written by: Anurag Ghosh
• edited by: Diana Cooper
• updated: 8/28/2010
Unwanted thoughts and rituals are key factors of obsessive-compulsive disorder. While there are conventional medications and homeopathic remedies to treat OCD effectively, people search for an OCD natural treatment. Here are few important natural remedies for OCD.
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What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?
An individual suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder suffers from persistent unwanted thoughts, images or rituals. Such anxious redundant thoughts are called obsessions and these obsessions trigger certain unwanted rituals (habits) called compulsions. This mental condition can be treated by either allopathic remedies or through behavioral therapy. However, an OCD natural treatment can also be adopted by those who seek alternative methods.
There are several examples of OCD symptoms. A person’s mind preoccupied by thoughts of dirt or “dirty" objects will always think that touching certain objects will contaminate his or her hands. So, he or she may wash their hands repeatedly over a period of time. Hence, the redundant ritual (compulsion) of washing one’s hands repeatedly is actually performed to prevent such obsessive thoughts about contamination. When a person performs such repetitive tasks, he gets temporary relief. However if he forcefully avoids performing rituals, then he may experience heightened levels of anxiety and fear. For detailed information on OCD read this in-depth article on OCD, its symptoms, causes and alternative treatment.
Untreated OCD can result in dangerous situations, often leading to intoxication and drug abuse. Remember, that obsessive-compulsive disorder can take the form a chronic illness if not cured early. It affects your normal life and day-to-day activities. Thankfully, there are treatment options, including different natural remedies for OCD.
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Natural Remedies for OCD: Replenishing Your Diet with Nutritious Food Can Help Tremendously
Statistics have shown that almost 20-25 percent of adults worldwide suffer from anxiety disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder. The main cause of anxiety-related disorders is the imbalance of certain brain chemicals such as serotonin. There are certain non-allopathic therapies such as CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) to treat OCD, but eating a nutritious diet can help tremendously.
Eating a diet rich in Vitamin C, D, magnesium and EFA (essential fatty acids) can certainly provide a great OCD natural treatment. Eating foods rich in Omega-3 is considered an important OCD natural treatment. A study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry (June 2006 edition), reveals that less consumption of foods rich in Omega-3 oils can result in mood disorders. The study also stresses the importance of adding EFA-rich foods in the diet in anxiety treatment therapy. Besides EFA, there are other supplements that are considered being an integral part of natural remedies for OCD and anxiety:
L-glutamine (food rich in L-glutamine include oats, pork, egg, wheat germ)
Gamma-aminobutryic acid or GABA (this nutrient is required for proper functioning of the brain, foods rich in GABA include fermented foods like the Korean Kimchi and yoghurt, as well as green tea)
Omega-6 and Omega-9 (foods rich in these nutrients include hemp seeds, grapeseed oil, flaxseed oil, pumpkin seeds, pistachio nuts, chestnut oil and blackcurrant oil.)
Besides using nutritional supplements for an OCD natural treatment, you can also use different herbs to help treat obsessive-compulsive disorder. These include:
Gotu Kola: popular Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine which is very helpful to control symptoms of anxiety and depression, including OCD.
Kava-Kava: This herb is considered to be a good option to treat anxiety occurred because of OCD. It is also used as an alternative medicine to treat insomnia. However, it is very important to take your doctor’s advice as there are cases of side effects, especially serious liver failure among users.
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