The health benefits of turmeric have been long documented. From assisting in the treatment of Alzheimer’s, Dementia, heart disease and even cancer, to aiding blood circulation and featuring powerful anti-inflammatory properties, it’s the spice world’s greatest natural wonder.
Now, scientists are claiming curcumin, the yellow curry compound found in turmeric, can help prevent fear from being stored in the brain while removing pre-existing fears from the brain’s storage.
Psychologists from The City University of New York are hoping the findings will pave the way for more sophisticated treatments for psychological disorders.
The team trained rats to become fearful when they heard a particular sound, assuming they were scared when they froze.
The rats were then divided into two groups: one was given regular food and the other was given foods containing curcumin. A few hours later, those given regular food froze upon hearing the trigger sound, while the rats that had been feasting on the curcumin-laced food didn’t freeze, suggesting their fearful memories had been erased.
“This suggests that people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological disorders that are characterised by fearful memories may benefit substantially from a curcumin-enriched diet,” told Professor Glenn Schafe who led the study.
Memories are formed in the brain as new connections between neurons. Although weak at first, they strengthen over time, forging what we know as long-term memories.
While the study offers new insights, Schafe claims that more studies are needed to ascertain the relationship between curcumin and memory erasing.