Make a Herbal Remedy Using Turmeric to Help with Depression

Edited by Nerissa Avisado, Robbi, Lynn, Marian Raquel F. Roncesvalles and 5 others

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Depression has become a serious worldwide mental health issue, affecting more than 300 million people of all ages. This disorder is one of the leading causes of disability, and has a significant impact on both the global health situation, and the day-to-day lives of very real individuals and families.

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The usual intervention for depression today is a combination of psychotherapy, psychosocial support, and medication. Both psychotherapy and medications are very expensive ways to deal with depression. In countries where most of the population lives below the poverty line, both of these modern medical therapies are financially not feasible. What do you do if conventional treatment for depression is unavailable due to finances? It doesn't take being poor to be unable to afford treatment. Many people are living on a tight budget that doesn't include the expense of treating mental illness. The truth is, all kinds of people suffer from this disorder, from all cultures and income brackets - depression does not discriminate. Regardless of your ability to treat depression, it's a disorder that requires treatment from the symptoms that often render individuals immobilized by extreme sadness.

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Apart from people who can't afford psychotherapy and medication, there are many people suffering from depression who will not, or should not take certain drugs. Special care is needed when administering antidepressants to people who are already on other medications. Some antidepressants, for example, are contraindicated for people with glaucoma.

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A good alternative to the conventional medication for depression, is turmeric. A simple herbal remedy using turmeric is nontoxic, inexpensive, practical and easy to make. Additionally, there are no known side effects from use of this humble root, that has a long history of effective traditional medicinal use.

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Facts About Turmeric

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Turmeric is a time-honored herbal remedy for a host of health conditions. Use of turmeric has been recorded for 4000 years.

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    Turmeric is mentioned in Hindu Sanskrit under more than 50 names including jayanti (one that prevails over disease), jawarantika (that which treats fevers), and rabhangavasa (that which dissolves fat)
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  2. 2
    In addition to what this ancient text reveals, turmeric has been shown in a scientific study to possess much value as a treatment for depression.
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  3. 3
    Turmeric contains a polyphenol known as curcumin, which has been initially tested and confirmed as an effective treatment for serious depression.
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  4. 4
    In a study, patients suffering from extreme depression were given measured doses of curcumin, and the tests revealed the results were more favorable than those who received standard antidepressants
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  5. 5
    An important discovery in this study also revealed that patients on curcumin did not exhibit psychotic disorders, or thoughts of suicide the way patients on fluoxetine often did.
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Turmeric Tisane As A Home Remedy For Depression

A cheap and safe home remedy for depression can be made with turmeric. If you or a loved one suffers from depression, it's a treatment definitely worth trying. You can prepare an herbal tea or a tisane (and herbal tea specifically brewed for medicinal properties), and drink a cup of it three to four times a day. If you drink coffee, try to use your turmeric concoction as a substitute and lower your caffeine consumption.

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Ingredients For Your Tisane If Using Powder:

  • 8 cups distilled water
  • 3 tablespoons pure turmeric powder or 1 1/2 cups peeled and sliced fresh turmeric
  • 2 cup distilled water (if using fresh turmeric)

Procedure (powdered turmeric):

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  1. 1
    Bring 8 cups water to a rolling boil.
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  2. 2
    Add turmeric powder and reduce the temperature to a slow simmer for 12 minutes.
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  3. 3
    Allow tisane to cool
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  4. 4
    Strain through a fine muslin cloth
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  5. 5
    Store in clean dry glass jar and refrigerate.
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Procedure (fresh turmeric):

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  1. 1
    Put on latex-free food grade gloves.
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  2. 2
    Peel and finely slice turmeric until you have 2 cups.
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  3. 3
    Bring 10 cups of water to a rolling boil
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  4. 4
    Throw in turmeric slices and let simmer slowly for 15 - 18 minutes.
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  5. 5
    Allow tisane to cool
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  6. 6
    Strain through a fine muslin cloth
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  7. 7
    Store in clean dry glass jar and refrigerate.
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To Use The Tisane:

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    Take 6 ounces of the tisane.
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  2. 2
    Add as much hot or cold water as you need until it's the right strength for you.
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  3. 3
    Flavor your tea with lemon or lime and honey.
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  4. 4
    Drink at least three servings daily
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  5. 5
    Note
    :
    You can flavor and dilute as you like, but each serving or dose must contain six ounces of the original boiled mixture.
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Finding Out If Turmeric Works For You

It's good to be self-aware when embarking on any herbal therapies. If after starting the turmeric therapy, you begin to feel better - like a fog is lifting, just this alone will inspire and energize you.

