What if I told you that a health promoting substance dervived from a plant could be as effective as Prozac for treating major depression? Maybe the most impressive thing is that unlike Prozac, you might be in more potential health improvements instead of undesirable side-effects. Curcumin has been the subject of numerous studies, including depression. A recent study finds that this safe and natural compound works about as effectively as fluoxetine (Prozac) in those with major depression.
Here are some of the study details for inquiring minds:
In evaluating the efficacy and safety of curcumin with Prozac (fluoxetine) in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), sixty patients diagnosed with MDD were randomized in a 1:1:1 ratio for six weeks observer-masked treatment with fluoxetine (20 mg) and curcumin (1000 mg) individually or their combination. In this 6-week study, it was observed that curcumin was well tolerated by all the patients. As the final numbers were calculated in terms of responders showed highest in the combination group, Prozac + Curcumin at 77.8%, followed by Prozac at 64.7% and curcumin at 62.5% effectiveness.
This study provided first clinical evidence that curcumin may be used as an effective method to treat major depression without the “down-sides” such as suicidal tendancies or other psychotic disorders. 
How Curcumin May Work
Curcumin performs many actions, however with respect to helping in depression, research on rats suggests it works by way of anti-inflammatory action. This is of little surprise, because emerging research has already shown that inflammation contributes to the pathophysiology of depression. When curcumin was used in a 21 day study to evaluate its effects in chronically mild stressed rats (CMS), researchers determined the expression of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. Curcumin significantly reversed the CMS-induced behavioral abnormalities, and reduced parameters of inflammation. 
. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2013 Jul 20;47C:33-39.