Turmeric and anxiety
Herbal gold that can make you bold
Walking to the podium to deliver a speech and you feel your heart racing! That is anxiety but a little of it is OKAY. A similar feeling occurs when your question papers are distributed in the examination hall or you are heading for an important task. The problem arises when these anxious feelings hamper your day to day activities due to their excessive presence which keeps you consumed completely.
In medical dictionary, anxiety is defined as a feeling of apprehension, stress and fear characterized by physical symptoms of palpitations which are hard, rapid or irregular heartbeats, sweating and may be accompanied with increase in blood pressure and tiredness. When it takes a toll on your life, it forms an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are two of the most common mental disorders, the other being depressive disorder and affected around 3.4% of global population according to the Global Health Estimates of World Health Organisation released in 2017. The number of sufferers has been on rise since then. The group of mental disorders combining to form anxiety disorder include general anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and post traumatic stress disorder. Since the symptoms of anxiety are long lasting, it becomes more of a chronic disorder than an episodic one.
WHO has also ranked anxiety disorders as the sixth largest contributor to non fatal health loss globally. They can occur in combination with depression, eating disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. A multiplex of predisposing factors take charge to initiate an anxiety disorder in a person. They include the family history or the genes for similar disorders, the life events that may have acted as trauma, the brain chemistry and personality. How a person deals with the ongoing tensions and stress in life also defines his probability of getting affected by an anxiety disorder during his life time. An anxiety disorder can be completely detrimental to a life of a person having the capability to damage personal and professional relationships leading to compromise in output on the work front, to hinder the functioning of an individual and cause social isolation.
The scary story hides behind itself a ray of hope that says ANXIETY DISORDERS ARE TREATABLE. Despite the fact, only a small percentage of people seek treatment. Knowing the side effects of the anti anxiety or antipsychotic allopathic medicines which include drowsiness, dizziness, restlessness, weight gain, disturbed gastrointestinal tract and immune system, low blood pressure, blurred vision, seizures, tics and tremors; you do not have to dig much deeper the Ayurvedic reservoir to find a potent herbal alternative. It is right there in your kitchen rack! It is TURMERIC and the catch lies in its CURCUMIN.
Curcumin, the active compound of turmeric has been widely used for medical purposes. It is extracted from the root or rhizome of turmeric. Various modern studies and researches have put an approving stamp on it. While curcumin usage was already widely prevalent, getting it acclaimed by the research projects is a delight. Delving into elaboration of beneficial effects of curcumin in anxiety disorders, the list is as follows:
- CAN BE AS EFFECTIVE AS PROZAC
Since depression co occurs commonly with anxiety disorders, the plan of treatment should also focus on getting rid of it. A commonly prescribed allopathic anti depressant is Prozac. Clinical trials reveal that curcumin can match and even over power the puissance of Prozac in fighting depression. That’s surely good news! When Stresaway Tablets formulated with curcumin and herbs like gotukola, Tulsi, tagar are taken along with the typically prescribed Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) in cases of depression and anxiety, the improvement in patient rises to a new level.
- FENDS OFF COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT
Mental disorders including the anxiety disorders initiate loss of memory, constrain thinking and decision making abilities and curtail logical reasoning, the pure herbal supplement you take thus should be able to halt cognitive impairment completely. That is where curcumin comes into play.
- BALANCES BRAIN CHEMICALS
Curcumin keeps in steadiness the production of serotonin, dopamine and glutamate. Serotonin is a happy chemical and contributes to wellbeing and happiness. The latter are neurotransmitters essential for transmission of signals from one neuron to the other. This action of curcumin is responsible for preventing and managing monoaminergic disturbances which are a cause of behavioural and neurodegenerative disorders in humans especially in anxiety disorders. Curcumin also lowers the production of stress hormones such as cortisol.
- CATERS TO HPA AXIS IMBALANCE
The hypothalamic – pituitary- adrenal axis is deregulated in anxiety disorders making the patient suffer from adrenal fatigue. Since the communication channel among the three is dysfunctional, the adrenal glands release ineffective or abnormal hormones. Curcumin is beneficial to HPA axis and can prevent the deterioration of anxiety disorders.
- ANTI OXIDATIVE FUNCTIONING
Glutathione is responsible for reducing oxidative stress and curcumin can enhance its production. The own effect of curcumin on free radicals has been noted to occur through different mechanisms. It scavenges reactive oxygen and nitrogen species and is considered to be a chain breaking antioxidant. People dealing with anxiety disorders can prevent themselves from damage by free radicals by intake of curcumin.
- ANTI INFLAMMATORY EFFECTS
In certain studies, it has been found that men with ongoing anxiety disorders have increased levels of CRP or C - reactive protein, which is a marker of inflammation. The levels are elevated particularly in people with a late onset of anxiety disorder. Curcumin has been demonstrated as a safe anti inflammatory agent that performs its activity by inhibiting large number of molecules that play a role in inflammation.
- HEALS STRESS RELATED DAMAGE TO BRAIN
When stress initiates anxiety disorders, it also causes destructive changes to the brain of the person involved. Curcumin can mitigate and reverse this stress induced damage to the brain cells. It stimulates the functioning of neurons and strengthens the connectivity among them.
- HELPS IN UNDERLYING DISORDERS AND DEFICIENCIES
Lack of adequate nutrition and health conditions like thyroid imbalance can be reasons for ongoing anxious symptoms. Curcumin improves assimilation of nutrients and manages underlying disease conditions.