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One way you can keep track of how the tisane is working, is to keep a daily journal of your moods. Here's how you can organize your journal:

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  1. 1
    Make an entry at the same time every morning, and every evening.
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  2. 2
    Assign yourself a "blues" scale - perhaps 1-10 - ten being the most happy, 1 being the most sad.
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  3. 3
    Do this twice a day, and add any incidents when you experience a low point.
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  4. 4
    Estimate how long the feeling lasted
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  5. 5
    If you know what triggered the depressive episode (e.g
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    I was sitting in my kitchen and I saw all the dishes in the sink), include that information.
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  6. 6
    Take note of how and when the depression started to lift.
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The clinical trials devoted to the use of turmeric as an antidepressant took six weeks to complete. Perhaps it would be a good idea to consider six weeks the trial period for your home remedy as well.

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Where To Get Turmeric

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If you use powdered turmeric, you won't have any difficulty getting it from an Asian grocery store or online. A pound of this in a plastic jar should cost less than $20. If you buy fresh turmeric, it will cost you less than $10 a pound, but you may need more than a pound to come up with 1 ½ cups of the sliced root. The fresher the turmeric, the heavier it is. However, the potency of the curcumin is maintained, even when the plant is not recently harvested.

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Grow Your Own Supply Of Turmeric

As herbs and spices go, turmeric is not cheap, even if you use the powder. You can actually grow your own turmeric if your climate is warm enough. To find out if you have the weather conditions necessary for growing turmeric, consult the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to see if you live in an area designated as Zone 9 or warmer.

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  1. 1
    Prepare your "seedlings"
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    When you buy turmeric for planting, buy roots that look old with a lot of lines and protrusions.  
    1. Place them in a cool, dry place. Some growers just leave them in a basket, loosely covered with a crumbled paper towel while some just leave them in the open.
    2. Whichever way you choose to go, make sure the roots do not get damp.
    3. In about two to three weeks, the knobs will start to sprout. When they do, turn the rhizomes so the sprouts are on top. Wait until the sprouts are about an inch tall.
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  2. 2
    Prepare your soil
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    You will need well-drained, rich, sandy loam for your plants. If you are thinking of planting your turmeric in a container, you will need one that is at least 15 inches deep.
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    Cut the fingers of the rhizomes to so that each sprout is separated from the others
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    Plant the sprouts in a starter box with loosely packed soil.
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  4. 4
    When the sprouts are about two to three inches tall, transfer them to the pot you've prepared
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    You'll need to water the plants so that they are moist, but not overly damp. Well-drained soil is crucial for growing turmeric so make sure your pot is not waterlogged.
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  5. 5
    For the first week, keep your turmeric shaded with a net or cloth
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    After that, the plant should be hardy enough to be fully exposed. Turmeric does well in full sun or partial shade.
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  6. 6
    Fertilize regularly and water as needed
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    During the winter months, reduce the watering to once a week or less. Basically, once the plants are well rooted, they don't need a lot of care.
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  7. 7
    You can begin harvesting your turmeric 8-10 months after you have transplanted them into the large pot
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    At around this time, some plants seem to shed their leaves. If the rhizomes are mature enough, you can begin to harvest.
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  8. 8
    If you don't want to go through the trouble of starting seedlings all over again, you can adopt the traditional practice of just cutting off a portion of the root as needed and leaving the plant alone
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    In many cases new growth will start from the old plant- the plant just continues to renew itself.
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Tips And Things To Remember

  • One of the oldest uses of turmeric is as a dye. Turmeric will stain your hands, your clothes, and any absorbent surface.
  • Use gloves when working with fresh turmeric to avoid getting stained hands.
  • Fresh turmeric has a stronger, lemony flavor than powdered turmeric. Decide which taste appeals to you more when you make your tea.
  • If you're planting your own turmeric, it's best to use pots you can easily move around, should the weather become too cold.
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Questions and Answers

How does turmeric help with depression?

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A recent clinical study involving 60 patients suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD) was carried out to test and compare the efficacy of Prozac to that of an alternative treatment using curcuma longa, more commonly known as turmeric. This trial lasted for six weeks, and the amazing results concluded that the polyphenol component in turmeric, known as curcumin, is more effective and much safer than either fluoxetine or Prozac. Previously, a clinical test was performed on laboratory rats with turmeric, which generated the same beneficial results in reversing the depressive state in stressed rats. This was dismissed as insufficient until this human trial was done.

