Print Friendly and PDF

Study: Turmeric more Effective than Prozac at Treating Depression

Elizabeth Renter
July 24th, 2013
Updated 05/07/2014 at 7:11 pm
Pin It

turmeric powder 263x164 Study: Turmeric more Effective than Prozac at Treating DepressionIt’s common knowledge in the natural health world that pharmaceuticals often (if not always) do more harm than good. It’s also clear that foods, herbs, and other natural sources can offer similar benefits without those nasty side effects. Once again, our beliefs have been affirmed by science: A recent study published in Phytotherapy Research says that not only is turmeric effective at treating depression, it may even be more effective than some of the most common anti-depressant drugs currently on the market.

While previous studies have indicated the effectiveness of turmeric (curcumin) in treating serious depression, this study was the first randomized controlled clinical trial of its kind.

Researchers with the Department of Pharmacology of Government Medical College in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, India compared the effects of turmeric and Prozac (fluoxetine), both used together and individually, in 60 patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD).

According to, the researchers used the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale to measure their results:

“We observed that curcumin was well tolerated by all the patients. The proportion of responders as measured by the HAM-D17 scale was higher in the combination group (77.8%) than in the fluoxetine [Prozac] (64.7%) and the curcumin (62.5%) groups; however, these data were not statistically significant (P = 0.58). Interestingly, the mean change in HAM-D17 score at the end of six weeks was comparable in all three groups (P = 0.77). This study provides first clinical evidence that curcumin may be used as an effective and safe modality for treatment in patients with MDD without concurrent suicidal ideation or other psychotic disorders.”

While reading the researchers conclusions indicates one treatment (turmeric) is equally effective as Prozac, it doesn’t account for the negative effects of Prozac, which boost turmeric’s value considerably. Prozac is known to cause “suicidal ideation or other psychotic disorders,” frightening side effects that are clearly absent in turmeric use.

Related Read: 5 Natural Solutions for Preventing Depression

In addition to fighting depression, the bright yellow root commonly used in Indian cooking known as turmeric has been found to have numerous health benefits. In addition to this enlightening research on its efficacy in depression treatment, we know it also has value in the treatment of inflammatory conditions, diabetes, and even cancer. If that isn’t enough, it’s also been shown effective in aiding in weight loss and cutting heart disease risk. Plus, it tastes amazing.

Anti-depressant medications are some of the biggest of Big Pharma’s many big money-makers. Equipped with knowledge like the findings of this most recent study, consumers have the potential to undermine their goal of drugging America and the world.

From around the web:

  • LFB

    Apparently any discussion of factual data, with accurate and correctly stated "significance" of results as reported, in the Phytotherapy Research article when it identifies clearly the author has intentionally misrepresented the findings of that study, since my prior comment had been removed, no doubt for pointing out misleading and a few completely false statements by the writer of the above article.
    The highest standards of accurate, factually based information should be adhered to when writing articles on health related matters, particularly so when citing results from a published study.. What is written has to be what the study findings reported, not what the writer "wishes" or "believes" the findings should be.

  • Elizabeth

    As we do at Cloud Forest Botanicals in Panama, you can grate fresh turmeric root and then make a tincture out of it using 150% sugar cane alcohol. A standard dosage of this mix, after it has properly aged and cured, is 15 drops, 3-4 x daily. It relieves arthritis pain, aids in digestive problems and now, it would seem, may help to balance brain chemistry and alleviate depression. Our tinctures are extra potent and organic. Shop for similar roots and make your own. Walmart capsules are NOT potent.

  • shelu

    The article starts by saying:

    “It’s common knowledge in the natural health world that pharmaceuticals often (if not always) do more harm than good. It’s also clear that foods, herbs, and other natural sources can offer similar benefits without those nasty side effects”


    I myself don’t take any allopathic medicine and am a natural health freak. But starting your article with false, dogmatic statements means you are preaching to the converted and even then only the ones who don’t think at all for themselves.

    Anyone who genuinely believes that natural medicines have NO side effects and that they all work better than pharmaceuticals is sadly misguided.

  • clovis

    Thanks to share.

  • Kate

    And remember, for turmeric to be effectively assimilated it must be accompanied by Black Pepper

  • Ben

    The data from the cited study showed NO SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE between tumeric and fluoxetine. It DID NOT show that one was any better than the other. The study had 20 patients in each group and was therefore likely underpowered to prove anything. There was no placebo group.

    • Deborah

      The reason it was BETTER was because the Tumeric had NO SIDE EFFECTS and the Prozac had a lot of side effects for the same amount of relief.

  • J.T.

    Many folks have discovered first-hand that, by switching from fast foods and microwave dinners to fresh whole foods they prepare themselves, they realize a marked and quite rapid increase in their overall health — energy, proper weight, mood, skin/hair/nails, etc. Why should supplemental foods like turmeric be any different? If I were going to try replacing my pharmaceutical antidepressant with turmeric, I don't think I would see the desired results from capsules bought at Wal-Mart. :)

  • Ar Wkd

    If you go to the researchers' own article, they say the difference was NOT statistically significant, meaning that turmeric is NOT more effective at increasing a patients' SELF REPORTED SCORE of PERCEPTION of major depressive disorder when compared to patients' self reported scores before and after taking a prescriptive drug that has changed the lives of many people with MDD, which is a real, biologically based disorder that leads to self harm and suicide. This is not science. This is what happens when people throw cyan pepper in their eyes and then squint really hard at science.

    • Mike

      I wonder who ar works for?

      • CaptainObvious

        Are you serious? He is referring to information that is literally IN THE ARTICLE. Does that make him a Big Pharma shill?


    • Deathtosmurfs

      Of course. What else would you expect from a bunch of shit-for-brains air headed new age morons?

    • miguel

      BUT if … the product is as good as fluoxetine what would you take?

    • miguel

      BUT if … the product is as good as fluoxetine what would you take? It is clear that if it works …. it works. The source is reliable Ar … how can you miss the point so badly???

  • Superman lol

    I get my fresh tumeric root at the local indian store. I shave a lil
    to add to my salads or add it to my superman tonic i drink before
    bed. My theory is i want my body to soak it all up while i rest. I had
    a lot of success w protein shakes doin it this way. I dont have any
    problem sleepin so it works for me. When its not in season, i get
    the dried root, hard as nails. I put it in the blender n make my
    own powder. Then i put that in the fridge. I use just a half tsp
    at a time. Dont buy the ready-made powder in the bag or jar,
    tons of fillers, chemicals, drying agents, yuck. Fresh ginger
    root has similar properties, do the same w ginger. Both are
    strong, u only need a lil or ull overpower the taste.

  • r yankevicz

    life extension offers a turmeric that is very bio-available meaning it is absorbed better.

  • Rattz

    1000 mg per the study link

  • Tori Rodriguez

    Good stuff! But it would be helpful to indicate a suggested dose, or frequency and amount used in the study.

  • laura

    How much do you take? :) Thanks