A spice commonly used in curry could help erase bad memories, according to a study.
Curcumin, a bright-yellow compound found in the root of the Indian spice turmeric, prevented new fear memories being stored in the brain, and also removed pre-existing fear memories, researchers found.
It is hoped that the findings will help develop treatments for people suffering with psychological disorders.
Psychologists from The City University of New York trained rats to become scared when they heard a particular sound. Scientists assumed the creatures were frightened when they froze.
Hours later, when the same sound was played to the rats, those who had been given ordinary food froze.
Yet the rats fed the curcumin-rich diet didn't freeze, suggesting their fearful memories had been erased.
Professor Glenn Schafe, who led the study, said: '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.'
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