Thursday, June 11, 2015

Turmeric treats depression

turmeric, depression, holistic, healing, herbs, herbal, natural, treatment
Sharing an article from Living Traditionally:

Turmeric treats depression without side effects. Here is how to use it

 What if a natural supplement was just as effective as prescription drugs without the cost and dangerous side effects? A recent study found that curcumin, the main polyphenol in turmeric, is as at least as effective as fluoxetine (Prozac) in treating depression. So how could turmeric actually treat depression?   Curcumin possesses anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, immuno-modulatory, anti-cancer, and neuroprotective properties.  Studies have shown that curcuminoids are very effective in scavenging free radicals and neutralize them.

Turmeric acts as a reactive oxygen scavenger;  it is able to inhibit the body’s production of pro-inflammatory signaling compounds called eicosanoids.  Curcuminoids in turmeric have been found to nfluence more than 700 genes, and it can inhibit both the activity and the synthesis of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) and 5-lipooxygenase (5-LOX), as well as other enzymes that have been linked to inflammation. As we know, inflammation affects every aspect of your health. Inflammation can play a role in depression — even in the absence of a physical illness.

In the study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, the researchers found that people with clinical depression had a 30 percent increase in brain inflammation, also referred to as neuroinflammation.

Groundbreaking Study Finds Turmeric Extract Superior to Prozac for Depression

A recent study, Efficacy and Safety of Curcumin in Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial,  was done to compare the efficacy and safety of curcumin with fluoxetine in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD).  According to the researchers, “This study provides first clinical evidence that curcumin may be used as an effective and safe modality for treatment in patients with MDD [major depressive disorder] without concurrent suicidal ideation or other psychotic disorders.”

The study found that the effectiveness of curcumin stems from the fact that it can inhibit monoamine oxidase, an enzyme which is linked to depression if found in the brain in high levels.  Turmeric  also raise the levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain, two neurotransmitters responsible for happiness, curbing depression and overall emotional well-being.
Another study, published in the journal, “Brain Research,” examined the effects of curcumin administration to laboratory rats after exposure to a chronic stress protocol. The study found that  that curcumin supplementation had a beneficial effect on reducing stress-related depressive symptoms.

How to Use Turmeric for Depression


  • 2 tablespoons of grated fresh turmeric root, or 1 full teaspoon of ground  organic turmeric (where to find)
  • 4 cups of water
  • Raw Honey and lemon to taste


  • Take four cups of water in a pot and boil it.
  • Add the turmeric.  Now, simmer for 10 minutes, before straining it.
  • When ready, strain the tea through a mesh strainer, and add the honey  to taste.

Monday, December 8, 2014

3 Tips for Overcoming Obstacles

overcome, faith, struggles, depression, suicide, holiday, cutting, self harm, life, purposeIf you're anything like me, you've spent most of your life climbing uphill. There have been many major obstacles in my life - some that have been placed on my plate and some that I have dished out myself. Fighting depression since the age of eight has been one of the greatest obstacles to overcome because of the debilitating disease itself and all of the additional conditions and consequences that it causes. I have heard people say things like "just shake it off" (long before Taylor Swift) or "you'll get over it." Not only do platitudes fail to comfort they also fail to offer any real direction or help. Not being new to this game, I know for a fact that not everyone wants help. I have been in a position many times where it didn't matter what anyone said or did, I just wanted to wallow in my pit and enjoy the familiarity of loneliness and depression. Sometimes, I didn't know an escape from the pit existed. However, there are many, possibly you, that are tired of living in the pit and want to make changes. That's great! I can assure you that it is possible. God has taught me so much over the years about overcoming obstacles like depression. I can assure you that it's not easy. You don't just "get over it." It takes work, faith and perseverance. I don't know what your next goal is or what obstacle you need to overcome but I would like to share these tips to help you overcome.
This morning I decided to overcome an obstacle. Over the last two years I have become drastically out of shape. My job involves sitting at a desk all day, every day, eating donuts and drinking coffee and my efforts to exercise in the evenings and on weekends have been less than inspirational. So today I got up, got dressed and drove to a boxing fitness center. With Eye of the Tiger playing in my mind and jump rope in hand, I charged into the workout like a champ. Six minutes and three routines later I was sitting on a box gasping for breath trying not to throw up. My obstacle hit me like a brick wall. Will I give up or overcome? Well, having faced a lifetime of obstacles, I've learned a few lessons that apply to this situation. Really, my only two choices are to stay in the condition I am, which I'm not satisfied with, or keep moving forward. I'm going to press on. Let me encourage you to persevere in your trek to climb that mountain. You can, and will, make it. Hopefully, you can benefit from my experience and apply it to your situation. Here are some tips for overcoming obstacles:

1) Don't wait to get started
Procrastination kills motivation. If you have an obstacle before you, start moving now to conquer it. You may fear that you're not ready and you might make a mistake. Probably. Mistakes help us learn. I wasn't ready to jump in to a full workout when I went to the fitness center, but my experience gave me an honest evaluation of what I need to work on - cardio. Now I know which direction to go. My efforts to combat depression took years because I wanted to be stable or "feel better" before working on other issues. Now, I can look back and be thankful for how far I've come. What move are you going to make now to overcome that obstacle?

