Mental health disorders are often treated with harmful drugs with a myriad of dangerous side effects. Studies show that you can look to your kitchen instead of the pharmacy to ease symptoms of depression and anxiety safely and effectively.
Mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression affect over 40 million American adults – almost 18% of the population. Unfortunately, conventional medicine’s first line of defense is often to treat mental illness with a pill. But these pharmaceuticals have been proven time and time again to have some seriously dangerous and long-term health consequences. Thankfully, nature once more is proving that a pharmaceutical isn’t always the best approach. Instead, three common kitchen condiments/ herbs and spices are emerging as promising phytotherapies for some of the most debilitating mental health issues plaguing so many today.
Often the root cause of mental illness such as anxiety and depression can be attributed to physiological factors in the body such as inflammation or to nutrient deficiencies or even to hormonal imbalances. Luckily, we can often turn to our own kitchen when it comes to these issues and use food as medicine to rebalance our systems, reduce inflammation and nourish our body and in turn, our mind.
Curcumin – the active component of turmeric – continues to prove itself as a standout herb when it comes to benefiting our health including our mental health. In a randomized controlled trial curcumin was compared against a popular antidepressant for efficacy in people with major depressive disorder. The study provided clinical evidence that curcumin may be used as an effective and safe treatment for those suffering from depression. Another study involving 108 male adults compared those taking an antidepressant plus a placebo to those taking an antidepressant plus 1000mg of curcumin. The curcumin group showed a significant decrease in cortisol and inflammation – key players in mental health disease – as well as depression rating scores. The study concluded that curcumin might have the potential to reverse the development of depression and enhance the outcome of antidepressant treatment in major depressive disorder. Additionally, in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 56 individuals with major depressive disorder were treated with curcumin (500 mg twice daily) or a placebo for 8 weeks. From weeks 4 – 8 curcumin was significantly more effective than the placebo in improving several mood-related symptoms…