The yellow spice Turmeric is hot stuff in science (actually, it doesn’t taste hot at all), and a recent test of its mood boosting potential shows it might be very helpful for people who suffer from depression.
To put turmeric to the test researchers gave a group of people suffering from serious depression either turmeric (500 mg twice daily of a high-strength extract) or a placebo for 8 weeks. The extract was very high in curcumin, one of the active compounds in turmeric and what gives it its unmistakable yellow colour.
When the study results came in they found the yellow spice had a notable anti-depressant effect. From weeks 4 to 8 the turmeric extract was significantly more effective than placebo in improving several mood-related symptoms including depression, anxiety, cognition and overall mood.
The scientists involved in the study think that the effects of turmeric might be due to its well-known and powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Although the old theory is that depression is due to scrambled chemicals like serotonin in your brain, newer research indicates that inflammation might be what’s scrambling your neurotransmitters, which could explain why turmeric worked.