The Spice that Boosts Memory in Just One Hour

Add this to your lattes, dinners, and more for an added brain health advantage.

December 15, 2016
turmeric root powder

Now there's one more reason to enjoy your favorite curry dish. Turmeric, a spice commonly found in many Indian curry dishes, has been found to improve memory and cognition in as little as one hour.

While conducting the research for my book Boost Your Brain Power in 60 Seconds (Rodale, 2015), I came across an exciting study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. The double-blind, placebo-controlled study explored the effects of one of turmeric's active ingredients known as curcumin on sixty healthy adults aged sixty to eighty-five to determine whether the spice has any short- or long-term memory or cognitive effects.

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Conducted at the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia, researches assessed the mental effects of curcumin supplementation after one hour, three hours, and four weeks. They conducted multiple tests to determine whether the participants had any mood, cognitive, or blood marker effects that might indicate curcumin's immediate or long-term effects. In just one hour after taking the supplement the participants showed significant performance improvement on memory and attention tasks compared to the placebo group.

The participants had many impressive results after four weeks of treatment with curcumin as well. The scientists indicated that working memory, energy levels, calmness and contentedness (as measures of mood), and even fatigue induced by psychological stress were significantly improved following the long-term treatment with the supplement. Participants also had lower cholesterol levels after taking the curcumin supplement.

Even Alzheimer's patients with severe symptoms, including dementia, irritability, agitation, anxiety, and apathy, showed excellent therapeutic results when taking curcumin in a study published in the Japanese medical journal Ayu. When participants took 764 mg of turmeric with a standardized amount of 100 mg/day of curcumin for twelve weeks, they "started recovering from these symptoms without any adverse reaction in the clinical symptom and laboratory data." After three months of treatment the patients' symptoms and their reliance on caregivers significantly decreased.  After one year of treatment two of the patients recognized their family members when they were unable to do so at the outset of the study.  In one of the cases the person had a 17 percent improvement on their Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score. 

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The study results were achieved using a brand of curcumin called Longvida; however there are many other excellent brands.  Ideally choose a standardized extract of curcumin. Follow package directions. Consult your physician prior to taking curcumin. In my book Boost Your Brain Power in 60 Seconds, I recommend 400 mg of curcumin three times daily for people suffering from brain disorders, working with a physician.