I think the next trending herb will be turmeric (Curcuma longa) or curcumin the principal curcuminoid derived from the spice turmeric. In fact, I rarely hear about turmeric and more often hear about curcumin. Just look at #curcumin and see how many tweets there are! It seems to be popping up everywhere these days from golden milk recipes to studies looking at a diverse group of diseases. Below there are three studies highlighting curcumin and PMS, cardiovascular disease and depression. The main action of turmeric is anti-inflammatory, and as many diseases have inflammation at their core, it has many possible applications. As seen in this review inflammation is part of all these diseases.
These diseases include Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, cerebral injury, CVDs, cancer, allergy, asthma, bronchitis, colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, renal ischemia, psoriasis, diabetes, obesity, depression, fatigue, and AIDS.
I favour using whole herbs so a delicious way to consume turmeric is in Golden Milk. There are plenty, of Golden Milk recipes on the web, and most combine a healthy fat such as coconut oil or milk with black pepper and honey. Curcuma is hard to absorb, but absorption is increased by consuming with black pepper with it. A healthy fat also helps increase absorption.
Most women experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS) at their reproductive age. PMS is a combination of psychological, physical and behavioral changes that interfere with familial communication and social activities. This research was a clinical trial, double-blinded study. After having identified persons suffering from PMS, participants were randomly allocated to placebo (n=35) and curcumin (n=35) groups. Then each participant received two capsules daily for seven days before menstruation and for three days after menstruation for three successive cycles and they recorded severity of the symptoms by daily record questionnaire. The baseline level of PMS symptoms of before intervention did not differ between groups. While after three consecutive cycles treatment with curcumin, total severity of PMS score had reduced from 102.06±39.64 to 42.47±16.37 (mean change: 59.59) and in Placebo, total severity of PMS score changed from 106.06±44.12 to 91.60±43.56 (mean change: 14.45). Our results for the first time showed a potential advantageous effect of curcumin in attenuating severity of PMS symptoms, which were probably mediated by modulation of neurotransmitters and anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin.
Numerous interventional studies in clinical and preclinical setting stated that intake of curcumin may provide protection against cardiovascular disease. The aim of this trial was an investigation of curcumin efficiency on some cardiovascular risk factors in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). A total of 33 patients with CAD who fulfilled inclusion and exclusion criteria were entered the study. Patients were randomly assigned to receive curcumin or placebo, 500 mg capsules, four times daily for 8 weeks. Lipid profile, blood glucose and high sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) levels were analyzed at baseline and two months after treatment. Serum levels of triglycerides , LDL-cholestero) and VLDL-cholesterol significantly decreased in the curcumin group compared to baseline, without significant changes in total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, blood glucose and hs-CRP levels. In all mentioned laboratory parameters, the significant difference was not detected between curcumin and placebo. Although curcumin improved some of lipid profile components, it did not show an appreciable effect on inflammatory markers in patients with CAD. Therefore, more detailed assessment of metabolic effects or anti-inflammatory activities of curcumin need to perform by an extensive human study.
J Affect Disord. 2014;167:368-75.
Curcumin for the treatment of major depression: a randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled study.
Stay up-to-date with studies that have an impact on your practice. Subscribe to Galen’s Watch: Journal Watch for Complementary Health Practitioners.