2) If you get knocked down, get up and try again
This is an old saying, but vital to your progress. Never, ever give up. One of my favorite bible verses says, "No weapon formed against me shall prosper." I find it inspirational for two reasons: what it says, and what it doesn't say. It says that no matter what attacks me, the end has already been determined and those weapons lose. What it doesn't say is just as important. It doesn't say that the weapons can't harm me or do any damage. They can and will. But they can't defeat me. Depression has certainly damaged me over the years, but I'm still alive and enjoying the blessings in my life. Do you have scars? Then you are a survivor. Keep going.

3) Acknowledge every forward step
You will be alive until you die, no? Sounds silly, but there is a great truth here. Are you going to live a life of death or a life of living? The journey of life is yours to take. So what if your goal was 100 steps and you only made 82? That's progress, that's accomplishment, that's perseverance. Remember, it's not over until it's over and every positive move you make is, in itself, overcoming the obstacle. What is the last success you can name, no matter how small? You can do this, one step at a time.

Friday, November 7, 2014

3 Tips for Diminishing Depression During Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving, family, prayer, blessing, depression, suicide, God, holiday, therapy
The first of two big holidays is upon us. In a few weeks, we will be celebrating with our family and friends. Traditions throughout the United States, including some things integrated from other lands and cultures, can be special times. The two most common Thanksgiving traditions are getting together with family and FOOD! Lots of yummy food - turkey, ham, dressing, sweet potatoes, corn, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie... now I'm hungry!
Even with all the great food, the most meaningful part of Thanksgiving is the time spent with family. Perhaps that means a small group of immediate family members or a gathering that includes aunts & uncles, grandparents, cousins or in-laws that you don't get to see on a daily basis. No matter the size of your family, there is warmth, joy and love.
Or is there?
What if everyone else is happy but you feel hollow on the inside? For you this gathering doesn't bring back happy memories from childhood, it serves only as a reminder of pain and heartache. Or maybe you have no family at all with which to celebrate. There are many single people away from their home, widowers or people isolated for other reasons. This holiday may be a reminder of your loneliness rather than anything joyous in life. Many people share your struggle. I have felt that pain many, many times throughout my life. It is crushing, deflating, dehumanizing and can open up a well of sorrow within your heart. Here are a few tricks that have proved extremely effective in my life during holiday depressions.

1) Be Thankful: Imagine that, being thankful at Thanksgiving. Oh, the audacity! Seriously though, if your heart is heavy from the things you don't have, or don't feel you have, count your blessings. They may be few but focus on them. Every single one of them. Write them down. Find things to be thankful for - the last good book you read, chocolate ice cream, your dog, good memories of times spent with your best friend, your creative nature, rain that makes the flowers grow next spring, the color green; anything and everything.

2) Plan Ahead: If you know your Thanksgiving situation is going to be less than ideal, make survival plans now. Is going to your family get together a painful duty? Try something new this year. How about dropping in to say hello and I love you, then heading out to do your own thing. Make plans with friends or schedule activities for yourself such as renting funny movies or working on a hobby.

3) Serve Others: Did you know that there are numerous churches and charitable organizations that feed the poor and homeless people on Thanksgiving?  You can volunteer to cook, serve, clean up or even deliver meals. Plus, you can spend time talking to people, asking about how their life is going. It will be a joy for them just to be treated like a normal human being and you might make a new friend!

If you are feeling especially lonely or low this season, please reach out to someone. People care about you, even if it's not the ones that are supposed to. I care. I will be praying for you this Thanksgiving.
If you have any other suggestions for diminishing depression during the holidays, please share in the comments below.
God bless

Monday, October 20, 2014

Dear Anxiety

anxiety, stress, depression, courage, endurance, perseverence, therapy
I don’t know why, but it seems like the less depression I have, the more anxiety tries to creep in. It’s like they are trying to do a tag team against me. Depression has wrestled me down but couldn’t pin me into submission. Now that I have gotten the upper hand on him he has decided to tag his partner, anxiety, and let him have a go at it. 

Anxiety is like a pilot light in the furnace of my heart. Always there, deep down, staying lit, waiting for a chance to flame up. Heartburn of the soul. I decided to write anxiety a little letter to let it know that I am not happy about these visits and I plan to fight, not just lay down and surrender.

Dear Anxiety,
    Thank you for stopping by this morning. Although not totally unexpected, your presence was somewhat of a surprise. It’s strange because now that your cousin has been vacated, you think that you are encouraged to take his place. Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but you are not. Just as he has been defeated, you will be also. I am thankful for your annoying presence because you will make me stronger. You will provide ample opportunity to turn to God, to let Jesus be my strength and my hope. He is the light of the world and the light of my life. He is my life. Much to your dismay, I’m sure, your attempts to conquer me and tear me down will only result in a more fine-tuned, refined instrument in God’s hands. For that, I say bravo, little anxiety, bravo.
    Oh, I realize that there will be fights between us. You’ll sneak in a jab here & there. That’s right, I know what your plans are. I would rather not be bothered by your petty attempts but I will take the challenge with one little nugget of truth in mind - in the end, I win. God has already proclaimed it. Jesus has the victory in hand (both hands actually) and he has me in his hands. Your pathetic disruptions are nothing more than last-ditch efforts, flailing failures to be discarded at the edge of eternity. I hope you enjoy your brief moments of success. They will be your last. My gloves are laced up, my footwork is better than ever, my strength comes from HIM and his punches have power like dynamite. Step into the ring sucker. Let’s go - fight’s on!