Turmeric, derived from the plant Curcuma longa, is a gold-colored spice commonly used in the Indian subcontinent, not only for health care but also for the preservation of food and as a yellow dye for textiles. Curcumin, which gives the yellow color to turmeric, was first isolated almost two centuries ago, and its structure as diferuloylmethane was determined in 1910. Since the time of Ayurveda (1900 Bc) numerous therapeutic activities have been assigned to turmeric for a wide variety of diseases and conditions, including those of the skin, pulmonary, and gastrointestinal systems, aches, pains, wounds, sprains, and liver disorders. Extensive research within the last half century has proven that most of these activities, once associated with turmeric, are due to curcumin. Curcumin has been shown to exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer activities and thus has a potential against various malignant diseases, diabetes, allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and other chronic illnesses.
Curcumin has shown some promise in treating depression. In a controlled trial, 60 patients were randomized into three groups. One group took prozac, another group took a gram of curcumin and the third group took both prozac and curcumin. After 6 weeks, curcumin had led to improvements that were similar to prozac. The group that took both prozac and curcumin fared best. According to this (small) study, curcumin is as effective as an antidepressant. Depression is also linked to reduced levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and a shrinking hippocampus, a brain area with a role in learning and memory. Curcumin boosts BNDF levels, potentially reversing some of these changes. There is also some evidence that curcumin can boost the brain neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00213-008-1300-y http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014299905006230 https://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2009/624894/abs/
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) (sometimes tumeric) is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. It is native to the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia