Curcumin, the main active ingredient in turmeric, the spice that’s often used in curries, has long been known to have medicinal benefits.
A recent study published in Nature, tells us that not only does curcumin have the ability to treat arthritis, heartburn, stomach ulcers and diarrhoea, it’s also been shown to have the potential to help patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Glenne Schafe, a professor of psychology at Hunter College reported:
“We showed rats freely fed a diet enriched with curcumin have impaired encoding of fear memories,” Professor Schafe said. “We also showed that rats with a pre-existing fear memory can lose that memory when it is recalled while they are eating a curcumin-enriched diet.”
This suggests, he said, that people suffering from PTSD and other disabling psychological disorders that are characterized by fearful memories may benefit substantially from a curcumin-enriched diet.
Curcumin has also been shown to be beneficial in treating some types of cancer, notably multiple myeloma and pancreatic cancer. And more recently, mesothelioma, the rare type of cancer that attacks the lining of organs.
The authors of the Hunter College study concluded that the findings may have “important implications for the treatment of disorders such as PTSD.”
While this study was performed on animals, it will be interesting to see the effect of turmeric on PTSD in humans. Given that the spice also possesses anti-inflammatory properties perhaps it is something that we should all consider adding to our diet?