Inflammation and Depression

Depression has been linked recently in article and studies to inflammation. A recent study Curcumin for the treatment of major depression: a randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled study. looked at the effects of curcumin (500 mg twice daily) or placebo for 8 weeks on individuals with major depressive disorder. There was some positive results in favour of curcumin, enough to warrant further investigation. Another study Curcumin and major depression: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial investigating the potential of peripheral biomarkers to predict treatment response and antidepressant mechanisms of change looked at the same dosage of curcumin and found ‘ that curcumin supplementation influences several biomarkers that may be associated with its antidepressant mechanisms of action.’ Could curcumin in conjunction with an anti-inflammatory diet produce a better effect? Dr Weil thinks that is a convincing idea.  It is also intersting to me that St. John’s Wort which has shown some effect on mild depression but is vastly over marketed for it, has always been thought of as a nerve anti-inflammatory, healing to heal nerve injury and reduce pain. Jim McDonald talks about it in treatment of back pain and nerves…

Like Black Cohosh, Saint John’s Wort has been labeled an “herbal antidepressant” and few people know that it is an incredible remedy for injured nerves.  Saint John’s Wort seems to effectively restore the function of injured nerves, whether the injury has impaired their function (causing numbness, tingling and impaired sensation) or induced excessive reactivity (shooting and searing pains along the length of a nerve, as in sciatica, which it is specific for).  Saint John’s Wort not only helps to resolve the pain of nerve injuries, and probably the inflammation as well, but it also appears to build up and restore damaged or poorly functioning nerve cells to proper function; what herbalists call a trophorestorative.  Saint John’s Wort helps to relax muscles as well, though its actions on the nerves remedy predominate.  5-15 drop doses are effective, more can be taken if needed.  External applications of an infused oil can also be astoundingly in their effect.  Dried Saint John’s Wort loses much of its virtues however; look for preparations made from the fresh plant. Read more here.

And if you think St. John’s Wort is the depression herb than listen to David Winston (min. 1:15)

Here are a couple more of articles looking at depression and inflammation.

Is Depression a Disease—or a Symptom of Inflammation? By Chris Kresser
Depression’s Dance With Inflammation By Carina Storrs

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