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Aside from combating depression, turmeric, with its antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, is also used for a wide range of medicinal and therapeutic ailments, such as for the treatment of obesity, acne, inflammation, colds, pain, fever, arthritis, cancer, liver cirrhosis, heartburn, abdominal distention, mouth sores, leprosy, diabetes, jaundice, and various cardiovascular diseases. Furthermore, turmeric has been found to have minimal side effects in contrast to Prozac, which is known to trigger psychotic behavior and promote suicidal thoughts. This powerful Asian herb is also being used for the treatment of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

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Having successfully passed a human clinical trial, turmeric is now believed a better alternative or substitute for Prozac. Turmeric, this famous culinary Indian spice, found in most cereals, butter, mustard, curry, and other yellow dishes, is FDA-approved and a legally recognized ingredient by health and food experts which makes it safe for daily human consumption. Turmeric is an herbal spice that has been widely used in ancient Indian and Chinese medicine for the treatment of variety of illnesses which includes manic-depression, anxiety, hypochondriac pain, and stress.

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Depression is thought to be primarily caused by the lack of regeneration in the nerve cells, and the damage to neurons caused by stress. Here are some reasons how and why turmeric aids in combating depression:

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  • Enhance Neurogenesis. The increased nerve generation improves and restores full cognitive functioning in patients with depressive symptoms. This is also shown to reverse damage in the hippocampus often aggravated by stress.
  • Increases Dopamine Levels. This becomes apparent once the dosage of turmeric is increased. Dopamine is linked to significant brain responses such as emotional processes and movement.
  • Improves Serotonin Levels. Serotonin is a form of neurotransmitter that controls certain behavioral and cognitive processes such as sleep, learning, sexual desire, memory, and mood deviations. A boost in serotonin levels works to regulate and manage severe depression in patients.
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Further clinical studies are needed to evaluate and increase the absorption level of curcumin in the body. Its absorption is said to be quite slow and is enhanced with the integration of Piperine. Further, curcumin administered with other antidepressant drugs, becomes even more potent and powerful than when taken on its own. Curcumin, as a new treatment modality, has a synergistic value that can enhance and increase the potency and efficacy level of other antidepressant medications.

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Hi, I am very depressed. What is the best vitamin or brand name?

Hi, I am very depressed. What are the best vitamins or brand name for depression?

You will want a supplement with a high value of Curcumin from the Tumeric. Stay away from over the counter drug store pharmacy vitamins and instead go to a store that specializes completely in herbal supplements. There they even have tinctures which are absorbed better and faster than a pill. Avoid the temptation to just buy powdered turmeric from your spice aisle. You should also consider making a tea out of fresh turmeric and drinking it daily in addition to the supplements.

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What is an effective treatment for depression?

I am 55. I got depression when I was 17. My mood is always low. I have tried: I used many anti-depression drugs. Now I'm using Paroxetine (20 mg daily) I think it was caused by: I was 17 when my father died then I started feeling alone hopeless and weak.

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There are many instances in where anti-depression medications are only effective in conjunction with therapy. There is nothing wrong with going to therapy. The process can be quite painful but you will have better success at happiness once you learn better coping skills and resolve the feelings from your father's death. Consider natural treatments for PTSD. Your father's death when you were a teenager could have caused a time of PTSD. Here are a few articles that can assist you further:

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My son doesn't talk sometimes for the whole day. He eats ,sleeps and goes to work, but hardly communicates>

My son doesn't talk, although he eats, sleeps well, goes to the gym regularly, and works. What's wrong with him? I have tried: I am giving him Turmeric milk at night. I think it was caused by: No idea

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Welcome to parenting an adult male. I just had a conversation very much like your question with my best friend. Her son is now 20 years old and barely speaks to her. The good news is that your son is going to work, has an appetite, is sleeping normally, and works out. His time spent at the gym helps with his natural endorphins. How to have a Good Relationship with your Child is a VisiHow article. Although the article is geared towards younger children, the advice still applies. Suggest an activity that you are both interested in. Take a leap and ask to go to the gym with him a few times. Show an interest in his favorite music artists. Find anything you can to bond with him as an adult. The good news is that this cone of silence changes dramatically when an adult has children. It is almost like immediately they realize what you have gone through as a parent to them.

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If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please post in the comments section below.

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Categories : Physical Health

Recent edits by: Maria, fazal, Eng

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