Although some studies show that short term stress is potentially beneficial in short bursts, it is common knowledge that long term or chronic stress is bad for us. 

The feelings of stress associated with anxiety are horrible, but the damage which is done to our brain cells long term can make this look minor. Brain changes that are induced by stress can lead to chronic anxiety and depression.

Recently Turmeric has been featured in the press as a stress relief and after doing some digging through turmeric journal article, it appears that there is scientific research to suggest that there could be truth to these claims.

A large percentage of the research revolves around Curcumin which is one of the compounds in Turmeric. Studies show that not only does curcumin stimulate the formation of new brain cells but it can also reverse changes in the brain induced by chronic stress. These two processes can prevent or reduce the symptoms of depression.

Primarily stress studies were undertaken on animals which mimic the types of stress humans are likely to unexpectedly encounter in everyday life. In these studies changes included increased size and weight of adrenal glands, the glands responsible for the production of cortisol. Stressed animals also exhibit reduced performance, memory and though functionality. 

At a cellular level,  stress reduces the functionality of our bodies' natural antioxidant systems, and injures the cellular structures (mitochondria) where cell energy is managed. 


Studies show that curcumin reverses these damaging changes to the body’s physical systems. When fed to rats, curcumin has been shown to restore the cortisol balance and the adrenal glands to their normal function, and to normalise the animals’ behaviours.


More recently, human studies have also been undertaken and they appear to be validating the studies previously undertaken on animals. In a study of healthy, middle-aged people the benefits of taking curcumin included lowered salivary amylase levels (which are a marker of acute stress) and lowering blood markers of brain deterioration. These are all effects that would be expected to reduce the impact of stress in the brain. 

A further study looked at 80 adults with occupational stress disorders took curcumin in a double blind trial for 30 days. Occupational stress has been shown to be very harmful to health. Those taking the enhance-absorption curcumin experienced significant improvements in quality of life, stress reduction, anxiety and fatigue. 


Another study focused on anxiety in obese people at risk for both anxiety and depression.Subjects took curcumin (1,000 mg/day) or a placebo. After 30 days, the curcumin-supplemented subjects experienced a significant reduction in anxiety scoring. 


Journal Articles 

  1. DiSilvestro RA, Joseph E, Zhao S, et al. Diverse effects of a low dose supplement of lipidated curcumin in healthy middle aged people. Nutr J. 2012;11:79.
  2. Pandaran Sudheeran S, Jacob D, Natinga Mulakal J, et al. Safety, Tolerance, and Enhanced Efficacy of a Bioavailable Formulation of Curcumin With Fenugreek Dietary Fiber on Occupational Stress: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2016;36(3):236-43.
  3. Esmaily H, Sahebkar A, Iranshahi M, et al. An investigation of the effects of curcumin on anxiety and depression in obese individuals: A randomized controlled trial. Chin J Integr Med. 2015;21(5):332-8.
  4. Xu Y, Ku B, Tie L, et al. Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB. Brain Res. 2006;1122(1):56-64.
  5. Gomez-Pinilla F, Nguyen TT. Natural mood foods: the actions of polyphenols against psychiatric and cognitive disorders. Nutr Neurosci. 2012;15(3):127-33.
  6. Xu Y, Ku B, Cui L, et al. Curcumin reverses impaired hippocampal neurogenesis and increases serotonin receptor 1A mRNA and brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression in chronically stressed rats. Brain Res. 2007;1162:9-18.
  7. Hirose A, Terauchi M, Akiyoshi M, et al. Depressive symptoms are associated with oxidative stress in middle-aged women: a cross-sectional study. Biopsychosoc Med. 2016;10:12.
  8. Raza MU, Tufan T, Wang Y, et al. DNA Damage in Major Psychiatric Diseases. Neurotox Res. 2016;30(2):251-67.
  9. Rinwa P, Kumar A. Piperine potentiates the protective effects of curcumin against chronic unpredictable stress-induced cognitive impairment and oxidative damage in mice. Brain Res. 2012;1488:38-50.
  10. Xu Y, Lin D, Li S, et al. Curcumin reverses impaired cognition and neuronal plasticity induced by chronic stress. Neuropharmacology. 2009;57(4):463-71.
  11. Liu D, Wang Z, Gao Z, et al. Effects of curcumin on learning and memory deficits, BDNF, and ERK protein expression in rats exposed to chronic unpredictable stress. Behav Brain Res. 2014;271:116-21


Leave a comment (all fields required)

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Net Orders Checkout

Item Price Qty Total
Subtotal £0.00

Shipping Address

Shipping Methods