In a placebo controlled clinical trial that tested curcumin vs. an antidepressant drug, curcumin worked just as well as Prozac. Curcumin matched the drug in alleviating moodiness, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, insomnia, and other depressive symptoms.
Curcumin side effects: Zero.
Prozac side effects: Ever watch a drug commercial on TV!
In addition to the higher risk of dementia for drugs in this category, Prozac’s potential side effects include behavior changes, anxiety, agitation, hostility, hyperactivity, tremors, and insomnia. And — as with most antidepressants — depression may worsen.
A curcumin supplement is the way to go. I also recommend curcumin as a natural anti-inflammatory for my chronic low back pain patients. In the depression study, 500 mg per day was enough to relieve anxiety, moodiness, and other depressive symptoms.
I recommend Xymogen’s Curcuplex tablets. Click the Xymogen link on the home page to order.
Sources: “Spice Extract Relieves Depression Effectively as Drugs: Study” Kathleen Walter, Nick Tate, Newsmax Health, 10/18/13
Without the risk of serious side effects, herbal supplements containing extracts of passionflower or kava and combinations of [amino acids] L-lysine and L-arginine are treatments for anxiety symptoms and disorders.
Magnesium-containing supplements is also worth a try.
St. John’s wort monotherapy has insufficient evidence for use as an effective anxiolytic treatment.
Source: Nutrition Journal, Oct 7, 2010;9:42. PMID: 20929532, by Lakhan SE, Vieira KF. Global Neuroscience Initiative Foundation, Los Angeles, California, USA.
A study published in The Journal of Intensive Care Medicine concludes that magnesium is critical to long life and good health.
Magnesium deficiency triggers such conditions as: anxiety, diabetes, heart disease, and migraines.
Some experts say [over] half of Americans are deficient in this nutrient and don’t know it.
Benefits of Magnesium
It is responsible for over 300 enzyme reactions and is present in all bodily tissues. It’s a critical component in bones, muscle and brain. And your cells need it to make energy, stabilize membranes, and help muscles relax.
It can fight depression, fatigue, and even kidney disease. And it’s critical to many essential bodily functions. It has important relationships to heart health. It helps dilate blood vessels, prevents spasms in the heart muscle and blood vessel walls, fights the action of calcium, which increases spasms, helps dissolve blood clots, acts as an antioxidant against free radical formation.
Sources of Magnesium
Good sources include almonds, cashews, walnuts, shrimp, green drinks, and leafy green vegetables.
I do suggest taking a supplement. While the recommended daily amount is about 300 mg a day, most of us get less than 200 mg. Most people could benefit from as much as 400 to 1,000 mg a day.
Another good option is taking Epsom salts. Taking a hot bath in Espom salts (magnesium sulfate) helps reduce stress and allows easy absorption of magnesium.
Magnesium citrate, glycinate taurate, and aspartate are the most easy to absorb. Caution against magnesium carbonate, sulfate, gluconate, and oxide because they are more difficult to absorb.
I you have diabetes, heart disease, or migraines, I also recommend taking the UltraInflamX 360 shakes. These provide magesium and other natural ingredients to decrease inflammation.
I don’t care about what you have heard or read lately, these are the facts about these herbal supplements:
Echinacea has “Good scientific evidence for this use”:
- Prevention of upper respiratory tract infections (adults and children)
- Treatment of upper respiratory tract infections (adults)
St. John’s wort has “Strong scientific evidence” for treating “mild-to-moderate depressive disorder.”
Chamomile extract was better than placebo in reducing anxiety.
Milk thistle is effective in interfering with the life cycle of the hepatitis C virus.
Ginkgo biloba helps treat dementia, relieves claudication (painful legs from clogged arteries), and improves blood flow to the brain to reduce cerebral insufficiency (defined as poor concentration, confusion, absent-mindedness, anxiety, etc.).
Pcynogenol helps for treating asthma, and for relieving chronic venous insufficiency (leg swelling and varicose veins).
Ginseng boosts immune function, lowers blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics, and is a heart healthy antioxidant, which include the reduction of LDL oxidation.
Red yeast rice gets an A for lowering LDL and triglycerides.