January 3

Turmeric and Curcumin for Anxiety: Can They Help?

Turmeric and Curcumin for Anxiety: Can They Help?

When managing stress and anxiety, it’s best to consider the most conservative and natural solutions first. Turmeric, and the curcumin found in turmeric, have been associated with an impressive list of health benefits. But is there a relationship between turmeric and anxiety? Could taking curcumin for anxiety help?

Studies have found the curcumin in turmeric effective at lowering anxiety levels in some. Turmeric is known to be a powerful anti-inflammatory, which could be one way it works to lower anxiety. The long-term benefits of turmeric on anxiety may be more substantial than the short-term benefits. 

Wondering if it makes sense for you to add some turmeric to your diet?

Keep reading to learn more about what kind of results you may expect.

Turmeric and Curcumin for Anxiety: Can They Help?

What is Turmeric and What is Curcumin?

Turmeric is a spice that is made by grinding up the rootstalks of the turmeric plant. It can commonly be found in South Asian curries, holistic medicines, and even in some makeup products (for coloring).

There are few ingredients as hyped up as turmeric. In fact, just about any list of “superfoods” you find will surely include turmeric.

But what about curcumin? Are curcumin and turmeric the same thing?

Not quite.

Simply put, curcumin is the primary curcuminoid, and main component of turmeric. Oftentimes when we discuss the benefits of turmeric, it’s curcumin pulling the weight. However, most people who want to supplement with curcumin simply add a bit of turmeric to their diet.

Most notably, turmeric is renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric’s full range of potential benefits, however, is truly impressive.

To avoid straying off topic, I’ll only briefly mention some of the many potential benefits of turmeric and curcumin.

11 Potential Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin:

  • Natural Anti-Inflammatory
  • Works as a Powerful Antioxidant
  • Contributes to Cancer Cell Death and Slow the Spread of Cancer
  • Helps with Skin Conditions
  • Eases Depression Symptoms and Helps Antidepressants Work Better
  • Improves Brain Function and Memory
  • Lowers Risk of Developing Diabetes (Helps Regulate Blood Sugar Levels)
  • Aids in Fighting Off Viral Infections
  • Eases PMS Symptoms Such as Menstrual Cramps
  • Lowers Risk of Heart Disease (Lowers LDL and Improves Lining of Blood Vessels)
  • Decreases Joint Stiffness and Pain (Especially for those with Arthritis)

Not all of these benefits are 100% guaranteed by turmeric or curcumin, of course. At the very least, however, studies have found these ingredients to be potentially useful for those purposes. As time goes on, it seems that more and more uses are being found for this incredible spice.

But this brings us to our next question...

Can Turmeric Help with Anxiety?

Studies on the effects of turmeric for anxiety or curcumin for anxiety are somewhat limited. For this reason, it’s difficult to determine to what extent turmeric can help with anxiety.

This study on individuals with obesity did, however, find curcumin to have a potential anti-anxiety effect on subjects. Another study on rats found curcumin to have anxiolytic-like effects on biochemical and behavioral symptoms associated with anxiety; they concluded that curcumin may be useful for decreasing psychiatric disorders similar to PTSD.

Of course, more studies are needed to draw any clear conclusions about the effects of curcumin on anxiety in the general population. Nonetheless, such studies are extremely promising and show that turmeric, and the curcumin within it, are certainly worth investigating further.

There are a number of ways that curcumin could work to achieve this. Curcumin is a potent antioxidant and natural anti-inflammatory that helps to protect the brain. It also appears to boost serotonin and lower stress hormones like cortisol. All of these benefits can help to increase mood and brain health.

Of all its benefits, turmeric and curcumin are most well-known for their anti-inflammatory benefits. Interestingly, studies such as this one, and this one, show a link between inflammation levels and levels of anxiety and depression. If a decrease in systemic inflammation levels can be associated with a decrease in baseline anxiety levels, it’s reasonable to infer that a natural anti-inflammatory like curcumin or turmeric may help to decrease anxiety symptoms in this way. 

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What to Expect by Taking Turmeric for Anxiety

When we think about ways to manage our anxiety symptoms, there are two main ways to do so:

  1. Short-Term Anxiety Solutions
  2. Long-Term Anxiety Solutions

Short-term anxiety solutions are the short-lasting, but immediate ways to decrease anxiety in the moment. This involves strategies like medication, fast-acting anxiety supplements, and panic attack coping mechanisms. These solutions are definitely valuable for occasional use when anxiety is especially high.

Long-term anxiety solutions, however, take a different approach. This is where we take more holistic approach, so to speak. We consider how everything we do could be affecting our anxiety levels. This involves strategies like diet, exercise, meditation, and exposure therapy. These solutions may not provide “instantaneous” anxiety relief, but they are often far more sustainable and effective for decreasing anxiety in the long-term.

I think it’s important to distinguish these differences to set your expectations properly.

In my own personal experience supplementing with turmeric, I have not found an immediate, tangible impact on my stress or anxiety levels. This means that I would not consider it to be an effective short-term anxiety solution.


I don’t believe that turmeric should be dismissed entirely.

Studies on turmeric for anxiety or curcumin for anxiety are somewhat limited. I do, however, believe that turmeric supplementation could help reduce anxiety symptoms if taken over a long-term period. This is because, I believe, its value would be in decreasing the type of unseen inflammation that is responsible for worsening symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Regardless, it’s still the cheapest and easiest superfood to fit into my diet. I plan to continue taking supplemental turmeric for all of its other benefits on my body and brain.

turmeric candy by ozia originals

Turmeric Candy Review

There are many ways to add some turmeric to your diet. Doing so may bring a vast list of benefits, including decreasing the inflammation that may be associated with higher levels of anxiety and depression.

Of all the ways to take turmeric, my preferred method is through Ozia Original’s Turmeric Candy. This is a relatively new product from Ozia Originals (the same company that makes the Kava Kava Candy!)

Steve, the owner, is a cool guy who was kind enough to send me a box to try. The taste of these candies totally surprised me. I was expecting something strong and earthy, since turmeric is a spice typically used in savory curry dishes; however, this turmeric candy actually tastes surprisingly good. I take two per day, and genuinely enjoy the unique taste.

I recommend them for anyone looking to decrease inflammation, or seeking any of the other many benefits of turmeric and curcumin. You can buy some turmeric candy here if you’d like to try it for yourself. Steve was even kind enough to give us a coupon:

Use Coupon Code DONTPANIC at checkout for 15% off your purchase!

If this candy is not available in your region, try adding some store-bought turmeric to this anti-anxiety smoothie you can make at home.

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About the Author

Years of personal experience with anxiety disorders and panic attacks have led me to devise some pretty creative ways to keep my anxiety in check. In the past, anxiety and panic attacks felt like something I'd have to live with forever. Nowadays, panic attacks are a distant memory for me, and I'm free to pursue passions like writing and traveling the world. Hopefully, the information on this website can help you achieve the same. I do all the writing here myself, so don't hesitate to reach out with questions!

Tyler Ellis

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