Curcumin—an active component of the spice turmeric—appears to have antidepressant qualities.
In fact, curcumin was shown in a recent study to be as effective as the antidepressant medication fluoxetine (Prozac) in patients with major depressive disorder. Patients who took 1,000 millgrams (mg) of curcumin per day fared as well as those who took 20 mg of fluoxetine. Curcumin was also well tolerated, and the study authors concluded that it was effective and safe.
Lead author Ajay Goel, PhD, said curcumin may also help alleviate short-term mood issues. He added that the spice’s anti-inflammatory properties make it a good choice for everyone.
“Efficacy and Safety of Curcumin in Major Depressive Disorder” by J. Sanmukhani et al., Phytother Res, 7/13
“Nature’s Prozac,” Prevention, 1/14