A spicy surprise: Indian spices are known for adding flavour to our favourite foods, but new research shows that it may also improve our mood.

In this small animal study published in Integrative Medicine Alert, researchers tested the effects of Curcumin, an active component of Curcuma Longa, or Turmeric spice as we know it, on 60 participants with Major Depressive Disorder. Each of them had to take either fluoxetine (20 mg), curcumin (1000 mg), or both, daily for 6 weeks. Note that neither participants nor researchers knew who got which until after the study.

The results showed no significant side effects, with all groups responding similarly. There was however a non-significant trend toward more responses in  the “both” group, suggesting that more research into curcumin for treating depression would be worth pursuing.