety in major depressive disorder. Curcumin showed potential anti-anxiety and antidepressant activity in both the studies.
In another study that looked at using curcumin alongside prescription, antidepressants revealed that curcumin could help antidepressants work better.
DHA is essential for the brain’s function. Studies have found that curcumin increases DHA synthesis from alpha-Linolenic acid (ALA). Giving curcumin and ALA together can reduce anxiety symptoms.
These findings indicate that curcumin can reverse the development of anxiety, and enhance the results of antidepressant treatment in major anxiety disorders.
How to Use Turmeric for Anxiety
Turmeric is a potent antidepressant that could be used as a mainstream anxiety treatment. People with anxiety must take curcumin for at least 4 weeks to notice its effect on mood and behavioural changes. They can either take curcumin supplement or add it to their meals.
A variety of turmeric supplements are available in the local food store, health store, and online stores. Turmeric supplements mostly contain a high concentration of curcumin (up to 95%). Avoid buying a turmeric supplement that has less than 95% curcumin. A higher concentration of curcumin is necessary for therapeutic use, otherwise, it will not exhibit anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and other therapeutic properties required for medicinal use.
While taking a turmeric supplement, make sure to check its bioavailability. Curcumin extracted from raw turmeric is less bioavailable, which means it does not dissolve in water easily. Due to poor bioavailability, curcumin is not fully absorbed by the intestinal gut.
To overcome the poor bioavailability of curcumin, buy self-nano emulsifying curcumin that easily dissolves in the lipid system and converts into an emulsion in the stomach. This helps in complete dissolution and rapid absorption of the curcumin in the gut and lets you experience its full effect.
SNEC30 curcumin products come in capsules, oral gel, and drops. Visit the SNEC30 website to buy high-quality curcumin products.
Add Turmeric to Your Meal
Indians have been using turmeric in their food for centuries. In northern India, it is commonly called Haldi, which is derived from the Sanskrit word haridra. In Southern India, it is called manjal.
You can enjoy the benefits of turmeric for anxiety by adding it to your meals. Make turmeric tea, turmeric smoothie, add it to your curry, and, soup and consume every day for optimal benefits. However, you must know that natural turmeric contains a very low percentage of curcumin (only 2-3% of the weight). A higher concentration of curcumin is required to see the therapeutic effects of turmeric.
Turmeric Dosages for Anxiety
500 mg of curcumin twice a day is a standard dose of turmeric for anxiety treatment. For best results, take turmeric for at least 12 weeks.
According to neurochemical analysis, 20-80 mg/kg curcumin dose is effective for increasing serotonin (5-HT) levels and dopamine level.
How Long Should You Take Turmeric for Anxiety to See Results?
Under the supervision of an Ayurvedic doctor, you should take turmeric for at least 4 weeks to see results in anxiety. Most likely, you won’t see improvements in mood and behaviour right from the first day of taking curcumin. The regular build-up of turmeric in your body will help your brain boost up serotonin and dopamine levels. It will also lower stress hormones like cortisol and bring psychological pathways to a balanced state.
Why You Should Use Curcumin for Anxiety?
Antidepressants are supposed to correct the chemical imbalance in the brain responsible for anxiety. Surveys indicate that the success rate of current anxiety treatment is only 20-40%. Often anxiety treatments are long-term and associated with multiple side-effects including weight gain, insomnia, and loss of memory.
Compared to other medications, curcumin is safe and has no adverse side effects even at higher dosages. It can also be used in combination with existing medications.
Turmeric may serve as a potential complementary treatment for anxiety and other neurological disorders. It can delay the onset of various neurodegenerative disorders. Curcumin can influence multiple biological mechanisms linked to anxiety. It can modulate monoaminergic action which is important for regulating neurotransmitters like dopamine, and serotonin.
Turmeric helps with anxiety by protecting brain neurons as well as improves its ability to form new neural pathways in the brain. It can be used orally, topically, and as an add-on therapy, which is one of the most sought benefits of using turmeric for anxiety.
If you are dealing with anxiety, curcumin might help you stabilize mood and perceive the quality of life.